Experiences involving alcohol in Bangkok
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
I plan to serve/provide alcohol as part of my experience – do I need any licences for that?
The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol is strictly regulated in Thailand.
If you are selling alcohol, you must obtain an alcohol sale licence from the relevant Excise Department office in the area in which you are located. You may still be considered to be selling alcohol even where there is no separate fee charged for the provision of the alcohol.
Here are examples where you are not likely to require an alcohol sale licence:
- I’d like to take guests to my favourite bars, or to a festival where alcohol is served by licenced festival organisers.
- I conduct a class teaching attendees how to infuse gin, but I do not provide the alcohol and the class attendees bring their own alcohol.
More information on the alcohol sale licence and documents required for licence application can be found here (application form available here). The registration fee would depend on the type of sales licence obtained and it is best that you check with the relevant Excise Department office on what sales licence is applicable to you.
Note that all alcohol sale licences expire on 31st December of each year and will require renewal. If you sell alcohol without an alcohol sales licence, you may be liable to pay a fine ranging from THB 500 to 2,000 depending on the type of alcohol sold.
In addition to the alcohol sale licence, you may need to register for a commercial licence if you are considered to be providing alcohol for a commercial purpose regularly as a normal business. This is to be registered with the Department of Business Development (DBD). More information on the registration process, application fees and required documents may be found here. It is best to contact the DBD if you are in doubt whether you require a licence. Note that if you operate a business without a commercial licence, you may be liable to pay a fine of up to THB 2,000 and an additional THB 100 for each additional day of non-compliance. You may also wish to see our information page on business licensing.
What if my experience takes place at a bar?
You will not require a licence if your experience takes place at a licenced bar and the alcohol is provided by the bar.
What if my experience is BYO, and I want to allow guests to bring their own alcohol?
You will not need a licence to allow guests to bring their own alcohol.
I brew my own beer or produce my own wine. What do I need to keep in mind?
You cannot brew your own beer or produce your own wine unless you obtain a licence from the Excise Department.
The application for a licence to produce beer involves extensive documentation and requires a large minimum scale of production, for example, not less than 100,000 litres per year for production of beer for sale at the production place or not less than 10 million litres per year for bottled beer. You will also need to operate under a limited company incorporated in Thailand with not less than 51% of shares held by Thai national(s) with a registered capital of not less than THB 10 million. Further information can be found here for production of bottled beer and here for production of beer for sale at the production place.
To apply for a licence to produce wine, you will need to register as a business entity, i.e. a cooperative, group of persons, group of farmers or other type of juristic person. You may also need to obtain a factory licence. Further information is available here.
You will also need to obtain a licence from the Excise Department to produce local distilled spirits.
Manuals for the types of liquor licences under the Excise Department are available here. It is best to contact the Excise Department and seek professional legal advice if you intend to offer homemade alcohol beverages as part of your Experience.
Please note that the manufacture of liquor without a licence is subject to up to a penalty of 6 months’ imprisonment and/or up to a THB 5,000 fine.
If my experience involves alcohol, do I need to watch out for anything else?
Yes: the age of guests, location and time.
Age – You should note that the minimum drinking age in Thailand is 18 years old. In addition, alcohol beverages can only be sold to a person who is at least 20 years old. If you sell alcohol to an underage person, you may be subject to a criminal penalty of up to 1 year imprisonment and/or up to a THB20,000 fine.
Location – It is not permitted to drink alcohol in some public places, for example, temples, hospitals, government places, schools, gas stations or in public parks, etc. You may refer to the website of the Office of Alcohol Control Committee for further information. Persons who drink alcohol in these restricted areas may face a criminal penalty of up to 6 months’ imprisonment and/or up to a THB10,000 fine.
Time – Note that in general, alcohol beverages can only be sold from 11.00 – 14.00 and from 17.00 – 24.00, unless your alcohol sale licence states otherwise or where the sales take place at the airport or entertainment places. A violation of this may expose you to a criminal penalty of up to 6 months’ imprisonment and/or up to THB10,000 fine.
Please also note that the “advertising” of alcohol is prohibited under the Alcoholic Beverages Control Act B.E. 2551 (2008). Under the Alcoholic Beverages Control Act, “advertising” means “an act undertaken by any means that allows the public to see, hear or know the statement for commercial purpose. It shall also include marketing communication.” The key element to consider is whether the advertising or display of names or trademarks of the alcohol would be deemed to exaggerate its qualifications or induce people to drink such alcohol either directly or indirectly. The regulator actively enforces this provision and takes an expansive view of the wording. Therefore, it is best to check with the regulator on whether your specific experience would fall foul of any advertising regulations.
Here are some examples of where it would be considered as “advertising”:
- I own a local brewery. I am a sponsor of an event and I sell my own beer in the event e.g. at the Art Box.
- I host a wine tasting class which guests only pay for the entry fee to taste different wines I bought from the store. Guests have the option of purchasing any wine they enjoy from me at the class (provided that I have an alcohol sale licence).
Here are some examples of where it would not be considered as “advertising”:
- I take fellow beer aficionados to a local brewery or local bar to taste local beer (of course, the local brewery or bar should have any necessary licence).
- I am a foodie and I take my fellow foodies around my neighbourhood to experience street food accompanied by local beer (of course, the seller has any necessary licence).
If you are unsure of the regulations that may apply to you, please consult your local council or a legal professional.
In addition, if your experience will also involve preparing or serving food, it would be a good idea to take a look at our information page on experiences involving food. Similarly, if your experience will combine alcohol with another activity (for example, a guided tour), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).