US-Thai Treaty of Amity

The treaty allows American citizens or companies with majority shareholdings to operate business in Thailand. These companies are granted national treatment and are exempt from many of the restrictions imposed by the Foreign Business Act.

The process of obtaining protection under the US-Thai Treaty of Amity can be lengthy and complicated. GPS Legal has a great deal of experience in handling these applications for its clients.


The US-Thai Treaty of Amity enables American entities to maintain majority shareholdings or wholly own a company, branch office or representative office in Thailand and receive “national treatment,” which allows them to engage in business on the same basis as Thai businesses and to be exempt from many of the foreign investment restrictions of the Foreign Business Act.

Beyond cuts in tariffs, the agreement aims to increase market access for Thai and American goods by addressing sensitive issues such as excessive paperwork and opaque customs procedures. It would also help reduce barriers to investment in a range of sectors, including automotives and electronics.

For an Amity treaty company to sponsor a non-B visa for an American Citizen, the company must have 4 Thai Employees and at least 2 million in registered capital. GPS Legal has extensive experience in assisting clients to obtain US Amity certification and work permits in Thailand. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.


The US-Thai Treaty of Amity allows American citizens, companies or corporations to maintain complete ownership, or at least a majority of a Thai company. This is a major advantage for those who are looking to establish regional headquarters in Thailand, or even maintain a presence in the country.

In order to qualify for these provisions, a new or existing Thai company limited (Co., Ltd) must be set up, and evidence must be presented that the majority of the shares are held by American citizens or legal entities. The US Embassy will then issue a Foreign Business Certificate.

This removes the company from many of the restrictions on foreign investment in the country under the Foreign Business Act and allows it to operate on the same level as a Thai-owned company. Sunbelt is experienced in performing amity set-ups and can walk you through the process. We work hand-in-hand with the Commercial Department at the US Embassy to ensure all documentation is prepared and submitted properly.

Human Rights

In the 1833 Treaty of Amity and Commerce, signed under the presidency of Andrew Jackson, the United States and the Kingdom of Siam pledged to establish “a perpetual peace.” Unfortunately, the United States cannot overlook Thailand’s recent moves that undermine democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and freedom of expression.

In principle, the Amity treaty allows American citizens and companies to maintain a majority shareholding in Thai businesses and be exempt from most restrictions on foreign investment that would otherwise apply under the Foreign Business Act. However, it takes more time and costs to set up an Amity treaty company than a non-Amity company.

The Amity treaty is also an important tool for promoting cooperation in the areas of maritime security, long-term modernization, and regional economic integration. We urge the Government of Thailand to re-examine the terms of the Amity treaty to ensure it remains a robust tool for advancing our shared interests.


The US-Thai Treaty of Amity provides protection to American natural persons and companies that have been certified by the U.S. Commercial Service office at the US Embassy in Bangkok as being owned and managed by Americans. The certificate is issued after the US embassy confirms that the company meets the requirements of the treaty for national treatment under Thai law. Despite this, it would be wise for any prospective American business owner considering registering a company in Thailand under the amity treaty to seek qualified legal advice prior to doing so.

The treaty essentially allows a company with majority American ownership to operate on the same basis as a Thai company, exempting them from many restrictions of foreign investment that are otherwise applied under the Foreign Business Act. However, there are still limitations that apply, such as prohibitions against owning land; engaging in certain businesses such as domestic trade in agricultural products and exploitation of land or other natural resources; and banking involving depository functions.

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