Nominee crackdown halves new company registrations

PHUKET: Only 76 new companies were registered in September – compared with 135 and 132 during the same month in 2005 and 2004, respectively – following the August 15 announcement from the Ministry of Commerce that rules regarding foreign partnerships would be strictly enforced.

Veerachai Tantiwathanavallop, Chief of the Phuket Commercial Registrations Office, told the Gazette that the number of new companies registered is fewer than usual because of the ruling that all members listed as shareholders, specifically Thai investors, must present bank statements covering the six months to the formation of the company to prove that they are genuine investors, rather than merely “nominees”.

“If a foreigner invests between 40% and 50% of the capital, or if the foreigner owns less than 40% of the capital but acts as the leader of the company by authorizing company activity or by representing it, then Thai investors in the partnership must show their bank statements,” said Veerachai.

“Currently, however,” he added, “if the foreigner owns only 39%, and the Thai [shareholders] can conduct business for the company, then bank statements aren’t required.”

“They – those setting up businesses – are scared because the officers are going to be more strict regarding nominees, and may halt the company registration,” he said.

Phuket News
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