The Ministry of Commerce has issued a ministerial regulation exempting commercial banking, representative offices of foreign banks, and life and non-life insurance operations from the restricted business activities under Schedule 3 of the Foreign Business Act ("FBA"). The change is effective beginning 19 February 2016.
The following service businesses are now exempted from Schedule 3 of the FBA. Foreign companies wishing to operate these businesses in Thailand will no longer require a foreign business license to operate, though will still be subject to licensing and foreign shareholding limit requirements under specific regulations.
- commercial banking
- representative office of foreign bank
- life insurance
- non-life insurance
The “connected businesses” of commercial banking, life and non-life insurance, are not included in the scope of exempted businesses under this ministerial regulation. As a result, a foreign business license is still required prior to engaging in these activities, in addition to licensing requirements under specific regulations.