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How to Start a Business in Bali

business Bali

A practical guide to setting up and running a successful business in Bali

When I started thinking about starting a business in Bali and trying to do research on the topic, I found there was so little information available anywhere. Since I started the Bali Expat website, how to go about starting a business in Bali is one of the most frequent questions I get asked.

In doing my research for the book, I heard of several people who lost their life savings from failed business investments in Bali. I thought that if I could write a guide to starting a business in Bali, it would at least serve as a starting point for people taking their first steps in starting their business.

“Be prepared for setbacks, lots of surprises and remember that if you do manage to get through all the trials and tribulations, being able to call Bali your home is a wonderful thing.”

It soon became clear to really make this guide both useful and interesting, I needed to get the experience of other expats who had already been down this road. Interestingly enough, the people who I interviewed for the book said “if only such a guide existed when I was starting out”.

Interviews and case studies

I interviewed five long term, foreign business owners who shared their knowledge of starting and building businesses in Bali and Indonesia. Each of them have a unique experience and perspective on starting a business in Bali. Their advice and and insights are truly invaluable.

Who is the book for

The guide is for anyone contemplating moving to and starting a business in Bali, or even in another part of Indonesia.

What is included

The guide is split into 6 sections:

1. A guide to getting started, including some ideas for businesses in Bali, business plans and researching your target market in Bali.

A case study is included on how one person set up a business in a very saturated market in Bali, but was able to target a very specific niche and build a very successful business.

2. Section two covers issues specific to Indonesia and Bali, such as registering a business, business licences, franchises and tax.

3. Section three is devoted to marketing your business in Bali, including print media advertising and marketing your business on the internet. Don’t just expect to ‘build it and they will come’.

4. Section four is a set of five interviews I did with expat business owners, who have combined experience of 80 plus years of living in Bali and Indonesia.

5. Section five is a list of useful websites and clubs and societies you can join to network.

6. In section six I include a list of common abbreviations used in Indonesia that are mostly related to business, government and daily life.

The guide is just over 100 pages long and while it doesn’t go into detailed laws of taxes and registering a business, it focuses on providing straight forward, practical advice.

Some of the other things you will learn in the book:

  • The importance of niche markets
  • The functions of a notary in Indonesia and when to use a notary or a lawyer
  • How to find business partners
  • How to structure your company
  • How to find out what licenses you will need

As a bonus, I’ve included a case study of a guest house owner who was fully booked even before he opened for business, using only his blog for promotion. He shows that even someone with little technical knowledge can start a successful blog, which doesn’t require too much work to run, but is an extremely effective way to market a business.

What is not covered

I sometimes get emails from people like, “does your guide cover starting a hair dressing salon in Bali”. It would be impossible to cover every likely scenario and aspect of starting a business in Bali. I can say however, you should be able to apply the information and examples in the book to your own situation and business. I am also happy to try and answer any question you might have by email, if it wasn’t covered in the book.

How to get the guide

The guide is priced at $25, which I think is a small investment for what you are likely to spend on starting your business. The advice in this guide could save you a huge amount of time and money.

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What people are saying:

Mike has gathered a lot of great information here, the interviews in this book give a lot of insight into this subject for anyone considering setting up a business in Bali. I love theme running through the book, of working together with the Balinese people for a mutually beneficial situation. If you are considering taking the plunge this is a great starting point.

Mike Henry is an expert on all things Bali. He’s lived it, breathed it, learned about it–and now he shares his wealth of knowledge and information with you. The book is straightforward, easy to understand, and answers all the questions you possibly have or will have. He knows what you need to know and provides it in this well-written book on Bali. He even takes it a step further and offers interviews from others so you can learn about their experiences.

It’s an excellent read, and if you are looking to move to Bali, visit Bali, start a business in Bali, or breathe in some of that fresh Bali air, this book is for you!

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