The regulations controlling establishing a business in Thailand are fixed in the Thailand Civil and Commercial Code.
Special types of Business entities for foreigners (non-Thai nationals) in Thailand are provided for in Foreign Business Act (1999).
According to the Foreign Business Act, the term foreigner means:
(1) Natural person not of Thai nationality.
(2) Juristic person not registered in Thailand.
(3) Juristic person registered in Thailand having the following characteristics:
(a) Having half or more of the juristic person’s capital shares held by persons under (1) or (2) or a juristic person having the persons under (1) or (2) investing with a value of half or more of the total capital of the juristic parson.
(b) Limited partnership or registered ordinary partnership having the person under (1) as the managing partner or manager.
(4) Juristic person registered in Thailand having half or more of its capital shares held by the person under (1), (2) or (3), or a juristic person having the persons under (1), (2) or (3) investing with the value of half or more of its total capital.
Thai law regulates the activities in which the companies designated as “foreigner” may engage in. Some activities are completely prohibited. Some businesses may be engaged in with prior approval from a designated government agency. Some activities do not require any special approval at all.
For non-Thais Limited companies are probably one of the most commonly used business structures in Thailand. The company must apply for and obtain a Foreign Business License prior to commencing operation.