Due to overwhelming social problems in the world, many people go the extra mile by sharing their blessings and helping others on a major scale. In Thailand, citizens and foreigners alike establish foundations in order to reach out to less fortunate people.
Definition of a Thailand Foundation
Foundations, as defined in Article 110 of the Thai Commercial and Civil Code, B.E. 2535 (revised edition), are comprised of “assets which are prepared only for the objectives of public charities, religion, arts, science, literature, education, or any other public interest and the foundation must be registered under the regulation of this Law.”
The code also mandates that the “management of assets of any foundation must not seek for benefit or interest for any person, except the activities which are operating under the objectives of that foundation.”
Further, a foundation in Thailand must meet the initial fund required for registration under the Commercial and Civil Code. This fund should also be used solely for the implementation and realization of its objectives. No board member, officer or member can benefit from said fund.
Naming the Foundation
In choosing the name of the foundation, the following should be taken into consideration:
● It should include the word “foundation.”
● It must be in the Thai language. If there is no equivalent Thai word, the name should be written in Thai based on its pronunciation.
● Using the name of the King or any member of the Royal Family is prohibited unless a written consent of the Bureau of the Royal Household is obtained and presented.
● Using the name of a person requires a written consent from the owner of the name. If the foundation cannot find that person, the foundation must make a public announcement before using the name.
● Names of government offices cannot be used, except in cases where the foundation is established by the government office itself.
● It should not be a name similar to existing foundations, shrines, houses of priests, guardian spirits, goddesses, or political parties.
A foundation should have its own office. The following are helpful tips for choosing an office:
● Any government office cannot be utilized as the office of a foundation, unless established by a government mandate.
● A public place or sacred area cannot be used as an office location.
● Branch offices must be registered at the Foundation Registration Area Office of the placewhere it is located.
Objectives of the Foundation
The objectives set by the foundation are important since they serve as the basis for its operation. These objectives must be for the benefit of the public alone. It should likewise be clear, brief, and compliant with the laws of society and morality. More importantly, said objectives must neither be used for soliciting money, nor for lending purposes.
Assets and Finances
Since it is against the law for a Thailand foundation to solicit, it can acquire assets and funds through the following means:
● Donations (in case of land donations, the officer of the Land Department Area Office should evaluate it and issue a price evaluation letter)
● Interest gained from bank savings
● Rental fee of its assets
● Fund-raising projects
Procedure in Registering a Thailand Foundation
The first thing to do in setting up a foundation in Thailand is to make sure that it adheres to the rules and regulations of the Ministerial Regulations of Regulations, Operations and Registration of the Foundation B.E. 2545 (2002).
The owner of the foundation must then fill out and submit an application form to the registrar of the district where the main office of the foundation will be located. The following documents must be submitted:
● List of owner’s assets
● List of the foundation’s assets supported by registered documents showing proof of donation
● Directory setting forth the names, addresses and professions of all the members of the board of directors
● By-laws of the foundation
● Identification cards and a copy of census registration of the members of the board of directors
● Map of the main office
● Written consent of the owner of the property where the office is located
● Minutes of the meeting of the foundation
After collecting the documents, the registrar will validate it. If the objectives of the foundation are related to those of the National Council of Cultural Affairs, the registration will be forwarded to it for approval.
The registration of a Thailand foundation is complete upon the issuance of a foundation registration certificate allowing it to operate.