Alcoholic Beverage Control Act

The first few chapter of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act covers issues that most do not need to know or ask about. This is mainly how the system is setup and controlled for a liquor license. These include Chapter 1 which covers the National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee. Likewise Chapter 2 covers the Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee. Lastly Chapter 3 which relates to the Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, B.E. 2551 (2008)

Liquor License

If you are starting a restaurant or starting a bar in Pattaya then you will need to understand the laws which govern the trade. The Alcoholic Beverage Control covers the sale of alcohol as well as the manufacture of alcohol in Thailand. This concerns those who want to start a microbrewery in Thailand. Lastly there is also the Excise Department which there is also an article on it. I have added all the relevant laws for this industry.

Note that the law covers the labelling of alcohol sold in Thailand. There is a separate article which I wrote on the signboard law in the country. Lastly those who sell alcohol as a restaurant or as a bar, then you must also comply with the law called the Act on the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country which covers the area outside of your business. Lastly there is also a law which governs the sale of tobaccos products. See also the piece on vaping in Thailand as well as the Thai cannabis business which is making the news again.

Chapter IV

Alcoholic Beverage Control


Section 26

If you’re a manufacturer or importer of alcoholic beverages, you need to follow these rules:

1. Packaging and Labels: You must provide containers, labels, and warning messages for your alcoholic beverages as per the guidelines set by the Control Committee. These guidelines need the Committee’s approval and will be published in the Government Gazette.

2. Additional Requirements: You must also comply with any other actions required by the Control Committee, again with the Committee’s approval and published in the Government Gazette.


If a manufacturer or importer fails to comply with Section 26, they can face up to one year in prison. Likewise a fine up to 100,000 Baht or both. (Section 38)


Section 27

Selling alcoholic beverages is not allowed in the following places:

1. Places of Worship: This includes temples and any other religious sites.

2. Health Facilities: This includes state public health service units, infirmaries, and pharmacies.

3. Public Offices: You can’t sell alcohol in public offices unless there’s a designated shop or club area.

4. Dormitories: This applies to dorms regulated by the dormitory law.

5. Educational Institutions: This includes schools and colleges as per national education laws.

6. Petrol Stations: Selling alcohol at petrol stations or shops within petrol stations is prohibited.

7. Public Parks: Specifically, parks provided by the government for public recreation.

8. Other Places: Any other locations specified by the Minister with the Committee’s approval.


Section 28

You cannot sell alcoholic beverages on certain days or during certain periods as notified by the Minister, based on the Committee’s advice. There may be specific conditions or exceptions to these rules.

These provisions do not apply to the sale of alcohol in certain exempt situations specified by the Minister. If someone sells alcoholic beverages in violation of Section 27 or Section 28, they can face up to six months in prison a fine up to 10,000 Baht or both. (Section 39)


Section 29

You cannot sell alcoholic beverages to:

1. Underage Persons: Anyone under 20 years old.

2. Intoxicated Persons: Anyone who is unconscious due to drunkenness.


If someone sells alcoholic beverages in violation of Section 29 or Section 30 (1), they can face up to one year in prison a fine up to 20,000 Baht or both (Section 40)


Section 30

You cannot sell alcoholic beverages through these methods:

1. Vending Machines: Using automatic vending machines.

2. Hawking: Selling door-to-door or street vending.

3. Discounts: Offering discounts as a sales promotion.

4. Competitions and Privileges: Offering entry to competitions, performances, services, lucky draws, or any benefits that encourage alcohol purchases or exchanges.

5. Promotional Samples: Distributing samples, giving away alcohol to promote consumption, or setting conditions that indirectly require alcohol purchase.

6. Other Methods: Any other practices notified by the Minister with Committee advice.

If someone sells alcoholic beverages in violation of Section 29 or Section 30 (1), they can face up to one year in prison a fine up to 20,000 Baht or both (Section 40). If someone violates Section 30 (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6), they can face up to six months in prison a fine up to 10,000 Baht or both. (Section 41).


Section 31

You cannot drink alcoholic beverages in these places:

Religious Sites: Temples or any place of worship, unless it is part of a worship ceremony.

Health Facilities: State health service units, infirmaries, and pharmacies, except in designated living areas.

Public Offices: Except in designated living areas, clubs, or during conventional banquets.

Educational Institutions: Schools and universities, except in designated living areas, clubs, conventional banquets, or approved courses related to mixing alcoholic beverages.

Petrol Stations: Or shops within petrol stations.

Public Parks: Government-provided recreational areas.

Other Places: Specified by the Minister with Committee approval.

If someone violates Section 31, they can face up to six months in prison a fine up to 10,000 Baht or both. (Section 42)


Section 32

You cannot advertise or display, directly or indirectly, the name or trademark of any alcoholic beverage in a way that highlights its properties or encourages people to drink.

Advertisements or public relations by manufacturers must only provide information or social knowledge without showing the beverage or its packaging, except for displaying a symbol as allowed by the Ministerial Regulation.

These rules do not apply to advertisements broadcast from outside the Kingdom.

The rest of the Act is not needed as it covers what the average business owner is not going to need to know about. The following is Chapter V which covers the Treatment or Rehabilitation of an Alcoholic. This is followed by Chapter VI as to what is a Competent Official. The last Chapter is what the penalties are for breaking the law. This you will not need to know other than for academic purposes.

Note that if someone violates Section 32, they can face up to one year in prison a fine up to 500,000 Baht or both. Additionally, the violator can be fined up to 50,000 Baht per day until the violation stops. (Section 43)

Lastly also see the article on this website which covers the Labour Law in Thailand as well as company registration as well. You can see how to setup a company in the country. Also note the laws which govern the partnership and ordinary partnerships in Thailand. The are more laws listed in the Civil and Commercial Code page on this website.


How to Apply for an Alcohol License in Thailand


In Thailand, an alcohol license is required for businesses such as restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, and karaoke bars that intend to sell alcohol. The process involves several steps, documentation, and compliance with both local and national regulations. Here is a comprehensive guide to obtaining an alcohol license in Thailand:


Types of Alcohol Licenses

1. Alcohol License Type 1: For wholesalers, distributors as well as importers selling more than 10 liters of alcoholic beverages per bill.

2. Alcohol License Type 2: For retail channels which includes restaurants, hotels, pubs, bars, and convenience stores. Likewise, selling less than 10 liters of alcoholic beverages per bill. This license allows the sale of both domestic and imported alcoholic beverages.


Application Process

1. Company Registration (for Foreigners):

– Foreigners must register a company in Thailand as they cannot directly hold an alcohol license.

– A private limited company with a structure where Thai nationals hold at least 51% of the shares.

– Likewise a work permit and a non-immigrant B visa are required for foreigners working in Thailand.


2. Excise Duty Registration:

– Registration with the Excise Department is mandatory as per the Excise Duty Act.

– Required documents include a completed form Por Sor 01-01, identification or company certificate, power of attorney if applicable, premises deed or consent letter as well as a VAT registration certificate.


3. Alcohol License Application:

– Submit the application to the Excise Department with jurisdiction over the business location.

– Necessary documents include house registration papers, lease agreement, identification of the home owner, business location map, authorization letter from premises lessor, application form (ภส 08-05), memorandum of understanding, and ID or company registration certificate.


Fees and Renewal

Application Fee: 2,200 THB.

– Annual Fee:

– 330 THB for establishments without VAT registration.

– 2,200 THB for establishments with VAT registration.

– The license is valid for one year and must be renewed annually.

Lastly you can see above what the restrictions are as well as the locations you are not allowed to sell close to. Speak to us today about what you need as well as not only registering your company, obtaining a work permit. But also apply for your restaurant license.


The information contained in our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advices. For further information, please contact us.

Living in Thailand

So read the article which I wrote on the issues of how to register a company in Thailand and more. There is also the starting a cannabis business in Thailand article. I also wrote the one on starting a restaurant in Thailand as well. Lastly speak to us as well if you are planning of living in Thailand.