Some Things to Consider When Building a Property in Thailand

The current infrastructural developments in Thailand make it an exciting time for foreign investors to cash in by making some investments in the economy of Southeast Asia’ second-largest market. As part of their investment, it’s quite common for big companies to want to establish their own buildings for their headquarters in Thailand.

Let’s back up a bit. You might be wondering how foreign-owned companies are able to build their own headquarters in Thailand when, in fact, it is illegal for aliens to acquire and own land in the Kingdom. It turns out, as we pointed out in a separate article, foreigners CAN own land in Thailand when they satisfy one of three special criteria – they can either make a THB40 million investment into the economy, or they create a limited company in Thailand.

Some Points to Consider

If you’re thinking about investing in land and building a commercial property on it, here are some points that you should consider before you begin your construction project:

  • Take note of related legislation in the area, like zoning laws and building regulations.
  • Find out if the land falls within the government’s power of expropriation – you could end up having your property partly salvaged to make way for developments.
  • The land owner does not have any litigation or bankruptcy procedure pending before local courts.
  • There are no third parties with priority rights to the property.
  • The location of the land does not, even partially, encroach on a public property or a nature reserve zone.

There are many other concerns aside from these, so it’s always best to have somebody with you that you can trust and has a working knowledge of the ins and outs of acquiring land in Thailand. If you’re thinking of going by the agent route, you might want to ask a lot of questions – these are sales personnel who, while bound by law to inform their clients, will not volunteer much if you don’t ask.

How to Secure a Building Permit

To secure a building permit, you will need to make an application with the relevant government agency. In the capital, the relevant agency is the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority. Securing a building permit requires you to prepare documents, which include the following:

  • Corporate registration documents
  • Copy of land title deed
  • Applicant identification cards
  • Building plan
  • Written permissions from architect and engineer
  • Payment of fees
  • Water treatment system, if building a hospital, market, or industrial factory
  • Lease permission if land is leased

Always Consult a Lawyer!

It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to investing, most especially in a country that you’re not familiar with. Thailand’s laws are, in a sense, very friendly towards foreign investors but you will still need to be very well-versed in their legislation in order to do it by yourself. The best course of action to take when you’re looking to build a property in Thailand is to tap the services of a legal advisor, particularly one who is well-versed in both Thai law and the Thai language.

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