Under Thai law, foreigners generally cannot own land in Thailand outright. However, there are certain exceptions and alternatives available for land ownership by foreigners, subject to specific conditions and restrictions. These options include:
- Leasehold Agreement: Foreigners can enter into long-term lease agreements for land in Thailand. The lease can be for a maximum period of 30 years, with options for renewal. While the land remains under Thai ownership, the lease agreement grants the foreigner usage rights and control over the land for the duration of the lease.
- Condominium Ownership: Foreigners are allowed to own condominium units in Thailand as long as certain criteria are met. The Condominium Act permits foreign ownership of up to 49% of the total unit area in a registered condominium project. This allows foreigners to own the unit and a proportionate share of the common areas of the condominium.
- Investment in BOI-Promoted Projects: In some cases, foreign-owned companies that invest in BOI-promoted projects may be eligible for land ownership privileges. This depends on the specific project and the industry involved. The BOI may grant permission for the foreign-owned company to own land for the purpose of the investment project.
- Treaty of Amity: US citizens may have certain land ownership privileges under the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations between Thailand and the United States. This treaty allows US citizens to engage in business activities, including land ownership, under specific conditions and limitations.
- Thai Limited Company: Another option for foreigners to own land is through establishing a Thai Limited Company, where foreigners can hold up to 49% of the company shares, while the remaining 51% must be held by Thai nationals. The company can then acquire and hold land in Thailand.
It’s important to note that while these options provide some avenues for land use and ownership, they are subject to regulations and requirements which is often complex. It is advisable to seek legal advice and consult with professionals familiar with Thai property laws to ensure compliance and understand the specific conditions applicable to each option.
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