Board of Investment

Overview

Want to start a mostly foreign-owned business in Thailand? Silk Legal has guided dozens of clients through the challenging process of starting their own BOI company. Due to the convoluted nature of the process, it’s normal for most businesses to waste significant resources in trying to get BOI approval. However, we have a track record of getting businesses approved with the minimum time and effort. This page is a broad overview of the BOI approval process but spares the finer details because they are subject to constant change.

  • Application Process

    1. Submit application form with required documents, either online or hard copy.
    2. Book presentation appointment within 10 days of submitting form and documents.
    3. Waiting periods based on investment value, excluding cost of land and working capital:

    < 200 million baht investment value. Within 40 days.
    > 200 million to 2 billion baht investment value. Within 60 days.
    > 2 billion baht investment value. Within 90 days.

    4. Submit promotion acceptance form within one month of notification, either online or hard copy.
    5. Submit company establishment form within six months of approval, either online or hard copy.

  • Post-Approval Actions

    Following BOI approval, you must take these actions to receive your certificate:

    1. Submit these documents:

    • Application form for promotion certificate
    • Memorandum of association
    • Certificate of business registration
    • Certificate stating the registered capital
    • List of directors
    • Head office address
    • Shareholder details
    • Fund transfer documents
    • Utility and manpower requirements
    • All other related contracts and agreements

    2. Set up the company within six months. If this is not attainable, you can request a one month extension up to three times.

    3. Any discrepancies regarding the certificate must be resolved with the BOI before proceeding with commercial activities.

  • What is the BOI?

    1. Allows foreigners to run 100% foreign-owned businesses in Thailand.
    2. Promotes investments in Thailand by providing information, services and incentives.
    3. Operates directly under the Prime Minister’s Office, with the Prime Minister acting as  the chairman.
    4. Promulgates investment promotion policies under the Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 (1977) and Official Announcements.
    5. Does not officially grant business licenses for investors to operate a businesses in Thailand but rather industry-specific investment incentives, such as:

    • Tax incentives, such as corporate income tax exemptions up to 8 years, and exemption or reduction on import duties of raw materials, machinery and equipment.
    • You can operate a 100% foreign-owned company and are not required to apply for a foreign business license under the Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 (1999), with the right to purchase and possess land to be used for BOI projects.
    • Assistance from the One-Stop Service Centre for work permit application for foreign employees as well as exemption from capital and Thai-to-Foreign staff ratio requirements.
    • Investors can apply for BOI investment promotion prior to registering a local entity in Thailand.
    • Other incentives as stipulated in the BOI Announcements.

     

  • Governing Body
    • Operates directly under the Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand, with the Prime Minister acting as the Chairman of the Board.
    • Members include the Ministries of Industry, Finance, Commerce and Agriculture; the Chairman of the Bank of Thailand; the Stock Exchange; the Thai Chamber of Commerce and other trade organizations of the country.
    • The management and executives of the BOI consist of members from different businesses and trades, all leaders in the respective fields.
    • Governance is split to represent investors through different channels and divisions.
    • Offices are spread across  the country.
  • Incentives
    Thai Company BOI Company
    Thai-foreigner staff ratio 4:1 Flexible*
    Tax 20% Varies between industries
    Maximum foreign ownership 49% 100%
    Tax on machinery imports VAT rate 0%
    Ongoing requirements Immigration inspections BOI update form submissions

     

    *Industries that prohibit 100% foreign ownership: agriculture, mining, motorcycle manufacturing, and international trading.

    Tax incentives vary by industry and include exemptions on import duties, shareholder dividends and overheads.

    Non-tax incentives include 100% foreign ownership, approval of work permits and business visas and foreign ownership of land.

  • BOI Policies and Current Focus

    The BOI’s investment promotion policies focus on:

    • Foreign investment.
    • Fostering competition and innovation.
    • Eco-friendliness.
    • Encouraging investment in priority areas, such as Southern Thailand.
    • The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
    • Priority industries, such as forest plantations, automotive manufacturing, software, electronics and e-commerce, which receive the best incentives. Thailand has reputation for green automotive production as a result of this.
  • Eligible Industries

    Your business must be categorized under one of the eight eligible industries, or supportive of one (see TISOs), in order to be eligible for BOI promotion. Each of the eight approved industries is further divided into ‘divisions’. Furthermore, each industry is defined by conditions and has its own incentives, both of which are complex and change constantly. The eligible industries are:

    • Agriculture and Agricultural Products
    • Mining Ceramics and Basic Metals
    • Light Industry
    • Metal Products, Machinery and Transport Equipment
    • Electronic Industry and Electric Appliances
    • Chemicals, Paper and Plastics
    • Services and Public Utlities
    • Technology and Innovation Development



  • Trade and Investment Support Offices (TISOs)

    A Trade and Investment Support Office, or TISO, is a recognized BOI category that is eligible for B2 incentives. B2 incentives include exemption of import duties on raw materials used in production for export and non-tax incentives.

    TISOs cover a broad range of activities that are supportive of other businesses, including:

    • Services for associated enterprises, including leasing offices or factory buildings.
    • Advisory services regarding business operations (such as accounting advisors, legal advisors, etc.) except securities and foreign currency trading advisors.
    • Information services on goods sourcing.
    • Engineering and technical services, except architecture and civil engineering services.
    • Training services related to machinery, engines, tools, and equipment.
    • Installation, maintenance, and repair of machinery, engines, tools and equipment.
    • Calibration of machinery, engines, tools and equipment.
    • International business outsourcing where the services may be provided through telecommunication, such as administrative services, finance and accounting services, marketing, human resources, services, data processing, etc.

    Trade:

    • Importing machinery, engines, tools, and equipment for wholesaling.
    • Wholesaling products manufactured in Thailand.

    Requirements:

    • Professional businesses must be licensed.
    • Overview of the scope of the business and services, corporate profile, business plan, source of funding, manpower requirements, marketing plan, catalogues, etc.
    • 1 million baht capital, with 10 million baht annual expenditures. For most instances but subject to variation.
    • Debt to equity ratio must not exceed 3:1.