What are the advantages and disadvantages to form a company for the purpose of owning land?

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Forming a company for the purpose of owning land in Thailand can have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some key points to consider:


  1. Land Ownership: By forming a company, you can potentially bypass the restrictions on land ownership imposed on foreign individuals. Certain types of companies, such as Thai majority companies or BOI-approved companies, may be eligible to purchase land in Thailand.
  1. Asset Protection: Holding land within a company can provide a layer of asset protection. In case of legal disputes or liabilities, the land owned by the company may be shielded to some extent, depending on the specific legal circumstances and applicable laws.
  1. Business Flexibility: Having a company structure allows for flexibility in conducting business activities related to the land. The company can engage in various real estate ventures, such as property development, leasing, or rental, which can generate income and potential returns on investment.
  1. Estate Planning: Owning land through a company can facilitate estate planning and succession. Shares of the company can be transferred to heirs or beneficiaries, ensuring the continuity of land ownership and management.

Forming a company for the purpose of owning land in Thailand offers several advantages. Here is a revised version highlighting the key points:

One of the primary advantages is that it enables foreigners to acquire freehold ownership of land in Thailand. Unlike land leases, company ownership provides continuous ownership rights as long as the company remains in existence without the need for land sale or transfer. This is particularly beneficial for individuals or businesses looking for long-term land ownership or investment opportunities in Thailand.

By forming a company, individuals can also ensure the preservation and succession of land ownership for future generations. The company structure allows for the transfer of shares to heirs, facilitating estate planning and ensuring the continuity of land ownership.

Moreover, owning land through a company grants additional privileges. It enables the possibility of mortgaging the land for financing purposes, providing access to capital for business expansion or other ventures. Additionally, the option to subdivide and sell the land is available, offering potential opportunities for profitable resale.

Tax advantages may also be present when owning land through a company. Consulting with tax experts can help identify specific tax benefits or incentives that may apply, potentially leading to cost savings or improved financial returns.

It’s important to note that while forming a company for land ownership offers significant advantages, there are also associated considerations. Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, ongoing administrative responsibilities, and associated costs should be carefully evaluated.


  1. Complex Legal Requirements: Establishing and maintaining a company involves compliance with various legal requirements, including company registration, ongoing reporting, accounting, and tax obligations. The administrative burden and associated costs can be significant, especially if the company is solely formed for the purpose of owning land.
  1. Increased Scrutiny: Companies, particularly foreign-owned ones, may be subject to greater scrutiny from regulatory authorities and the public. Compliance with laws and regulations governing company operations and land ownership is essential to avoid penalties or legal complications.
  1. Additional Costs: There are costs associated with company formation, such as registration fees, legal fees, and ongoing operational expenses. These financial obligations need to be taken into account when considering the benefits of owning land through a company structure.
  1. Limited Land Ownership Rights: Even with a company structure, there are still limitations on land ownership, such as maximum land area restrictions and specific usage regulations. Zoning laws and land planning regulations may restrict certain types of developments or land use activities.

Using Thai nominees as shareholders for the purpose of acquiring land is a practice that has been employed by some foreigners in Thailand. However, it is important to note that this approach is illegal and has drawn increased attention from the Thailand Land Department and other government agencies. In 2006, a regulation was implemented, mandating Land Department officials to scrutinize the contributions of Thai shareholders when companies with more than 40% foreign shareholders seek to purchase land.

In the past, certain mechanisms, such as the registration of dual classes of shares, have been utilized to safeguard the interests of foreign minority shareholders. However, it is worth mentioning that proposed amendments to the legislation governing foreigners’ business activities could potentially restrict the viability of these mechanisms. For a more detailed explanation of the proposed changes, it is advisable to refer to the Thailand Law Forum.

Furthermore, it is crucial to consider the ongoing regulatory compliance obligations of a Thai company registered for the purpose of land acquisition or property purchase. Thai law requires the submission of annual balance sheets, and the company must maintain a valid registered address. Inactive companies, i.e., those not generating income, are technically subject to the risk of being delisted.

It is essential to adhere to the legal framework and regulations in Thailand to ensure compliance and mitigate potential risks. Seeking advice from legal professionals well-versed in Thai corporate and property laws can provide valuable guidance in navigating these matters effectively.

It is important to conduct thorough research, seek professional advice from legal and financial experts experienced in Thai corporate and property laws, and carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding to form a company for the purpose of owning land in Thailand.

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