Can anyone open a pawn shop in Phuket?

Is it legal to open a pawn shop in Thailand? If so, how would a person obtain a permit and can the shop be opened anywhere, say, in Phuket?

  • Asked on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | 05:54 PM
    Benjamin Winningham, Thailand.

In Thailand, private companies are allowed to open pawn shops. However, you will first need approval from the local District Office where you want to open the shop. In Phuket there are three District Offices: Muang, Kathu and Thalang.

With your application you must show:

- your passport or Thai ID card

- three two-inch photos clearly showing your face

- proof of ownership of the property where the shop will be opened

- tabien baan (house registration document) on which the applicant is registered

The fee to apply to open a pawn shop is 20,000 baht in Bangkok and 10,000 baht elsewhere in Thailand. The fee is non-refundable if your application is denied.

If the District Office approves your application to open a pawn shop, then your application will be sent to the Phuket Provincial Administrative Office for approval.

  • Answered on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | 05:54 PM
    Suwit Sangmanee, administrative officer at Phuket Provincial Hall.

Please note that the law requires pawn shop owners to have at least 15 million baht held in reserve in a Thai bank account.

Another important law is that it is the local District Office’s absolute discretion whether to allow more or to have fewer pawn shops in their districts. This means that if the local District Office simply decides to have fewer pawn shops in their area and asks you to close down, then you will have no right to appeal that decision.

  • Answered on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | 05:54 PM
    Saowadee Silapa, Phuket Provincial Deputy of Administration and Justice Enhancement Group.
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