What is the difference between FBA and BOI?

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In Thailand, the FBA (Foreign Business Act) and BOI (Board of Investment) are two separate legal frameworks that govern foreign investment and business activities. Here’s a brief explanation of the differences between the FBA and BOI:

Foreign Business Act (FBA): 

The Foreign Business Act is a comprehensive law that regulates foreign investment and business operations in Thailand. Its primary purpose is to protect and regulate certain business sectors to ensure that Thai nationals maintain a significant presence in the economy. The FBA defines four categories of business activities that are restricted to varying degrees for foreigners:

  1. List 1: Business activities prohibited for foreigners.
  1. List 2: Business activities that require a foreign business license or permission from Thai authorities.
  1. List 3: Business activities that foreigners can engage in only if they meet certain conditions or obtain approval from relevant authorities.
  1. List 4: Business activities that are exempted from the restrictions of the FBA.

Foreigners wishing to engage in business activities falling under List 2 or List 3 must comply with the requirements specified in the FBA, such as obtaining a foreign business license, meeting minimum capital requirements, or seeking approval from relevant ministries or departments.

Board of Investment (BOI):

The Board of Investment is a government agency responsible for promoting and facilitating foreign investment in Thailand. The BOI provides incentives, privileges, and support to eligible investment projects in specific industries or sectors. The objective is to attract foreign investment, enhance technology transfer, promote sustainable development, and stimulate economic growth.

Companies that are approved and registered by the BOI can enjoy various benefits, such as tax incentives, import duty exemptions, work permit facilitation, streamlined government services, and other promotional privileges. The BOI has its own set of regulations and criteria for project eligibility, and the benefits and privileges offered may vary depending on the investment project, industry, and location.

In summary, the FBA sets the general framework for foreign investment and business activities in Thailand, defining restrictions and requirements for certain sectors. The BOI, on the other hand, offers specific incentives and privileges to eligible investment projects in targeted industries to promote foreign investment and economic development.

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