Relocation Info

Need to contact us about enquiries issues or anythig else. This page links to all the information that is needed in order to reach us.


Siam Real Estate & Siam Villa Rentals would like to welcome you to Thailand. We hope you and your family will really enjoy this wonderful opportunity to experience life in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Whether you are moving here for retirement, spending time or working there are many challenges living as an expatriate, and Thailand is no exception.  

This information is concise and briefly covers the current issues you may face and need to know about living here. It is a good guideline and is recommended for use as a quick reference only.

Besides our property services we offer orientation and assistance services for many of the subjects in this document. See our separate price list and Relocation Questionnaire form (prior to arrival).


1. Climate 11. Property Service 21. VAT Register
2. Time 12. Orientation 22. Tax Services
3. The Culture 13. Lease provision 23. Registered Office
4. Language 14. Land Office Registration 24. Business Licences
5. Religion 15. Visas 25. Driving License
6. Public Holidays 2013 16. Work permits 26. Pets
7. Thai Smile 17. Bank set up 27. Maid Service
8. Thai Etiquette 18. Company formation 28. Valuations
9. Driving in Thailand 19. Social Security registration 29. Healthcare
10. Tipping 20. Local lawyer

For the following services we can recommend the best service companies in each category and arrange appointments:

  • Moving companies
  • Car Rentals
  • Taxis
  • School search & selection
  • Day Care & baby sitting
  • Language schools
  • Medical and health checks
  • Dentist
  • Insurance
  • Vet
  • Furniture purchase
  • Home Appliances
  • Interior decoration
  • Shopping
  • Sports
  • Clubs

Siam Real Estate Phuket Co.,Ltd  2/42 Moo 4, Viset road, Rawai, Phuket 83130.
Tel.No: +66 (0)76 288908 REF: Thailand Relocation Services_April 2013


The population of Thailand is over 65 million, and consists of an ethnic diversity such as Cambodians, Chinese, Indians, Laotians, Malaysians, Vietnamese and also several hill tribes. It is a region which is home to a rich diversity of peoples, languages, cultures, and beautiful landscapes.   Not only Thailand is often portrayed as a traditional kingdom in the abundance of cloaked monks, tropical rain forests and agricultural products, but also as a country bursting with modernity. Thailand's rapid economic growth has achieved the acclaim of many businessmen and international bankers. The Thai nation began in the 13th Century. During the 18th Century, the country was known as Siam and was ruled by a king in a monarchy until 1932, when King Rama VII instituted a constitutional monarchy. In 1939, Siam was officially renamed Thailand, as it is known as today.   Although Thailand was occupied by the Japanese during World War II, they continued to fight against Communism after the war and increased its ties to the United States. Since 1946, King Rama IX has ruled Thailand. Whilst there have been a number of military dictators running the government since the war, change came in the early 1990s when a non‐military government was formed by King Rama IX with a Prime Minister.

1. Climate

Temperatures in Thailand vary with the time of year and the region you are in. In most of the country, temperatures are generally hot and humid, with a cooler season between November and February. March to June is a hot season, with an approximate only two percent of Thailand’s rainfalls during this time. In contrast, between July to October, Thailand sees as much as 98 percent of its annual rainfall. 

2. Time

There is only one Time Zone in Thailand. The local time is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and there is no daylight saving time.

3. The Culture

Thai people are famous to the world for being relaxed, courteous and hospitable. Buddhism is the dominant religion and is the dominant influence on Thai culture. The concept of wai, a way to say hello without using words, is used throughout society as an overall method of paying respect. The physical action of bowing one's head to meet the thumbs of two pressed palms, wai is the most significant social action and has a lot to say about Thai values and customs.

There are several ways to use wai in daily life. These include: 

  1. Between equals ‐‐ hands close to the body with fingertips reaching just above neck level, but not higher than the chin.
  2. Between superior and inferior ‐‐ hands held similar to those above, with head straight or slightly inclined.
  3. Between inferior and superior ‐‐ head lowered with fingertips just above the tip of the nose.  

Wai is used throughout daily life to illustrate different forms of respect to people and objects. When in the presence of a superior, such as a boss or elder, an individual will initiate the wai to place him/herself at their mercy. In most cases, the superior will not return the wai. Another way to view wai is as an expression of inequality. By waiing an individual rather than shaking his/her hand, you are expressing your feeling of inequality in their great presence.
Wai is not reserved just for people. You will find many Thais wai temples and important places of worship. In addition,  Thais wai to express thanks and gratitude. Until you grow accustomed to wai, it may be wise to offer a handshake or a polite smile and nod. This will prevent any embarrassment for all involved.
Westerners are greeted with a traditional handshake, and people should be addressed using “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” or “Miss” followed by their last name. Thais commonly address each other by using the word “Khun” followed by the person’s first name. A last or family name is not normally used unless it is for a formal occasion.
Thais tend to be very reserved, but have a good sense of humor and great importance is attached to laughter and a smiling face. In fact, smiling is actually a way of life. It is even used when covering embarrassment or defusing conflict.
Always show respect for the King and Queen, as they are the most respected and revered people in Thailand. It is against the law to make fun or reference to the Royal Family in less than a favorable light. Good advice is to avoid discussions about politics, drugs, health related issues, religions or the Monarchy.
If you are invited by Thai people into their home, be sure to take off your shoes before entering. When sitting, sit cross‐legged, or tuck your legs beside you; do not stretch them out in front of you as this is considered rude. Whilst it is not obligatory to bring a gift when visiting them, consider bringing gifts like flowers, books or fruit baskets.

4. Language

The biggest problem confronting foreign nationals in Thailand is a language barrier. Since there are so many different ethnic groups in Thailand, not everyone speaks the same language. The official language of the country is Thai. The use of English will be predominantly restricted to your workplace. Although it is necessary for all students wishing to attend university to pass an entrance examination in English, this does not mean that the person will be fluent in English. In addition, several Thais may be rather shy about speaking English. Therefore, your conversations in English will be restricted to those in your office or other foreigners.  

5. Religion

Buddhism has a major influence on the daily lives of Thai people, and is practiced in the normal course of life. The Buddhist principle teaches one to follow a middle path, avoiding anything extreme and making sure that your well‐being is more important than material items or career achievement. Foreign nationals visiting a Buddhist temple or a sacred place should behave oneself in an appropriate manner, as Thai people may consider some actions as sacrilege. As always, the best course of action may be to follow examples set by the Thais.  

6. Public Holidays 2013

New Year's Day (1 January)
Makha Bucha Day (25 February)
Chakri Memorial Day (6 April) (Substitution: 8 April)
Songkran Festival Day (13‐15 April)  (Substitution: 16 April)
National Labor Day (1 May)  
In lieu of Coronation Day (5 May) (Substitution: 6 May)
In lieu of Visakha Bucha Day (24 May) 
Asarnha Bucha Day (22 July) 
H.M. The Queen's Birthday (12 August)  
Chulalongkorn Memorial Day (23 October) 
H.M. The King's Birthday (5 December)
Constitution Day (10 December)
New Year’s Eve (31 December)

7. Thai Smile

"Thailand the land of smiles"‐ Thai people are very friendly although few speak English. One of the most endearing features of Thai people is their ever present smile! However the Thais smile when they are amused, bemused, apologetic, annoyed, uncertain, wrong, furious or embarrassed. In fact, there is a Thai smile to cover just about every circumstance and it is no wonder that it can lead to confusion

Very often though, the Thai smile is a welcoming one. There is a definite attitude in Thailand that life should be enjoyed. Being too serious is unhealthy and causes stress and illness – ‘not think too much, be happy’ Thai people advise, it’s good advice

8. Thai Etiquette

The Thais are a very gentle polite race of people and it is exceptionally important that foreigners grasp the cultural basics early. Here are some of the more important rules to remember:

  1. Never raise your voice or lose your patience
  2. Do not under any circumstances show anger however right you maybe
  3. Always be courteous and polite (see Wai rules)
  4. Do not touch Thais on the head
  5. Do not point your bare feet
  6. Remove shoes prior to entering a home or office
  7. Respect all Monks and temples
  8. Do not be disrespectful speak or write ill of the monarchy
  9. Dress appropriately in temples and restaurants
  10. Avoid nudity on beaches

9. Driving in Thailand

For all foreigners driving in Thailand is a major shock at first. Besides driving on the left for those who normally drive on the right this is the least of your problems. Thai driving is a free for all and especially motorbikes which are driven with complete abandon and show no concern for others using the roads. Due to the poor standard of driving test (if taken at all) Thais from a very young age as low as 6 years old with no helmet jump on a bike with no test or insurance and that’s it for life. You will find they never look right to see if anything is coming and just enter the main road oblivious of any oncoming traffic. Motorbikes drive down the wrong side of the road and cars tailgate and drive like their life depends on it! The worst is if you have an accident it is ALWAYS your fault regardless if caused by a Thai. The logic is that if you were not here then it wouldn’t have happened!

10. Tipping

Tipping is not compulsory, however staff in small restaurants, bars are paid little and to leave 20‐100 THB is appreciated. In upscale restaurants service charge is 10%. Taxis overcharge and tip at your discretion. Hotel porters etc. 20 THB is sufficient.

11. Property Services

Siam Real Estate – is the largest independent real estate agent in Thailand with representation in Phuket, Bangkok, Pattaya, Samui, Krabi, and Phang Nga. We offer over 5,000 listings of property, land and rentals, so no need to go elsewhere! You can even find what you are looking for on your mobile phone for both iPhone and Android ‐ download free from the Apps marketplace. You can even find property with the NEAR ME feature up to 50km away or as near as 1km!

Siam Villa Rentals – is our rentals portal with stacks of useful info and a full list of holiday and long term rentals covering most areas. Thailand Property Doctor – is a blog and comprehensive resource of advice on all matters relating to living, staying and doing business in Thailand from marriage to building regs.

12. Orientation

First, by completing our RELOCATION PROFILE questionnaire will give us an overview of your requirements for property, location, schooling, leisure pursuits, hospitals, shopping, lifestyle etc.. Once we have your questionnaire, we can seek out the best locations based on your answers.

Our staff when showing you property for rent or purchase can assist with advice and local information on what you need and want to know regards living in Thailand, having many years of experience living here and employing local Thai staff.

13. Lease provision

It is essential when renting a villa, house or apartment that you use a Lease Rental Agreement between the lessor and lessee prior to occupation and that both parties agree the terms. Sometimes the lessor provides an agreement however they tend to be very one sided and we recommend that you use our standard lease agreement which covers fully the interests of both parties. The cost of which is usually shared between the parties. A local lawyer can provide same but at high cost.

14. Land Office registration

When you decide to purchase a property or land you will need assistance in land registration and finalizing matters with the seller at the land office. We can provide a qualified experienced Thai person to accompany you to ensure your interests are best served and translation is provided.

15. Visas

Siam Real Estate offers these services to obtain a Visa to Thailand.

A tourist visa can be used to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days or up to 60 days and can be extended by 30 days at the nearest Immigration office. Normally there is a fee of 1,900 Baht.

A tourist visa is needed when a person plans to stay in Thailand for tourism purposes longer than is allowed when entering under the visa exemption, or if a person is from a country that has no visa exemption agreements with Thailand.

To see which countries are covered by visa exemption agreements and what the allowed period of stay is please see here  ‐ Complete country list

Questions about Tourist visa? Visit ThaiVisa forum


This type of visa will be issued to applicants who wishing to enter Thailand for tourism purposes.


  • Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months
  • Visa application form completely filled out
  • One recent( 4 x 6 cm.) photograph of the applicant
  • Air ticket or eTicket paid in full
  • Financial means (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
  • Consular officers reserve the rights to request for additional documents as deemed necessary


USD 30.00 per entry or equivalent (Visa fee may be changed without prior notice)


The validity of a visa is three months or six months. That means that you must utilize your visa within 90 or 180 days (dependent on number of entries)


Upon arrival, travelers with this type of visa will be permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 30 days or 60 days.

Nationals of countries which are on Thailand’s Tourist Visa Exemption list or have bilateral agreements on visa exemption with Thailand will be permitted to stay for a period of not exceeding 60 days.  Nationals from other countries who hold a tourist visa will be permitted to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 30 days.

Requirements for non immigrant visa:

A foreigner applies for a non‐immigrant visa when he/she wants to stay or work in Thailand. This visa has several categories:

  • diplomatic visa (D) is for those employed by an embassy,
  • a business visa (B)
  • or a mass media visa (M) are for accredited business or press representatives,
  • a dependent visa (O),
  • an expert visa (EX) are for those performing skilled or expert work,
  • an investor visa (IM) is for foreigners who set‐up their companies under the BOI
  • and a study/education visa (ED) is for teachers.
  • Official ( F). Performance of official duties (involving the Thai government).
  • Capital Investment ( IM ).
  • Investment (with concurrence of the ministries and departments concerned). BOI ( IB ).
  •  Investment subject to the provision of the laws on investment promotion.
  • (ED). Educational study or observation.
  • (R). Missionary work.
  • (RS). Scientific research or training, or study in an educational institution in the Kingdom.
  • (EX). Performance of skilled or expert work.
  • (S). Participation in an officially recognized sports event.
  • Others “O”. Others, including dependents and retired persons.

Siam Real Estate offers these services to obtain a Visa to Thailand.

A tourist visa can be used to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days or up to 60 days and can be extended by 30 days at the nearest Immigration office. Normally there is a fee of 1,900 Baht.

A tourist visa is needed when a person plans to stay in Thailand for tourism purposes longer than is allowed when entering under the visa exemption, or if a person is from a country that has no visa exemption agreements with Thailand.

To see which countries are covered by visa exemption agreements and what the allowed period of stay is please see here ‐ Complete country list

Questions about Tourist visa? Visit ThaiVisa forum

Thailand Investment Visas - Invest 10 Million Baht (310K USD) and Permitted to Stay Long Term

Prior to the summer of 2014, many foreigners in Thailand who did not qualify for a long-term visa would achieve the same by entering, exiting, and re-entering Thailand on a short-term tourist visa. Thailand’s 2014 post-coup military government enacted regulations that ended this practice.

However, the good news is that there are other options, one of which is the “Investment Visa“. The Investment Visa provides a way for eligible foreigners to stay in Thailand without the need to leave on a regular basis and stay in Thailand on a long-term basis. This option might also provide an alternative that does not involve the annual proof of funds required to renew a “retirement visa” for retirees over the age of 50 who meet the other requirements for that visa.

The relevant regulations for obtaining an Investment Visa under Thailand’s Immigration Act are:

Royal Thai Police Bureau Order No. 327/2557 Regarding Criteria and Conditions for Consideration of Alien’s Application for Temporary Stay in Thailand, dated 30 June 2014, effective 29 August 2014 (the “Police Order“); and Immigration Bureau Order No. 138/2557, dated 7 July 2014, effective 29 August 2014, issued under the Police Order.

Pursuant to the Police Order, a foreigner is eligible for a renewable Investment Visa if such a foreigner has invested in Thailand and:

  1. holds a non-immigrant visa (in other words, not a tourist visa); and
  2. has evidence of transferring at least ten million Thai Baht into Thailand; and
  3. (a) has evidence — obtained from a relevant authority — showing investment in a legally defined condominium unit (either freehold or a 3-year or more leasehold) at a purchase price or a rent of at least ten million Thai Baht; or

    (b) has at least ten million Thai Baht in a fixed deposit account at a Thai bank whose share capital is majority Thai owned; or

    (c) has purchased and owns Thai government or Thai state enterprise bonds worth at least ten million Thai Baht.

Interestingly the different investment options outlined above can be combined. Therefore it is, for example, possible to qualify for the Investment Visa by purchasing a condominium unit for less than ten million Thai Baht and in addition deposit the balance of ten million Thai Baht to a fixed deposit account at a qualified Thai bank. The main criterion to be eligible for an Investment Visa is that the total combined investment is at least ten million Thai Baht.

Once all the eligibility criteria for the Investment Visa are satisfied, it can be renewed annually as long as a qualifying ten million Thai Baht investment is maintained.

Another significant benefit of the Investment Visa to note is that it provides not only investing party’s long-term stay in Thailand but also for family members of the investor such as parents, spouse, child(ren), adopted child(ren), spouse’s child(ren). Such family members of the Investment Visa holder must:

  1. be granted a Non-Immigrant visa;
  2. have proof of the family relationship;
  3. in case of a spouse, the spouses must be both legally married and co-habitating; and
  4. in case of a child, an adopted child, or a spouse’s child, he or she must not be married, must live with the Investment Visa holder as family, and must not be older than 20 years of age unless he or she is ill or disabled and cannot live without the support of a father or mother.

With regard to limitations, it should be noted that an Investment Visa does not relive its holder, nor family member visa holder, of the same 90-day reporting rule applicable most other long-term Thai visa holders. And the Investment Visa does not entitle the holder, or his or her family member, to work in Thailand. In order to work in Thailand, it is required for the foreigner to obtain a work permit in addition to the visa. It should be noted that the definition of “working” is very broad. It is defined as “engaging in work by exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefit”.


DUENSING KIPPEN is an international law firm specializing in business transaction and dispute resolution matters, with offices in Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand and affiliated offices in 45 other countries. Visit them at:

16. Work permits

1. REGISTERED CAPITAL. The minimum amount of registered capital required per work permit in the company is dependent upon the status of the company and the work permit applicant. If your company requires one work permit and the applicant is married with a Thai national, then the required amount of registered capital is 1,000,000 Baht. If your company is registered with BOI (Board of Investment), you can obtain multiple work permits without needing to increase the registered capital, depending upon the agreement reached with BOI. However, it is important to note that BOI companies need to be set up with a minimum of 1,000,000 Baht of registered capital. If your company does not have BOI approval and your foreign employees are not married with Thai nationals then you will require 2,000,000 Baht of registered capital per work permit holder

2. THAI EMPLOYEES. There are requirements for minimum numbers of Thai employees per Work Permit for foreigners working in Thailand; this is dependent upon the status of the company. BOI approved companies usually have a relaxed ratio of Thai employees to foreign work permit holders. However, other companies will require 4 Thai employees for every work permit. It is important to note that there is an exception to this rule. If the company was formed less than one year prior to submitting the work permit application, the officer will accept 2 Thai employees per work permit. However, when coming to renew the work permit, the usual regulations will be enforced and the company will therefore require at least 4 Thai employees per work permit. Whereas, when applying for the visa Extension of Stay, the immigration requires the company to have at least 4 Thai employees (listed in Social Security Fund 3 months prior to the application). This is a compulsory requirement from the Immigration.

3. TAX, VAT AND SOCIAL FUND. Your company is paying tax and VAT and has the paper work in order. If your company address is in Bangkok, you will also need to ensure that you have paid the first month’s social fund for your Thai employees, keeping the receipt as evidence of this. In other locations around Thailand, you may be required to show more than one month’s social fund receipts, dependent upon the regulations in your province. This is very important. Shady companies with “office in the pocket” are not eligible to apply for a work permit for you!

4. Prepare all the paperwork for work permit application (as outlined below).  Having a Thai lawyer or our staff assist you in getting your Thai Work Permit is essential to having the most up to date information on the requirements and minimizing the likelihood of delays and multiple trips to the Labor Department.  

Documents to be supplied by the Employee:

Required documentation from the individual

  • Application form (W.P.2).
  • For non‐permanent residents: A valid passport containing a Non‐Immigrant visa.
  • CV or Resume showing application’s educational qualifications and describing in detail the applicant’s past position, duties, performance, and place and length of employment.
  • A recent medical certificate from a first‐class licensed physician in Thailand stating that the applicant is not of unsound mind and not suffering from leprosy, acute tuberculosis, elephantiasis, narcotic addition or habitual alcoholism including Syphilis.
  • Copy of front page of passport and visa.
  • Three 5×6 cm. full‐faced, bareheaded, black and white or color photographs, taken no more than six months prior to the filing of the application.
  • If the job applied for is subject to a license under a particular law, in addition to the Alien Occupation Law, a photocopy of such license, (e.g. teacher’s license, physician’s license, press card from the Public Relations Department, certificate of missionary status from the Office of Religious Affairs, etc.) shall be attached.
  • If the applicant is married to a Thai national, the original and photocopies of the following must be presented: Marriage certificate, spouse’s identity card, birth certificates of children, household registration, as well as photocopy of every page of the applicant’s passport.

Documents to be supplied by the Employer

All documents must bear the company seal and the signature of the company Director with signatory authority

  • Certificate issued by the Commercial Registration Department showing that the organization for which the applicant is going to work, has been duly registered as a juristic person, giving the name of the managing partner and/or director, and its objectives and capital (issued within the past 6 months).
  • A Copy of the list of shareholders of the applicant’s prospective company, certified as correct by the Commercial Registration Department (issued within the past 6 months).
  • If the company maintains a factory, a factory license and/or license to operate a factory, renewed by the Factory Department, Ministry of Industry.
  • If the company maintains a restaurant, a food license. A Bar requires an alcohol license. A hotel a hotel license.
  • Copy of VAT Certificate (Phor.Phor.20)/application for VAT registration (Phor. Phor. 01)
  • Map of place of business.
  • Photos of the office inside and outside, with outside showing the company name and address.

Applying for the Work Permit

Check, check and double‐check! Recheck all documents needed. Your Thai employer will say that everything is in order, but may not be!! So have the lawyer’s Double check!
Apply for the work permit at the Labor Department covering the province in which the Company’s Head Office is located. (Employees working in a Branch office in other provinces must still apply in the province where the Head office is located).
Most people get refused because they forgot to include a map in Thai showing the location of the company. Some other people get refused because they were not wearing a necktie in the photo. The photos of the office must also show clearly the Company name and address. Double check the requirements!  Attorneys know the requirements and thus you will not need to make several unnecessary trips to the Labor Department.
The application will take 10 days from the day of submission to the collection at the Labor Department.

Collecting of the Work Permit

Pick up your work permit.
You will need to pick up your blue work permit book in person at the Labor Department. You will be issued with a work permit valid for either 90 days, 6 months or 12 months; this decision is at the discretion of the officer. In line with new regulations, your visa and work permit are no longer tied together. Therefore, you can have a visa that expires on a completely different date to the work permit.
NOTE: Be sure that you do not overstay or travel out of the country without a Re‐entry Permit, because then your visa will be invalid upon your return

There are a number of grounds upon which a work permit can be granted (this is on a discretionary basis and will take into account usual considerations such as suitability and qualifications of the foreigner for the position):

  • The company must have a fully paid‐up registered capital of 2 million Baht to hire one foreigner, plus one person for every additional 2 million Baht (to a maximum of 10 people).
  • If the registered capital of the company is less than 2 million the company can hire one foreigner if its total corporate income tax payment had been at least 5 million Baht for the past three years. The company can hire one foreigner for every 5 million Baht paid in tax.
  • The employer has engaged in export which has brought into Thailand revenue of 3 million Baht in the previous fiscal year. The employer can hire one foreigner for every additional 3 million Baht up to a maximum of 3 people.
  • The employer has at least 50 Thai employees per foreign employee up to a maximum of 5 foreign employees.
  • A foreign employee must have paid personal income tax of at least 18,000 Baht in the previous personal tax year or if the foreign employee has not worked in Thailand previously, documents for potential employers confirming that, the foreign employee will obtain income in Thailand of at least 50,000 Baht per month for an employee who is single and 60,000 per month for a married person, must be presented.

The Labor Department may also issue or renew work permits regardless of the above criteria when the foreign individual falls into one of the following categories:

  • employed as an international trade representative inspecting product quality, purchases or conducting market surveys
  • employed as an investment or management technology adviser or internal auditor
  • a tour representative bringing foreign tourists into Thailand
  • employed in an international financial institute endorsed by the Bank of Thailand
  • employed a non‐profit organization on a temporary basis
  • employed as a contractor on projects for state agencies or public enterprises
  • employed in a business that mainly required the use of local raw materials
  • employed in the Thai export sector
  • employed in a business introducing and transferring technologies to Thailand
  • employed in a sector where qualified Thai employees cannot be found
  • married the cohabiting with a Thai national and has an honest employment.

17. Opening a Bank account

Our Thai staff will accompany you to nominated bank to assist in setting up a bank account and provide translation services.

The Thai currency is the Baht (THB), which is divided into 100 Satang. Thai notes are in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000, with Satang coins available in denominations of 25 and 50. There are also one, two, five and ten Baht coins.  

Banks are generally open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday, except Bank Holidays. Many banks now have outlets in major department stores. These outlets are open for longer hours and on weekend. There are ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) just about everywhere. Most of them take all international cards. 

Major credit cards such as American Express ® Card, Carte Blanche, MasterCard and VISA are accepted in leading hotels, restaurants and department stores. Generally, VISA and MasterCard are more widely accepted than American Express.  

Banking institutions in Thailand are a combination of public and private banks, with the Bank of Thailand (BOT) serving as the central bank for the country. The BOT has revised several of the banking policies, relaxed banking controls and reduced interest rates considerably over the past four years.  
One of the most important changes made to the banking system was the introduction of Bangkok's International Banking Facility (BIBF), which allows banks to engage in foreign exchange. International banking facilities are on the rise.  

Requirements for opening an account

All banks require several forms of identification, i.e., birth certificate, passport, current credit cards, etc. and most banks will request a letter of introduction from your employer along with details of your current visa status. It is better to ring the bank to check which documents are required. Also, you will need to show your “Work Permit”. Usually, without a work permit, you may be able to open only a “Savings Account” in some banks, provided there is an Employment Certificate issued by the Employer

18. Company formation

Buying property

If you decide to own property freehold rather than leasehold you will need to form a Thai company as you cannot own land as a foreigner but can be a director of a Thai company and retain majority voting rights effectively giving you freehold and complete control. 

Starting a business

Alternatively you may wish to start a business in Thailand and will need expert advice and recommendation of a good Thai lawyer which we can provide.  

19. Social security registration

Having formed a Thai company you will need to register foreign staff and Thai staff for social security and we provide this service n your behalf.

20. Local lawyer

Probably one of the most important contacts to get right from the outset due to Thailand’s laws not being the easiest to comprehend and a lawyer is required for buying property, business set up and much more.

21. Vat registration

If your company has a turnover of more than 1.8m THB you will need to register for Vat which is currently 7%.

22. Tax services

Our accountant can provide qtrly, yearly accounts and ensure your company remains legal and pays minimum tax.

23. Registered Office

You will need a registered office address and we can act on your behalf.

24. Business licences

Dependent on type of business, we can arrange company, restaurant, liquor, cigarette licences

25. Driving Licence

This can be a harrowing experience and we highly recommend you accompany our staff.

Applicants for a driving licence must be at least 18 years old.

The Department of Land Transport Office processes all of Thailand's driving licences. Go in person to the nearest local office to complete the paperwork and get a driving licence. The following paperwork is required by the DLT with copies:

  • Passport with valid non‐immigrant visa (tourist visa is not accepted)
  • Work Permitor Certificate or Letter of Residence issued by Thai immigration or the Embassy. The work permit must be valid and the letter or certificate no more than 30 days old
  • Medical certificate – no more than 30 days old
  • Two photographs, 1X1 inch (no more than six months old)
  • Fee 505 THB

Applicants for Thai driving licences should be prepared for lengthy queues so it is better to arrive early (between 08:30 and 09:00). It is not possible to make an appointment to take a driving test, but applicants who need to take the test must arrive at 08:30.

The whole process will take a few hours to complete. It is best to take along a Thai speaker to assist with interpretation and filling in the relevant forms, which have to be completed in Thai.

Applicants will be required to:

  • Fill in the licence application form
  • Hand in the application
  • Participate in an eyesight test
  • Participate in a reaction test
  • Participate in a two‐hour Thai road regulations training session
  • Complete a written test on road regulations
  • Take a practical driving test. The driving test takes place within the DLT's grounds on a mock road system and not on the roads. It normally takes no longer than half an hour.

Once all the formalities have been completed the person will receive a temporary Thai driving license, valid for one year. After this period the person will need to renew their license and can apply for a license that is valid for five years.

Motorcycle Licences

To get a motorcycle licence the procedure is essentially the same, but, the test can be done in English. Once the test has been successfully passed there is no maximum size of engine that can be driven.

26. Pets


  1. A health certificate in English, signed or further endorsed by a full‐time authorized veterinary official of the government of the exporting country, if it is previously acknowledged by a veterinary surgeon, stating :‐
    1. number and species,
    2. breed, sex, age and color or animal identification,
    3. name and address of the owner OR the kennel of origin, 
    4. certification of condition items (2) to (5).
  2. The animals must come from an area where animal diseases are under control. They are found to be healthy, free from signs of any infectious and contagious diseases including ectoparasitism at the time of export and fit to travel.  
  3. The country has been free from Rabies for at least the past 12 (twelve) months OR the animals are vaccinated against Rabies with an official approved vaccine not less than 21 (twenty‐ one) days prior to the departure.  
  4. EITHER a ) The dog is vaccinated against Leptospirosis at least 21(twenty‐one) days preceding departure.  
    OR b ) The dog is subjected to a test for Leptospirosis with negative result during the 30 (thirty) days prior to the departure. 
  5. The animals shall be vaccinated against other significant infectious or contagious diseases i.e. Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvovirus, with an official approved vaccine at least 21 (twenty‐one) days prior to the departure.  
  6. The animals must be conveyed in nose‐and‐paw proof crates designed to avoid any risk of injury or unnecessary suffering. 
  7. The animals are not allowed to expose to other animals if they have to be landed in transit at any approved intermediate port. They shall not be allowed to leave precinct of the port except to an officially approved transit quarantine area.  
  8. The animals are subjected to quarantine at approved premises for a period of at least 30 (thirty) days upon arrival during which they shall be submitted to tests and/or treatments deemed necessary. The importer/owner shall be fully charged for the incurred expenses. 
  9. Failure to follow the import procedures may result in returning the animals to the country of origin or destroying without compensation.  

Contact detail : Bureau of Disease Control and Veterinary Services. Department of Livestock   Development Phayathai road, Ratchtavee 10400 Tel. (02) 653‐4550 ‐ 7 ext . 4175 Fax. (02) 653‐4929   E‐mail : [email protected]  

27. Maid Service

We can provide full or part time maid service and prices dependent on property size from 800 THB per visit.

28. Valuations


Our service uses the MARKET APPROACH which examines  the title, state, age and condition of the property, the major selling features and compares similar property in the local area and takes into account current market factors, the immediate local environment and any encumbrances to arrive at a fair market price in the present market.

The valuation does not review due diligence either right of property or access rights or title ownership. Public utilities and services are also not considered. Due diligence should be carried out by a lawyer.

We specialize in appraisal and valuation reports covering:

  • Residential properties: Houses/villas, townhouses, shop houses, condominium housing development projects, and apartments
  • Land plots – a direct comparison with similar land

Purposes of valuation cover the following:

  • Current market property value
  • Asset financing
  • Rental assessment  
  • Mortgage finance
  • Security value
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Dispute Resolutions
  • Risk Analysis
  • Insurance cover
  • Fire sale estimate

A Definition of Valuation:

"Valuation is a process of estimation of the most probable price which would be paid for a property under typical market conditions applying at the date of valuation..."

"The value of a property is the present value of all future benefits expected to be obtained from possession of the property"

The ability to provide a professional and accurate Valuation Service relies on a combination of the professionalism of our valuation consultants and the quality of available marketinformation.

The residential valuation model used is the Market Approach. Homes are valued based on what an average person would be willing to pay for a similar property. This data is derived by looking at current salesin Phuket. Every attempt is made to use sales that have the same characteristics as the property to be valued (subject property). These would include but are not limited to; area, number of bedrooms, baths etc., if it has a garage etc. If a subject property doesn’t have enough matching sales, adjustments are made to the sale properties most closely resembling that property to create a more equitable value. An example of this would be; if the sale property had a swimming pool and the subject didn’t the sale price would be adjusted to reflect not having a pool.  

A sale at fair market value is by definition: The amount of money a well‐informed buyer would pay and a   well‐informed seller would accept for property that has been on the open market for a reasonable amount of time, assuming neither buyer nor seller is acting under pressure. When a sale is deemed valid it can be used to help determine fair market value for other similar properties. The goal is to value all properties fairly and equally, while being as close to fair market value as possible.

29. Healthcare

Thai healthcare is some of the best in the world and you receive first class care at third world prices! We highly recommend you take advantage of the health checks and many otherservices on offer. Unlike UK where you wait for tests to come back in weeks, in say Bangkok hospital it is done within an hour orso regardless of the problem, absolutely marvelousservice! See  

We hope you have found this information of use and please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected] for appointment or further information

You may also find our blog site of use packed with relevant information on buying property, living and working in Thailand  

Yours sincerely
Richard Lusted
CEO Siam Real Estate



The information in this document is from sources we believe to be reliable. However, we have not verified its accuracy and make no guarantee, warranty, or representation about it. It is submitted subject to errors, omissions, change of price, contents or other conditions. You should conduct your own investigation of the property and transaction.