The Thai Government allows foreign nationals who wish to buy property in Thailand by offering long term lease of land and such foreign buyer can own the building situated in the leased land by registering the building ownership with the Land Office. The foreign buyer can legally register individual 30 years lease (with an option for renewal under the same term). Such lease is well structured, registered with the Thai government and is protected under the laws of the Kingdom of Thailand. A subsidiary will act as the Lessor of the land and the Seller for the building. Therefore, the foreign buyer will become the owner of the building as well as the long term lessee to the land.
Though foreign nationals may not generally own freehold land in Thailand but an exceptional is made for those who wish to invest and operate business in Thailand by setting up a Thai registered company limited (who can legally own the freehold). In doing so, the foreign national can own up to 49% of the company and would need a Thai national(s) becoming shareholder(s) in order to form a Thai limited company. The land can be owned freehold by the Thai company even if its directors are foreigners, and no work permit is required for the foreign director. However, it should be noted that under the recent government regulations, the Thai limited company wishing to own the land while having Thai and foreign directors/shareholders will be required to provide certain legal documents to the Land Office for approval before the land ownership can be sold and transferred to such company. We recommend that you seek the legal advice from a professional law firm if you wish to set up a company to acquire a freehold ownership at any project.