A foundation is a non-profit organization established with the aim of supporting charity, religion, science, literature, education or any public interest. They are set up using money donated by individuals, families or corporations which is in turn, invested by the foundation.
The income generated by these endowments is then used to set up grants and to operate programs.
Thai law forbids any trustee, director or member from directly benefiting from the profits earned by a foundation in the performance of its philanthropic duties. The law also requires that a foundation be registered with the registrar of the district having jurisdiction over the place where the principal office of the foundation will be located.
In Thailand, a foundation is required by law to conform to the following:
1. It must have allocated assets as the source of funding for its operation.
2. The funds of the foundation must only be used in meeting its objectives which are activities of public interest, religion, art, science, literature, education, or similar others and not for personal benefit.
3. Assets and revenue gained must only be spent for activities directly related to the objectives of the foundation and should not be divided among its members.
4. Its founders must register the foundation as a juristic person. As such, a foundation must have the following: (1) name, office and objectives (2) assets which are allocated as the operating fund and (3) a board of committee members and its regulations.
Foundations may collect donations for which they may issue appropriate tax receipts. A foundation is also able to employ people, and to sponsor visas and work permits.
The process of establishing a Thai foundation starts with the submission of a duly outlined application for registration to the Registrar of the district having jurisdiction over the place where the principal office of the foundation will be located. Together with the application, the following documents are required:
1. List of assets of the owners.
2. List of allocated assets for the foundation and registered document with the written promise to donate the assets.
3. Copy of the will and testament if an asset was awarded to the foundation by a testator.
4. Name, address and profession of each of the members of the foundation’s board of directors.
5. Regulations of the foundation.
6. Copy of ID card or other types of government issued identification cards and copy of census registration of the owners and members of the board of directors (if a priest or a foreigner, the other documents that reflect his status are acceptable).
7. Map of the principal office and its branch offices (if any) as well as the written consent of the landlord or owner of these properties.
8. Minutes of the meeting regarding the discussion of the foundation’s establishment.
Upon submission of all the required documents, provided that there is no other foundation with the same name, the Registrar will proceed to evaluate the objectives of the proposed foundation to determine whether they are related to the duties under the control of the National Council of Cultural Affairs. If they are, the Registrar will then forward the application to the said council for final approval. Once approved, the foundation will be allowed to register and begin its operations.