The end of foreigners opening small businesses in Bali


Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2009
I think Bali has always been a popular place for foreigners to move to and try their hand at starting a business, whether it is a guesthouse, bar or other lifestyle type of business.

It does seem that starting a PMA has become more expensive to run with the capital investment requirements. Immigration are more strict about catching out anyone without a working visa, so I was thinking that the days of foreigners opening a small business in Bali are long gone.

The exception is if you have an Indonesian spouse and can legally "help out" the business, but there doesn't seem to be any other way to start a small business without spending a small fortune in various fees, licences and proving that you have required capital, which I believe is several hundred thousand dollars.


Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2004
Interesting thoughts Spicy. Personally, I think the country would be better served if there were regulatory and immigration incentives for bona fide foreign entrepreneurs who actually invest in a business here, even if it is relatively small. There are many innovative and successful businesses that have come up in the Ubud area in the past 5-7 years, most of which were the brainchild of a foreigner. At the same time, the government should end the possibility of carpet baggers - a large number of whom don't have a proverbial pot to piss in and are looking to graft or work illegally - to 'live' in Indonesia on an endless string of VOA's or Sosbuds.
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