In support of the government’s policy to develop Thailand as a regional center for trade and investment, in April 1996 the Board of Investment announced the establishment of Trade and Investment Support Offices (TISO).
Companies that do not qualify for a BOI promotion can apply for this promotion category. The business activities covered by TISO category are quite broad and are deemed to support trade and investment in the country.
In order to be eligible for this investment promotion, companies must have operating expenses (selling and administrative) of at least 10 million Baht per year. The business plan and scope of business must be approved by the BOI and all operating licenses must have been acquired from all relevant government agencies.
The minimum capital must be at least 1 million Baht, excluding cost of land and working capital. Majority foreign-owned businesses must have a minimum capital of at least 2 million or 3 million Baht per business, depending on the type of business, as required by the Foreign Business Act.
In order to be eligible for a TISO promotion, companies must engage into the following business activities:
• Monitoring and/or servicing associated enterprises, including providing or renting out offices or factory buildings to associated enterprises
• Advisory services on business operations, except those engaged in buying and selling securities and foreign currency exchange. As for accounting, legal, advertising, architectural and civil engineering businesses, the business license must be obtained from the Department of Business Development or related governmental agencies prior to submitting the investment promotion application
• Information services on goods sourcing and procurement
• Engineering and technical services, except those related to architecture and civil engineering
• Testing and certifying standards of products, production and services
• Export trading
• Business activities related to machinery, engines, tools and equipment such as: importing for wholesaling, training services, installation, maintenance and repair, and calibration
• Software design and development
• Wholesaling products manufactured in Thailand, excluding local agricultural products, arts and crafts, antiques, and natural resources
• International business process outsourcing whose services are provided through telecommunication networks, such as administrative services, finance and accounting services, human resource services, sales and marketing services, customer services, and data processing.
If there are any other activities deemed appropriate for investment promotion under the establishment of TISO, the office of the BOI will consider them on a case-by-case basis.
This promotion grants only non-tax privileges. The most important TISO incentives are the following:
• 100% foreign ownership of the promoted company
• Permission to bring in foreign nationals to undertake investment feasibility studies;
• Permission to bring in as many foreign technicians and experts as required
• Permission to take or remit foreign currency abroad
• Exemption on import duty on raw or essential materials used in manufacturing export products
• Potentially right of land ownership, limited to 5 rai for the establishment of offices, 1 rai for the residences of executives or experts, and 2 rai for the residences of employees. This amount may be increased by BOI if deems it appropriate.
Visas and work permits may be obtained from the One-Stop Service Centre.
The approval process takes approximately 40 working days.