The US-Thai Treaty of Amity was signed on May 29, 1966 and affords special rights and benefits to American citizens who are looking to establish business in Thailand. It is also the first treaty signed between the United States and an Asian country.
The Amity Treaty provides a significant advantage to US companies and individuals seeking to enter the Thai market by providing national treatment in the fields of communications, transportation, fiduciary functions, banking involving depository functions, land ownership and exploitation of land or other natural resources and domestic trade in indigenous agricultural products. This treatment also exempts these businesses from most of the restrictions imposed by the Alien Business Law of 1972 and its successor, the Foreign Business Act of 1999.
Those who wish to set up an Amity Treaty Company will need to work with a local Thai business consulting firm that has experience and knowledge of the Thai legal system. These firms will handle all of the necessary documentation and ensure that your company has received the national treatment required by the Amity Treaty.
In addition, these firms will also be able to help you with the registration process of your company in Thailand. This is an extremely important step as you will be able to obtain the Certificate of Business Operation from the Bureau of Foreign Business Administration, Department of Business Development of the Ministry of Commerce, Thailand which can be used to establish your company as a Treaty of Amity Company.
A Treaty of Amity Company is a US registered corporation or a Thai limited company which has majority American shareholders and whose primary purpose is to operate business in Thailand as a Thai company with national treaty privileges. A Treaty of Amity Company can be an existing or newly incorporated Thai Limited Company.
Another great benefit that the Amity Treaty provides to American citizens is that they can own a Thai company without needing a majority Thai shareholder. This is not possible for other nationalities and allows the American citizen to circumvent Thai legal requirements that would normally require a majority Thai shareholder to conduct business in Thailand.
One last important point that you should remember about the Amity Treaty is that it only applies to US citizens by birth or naturalization and does not apply to third party nationals who come together with an American citizen to form a company in Thailand as a third party investor. This is not an issue with most American businesses and has no bearing on the application for a Treaty of Amity Company.
In order to establish a Treaty of Amity Company, you will need to fill out a series of forms and pay the appropriate fees. These fees will vary based on the type of company you wish to set up but will be a fraction of what it would cost to get a regular foreign company registration in Thailand. Once the necessary paperwork has been submitted, it will take about a month for the CSO to process and issue out the certificate.