BOI Business Activities Eligible for a Promotion in Thailand in 2024

BOI Business Activities Eligible for a Promotion in Thailand

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Board of Investment in Thailand is a government agency aiming to attract highly skilled foreign companies to invest in Thailand and boost specially selected high-value areas of the economy. To achieve this, the BOI offers a range of incentives to foreign investors, including 100% foreign ownership, tax incentives for certain activities, simplified processes for hiring employees and obtaining work permits, and more. These incentives offer significant advantages and are not available to regular companies in Thailand.

To qualify for a BOI promotion, your business must operate in one of the targeted industries identified by the Thai government. This article will explore the eligible BOI business activities available to prospective companies.

Key Points

  • A BOI promotion removes many barriers to business in Thailand for eligible companies.
  • Companies approved for a BOI promotion are eligible for special incentives such as 100% foreign ownership, tax incentives (depending on the promotion), and reduced requirements to support work permits.
  • BOI promotions are only offered to companies that operate in specific areas of business activities identified by the BOI.

What is the BOI?

Checking whether your business is eligible for a BOI promotion is always our first recommendation when starting a business in Thailand. A BOI promotion offers eligible companies significant advantages for operating their business in Thailand, such as 100% foreign ownership and removing many barriers to doing business in Thailand, such as the restrictions of the Foreign Business Act.

More detailed information on restricted business activities and the Foreign Business Act can be found here.

To attract foreign investment, the BOI provides valuable incentives for qualifying projects unavailable to regular companies:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Tax Incentives (Depending on the promotion awarded by the BOI/
  • Reduced requirements for hiring foreign staff
  • Permit to own land
  • Streamlined visa and work permit processes 
  • Permit to remit money abroad in foreign currency

What business activities are eligible for a BOI promotion?

The Board of Investment (BOI) of Thailand supports businesses that invest in specific targeted industries identified by the government. To be eligible for BOI support, a business must operate in one of the following industries:

  • Agriculture and food
  • Manufacturing
  • Digital and technology
  • Tourism and services
  • Other high-value industries


The following list is a more detailed breakdown of the business activities in which companies may be eligible to receive a promotion (please note each activity may be subject to certain conditions and requirements from the BOI):

Digital & Creative Industries

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as Digital and Creative Industry activities.

  • Development of software, digital platforms or digital content 
  • Digital Infrastructure 
  • Digital ecosystem-supported business
  • Thai motion picture production 
  • Motion picture support services 
  • Industrial zone for motion picture production (Movie Town)
Tourism Industry

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as Tourism Industry activities.

  • Tourism promotion services, e.g., amusement parks, zoos, and Thai cultural centers.
  • Activities to support tourism, e.g., Hotels, convention halls, and international exhibition centers
Agriculture, Food, and Biotechnology Industries

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as Agriculture, Food, and Biotechnology Industry activities.

  • Plant or animal breeding (only those that are not eligible for biotechnology activity)
  • Crop dying and silo facilities
  • Animal propagation or animal husbandry
  • Slaughtering
  • Deep sea fishery
  • Grading, packaging and storage of plants, vegetables, fruits or flowers
  • Cold storage, or cold storage and cold storage transportation
  • Trading center for agricultural goods
  • Tanneries or leather finishing
  • Manufacturing of the following:
    • biological fertilizers, organic fertilizer, nano-coated organo-chemical fertilizer, and bio-pesticides
    • modified starch or starch made from plants that have special properties
    • oil or fat from plants or animals
    • natural extracts or products from natural extracts
    • active ingredients from natural raw materials
    • natural rubber products (except for rubber bands, rubber balloons and rubber rings)
    • products from agricultural by-products or agricultural waste (except for those with uncomplicated production processes, eg drying or dehydration)
    • fuel from agricultural products, including agricultural scrap or garbage or waste
    • preservation of food, beverages, food additives or food ingredients using modern technology
    • medical food or food supplements
    • animal feed production and animal food ingredients
    • modern agricultural products or services related to modern agriculture
Medical Industry

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as Medical Industry activities

  • Manufacture of medical products
  • Medical and health care services 
  • Specialty medical center
  • Health care services
  • Clinical Research
Machinery and Vehicles Industry

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as Machine and Vehicle activities

  • Building or repair of ships 
  • Manufacturing of the following:
    • machinery, equipment, and parts, and repair of in-house fabricated machinery or equipment
    • lenses that are not classified as medical devices
    • Manufacture of engines, equipment, or parts 
    • vehicle parts 
    • general automobiles 
    • motorcycles (excluding motorcycles with less than 248 ccs) 
    • battery electric vehicles (BEV), Plug-In hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), and BEV platforms 
    • electric battery motorcycles 
    • battery-electric tricycles and battery-electric tricycle platforms 
    • battery electric buses and trucks and battery electric buses and truck platforms
    • electric bicycles (E-BIKE) 
    • fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and equipment for fuel cell system  
    • Manufacture of fuel cells or parts 
    • charging station and battery swapping station for electric vehicles
Electrical Appliances and Electronics Industry

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as electrical and electronics activities:

  • Manufacturing of the following:
    • electrical products
    • parts and/or equipment used for electrical products
    • Manufacture of parts and/or equipment used for electronic products
    • Manufacture of material for microelectronics
Metal and Material Industries

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as metal and material activities:

  • Surface treatment or anodized surface treatment (except coating or coloring treatment for decoration purposes)
  • Heat treatment
  • Building or repair of ships
  • Fabrication industry or platform repair for the petroleum industry
  • Manufacturing of the following:
    • metal products, including metal parts
    • multi-purpose engines and equipment
    • machinery, equipment and parts
    • Manufacture and/or repair of rolling stocks, parts or equipment for rail system (including repair)
    • aircraft or aerospace devices and equipment (including repair)
    • Manufacture of fuel cells
    • Manufacture of science equipment
    • Manufacture and/or repair of vehicles and weapon systems for national defense (including repair)
    • Manufacture and/or repair of weapons and exercise-facilitating equipment for national defense and parts (including repair)
    • Manufacture and/or repair of combat facilitating equipment such as bullet-proof and flak-proof vests, armors or bullet-proof and flak-proof shields (including repair)
Chemical and Petrochemical Industries

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as chemical and petrochemical activities:

  • Oil refineries
  • Manufacturing of the following:
    • chemical products for industry
    • eco-friendly chemicals or polymers or products from eco-friendly polymers
    • petrochemicals
    • specialty polymers or specialty chemicals
    • plastic products for industrial or consumer goods
    • plastic packages with special properties
    • plastic products from recycled plastic
    • Active pharmaceutical ingredients
    • medicines
    • pulp, paper or paper articles
    • body care products, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics
Public Utilities

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as public utility activities:

  • Public utilities and basic services
  • Natural gas station
  • Mass transit systems and transportation of bulk goods
  • Logistics service centers
  • Real estate development for industrial use
  • Product sterilization services
  • Recycling and reuse of unwanted materials
  • Waste treatment or disposal
  • the following:
Light Industries

The following activities are eligible for a BOI promotion as light industry activities:

  • Creative product design and development
  • Bleaching, dyeing, and finishing, or printing and finishing, or printing
  • Manufacturing of the following:
    • technical fiber or functional fiber
    • functional yarn or functional fabric
    • recycled fiber
    • other fiber or yarn or fabric
    • bags or shoes or products made of leather or artificial leather
    • gems and jewelry or parts, including raw materials and prototype
    • sports equipment or parts
    • furniture or parts
    • toys
    • printed matter

Our Thoughts

The BOI offers a variety of promotions to encourage eligible businesses to invest in Thailand. Checking whether your project is eligible for a BOI should always be the first consideration. BOI promotions offer significant benefits not available to other company types such as 100% foreign ownership and being the best way to facilitate work permits and visas for foreign staff.


However, applying for a BOI promotion can take up to 9 months to complete. Should you be interested in entering the Thai market and beginning operations as soon as possible, a Limited Company created in partnership with a Thai partner or the temporary use of a PEO service during the application stage should be considered.

Book a Call with our expert

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During this session, our lawyer will provide insights into key areas, including company structure, outsourced employment services, taxes, accounting, and other general facets of running a business in Thailand. Additionally, we are here to address any other legal queries you might have, ensuring you have a comprehensive understanding of the topic at hand.

Our responses will be pragmatic, breaking down both the legal aspects and local practices in a manner that’s easy to grasp.

Should your questions require additional research, our experts will delve deeper and follow up with further insights via email.

This consultation is offered by legal experts fluent in English, French, or Thai.

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