Magna Carta Law Firm > FAQ Section > When is a Building Permit Required in Thailand?


Building Permit
What is a building permit?

A building permit is a license issued by the Division of Public Works of the Local Municipality.  It legally authorizes the owner or his/her agent to begin construction according to the plan submitted. It provides building officials with the means to enforce the requirements of the Building Control Act and other applicable standards to ensure strict compliance.


Why is a building permit required?

By law, it is necessary to obtain authorization from the local administration for any construction, alteration, and demolition of buildings. You need to obtain this to make sure that you meet building safety standards and zoning requirements for the general safety of the public.


Zoning is a system of developing a city or district plan in which restrictions apply in various geographic areas (zones) to certain uses and development, such as residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, parks, schools and other purposes.  To avoid problems in the future, it is necessary to check the zoning regulations of the specific area as several zoning restrictions may apply.  They may include some or all the following depending on the district:


  • Height and width of the structure
  • Building lot size
  • Distance from the shore and to another property
  • The use of the structure (residential, commercial, industrial)
  • Height of land above sea level
  • Type and color of roof


When is a building permit required?

You need to get a building permit when:

1. Constructing a new building

2. Altering an existing building by changing the structure of the building such as size, shape, proportion, weight support and the materials used for construction

3. Destructing or relocating a building

4. Changing the usage of a building

5. Modifying or using the parking, u-turn, car entrance and/or exit for another purpose


How long does the building permit approval process take?

The consideration for the approval of a building permit application for a 2-storey residential building takes a maximum of 20 days, excluding the length of time to amend the building plan.


It takes 33 days for a large commercial building, excluding the period needed to amend the building plan.


What can result from not obtaining a building permit?

Commencing any construction work without the proper permit is illegal and is punishable by Law with fine or imprisonment.


If the construction work violates or fails to comply with the Building Control Act requirements or is not by the approved building plan, the Local Municipality shall have the power to either order a demolition or to issue a stop-work order.  If they issue a stop-work order, the license holder, within reasonable time, shall then be compelled to correct and re-submit the building plan for approval.


What are the required information and documents in support of a Building Permit Application?
  • A copy of the identification cards of the applicant and landowner
  • Building Plan
  • Land Title Deed
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Company Documents (issued within the last six months)
  • Consent to build adjacent wall (if using a common wall)
  • Written permission of the Design/Calculation Engineer and Architect with a copy of a valid professional license
  • Details of the sewage system and its calculation
  • Water treatment system, if building a hospital, market, or industrial factory
  • Permission to control the allocated land space for construction
  • Approved plan of land development project
  • Calculation for building structure


Can a building permit be in a foreigner’s name?

A foreigner can have a building permit on his/her name.  Although foreigners cannot own land in Thailand, they are not prohibited from owning the structure on it.


How long is a building permit valid?

Building Permits are valid for 1 year from the issuance date and is subject to yearly renewals for 3 years.