Ownership of land by foreigners is prohibited on Koh Samui, as well as other parts of Thailand, however, that’s not the reason to give up just yet. You can still buy a property and own a piece of this island paradise. How? Here is a brief outline of how it can be done, legally and with low risk.
Basically, it rests on the distinction between land
and by how these are owned: leasehold
Firstly, let's look at freehold ownership. You can own freehold the title of a building (or structure) in your personal name, if no land is included in that title.
But for titles which include land it is different. As you are already aware only Thai citizens or legal entities can own land freehold in Thailand. If you are not a Thai national you can form a Thai registered limited liability company, a Thai legal entity, which can own freehold land titles and use that land in its business activities.
Setting up a company in Thailand (like anywhere else in the world) you have to be aware of certain compliance issues such as income and expense reporting, required tax payments and related licensing in some cases. This might sound too complicated for your idyllic holiday inspired dream of owning a small part of Koh Samui, but we are here to help you along every step of the way, making sure the whole process is smooth, effortless and above all – in accordance with the law.
So what about other options?
If you wish to buy a property such as a villa with land and which has a land title deed then there is one more option, leasing – or what is commonly referred to as leasehold ownership. This is very common way for foreigners to own land in Thailand. With leasehold, you are buying control of your property over a long-term 30 years lease (the maximum lease period allowed by Thai law). Most of these arrangements can be extended for another 30 years, and you will own the property for at least 60 or even 90 years. Long term leases such as these will have clauses allowing for you the leaseholder to sell the property within the lease period.
If the property you are considering does not have land as part of the freehold title, such as a condominium then as a foreigner you can buy the property title in your own name (up to 49% of the total number of units in the project).
So, buying your piece of paradise is not quite like it would be back home. But if you look around at the number of foreign owned properties in Thailand you can see it is possible and not so difficult. Whether as an investment to generate an income or as a place for personal use and enjoyment, with the right assistance of a professional real estate agent
, a legal practitioner
and an accounting firm
you can own yourself a bit of wonderful Koh Samui.
Speak to our representative about the process of purchasing property on Koh Samui through company formation.
Sunway Samui has 10 years of experience in Thailand real estate with more than 60 property sales successfully closed for the Buyers from all over the world.
Information provided in this article is meant as a general introduction and guide only. Topics discussed are based on the situation at the time of publication. As relevant laws and regulations do change Sunway Samui strongly recommends all investors contact a reputable law firm and/or accounting firm for personalized and professional advice.