Buying a property in Thailand is a relatively straightforward process, however the combination of Thai laws (which are different from property laws in other countries) and the language barrier means that buying property and owning a villa in Thailand will always need the help and support of a reputable property lawyer. Always ensure you work with a reputable law firm in order to ensure that every aspect of your purchase is arranged correctly and that you always have the highest standard of professional support that you need and deserve.
As a foreign investor, you are able to own a building in Thailand (but not the land that the building is on) and you are also able to own an apartment within a condominium building or complex in your own name. However if you wish to purchase land or purchase a villa in Thailand (or any other building that is larger than an apartment) then the easiest way in which you can legally do so is to set up your own Limited Company: Whilst this is a process that may sound complicated, it really isn't.
How to Set Up a Thai Limited Company?
In order to purchase a property in Thailand as a foreign investor, the easiest route to property ownership is to set up your own Thai Limited Company. Whilst foreign investors may not own property in Thailand in their own name, and company that they are the sole proprietor of can. Before you can purchase your investment property in Thailand, therefore, you need to set up a Thai limited company. In order to do this, you will need to secure the services of a reputable property lawyer. Your lawyer will check over any deeds and other purchase documents: you should never sign anything until your lawyer has checked over the documents, particularly as it is unlikely that you will have a fluent grasp of legal jargon when it is written in Thai!
Whilst there are different types of businesses available that you can set up in order to purchase your property, the most common (and the easiest) option is to set up a Thai Limited Company. In order to register a limited company in Thailand, If you are an investor from America then it is worth noting that the Thailand Amity Treaty is also still in existence for Americans. whenever you choose to set up a limited company or purchase a new property there are also tax considerations to bear in mind before you make the decision: your lawyer should be able to advice you on these, and you can also independently check the current rates of corporate tax in Thailand so that you'll have a good idea of the costs involved in the process. Finally, if you are planning to work in the country, as well as own property and reside here, then you will also need to secure a Thai Work Permit: a process that is relatively simple, and can be secured in a reasonably short period of time.
The system of setting up a Thai limited company in order to purchase and own property in Thailand as a foreign investor may well sound a little unusual (and certainly a little complicated) but actually the process is perfectly legal and above board. You'll find that this is actually the easiest route to home ownership for foreigners in Thailand,
Buying a Villa in Thailand
It is only when you have gone through the process of setting up your own limited company that you are in a position to buy a villa in Thailand. Then it is time for all of the more familiar property purchasing processes to begin (processes that you will no doubt be familiar with if you have previously purchased property in the UK). Before the contracts are signed and exchanged your lawyer will conduct a title search and check all of the contracts thoroughly. They would also ensure that you were happy and understood the type of Thai Title Deeds that you were purchasing with your property.
If you are buying your property off plan then your lawyer will also take the time to thoroughly consider all of the pre-construction documentation, in order to ensure that the property you are purchasing is a sound financial investment. Your lawyer will also negotiate and encourage you to consider the cost of transfer fees for your property and any relevant Thailand property taxes.
Purchasing a property in Thailand (or anywhere else that is not your home country) can feel like a daunting experience, but with the support of the right lawyer and a good property investment team, you'll be amazed at just how easy the process can be.
JKO Property Investments is Thailands leading property investment company providing expert property advice to clients from all over the world. To learn more about our services and topics relating to the Thailand property investment please visit www.jkopropertyinvestments.com