BOI Companies

Setting up a company
in Thailand

What is the BOI?

The Thailand Board of Investment (“BOI”) is an agency formed by the Thai government tasked with promoting foreign investment into the Kingdom. It does so by incentivizing qualified investors with several benefits and providing information to facilitate a smoother investment process in Thailand. The Board operates directly under the Prime Minister’s Office.

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What benefits does the BOI provide?

The incentives provided by the BOI can split into two main categories: tax and non-tax incentives. The former consists of several exemptions and/or reductions in taxes for certain amounts of time, depending on the prospective applicant’s business activities. The latter consists of privileges that are not normally afforded to foreign investors, including full foreign ownership of a corporate entity and permission to own land in the Kingdom.

How do I apply for BOI promotion?

The process of applying for BOI promotion is complex and involves a bureaucratic process of compiling paperwork and other documents deemed necessary by the Board. It is recommended that those interested in applying for BOI promotion seek out an experienced law firm to facilitate the application.

Eligible activities for
promotion by business
categories

In order to be qualified for BOI promotion, projects must engage in at least one of the eligible business activities listed by the Board. These include:

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The Office of the Board of Investment is tasked with attracting foreign and local entrepreneurs into investing in activities promoted by the agency through a number of incentives. This is done with the aim of expanding Thailand’s economy and developing local skills.

BOI Companies summarized

Entitled to a Foreign Business Certificate once the BOI certificate is granted

Regular corporate income tax may apply; however, companies can avail tax incentives that exempt them

innovation

BOI promoted companies can only engage in business activities related to their investment promotion

planning

At least 1 million Baht paid-up capital, but the required capital depends on the nature of the company

100% foreign ownership

Industries promoted by the BOI

The following industries listed can be split into smaller business
activities such as manufacturing and technological transfer.

1. Company registration at the Department of Business Development

2. Apply for an Amity Certificate at the US Embassy in Thailand

3. Apply for Approval from the Director of the Ministry of Commerce

4. Proceed to obtain a Foreign Business License

5. Chemicals, paper, and plastics

6. Services and public utilities

7. Light industry

8. Technological and innovation development

Registering a company should take up to a week if all requirements are in order

Benefits of BOI Promotion

Depending on the nature of the business,
BOI-promoted companies are entitled to several incentives.

Tax benefits
  • Several years of corporate tax exemption
  • Reduced or exempted import duties on raw materials and machinery
  • Reduced or exempted taxes on dividends payable
  • Deductions from transportation costs, utilities (electricity and water), installation costs, and construction costs
Non-tax benefits
  • Full foreign ownership
  • Entitled to hire foreign experts without the need to follow the 4:1 rule
  • Permission to buy and own land
  • Remitting money abroad is permitted
  • The company is protected from nationalization

Applying for BOI Promotion

Depending on the company’s business activities,
the process often takes around 3-4 months.

Step 1: Prepare for application

This involves preparing documents for the application process. This consists of two parts:

  • The business plan: all details regarding the operation of the company, including financial projections, prospective clients, marketing plans, and HR requirements, are disclosed in this document.
  • The project plan: this document should outline information about the company’s work processes, the value it seeks to create, and details about its products or services. It should also disclose the hardware, software, and machinery it will use.

 Duration: between 2 to 4 weeks.

Step 2: Submit application and schedule a meeting with the BOI

The company’s application will be submitted online. A meeting will be scheduled for the applicants to present the project to the BOI official for project evaluation.

 Duration: 1 day for registration; 1-2 weeks to confirm presentation date.

Step 3: Project presentation

On the date confirmed by the BOI, applicants are to present the project to officials at the BOI office, where they will be interviewed about its details. The Board will take 40 working days to review the project.

 Duration:
1 day for registration; 1-2 weeks to confirm presentation date.

Step 4: BOI resolution and company formation

Once the project has been approved by the BOI, businesses will need to register their company with the Department of Business Development within 6 months.

 Duration:
1 day for the presentation; 40 working days for the BOI review.

Step 5: Issuance of BOI certificate

Once the company has been registered and provides proof of at least 25% of the required registered capital, the BOI certificate will be issued.

 Duration:
approximately 2 weeks.

Step 6: Obtain visas and work permits

With the BOI certificate, foreign managers and staff can apply for a non-immigrant B visa at a Thai Embassy or Consulate. Extending this visa, as well as processing of the Work Permit, will be done at the One-Stop Center at Chamchuri Square.

Notes on BOI-promoted companies

  • Capital requirements

    The minimum required capital depends on the nature of the project and the industry it will be promoted under. At least 25% of the funds must be attained before the BOI certificate is issued, and the rest within 36 months after BOI the certificate has been issued. Foreign-owned companies must also provide proof of investment coming in from abroad.

  • Post-application obligations

    BOI promoted companies are required to notify and update officials about their project on a regular basis

  • Registration costs

    On top of the legal and government fees involved in the process, companies should also consider costs pertaining to the construction of facilities, hiring of staff, machinery, and other capital expenditures.

BOI-promoted Company and Limited Company comparison

BOI Company Limited Company
Thai/foreign employee ratio Negotiable 4:1
Corporate income tax rate Varies between industries 20%
Foreign ownership Up to 100% 49% maximum
Import duties on machinery imports Exempted VAT rate
Ongoing requirements BOI update form submissions Inspection by immigration officials

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