Treaty of Amity between the USA and Thailand: Advantages and Procedures

Treaty of Amity between the USA and Thailand: Advantages

The Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations between the USA and Thailand of 1966 offers significant benefits for conducting business in Thailand. U.S. citizens and/or companies established in the USA:

  1. Can own 100% of the capital in Thai companies.
  2. Can operate on the same basis as Thai companies, exempt from most restrictions on foreign investment specified by the Foreign Business Act.

Limitations Under the Treaty

However, there are restrictions on the following:

  • Land ownership.
  • Fiduciary activities.
  • Banking activities, including depository functions.
  • Domestic trade in agricultural products.
  • Agriculture and natural resource exploitation.
  • Domestic transportation and communication.

Eligibility Requirements

For a company to qualify under the Treaty of Amity:

  • U.S. shareholders must own at least 51% of the shares.
  • The majority of the directors must be U.S. or Thai citizens.
  • If there is a director of a third nationality, they must co-sign with a U.S. or Thai director.
  • The registered capital of a Thai company under the Treaty must be at least 3 million baht.
  • If the major shareholder is an U.S. company, it must be located in U.S. territories.
  • All criteria must be maintained up to the ultimate ownership level.

Company Formation Procedure

Step 1: Company Registration at the Ministry of Commerce

The applicant must:

  1. Register the company with the Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce.
  2. Obtain and translate into English the following documents:
  • Certificate/Certificate of Incorporation.
  • Commercial Registration Department Certificate.
  • Company Objectives.
  • Memorandum of Association.
  • Affidavit.
  • Articles of Association.
  • List of Shareholders.

Step 2: Obtaining a Verification Letter at the U.S. Embassy Commercial Service

  • Fill out the Treaty of Amity Certification Letter request form.
  • Provide the original and translated documents.
  • If major shareholders are U.S. citizens, submit notarized copies of their passports.
  • The certification letter is usually issued within 3-5 business days.

U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Bangkok

GPF Witthayu Tower A, 3rd Floor, Room 302
93/1 Wireless Rd., Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

U.S. Commercial Service Thailand

Step 3: Submitting Documents for the Foreign Business Certificate (FBC) to the Ministry of Commerce

  • The application is in Thai, so consulting a lawyer or having a Thai person handle it is advised.
  • The Ministry of Commerce charges 2,000 baht for the application and 20,000 baht for the FBC issuance.
  • The FBC is typically issued within 1-2 weeks.

Contact Information for the Ministry of Commerce

Bureau of Foreign Business Administration (Treaty of Amity)
Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce
Nonthaburi 1 Road, Muang District, Nonthaburi Province
Tel: 02-547-4426

Work Permits Still Required

The Treaty of Amity doesn’t provide privileges regarding visas and work permits.

For a work permit, a business must have a minimum registered capital of 2 million Thai baht and employ four Thai nationals.

Have questions about Treaty of Amity company?  Email me or use the form below.

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