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Indonesia – Self-Employment

Indonesia is a vibrant and diverse country with a thriving business environment. Many expats come to Indonesia to start their own businesses or work as self-employed individuals. In this article, we will explore how self-employment works for expats in Indonesia, how to register as self-employed, the possibility of working as a digital nomad, how to start a company, and whether there are any incentives or programs to encourage expats to become self-employed or set up a company in Indonesia.

How Self-Employment Works for Expats in Indonesia

Expats can work as self-employed individuals in Indonesia, and there are no restrictions on foreign nationals registering as self-employed. Self-employed individuals in Indonesia are required to register with the local tax authorities and obtain a Tax Identification Number (NPWP).

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Register as Self-Employed in Indonesia

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register as self-employed in Indonesia:

  1. Obtain a Visa: Before registering as self-employed in Indonesia, you need to obtain the appropriate visa. Depending on the length and purpose of your stay, you may need a business visa or a work visa.

  2. Obtain a Tax Identification Number (NPWP): A Tax Identification Number (NPWP) is required to register as self-employed in Indonesia. You can obtain an NPWP by applying to the local tax authorities.

  3. Register for Social Security: Self-employed individuals in Indonesia are required to register for social security. You can do this through the local social security office.

  4. Pay your Taxes: Self-employed individuals in Indonesia are required to pay income tax on their income. You can do this through the local tax authorities.

Can You Work as a Digital Nomad in Indonesia?

Yes, it is possible to work as a digital nomad in Indonesia. The country has a large and growing community of digital nomads, and many co-working spaces and cafes offer reliable internet connections. However, it is essential to comply with local visa and tax regulations.

How to Start a Company in Indonesia

Starting a company in Indonesia is a straightforward process, with various legal structures and regulations to consider. The most common legal structures for companies in Indonesia are a limited liability company (PT) and a foreign-owned company (PT PMA).

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Set Up a Company in Indonesia

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to set up a company in Indonesia:


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  1. Choose your Legal Structure: Before setting up your company, you need to decide on your legal structure. This will depend on various factors, such as the number of shareholders, liability, and taxation.

  2. Obtain a Deed of Establishment: A Deed of Establishment is a legal document that outlines the company’s ownership and structure. You can obtain a Deed of Establishment through a notary.

  3. Obtain a Tax Identification Number (NPWP): A Tax Identification Number (NPWP) is required for all companies in Indonesia. You can obtain an NPWP by applying to the local tax authorities.

  4. Register your Company: You can register your company with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. This can be done online or in person.

  5. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits: Depending on your business, you may need to obtain additional licenses or permits. This will vary depending on the type of business you are starting and the location.

Incentives or Programs to Encourage Expats to Become Self-Employed or Set Up a Company in Indonesia

Indonesia has several programs and incentives to encourage entrepreneurship and foreign investment in the country, including:

  1. The Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM):The BKPM is a government agency that supports and facilitates foreign investment in Indonesia. The agency offers a range of services, including investment promotion, investment registration, and investment facilitation.

  2. The Indonesia Creative Economy Agency (BEKRAF): The BEKRAF is a government agency that supports and promotes the creative economy in Indonesia. The agency offers a range of programs and incentives for entrepreneurs and creative businesses, including funding opportunities, mentorship, and training.

  3. The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN): KADIN is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of the Indonesian business community. The organization offers a range of services, including business advocacy, networking opportunities, and training and development.

  4. The SME Development Fund: The SME Development Fund is a government-sponsored program that provides funding and support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia. The program offers a range of services, including training, consulting, and access to financing.

In conclusion, Indonesia offers a range of opportunities for self-employment and business start-ups, with a supportive business environment and various programs and incentives to encourage entrepreneurship and foreign investment in the country. Whether you are looking to work as a self-employed individual or start your own company, Indonesia offers a range of resources and support to help you get started. However, it is essential to be aware of the country’s legal and tax regulations and to seek professional guidance when navigating the process of starting a business in Indonesia.


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