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What You Should Know About Foreign Business License in Thailand 您應該知道的泰國外商營業執照

There are certain restrictions when foreign investors want to do business in Thailand. Thai government legislate Foreign Business Act (“FBA”), B.E. 2542 (1999) is to regulate business operations and activities involving foreign nationals and entities. According to FBA, for foreign investors who wish to set up a foreign company, needs to apply for foreign business license to conduct businesses. There are three procedures to obtain such licenses.


1. engage in business indicated in List 2 or List 3. Or


2. a company has minimum capital of 100 million baht for each business, the company can operate a business without a license. However, the company must inform Foreign Business Department before conducting the business. Or

公司每項業務的最低資本為 1 億泰銖,公司可以在沒有執照的情況下營業,但是公司必須在開業之前通知國外商業部。

3. A company must submit a principal approval letter to the committee of foreign business department.


Following are introduction of List 2 and List 3 Business:


List 2: Business Permitted to Foreigners under Conditions

第二類: 根據條件允許外國人從事的業務

Section 15 of the FBA provides that foreigner which is a juristic person may operate any business specified in List 2 only not less than forty percent of its shares are held by Thai nationals or juristic persons which are not foreigners under this Act.


Business activities fall under List 2 are those businesses related to national safety or security or having an impact on arts, culture, traditions, customs and folklore handicrafts or natural resources and the environment.


List 3: Businesses in Respect of Which Thai Nationals Are Not Yet Ready to Compete with Foreigners


Activities stated in List 3 are designated as businesses in which Thai nationals are not yet ready to compete with foreigners. According to Section 8(3) of FBA, when foreigners engage in activities stated in List 3, foreign company must apply for and obtain a Foreign Business License prior to commencing the activity. Below are listed business activities:


1. Rice milling and production of flour from rice and economic plants;


2. Fishery only in respect of the hatching and raising of aquatic animals;


3. Forestry from a grown forest;


4. Production of plywood, veneer wood, chipboards or hardboards;


5. Production of lime;


6. Provision of accounting services;


7. Provision of legal services;


8. Provision of architectural services;


9. Provision of engineering services;


10. Construction, except for:


1. Construction of structures for delivery of infrastructure public services in the sphere of public utilities or transportation requiring the use of special apparatuses, machines, technology, or expertise, with the minimum capital of five hundred million baht or upwards for foreigners;

需要使用特殊設備、機器、技術或專業知識的公用事業或交通領域的基礎設施公共服務結構的建設,外資最低資本為 5 億泰銖以上(含);

2. Construction of other types as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation


11. Brokerage or agency businesses, except for:


A. being a broker or an agent in the sale or purchase of securities or in services related to futures trading of agricultural commodities or financing instruments or securities;


B. being a broker or an agent in the sale, purchase or procurement of goods or services necessary for the production or the provision of services amongst affiliated enterprises;


C. being a broker or an agent in the sale or purchase, procurement, distribution, or acquisition of domestic and foreign markets for the distribution of domestically manufactured or imported goods, which is in character the operation of international trade, with the minimum capital of one hundred million baht or upwards from foreigners:

作為經紀人或代理人在國內和國外市場銷售或購買、採購、分銷或收購國內製造或進口商品的分銷,具有國際貿易性質,外資最低資本為 1億泰銖(含):

D. being a broker or an agent of other types as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation.


12. Sale by auction, except for:


A. sale by auction which, in character, involves international bidding of items other than antiques, objects of antiquity or artistic objects that are artistic works or handicrafts or objects of antiquity of Thailand or of historical value of the country;


B. sales by auction of other types as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation.

部長條例第 20 條規定的其他類型的拍賣。

13. Internal trade related to traditional agricultural products or produce not yet prohibited by law, except for future agriculture trade in the Agricultural Future Exchange of Thailand without delivery or receive in Thailand;


14. Retail sale of goods of all types with the total minimum capital in the amount lower than one hundred million Baht or with the minimum capital of each store in the amount lower than twenty million baht;


15. Wholesale of all types with the minimum capital of each store in the amount lower than one hundred million baht;


16. Advertising business;


17. Hotel business, with the exception of the hotel management service;


18. Tour Guide;


19. Sale of food and beverages;


20. Cultivation, propagation, or development of plant varieties;


21. Other service businesses, except for service businesses as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation.


License fees:


(1) Business List 2: 10 Baht for each registered capital of 1,000 Baht with the minimum of 40,000 Baht and the maximum of 500,000 Baht.


(2) Business List 3: 5 Baht for each registered capital of 1,000 Baht with the minimum

of 20,000 Baht and the maximum of 250,000 Baht.


Regarding the requested documents to submit for a foreign business license, please refer to our article “How to Apply Foreign Business License in Thailand” at


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