What is the best option for a foreigner who wants to purchase a house in Thailand?
the best option for a foreign citizen that wish to purchase a house in Thailand is to profit from the fact that Thai Laws allow foreigners to register long-term rights of possession, use or occupancy on a land (lease agreement or right of superficies) and to personally own their house.
Purchase under a leasehold or right of superficies is completely legal and without hassle, and it is secure because if the need arises the foreign buyer will have no problem to request the protection of Thai Courts if the need arises.
It is more and more available because most of the developers targeting foreign buyers offer this kind of option but look for professional advice to check the arrangements taken by the developer in relation to the renewal of the agreement.
foreign buyers should not consider the option of freehold ownership through the incorporation of a Thai limited company. Not only is this technically illegal; but the limited company is not a convenient tool for the ownership of a land and house for residential purpose. Indeed, Thailand does not have legal vehicles specially tailored to the ownership of real estate assets. Now according to the Revenue Department whoever set up a company do it for the purpose of making profits and as a consequence, the Revenue Department expects that at some point in time any companies must make profits.
at some point in time a landowner company even if its only activity is to own a house and land for a residential purpose will have to pay corporate taxes in addition to property taxes. Furthermore, a limited company needs to be maintained to generate lawyer, accountant, and auditor expenses. Therefore, a foreigner that only wants to buy a property for the residential purpose should choose the leasehold or right of superficies option.
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