Thailand BOI Company
Applying for a BOI Promotion should always be the first option to be considered as a BOI promoted company comes with benefits such as 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions and relaxed rules for work permits and visas. Our expert lawyers take a pragmatic approach and will first process an assessment to confirm the eligibility or not of your business activities together with the chance of success and the main requirements that may be asked by the BOI. Once obtained, BOI promoted companies are subject to additional scrutiny from the Thai authorities.
What is the BOI?
The Office of the Board of Investment (BOI) is a Thai agency whose mission is to attract investments (both local and foreign) in business activities that are deemed to be important for the development of Thailand. Since its establishment in 1997, the projects registered under the BOI have largely contributed to the development of the Thai manufacturing and digital industries with the formation of local skilled employees. Additional tax exemptions are available for companies setting up in some special rural areas.
BOI Company at a glance
Up to 100%
From one million THB paid-up capital (depending on the category and type of project)
Corporate Income Tax exemption for some activities
Restricted to the business activities for which the BOI Promotion has been obtained
Possibility to apply for Foreign Business Licenses to do other business activities regulated under the FBA
3-6 months before the issuance of the BOI Certificate (depending on the category and type of project)
What businesses qualify for a BOI Promotion?
BOI Promoted Activities
The business activities promoted by the Board of Investment are as follows:
Agriculture and Agricultural Products
Mining, Ceramics and Basic Metals
Metal Products, Machinery and Transport Equipment
Electronic Industry and Electric Appliances
Chemicals, Paper and Plastics
Services and Public Utilities
Technology and Innovation Development
Each category is broken down into several specific activities. The complete list of business activities eligible for a BOI Promotion is here.
BOI Investment Promotion Policies
When reviewing a BOI application, the BOI officers will ensure that the project fall within the BOI vision and investment promotion policy:
- Promote investment that helps enhance national competitiveness by encouraging R&D, innovation, value creation in the agricultural, industrial and services sectors, SMEs, fair competition and inclusive growth
- Promote activities that are environment-friendly, save energy or use alternative energy to drive balanced and sustainable growth
- Promote clusters to create investment concentration in accordance with regional potential and strengthen value chains
- Promote investment in border provinces in Southern Thailand to help develop the local economy, which will support efforts to enhance security in the area
- Promote special economic development zones, especially in border areas, both inside and outside industrial estates, to create economic connectivity with neighboring countries and to prepare for entry into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)
- Promote Thai overseas investment to enhance the competitiveness of Thai businesses and Thailand’s role in the global economy
What are the benefits of a BOI?
BOI Promotion Benefits
Aside from specific tax incentives, the main benefits of a BOI promotion is the possibility for foreigners to hold up to 100% of the company’s shares, buy land and facilitation for visas and work permits.
Tax privileges granted by the BOI varies depending on the category and the location of the project
- Corporate income tax exemption up to 9 years
- Exemption or reduction of import duties on machinery and raw materials
- Exemption of taxes on dividends
- Deductions from the costs of transportation, electricity and water supply
Other incentives are granted to all BOI project
- Up to 100% foreign ownership
- One Stop Service Centre for Visas and Work Permits with relaxed criteria for foreign skilled employees
- Permission to own land/li>
- Permission to remit money abroad in foreign currency
- Protection against nationalization of the company
How to apply for a BOI Promotion?
BOI Promotion Step by Step Guide
Step 1: BOI eligibility assessment
Our expert BOI experts will analyse your business activities and confirm with the BOI officers the eligibility for a BOI promotion. They will also advise you on the main requirements that may be asked by the BOI and the chance of success.
BOI expert lawyer: recommended
1 to 2 weeks
Step 2: Preparing and filing the BOI application
The BOI application is done online and must include:
A 3 year business plan with information on the expected turnover, expenses, type of clients, employee chart, etc.
Project plan according to the category you are applying to with details of the work process, machinery and software that will be used, training of the local staff, etc.
It is not necessary to register a company at this stage as the application can be submitted under the name of an individual and then transferred to a newly registered company. Following the submission of the application, a meeting is scheduled with the BOI officers.
BOI expert lawyer: recommended
1 to 3 weeks
Step 3: Pitching of your project at the BOI
You will meet with the BOI officers at the Board of Investment to pitch your project and convince them that your idea will benefit Thailand. The interview usually ranges from 1 to 3 hours. The consideration from BOI will depend on the size of the investment:
Investment < 200 million Baht: 40 working days from the acceptance date of the complete application
Investment > 200 million Baht: 60 working days from the acceptance date of the complete application
Investment > 2 billion Baht: 90 working days from the acceptance date of the complete application
In practice, a delayed BOI acceptance comes from back and forth questions from the BOI officers following the interview. It is then important to be well prepared and have detailed answers to increase your chance to have your project approved quickly. Our BOI expert lawyers will assist you on this.
BOI expert lawyer: not necessary but assistance recommended to prepare the interview
1 to 2 weeks after the submission of the BOI application
The Board of Investment
Step 4: BOI approval letter
The BOI will issue a letter detailing the BOI privileges and benefits which have been granted. The letter will also specify some conditions such as the minimum capital requirement. The applicant has a delay of 30 days to accept or not the BOI promotion. If for any reason the application cannot reply within 30 days, an extension of 30 days may be requested from the BOI up to 3 times.
7 days from the BOI approval
30 days to accept the conditions of the BOI promotion
Step 5: Registration of a Limited Company
A limited company must be registered in Thailand within 6 months from the acceptance date of the BOI approval letter. Branch or company registered out of Thailand cannot receive a BOI Promotion.
A company can be registered in one day but in practice it takes between 1 to 2 weeks to have all constitutive documents signed (an original signature is required from one of the future authorized directors while shareholders can sign electronically). Another week may be required when the Articles of Association contain specific rules to govern the company as the officers of the Department of Business Development may request changes forcing the lawyer to revise and file the company registration forms again after obtaining the client agreement on the amended provisions.
Once registered, the constitutive documents of the company together with the proof of fund transfer corresponding to at least 25% of the registered capital must be submitted to the BOI.
BOI expert lawyer: necessary
1 day to 3 weeks
Step 6: Issuing of the BOI certificate
The BOI investment promotion certificate takes the form of a big blue book and contains the details of the benefits and conditions associated with the investment promotion.
1 to 2 weeks
Step 7: Application for a Foreign Business Certificate
If the business activities are restricted to majority foreign-owned companies under the Foreign Business Act (this is likely as most business activities including services are concerned), the company must apply for a Foreign Business Certificate with the Ministry of Commerce. The Foreign Business Certificate will allow the BOI company to carry out the activities promoted by the BOI. If the company wants to carry out other activities that are restricted under the Foreign Business Act, it will have to obtain a Foreign Business License for those additional activities.
BOI expert lawyer: necessary
Step 8: BOI Visa & Work Permit
The company must register with the e-expert system online portal to submit visa and work permit applications for hiring foreign employees. Once approved, the foreign employee is required to come in person at the BOI one stop service centre (OSOS) and both visa and work permit are issued within a couple of hours.
BOI expert lawyer: recommended
2 to 3 weeks to obtain the approval then 1 day to obtain the visa and work permit
Step 9: BOI reporting & Compliance
BOI companies have regular reporting obligations and may be requested to explain to the BOI if they devy from their initial project plan. Factories benefiting from a tax reduction on import duties must import their machinery and equipment within 30 months and have the factories built with machines ready to start operating within 36 months from the date of issuance of the BOI certificate.
The BOI will process an audit of the company after 3 years.
Step 10: Accounting for BOI companies
BOI companies benefiting from tax exemptions must follow a clear bookkeeping and tax filing as they are under higher scrutiny from the Revenue Department.
Minimum Capital and Costs of BOI Application
What is the minimum capital requirement for a BOI Company?
The minimum capital requirement for a BOI company starts from 1 million THB depending on the type of project and at the discretion of the BOI. At least 25% must be remitted before the issuance of the BOI certificate (a proof of transfer from abroad may be requested for foreign-owned BOI companies). The remaining capital must be paid up within 36 months from the date of issuance of the BOI promotion certificate.
For digital companies such as eCommerce and software, the minimum capital generally requested by the BOI is 1 million THB.
What is the cost of a BOI company in Thailand?
The cost for assisting you during the whole application process depends on the category of the project and usually varies from THB 100,000 (digital activities) to THB 300,000 (factories and activities requiring to obtain approval from several authorities). The registration of the company ranges from THB 20,000 (for a 100% foreign or Thai-owned company) to THB 100,000 (mix ownership with specific Articles of Association and a Shareholder Agreement). The monthly fees for proper accounting and tax filing according to international standards will start from THB 8,000 and increase depending on the number of transactions.
Do I need a lawyer to obtain a BOI promotion?
There is no legal requirement to appoint a lawyer to obtain a BOI promotion but it is highly recommended to ensure a smooth process and increase your chances to obtain a BOI. At Belaws, our expert lawyers take a pragmatic approach and will intervene only when it is strictly necessary for savvy clients. This is notably the case with young entrepreneurs applying for eCommerce or software promotion where the fees can start from THB 50,000 for limited assistance.
BOI Company vs. Thai Limited Company
A BOI Company gets to enjoy a number of attractive benefits over a traditional Thai Limited Company but this comes with additional scrutiny from official authorities. The key differences are highlighted below:
|BOI Company||Thai Limited Company|
|Thai to foreign employee ratio|
|Corporate income tax rate|
|Import of machinery|
|Reporting and audits|
Question Before You Begin?
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