Legal services and tax planning for real estate acquisitions and property developments

PUGNATORIUS Ltd. is the Bangkok-based specialist provider of transactional legal and tax advice on foreign investments in Thailand’s manufacturing and service industries as well as property developments and acquisitions. 

Following professional assignments in corporate and investment laws, real estate laws and property developments is the second business area of PUGNATORIUS Ltd. Its clients in a property transaction should be aware of the law firm’s stance on the impact of local proximity and shortcuts:

The uncompromised Bangkok-only strategy for property transactions in whole Thailand

The law firm’s demands in regard to professional integrity and unimpaired independence disallow branch offices, substations or affiliations outside of Bangkok. Professional assignments are accomplished by the firm’s own Bangkok lawyers. The policies, decisions, and legal viewpoints are solely made in Bangkok. No relevant aspect is outsourced, no journey to the project site, the land office, and local authorities is avoided, no external expertise, judgment or evaluation is trusted. Never trust a local.

For foreign investments in Thailand’s real estate, PUGNATORIUS Ltd. is the trusted counsel if the client intends to avoid that his lawyers are too closely linked, connected and integrated into the local business environment. To assign a Bangkok law firm for projects in Samui, Phuket, Hua Hin, or Pattaya precludes the utilization of certain short-cuts, favors, informal commitments which are possible between well-known players in a local environment. However, it is the law firm’s view that such easements have only a short half-life period and constitute the opposite of a solid and sustainable foreign property investment.

A different approach in Thailand’s property industry

Thailand’s real estate legislation is widely misunderstood, and property investment structures are notorious for their lightweight design. Protected structures are widely avoided for all the wrong reasons. PUGNATORIUS Ltd. provides real estate investment structures which are legally valid, in compliance with Thailand’s foreigner legislation and which sustainably protect the foreign investor.

The non-controversial negotiation of a property deal is a strong indication of an imperfect and asymmetrical information distribution to the disadvantage of the buyer. A quick accomplishment often results from an insufficient investment protection. A happy closing of the property transaction might make the buyer unhappy for many years after. 

To protect the foreign property investment in paradise as-good-as possible requires time-consuming negotiations, higher legal fees, and a more complex investment structure. Instead of erecting a house of cards, PUGNATORIUS Ltd. develops and recommends redundant structures which keep the investment still together, if and when single elements could not satisfy expectations.

Land acquisitions, villa constructions, condominium investments, hotel businesses, mixed-use developments

The Bangkok law office advises on various property developments and has an extensive work-product archive for each type of private and commercial real estate project. The law firm developed specialized knowledge, know-how, and experiences regarding the proper licensing of new, but also of existing illegal property developments:

#1. Investment structures for foreign property acquisitions: Obtaining full ownership is the real thing and preferable in all and any property transactions. The law firm advises and assists international clients in the acquisition of villas or undeveloped land through a land holding Thai company.

The law firm supports the acquisition of condominium units, especially in cases of (i) off plan acquisitions when the unit is not yet registered at the land office, (ii) second-hand purchases, (iii) condo leasehold structures and (iv) distressed condo projects of various scope and size.

#2. Property due diligence examination: The law firm provides comprehensive real estate due diligence examinations for developed or undeveloped land in seven steps at international standards. 

Specific requirements apply for due diligence examinations regarding rental guarantees, timeshares, and fractional ownership schemes. 

#3. Leasing transactions and protected lease schemes: If it is not possible to obtain legal ownership, an alternative form of property investment is to rent the property on a long-term basis. The law firm advises

  • foreign residents to negotiate and agree on beneficial lease agreements and, as the case may be, villa construction agreements and service contracts.
  • resort and other property developers in the design of marketable lease arrangements, villa construction contracts and the comprehensive preparation of resort agreements for foreign residents.
  • in the arrangement of a secured lease agreement, aka. protected lease scheme to secure the lessee‘s interest like a full owner of the property.

The law firm has a specific know-how in the design and registration of usufructs, superficies and other real rights resp. rights in rem.

#4. Industrial estates, resorts, factories: The law firm is experienced with mixed-use developments, industrial projects, factory constructions, and other commercial property developments.

#5. Hotel and hospitality projects: Hotel developments, hotel business licenses and the structuring of hotel management agreements are special fields of experience and know-how in Thailand’s hospitality industries.

Professional services for hotel businesses and Thailand’s hospitality ventures are available at “Legal services for the hotel and hospitality sector“.

#6. Property tax structuring: The law firms provides tax planning services to minimize the tax burden of the transaction, the ongoing tax obligations and the tax load of a later de-investment.

#7. Legal opinions and property investment reviews: The law firm provides foreign investors and local developers with professional legal opinions regarding legal and tax aspects of property investments in Thailand. This covers the legalidity under civil laws and foreigner legislation, the grade of investment protection, and possibilities to better protect and secure the foreign direct investment in the land of smile. 

Sophisticated solutions in a complex legal environment. Serious legal and tax advice in the land of smile. Secure your place in paradise.