Restricted Businesses List under the Foreign Business Act Updated

Currently, majority foreign-owned companies are not allowed to conduct certain service businesses in Thailand, such as providing loans, leasing office space, and providing advice, under List Three (21) of the Foreign Business Act, 2542 B.E. (1999) (“FBA”). If a business entity wishes to conduct such a restricted service business, it must apply for a foreign business licence from the Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce, before starting the business.

Keywords: Mazars, Thailand, Legal, Foreign Business Act, Ministry of Commerce, Ministerial Regulation

06 June 2019

However, on 14 May 2019, the Cabinet approved, in principle, a draft Ministerial Regulation of the Ministry of Commerce to remove the following three service businesses from the list of restricted businesses set out in List Three (21) of the FBA:

1. Providing loans to subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Thailand;

2. Leasing office space with utilities to subsidiaries and affiliated companies; and

3. Providing advice and suggestions to subsidiaries and affiliated companies in regard to administration, marketing, human resources, and information technology.

Therefore, after the new Ministerial Regulation comes into effect, majority foreign-owned companies who wish to conduct these three service businesses will no longer have to apply for a foreign business licence to do so.

For more information, please visit the Royal Thai Government website.