gsw_76

New Member
Jun 11, 2012
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Bowral, Australia
Hi everyone,
This is my first post on the forum - actually on any forum!*
I've been searching through the archives and have found everything very informative and helpful.
So thought I'd put a few questions out and hopefully get some good feedback from all of you who are actually living and running a business in Bali.

My wife and I want to live and start a business in the Ubud area, we are in the very early stages of planning for this. We have a distribution / wholesale business in Australia and it's now possible for us to run the business remotely (hopefully from Ubud). We would like to open up a small retail business in Ubud selling the products we distribute in Australia. We feel our products are something different and would be popular with tourists and expats.*
We have previously lived in South East Asia so have a relatively good understanding of living there - although we have never lived in Bali and have only spent holidays there. *

Can anyone shed some light on the following-
1. Importing - *Is it realistic to import goods into Bali - import taxes etc?
Our products are made in another Asian country - am I right to think that not everyone operating a retail business (e.g clothing boutiques, fashion, giftware) in Bali is manufacturing locally?*
One concern we have is that even if it is feasible to import goods into Bali it might be disrespectful to Balinese to not be manufacturing locally.
2. Is it possible with a PMA to operate a retail store in Bali?
We understand there is many more things to consider but these 2 points are something we can't find much information on.

We have a trip planned to Bali in August when we plan to meet with as many people as possible so we can figure out if our plan is even worth pursuing. Can anyone *suggest any *business consultants / lawyers / notaris to meet with?

Thanks
 

spicyayam

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2009
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Different products are going to have different duties and taxes. Many products are imported to Indonesia, so if it is a product people want to buy I am sure you can make a business of it, no matter what kind of duties you have to pay.

My suggestion would be to open an online store, much less expense and headache than running an actual store.
 
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ronb

Well-Known Member
Aug 14, 2007
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Ubud, Bali
.........................
1. Importing - *Is it realistic to import goods into Bali - import taxes etc?
Our products are made in another Asian country - am I right to think that not everyone operating a retail business (e.g clothing boutiques, fashion, giftware) in Bali is manufacturing locally?*
One concern we have is that even if it is feasible to import goods into Bali it might be disrespectful to Balinese to not be manufacturing locally.
................

If you are importing from a South East Asian country the import duties should be low or zero because of AFTA - see ASEAN Free Trade Area : An Update But I guess you are more likely to be importing from China or India - so there probably are import duties - but my guess is that they are not very high.
 

gsw_76

New Member
Jun 11, 2012
21
0
1
Bowral, Australia
Hi Spicyayam,
Thanks very much for your response. Good to know you think importing the right products could possibly work and have a market.
As for the online store option - we already have a website with online store for our business in Australia. Although it will be much harder work with more headaches - we really want to try to have an actual sore in Bali. Hopefully we can make it happen.
 

gsw_76

New Member
Jun 11, 2012
21
0
1
Bowral, Australia
Hi ronb,
Thanks for the info, I will definitely look up the AFTA rules as our products are made in a South East Asian country. Hopefully what you mentioned is correct and the import duties are low.
 

spicyayam

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2009
3,596
343
83
Are you able to say what products you are talking about? I realize you might not want to say if fear of copying your idea, but what are you going to do when you open your store, put black shades in the window?

When we moved to Lovina, absolutely no one had free wifi. When our friends opened a new restaurant they put in free wifi, they had some success and now every place has it.

At the minimum to open a store you need a UD company which only locals can start. If I was you I would find someone to partner with and start small. If you start making more money and want more control then you could look into starting a PMA.
 

gsw_76

New Member
Jun 11, 2012
21
0
1
Bowral, Australia
Hi Spicyayam, I'd rather not go into more detail if that's ok - don't want to jinx ourselves as it's very early days with our Bali plan. It's not that i think i have anything wonderful just would rather not specifically discuss - hope i'm not breaking forum etiquette. Thanks very much for the tips on the business set-up - good advice to start small.
 

emrek423

New Member
Sep 25, 2023
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1
Importing goods into Bali is possible, and many businesses do so. However, it's essential to understand the regulations and taxes associated with importing. Indonesia has specific rules and tariffs for imported goods, and they can vary depending on the type of products you're dealing with. Consulting with a local customs broker or a business consultant with experience in Bali would be a wise step to navigate these complexities.
Regarding manufacturing locally, while it's encouraged in some cases to support the local economy, not all businesses in Bali manufacture their products locally. Bali has a thriving tourism industry, and many retail businesses import goods to cater to the diverse tastes of tourists and expats. It's essential to strike a balance between respecting local culture and meeting market demands.

Operating a Retail Store with a PMA (Foreign Investment Company):Yes, it's possible to operate a retail store in Bali as a foreigner through a PMA company. However, retail is one of the sectors with restrictions on foreign ownership, and you will need to meet certain requirements and obtain the necessary licenses. Working with a local business consultant or lawyer who specializes in foreign investments in Indonesia is crucial. They can help you navigate the legal and bureaucratic processes involved in setting up a PMA.