30 Mar 2023
Phuket, a popular tourist destination in Thailand, has been attracting an increasing number of foreign investors in recent years. While many investors are interested in owning land in Phuket, regulations surrounding foreign ownership of land can be complicated to navigate. In this blog, we will explore the rules and regulations regarding foreign ownership of land in Phuket.
Foreign investors can only purchase the right to use land in Thailand, not the land itself. This means that foreign ownership of land is prohibited under Thai law. There are, however, two exceptions to this rule.
The first exception is if the land is located in an industrial estate or designated area for foreign investment. These areas are typically regulated by the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT). In these areas, foreign investors may own up to 100% of the land.
The second exception is if the foreign investor is a member of the Thai community. In this case, the foreign investor may own land up to a maximum of 1 rai (approximately 0.16 hectares) for residential purposes. The foreign investor must also obtain approval from the Ministry of the Interior.
Foreign investors who do not meet these exceptions may still be able to own land in Phuket through legal structures such as leases and joint ventures. These structures require a thorough understanding of Thai law and should be approached with caution.
Leases are a common way for foreigners to control land in Phuket. The lease must be registered with the Land Department and can be up to 30 years in duration with the option to renew for an additional 30 years. A lease can also be transferred or sold to another person.
Another option for foreign investors is to form a joint venture with a Thai company or individual. In this scenario, the Thai partner would own the land, while the foreign investor would have a stake in the business. It is important to note that the Thai partner must own at least 51% of the business under Thai law.
Overall, foreign ownership of land in Phuket can be a complex process. The regulations and laws may change over time, so it is important to consult with legal experts who have experience in this area. However, for those who are willing to navigate the process, the rewards can be substantial. Owning a property in Phuket can provide significant returns on investment and the opportunity to enjoy the tropical paradise on a more permanent basis.
In conclusion, owning land in Phuket as a foreign investor is possible through the exceptions provided by Thai law. Alternatively, legal structures such as leases and joint ventures can also be utilized to control land in Phuket. It is important to be aware of the legal implications and potentially seek professional guidance before making any investment decisions. Ask us at PhuketProperty.com for guidance and an introduction to established and reputable legal advisors.