Land Owning Laws in Thailand

Thai law stipulates that a foreigner may not own land in their name – they have the right of ownership of buildings only i.e. the actual house – bricks and contents etc but not the land upon which the house is built. If a foreigner wishes to purchase land to build a property they have two options:

Leasehold Option
The land is purchased on a thirty-year leasehold, with an option to extend the lease for further thirty year periods. Possession of the land is assured by virtue of the fact that the property occupies the land. The leasor cannot seize the property upon expiration of the lease as the property is separate from the land.

Company Formation Option
If a foreigner is going to operate a business in Thailand then they may purchase the freehold of the land through their Limited Company. The land will be owned by the company, not the individual. The structuring of this company with the majority of the voting shares belonging to the foreigner enables controlling interest. This is the most popular form of land ownership for foreigners in Thailand. The company needs to register and pay tax – this can be arranged through a local accountant.