Almost every expat in Thailand started with the idea of buying a business in Thailand. So many buy running businesses such as restaurants and bars. This is where it becomes complicated as can be seen!
Certain types of businesses are not really able to run without the current owner. Many watering holes in Thailand tend to have a following based on the owners reputation and style of doing business. When you buy such a business most of the goodwill is lost as the business was personal and not a normal straight business. Many have burnt their hands going through this. Buying a business that makes money then only to see it fall apart.
The first issue starts with buying the business itself. Does it really make money? Have you made an unexpected turn at the business when the owner was not around to see how busy it really is? Your second hurdle tends to be the lease. Many leaseholds in Thailand are not in the name of the business but the owner. Can and will the owner of the property lease the property to you at the same rent agreement as what was in place the first time around? You need to speak to a solicitor in Bangkok about this – to view the lease and above all the licenses which can become a very sticky issue. Buying a bar in Pattaya might sound great but the license for an entertainment business needs to be in someone’s name. If you decide to place this into the name of your wife or girlfriend, if the relationship goes South who gets to hold the licenses then? Will she in effect then control your business?
When buying any business in Thailand speak to your solicitor about the following:
1. The leasehold of the property – can the current business owner sub-lease?
2. Nominee agreements and the entertainment license who holds this?
Speak to any of our solicitors in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Samui or Chiang Mai for firsthand legal advice. Do it by walking into any of our offices, call our toll-free US or UK numbers or simple chat to us online.
Do it now!