US-Thai Treaty of Amity

The US-Thai Treaty of Amity provides a number of benefits for American citizens looking to establish businesses in Thailand. GPS Legal has extensive experience with registering companies under the US-Thai Amity treaty.

The primary benefit is that US businesses enjoy ‘national treatment’, meaning they can maintain majority ownership or own a Thai company without having to deal with the restrictions of the Foreign Business Act.

Preferential Treatment

The US-Thai Treaty of Amity provides American citizens and companies with certain privileges in Thailand. The Treaty allows Americans to maintain majority ownership of a Thai business entity that is registered as a corporation, limited company or partnership, and it exempts these entities from restrictions placed on foreign investment in Thailand. This includes telecommunications, banking and insurance businesses.

Companies wishing to take advantage of the treaty must submit notarized proof that the majority owners and directors are, or will be, American citizens, either by birth or naturalization. After this is complete, the Commercial Service office at the Embassy prepares a document that certifies the applying business organization as an Amity Treaty Company.

Once this documentation is prepared, it will be submitted to the Department of Commerce in Thailand for approval. In order to receive this certification, the business must meet all of the requirements set by the Department of Commerce. This includes a minimum capital of two million baht.

Licensing Requirements

If you’re a US citizen who wants to invest in Thailand, you can do so under the Treaty of Amity. It grants Americans the ability to own the majority share of foreign companies, and exempts them from some restrictions that apply to other foreign investors.

Those who wish to establish a business under the Treaty must submit the required documents to the Commercial Services Office at the American Embassy in Bangkok. The process typically takes less than a month.

The company must be a corporation or an association, and the directors must qualify as U.S. citizens by birth or naturalization. It must also satisfy the work permit requirements.

The process can be complicated, and mistakes can add weeks to months to the timeline. Our team at Plizz can help you with the paperwork and ensure that your application is accepted. We’ve handled numerous amity set-ups and are extremely familiar with the rules. We can also help you understand the drawbacks and benefits of this type of investment.

Registration Requirements

A US company seeking treaty benefits must file specific paperwork, and a certificate must be obtained from the Thai Department of Business Development. The documentation must prove that the applying company is majority American-owned and that the percentage of shares owned by Americans will remain the same after incorporation. Plizz can handle this entire process for you, and we will make sure your company meets the capital requirements that are required to obtain a treaty certificate.

The qualifying process is relatively simple, but it must be completed before the company can begin operations in Thailand. A letter from the Commercial Counselor at the American Embassy in Bangkok must be provided stating that the shareholders and or partners are a majority of Americans. This certificate will provide the entity with protection from some of the restrictions found in the Foreign Business Act. However, the entity will still need to obtain a work visa and meet the minimum capital requirement for foreign businesses.

Dispute Resolution

The US-Thai Treaty of Amity allows American citizens and businesses incorporated in the USA to maintain majority or full ownership over their operations in Thailand, including a branch office or representative office. This provides “national treatment,” excluding them from most of the restrictions on foreign investment imposed by the Alien Business Act.

The Treaty also establishes dispute resolution procedures. Disputes that cannot be satisfactorily adjusted by negotiations or other diplomatic means may be submitted for settlement by a panel of arbitrators. Each Party shall designate one member of the panel, and the members so selected shall select a third person to serve as the chairperson.

The Thai Government has taken steps to improve the country’s IPR enforcement environment, including establishing a National Intellectual Property Policy Committee in 2013 with top officials from 11 agencies, but the country’s criminal penalties and civil damages for IPR infringement are still deficient. Further, it is challenging for rights holders to enforce a judgment from an international arbitration court in the country.

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