As foreigners are unable to legally buy and own land outright in Thailand, you must look for other alternatives if you wish to make an investment and reside in the country permanently. In this article, we’ll look at a few options and decide on which is easiest.
What Are The Different Ways A Foreigner Can Acquire Land In Thailand?
Before we decide on the easiest method, let’s have a quick look at some of the available options for acquiring land in Thailand…
1. Buy land through a Thai company
Given the restrictions in Thai law preventing foreigners from owning landed property, you must look for ways to circumnavigate the rules.
Buying land through a Thai company is one of them. Of course, for this to work, the Thai company must be a legitimate business that generates revenue and has proper Thai shareholders.
Additionally, it is important to note that a foreigner can not own more than 49% of the shares in the said business.
2. Acquire land via leasehold agreement
Another popular alternative is by renting a property over the long-term. For example, the landed property owner may lease it to you for up to 30-years (with the option to renew afterward).
While technically the property will not be yours, you will have exclusive possession (the right to undisturbed possession) for the entire duration of the agreement.
3. Buying land through marriage
As a foreigner is not allowed to co-own land, the alternative is buying the land in the name of the Thai spouse.
In which case a joint declaration must be made that the Thai national’s personal funds were used to make the purchase – even if the money is yours.
It is important to note that your Thai spouse will be able to mortgage or sell the property without your consent.
A good way of protecting your investment and solidifying the ownership is by having your spouse lease the land to you for 30-years, thus giving you unequivocal rights to remain in the property until the lease has expired.
4. Acquiring land through a friend
Another option is acquiring land for sale through a Thai friend. It is not uncommon for foreigners to transfer money to close friends who then purchase a property in their own name.
That way, you can own 49% interest in the property, though your name will not be on the deed.
Again, the Thai national with majority ownership will have the right to dispose of the property without your content. However, as mentioned above, you could settle on a lease agreement giving you a guaranteed 30-years.
What is the easiest option?
It all depends on your personal situation. If you are in love with a Thai national and plan to spend the rest of your life together then taking the Thai spouse route for acquiring land and property is best.
However, if you decide to pursue a “marriage of convenience”, you are putting yourself at tremendous financial risk.
Ultimately, the best approach would be to start your own business and grow it legitimately. That way, your Thai national shareholders will have a vested interest in keeping the business afloat and the property in your name.
These approaches to acquiring land are not “easy” in either case. They are complex with plenty of legal red tape, so do your research and approach with great care and consideration.