Frequently Asked Questions
How do I marry a Thai national?
In Thailand it is legal for foreigners to marry either Thai citizens or other foreign nationals. The process is generally fairly straightforward. Certain paperwork is required, all of which must be translated into the Thai language and legalized pursuant to Thai law. In addition, certain considerations, such as prenuptial agreements should be considered when marrying in Thailand, as special rules apply.
Thailand Marriage can be performed at a local district office known as an 'amphur' or 'khet'. In order for foreigners to get married in Thailand they must have clearance from their embassy. Embassies of different countries have different procedures for providing this clearance. In general, the Thai district offices that perform marriages require affidavits that assert the name of the foreigner, as well as personal details such as confirmed citizenship of that country and legal freedom to marry. Once those foreign affidavits are obtained, they must be translated into Thai and legalized pursuant to Thai law. At that point parties must proceed to the necessary district office for an administrative Thailand marriage.
A marriage in Thailand is a legal Thailand marriage pursuant to Thai law and is normally recognized throughout the world. This allows for certain benefits to marrying in Thailand. For individuals with trans-national issues, where one or more spouse is from a different country, Thailand is a very convenient location in which to marry.
Another advantage of getting married in Thailand is the variety of picturesque locations, such as world class beach resorts, where a formal or religious ceremony can be performed following the legal administrative marriage.
So how long does an administrative marriage in Thailand take? Including the time involved in procuring affidavits from an embassy, having those documents translated and legalized, and having the marriage performed at a local amphur, the process can be completed in as little as 3 - 4 days. Sometimes, if there are complications, such as back-ups in paperwork at an embassy, or different requirements for certain nations' embassies, the process can take longer.
It is helpful to retain the services of a lawyer to supervise the marriage. A law office can help co-ordinate the procurement of official documents from the embassy and have them translated and legalized quickly with minimum problems. Familiarity with the formalities of a Thai marriage, access to qualified translators, and an understanding of the legalization process reduces the likelihood of delay or complication.
Prenuptial agreements are allowed in Thailand provided they meet the procedural requirements of Thai law. Generally, it is advisable to have a law office assist you with the preparation of a prenuptial agreement and the translation and legalization of such an agreement pursuant to Thai law. These prenuptial agreements are generally considered valid legal agreements in jurisdictions outside of Thailand. Although, litigation can be an unpredictable process and the laws of different countries may vary, it is always safer for persons with assets or significant property to have a prenuptial agreement.
Thai wife/girlfriend Visa application
Our lawyers are unable to oversee such visas as each individual country has their own rules on immigration and who they permit to enter their country. These rules are made at the discretion of each country so we advise you to contact the specific country’s embassy/consulate relevant to your case.
Do you handle Divorce cases?
We are able to handle divorce cases on a case by case policy. We know some cases can be of a sensitive nature when individuals are seeking pastures new, so we adopt a very gentle and understanding nature when trying to resolve such cases for our clients.
Can you arrange for a Prenuptial Agreement?
Thai Prenuptial Agreements are authorized by law in Thailand. Prenuptial or Antenupitial Agreements must coincide with the Civil & Commercial Code in Thailand. It is essential that you seek counsel from legal firms based in Thailand and your country of residence before entering into a prenuptial agreement with your Thai fiancé. Our Law team specializes in all aspect of family law and with the guidance of our lawyer’s we can draft an agreement based on; property assets, business assets, protection from other spouse debt and reduction of litigation cost.
Investment and Corporation
What are the requirements for purchasing a condominium?
In order to purchase a condominium certain requirements must be met, for example:
1: A foreigner has permanent residence in Thailand in accordance with Thai Immigration Law, or
2: A foreigner is allowed into or resides in Thailand in accordance with Thai Investment Promotion Law, or
3: A foreign legal entity is in accordance with the Announcement of the Foreign Business Act BE 2542 (AD 1999), and has been granted an Investment Promotion Certificate in accordance with the Investment Promotion law, or
4: A foreigner or foreign legal entity who brings foreign currency into Thailand, or brings in Baht currency from the account of a person residing abroad, or uses foreign currency from their
Deposit Account. This requirement is normally met by the presentation of a Dor Tor 3 form which is provided by the bank receiving an incoming remittance from abroad.
Is my investment secure?
With much publicized gossip about Thai investment dealings, many people do hold reservations about fully committing to investment into Thailand. With our reputable business advisors along with our team of lawyers we can carry out “due diligence” and have a secure lease agreement prepared. Once this is done it is as secure as anywhere in the world.
How can I purchase land in Thailand?
As a general matter, Thai law prohibits foreigners from owning land in Thailand. The prohibition applies to foreign nationals and juristic entities (e.g companies, partnerships). Additionally it applies to Thai juristic entities, which are owned or controlled by foreigners. This law note applies generally to the Thai law prohibiting land ownership by foreigners as well as exception to the strategies for operating under the prohibition. Ownership can be legally achieved to coincide with Thai law.
Setting up a Limited company?
The basic steps for registering a company are:
1: Register the name of the company with the Ministry of Commerce.
2: File a Memorandum of Association listing shareholders. (A minimum of 3 shareholders is required for a private limited company and 15 for a public limited company.)
3: Hold a statutory meeting.
4: Submit a company registration application with the Ministry of Commerce.
5: Obtain income tax ID card and number from the Revenue Department
Can Foreigner and Thai make joint venture agreement in Thailand?
Yes, a foreigner and Thai can make a joint venture agreement in Thailand as long as the provisions are not prohibited by law, are impossible or are contrary to the public order or good morals.
Value Added Tax FAQ’s
What Taxes will I have to pay when purchasing a condominium?
Costs only apply upon transfer of ownership. These fall into four categories:
Transfer fees 2%
Stamp duties 0.5%
Business tax 3.3%
Income Tax (the Thai equivalent to capital gains tax – a variable rate)
Most of the fees are calculated relative to the government’s “tax assessment value of the property” and this is well below the market value.
What is a VAT or “Value Added Tax”?
Value Added Tax was implemented in Thailand since 1992 replacing Business Tax (BT). VAT is an indirect tax imposed on the value added of each stage of production and distribution.
What is the VAT rate?
The VAT is currently imposed at a rate of seven percent (7%), which has been reduced from the normal rate of ten percent (10%) last April 1, 1999. From April 1, 2001 onward, he VAT rate will be raised back to 10%. For exports of good, the VAT rate applied to zero (0).
Who is the Taxable Person?
Any person or entity that regularly supplies good or provides services in Thailand and has an annual turnover exceeding 1.8 million Baht is subject to VAT in Thailand. Service is deemed to be provided in Thailand if the service is performed in Thailand regardless where it is utilized or if it is performed elsewhere and utilized in Thailand.
An importer is also subject to VAT in Thailand no matter whether one is a registered person or not. VAT will be collected by the Customs Department at the time of good imported. Certain businesses are excluded from VAT and instead will be subjected to Specific Business Tax (SBT)
Under VAT, taxable good mean all types of property, tangible or intangible, whether they are available for sale, personal use, or for any other purposes. It is also include any types of article imported to Thailand. Services refer o any activities conducted for the benefits of a person or an entity, which are not the supply in terms of goods.
Is there an exemption with VAT?
There are certain activities which are exempted to VAT. These are:
Small business whose annual turnover is less than 1.8 million baht
Sales and Import of unprocessed agricultural products and related goods such as fertilizers, animal feeds, pesticides, etc.,
Sales and imports of newspapers, magazines and textbooks.
When is the due date to file the tax of an individual?
An individual must file annual income tax returns not later than the end of March of the following year. Half-year income tax returns are required for individuals who earn certain types of income such as rent such as rent, professional fees, income from construction, income from sales of goods, etc., The half –year income tax returns must be filed not later than the end of September of the respective tax year.
How do I determine my payroll Tax Liabilities?
Your payroll tax liabilities will include the following:
1. Social Security and Medicare taxes that were to be withheld plus your company’s matching of those taxes.
2. State and federal unemployment taxes. Your state can tell you the rate for your company and the wages to which the rate applies. For example, it might be 5% on the first $9,000 of annual wages and salaries. The federal rate is 0.8% on the first $7,000 of annual wages and salaries.
3. Check with your city, county, and state for any other payroll taxes.
In addition to the payroll taxes, you may have payroll related liabilities for worker compensation insurance, health insurance, 401-k contributions, pensions, vacations, and so on. Your liabilities will also include other payroll withholdings that were to be remitted for the employee, but have not yet been remitted.
What is the accrual basis of Accounting?
Under the accrual basis of accounting, revenues are reported on the income statement when they are earned. (Under the cash basis of accounting, revenues are reported on the income statement when the cash is received.) Under the accrual basis of accounting, expenses are matched with the related revenues and/or are reported when the expense occurs, not when the cash is paid. The result of accrual accounting is an income statement that better measures the profitability of a company during a specific time period.
The Balance Sheet and Income Statement are connected.
I mentioned that adjusting entries almost always involve both a balance sheet account and an income statement account. (For example, the cost of supplies that are no longer on hand is moved from the balance sheet to supplies expense on the income statement. Insurance premiums that are no longer prepaid are moved from the balance sheet to insurance expense on the income statement.) The first accounting course teaches us that the basic accounting equation is Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity. Owner’s Equity or Stockholders’ Equity is a section of the balance sheet that increases when the company’s net income increases.
The point of these observations is the following tip: The number of balance sheet accounts is usually small in relation to the number of income statement accounts. If you can be certain that the relatively few balance sheet accounts have the correct ending balances, you can have some confidence that the bottom line of the income statement is proper. (The income statement may contain errors–perhaps you entered an amount into the wrong account–but the overall net income has a good chance of being correct.)