Originally Thailand Board of Investment was promoting the set up of international schools in 2011. However, the regulator changed the criteria for international schools to Vocational Training Centers, High-potential academies, and High-potential institutions for higher education making international schools be out of the radar of BOI, which in the opinion of H&P lawyers in Thailand was a mistake.
Now, the criteria for establishing Vocational Training Centers, High-potential academies, and High-potential institutions for higher education that can apply for BOI are as follows:
7.19.1 Vocational Training Centers
- Must teach or train technical courses in specific fields, including design training center, as approved by the Board.
- Must have necessary equipment, vocational training lab, and others.
- Projects located in a promoted science and technology park or one that is approved by the Board will receive an additional 50 percent corporate income tax reduction from net profits for 5 years after the end of corporate income tax exemption period.
7.19.2 High-potential academies and institutions for higher education
- Must be high-potential academy, which focuses on science and technology education
- Must be located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) or other special economic zones for high-potential academies designated by the Cabinet
- Must comply with rules and regulations as approved by the Board
High-potential institutions for higher education
- Must be high-potential institutions for higher education. In case of foreign investment, projects must be approved by the Commission for High-potential Foreign Higher Education Institutions.
- Must be located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) or other special economic zones for high-potential institutions for higher education designated by the Cabinet or other zones designated by the Commission for High-potential Foreign Higher Education Institutions.
- Must comply with rules and regulations as approved by the Board.
Although that international schools’ businesses are no longer eligible to receive Tax and Non-Tax Incentives under BOI, nonetheless, under the Private School Act B.E. 2550, the investor may establish an international school. If the licensee is a “public limited company,” “limited company,” or “partnership,” Thais must hold or subscribe to more than half of the business’s shares or capital.
Furthermore, even if the investor establishes an international school in Bangkok, and do not get access to BOI promotion, however, the project may be eligible for the following tax incentives from the Thai Revenue Department:
- Exemption of the income tax of net profit from private school businesses established under the law governing private schools.
- Exemption in the Value added tax from the private school under the law governing private schools.
If you need to consult with a law firm in Thailand on the correct structuring of an international school business in Thailand, you can contact our Bangkok lawyers at [email protected]