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Navigating business incorporation in Indonesia

Navigating business incorporation in Indonesia

Embarking on a business venture in Indonesia is exciting for many investors. The country offers many opportunities in a dynamic yet growing market. However, as you may know, navigating the business incorporation process requires careful consideration and adherence to specific legal procedures in Indonesia.

This guide is a compass for entrepreneurs and investors seeking to establish their presence in Indonesia. We provide invaluable insights and step-by-step instructions for handling the complexities of business incorporation.

Indonesia’s business environment

As the country with the largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has enjoyed consistent annual economic growth. Indonesia achieved approximately 5% of growth over the past decade. The nation possesses abundant natural resources, a sizable domestic market with increasing spending power, and a youthful population.

As the region’s largest economy, Indonesia’s output is over a third of ASEAN’s gross domestic product (GDP), estimated at around USD 1.18 trillion in 2022. This potential positions Indonesia as a strong candidate to become the ASEAN hub shortly.

Private consumption is crucial in propelling Indonesia’s economy, with most economic activities primarily focused on the local market. In 2022, personal consumption generated 51.87% of the GDP; historically, it has averaged 59.1%.

Throughout much of 2022, the central bank (Bank Indonesia) maintained low interest rates, contributing to a robust growth rate in household spending.

Read more: 15 strategies for global business expansion in Indonesia

4 types of business entities in Indonesia

There are several options of legal entities that business owners can opt for company registration in Indonesia. The most common choices for foreign investors are a Foreign-Owned Company (PT PMA) or a Representative Office. Depending on your business expansion goals, one may be more suitable.

Foreign-Owned Company (PT PMA)

This legal entity allows up to 100% foreign ownership, but the specific business activities permitted depend on sector regulations. The Positive Investment List determines the maximum foreign ownership.

General Representative Office (KPPA)

The general representative office is the Ideal choice for foreign investors in the early stages of expanding into Indonesia. It enables businesses to assess the Indonesian market without engaging in commercial operations.

Representative Office for Business Trading (KP3A)

This representative office is intended for business trading and is restricted from generating financial income. While a general RO has geographical limitations, a trading RO can be established anywhere in Indonesia.

Representative Office for Construction Company (BUJKA)

Similar to KP3A, a BUJKA is designed for foreign construction companies. This legal entity allows involvement in large-scale construction projects through joint operations with local PT companies.
Despite some constraints, it is a suitable entry point for foreign construction firms looking to establish a presence in Indonesia, as they can collaborate on building projects without needing a construction license (SIUJK).

How to register a company in Indonesia

Are you ready to take your business to the next level by expanding to Indonesia? If so, there are a few steps you need to take to get your company registration processed. The following are the essential steps you need to understand:

1. Choose the company name

Company names in Indonesia must consist of at least three distinct words, as the Ministry of Law and Human Rights requires. Foreign companies (PT PMA) can use names in English or other languages, while local companies must use Indonesian.

To reserve a company name, apply to the Directorate General of Legal Administration Affairs. They will verify the name in the Legal Entity Information System to ensure its uniqueness.

2. Determine company officers

Indonesian companies require a minimum of two shareholders, one director, and one commissioner. Local-owned companies must have local stakeholders, while foreign stakeholders are permitted in foreign-owned companies.

3. Submit required documents

After securing your company name, proceed to draft the articles of association with the assistance of a notary.

The articles of association should include details on:

  • Authorized, issued, and paid-up capital
  • Company name and location
  • Business objectives and activities
  • Capital information
  • Board of directors and commissioner details
  • Shareholder meetings
  • Profit distribution procedures
  • Incorporation period
  • Share details (classification, rights, nominal value)
  • Other relevant details

Every shareholder is required to endorse the articles of association, following which the document is submitted for approval to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

4. Obtain a Letter of Domicile

Companies outside Jakarta must obtain a domicile letter from the regional government office in their area. You can apply for a letter of domicile (Surat Keterangan Domisili Perusahaan) from the local government. This document certifies your company’s registered address.

5. Obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (NPWP)

To fulfill tax obligations, secure licenses, and open a corporate bank account in Indonesia, you must obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (NPWP). Register for an NPWP online or visit the local tax office in person.

6. Apply for a Business Identification Number (NIB)

You can apply for a Business Identification Number (NIB) through the Online Single Submission (OSS) system. The NIB, a 13-digit identifier, represents your business and is essential for obtaining various commercial and operational licenses. Any activities contradicting the NIB’s terms may result in its revocation.

How long does it take to incorporate a company in Indonesia?

Previously, registering an Indonesian company typically required an average of 2 months to finalize. However, starting from May 2019, there is no longer a need for a Company Domicile (SKDP) for businesses in Jakarta.

Moreover, incorporating an existing business in Indonesia can be expedited, with Indonesia Shelf companies ready to be operational within a week. This swift process offers an efficient solution for promptly establishing an incorporated business.

Can a foreigner set up a company in Indonesia?

To operate a business legally in Indonesia as a foreigner, you must establish a PT PMA. This entity permits you to generate revenue and profit from activities conducted within Indonesia. Registering a PT PMA grants foreign-invested companies the same rights and responsibilities as local Indonesian companies.

This encompasses owning and utilizing land, participating in local bidding processes, and sponsoring visas for foreign employees to reside and work legally in Indonesia.

A company is considered a PMA if it has foreign individuals or foreign companies as shareholders, regardless of the percentage of ownership – whether it’s 100%, 51%, or even just 1%. If foreign shareholders are involved, it qualifies as a foreign-owned company.

What is the benefit of incorporating a business in Indonesia?

A guide to business incorporation in Indonesia

Incorporating a company in Indonesia is a confident choice for business owners, with numerous benefits.

1. Free Trade Agreements

Setting up a business in Indonesia can provide access to low taxes and facilitate exports to numerous Southeast Asian nations and other partner countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan, and South Korea.

2. Land ownership for foreigners

Foreign investors can legally own land and property in Indonesia under three categories: the right to build, cultivate, and use.

3. English business environment

Major Indonesian cities, like Jakarta, commonly use English for business communications, although having a translator can be beneficial.

4. Expanded business opportunities

Indonesia’s Negative Investment List, which dictates foreign ownership limits, has seen increased foreign ownership in various sectors since 2016. This adjustment supports industries that require additional funding and technology.

5. Growing middle-class

Indonesia’s rapidly expanding middle class is expected to include 90 million people by 2030, with greater purchasing power. This scenario presents new business opportunities, particularly in the commodities sector.

Guide to Doing Business in Jakarta

Ebook Download | Ultimate Guide to Doing Business in Indonesia

Register your business with InCorp Indonesia

Setting up a company in Indonesia can be easy if you have the proper guidance and support. InCorp Indonesia offers company registration and business licensing services, ensuring a smooth entry into the Indonesian market. To begin your business incorporation process in Indonesia, click the button below.


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    Pandu Biasramadhan

    Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

    An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

Frequently Asked Questions

    To provide you with accurate pricing information for our product registration services, we consider the complexities of your inquiries and the dynamic nature of regulations in Indonesia. As a result, the pricing for the service may vary accordingly. For detailed information, please get in touch with our consultants.

    According to Presidential Regulation No. 10/2021 and the amended version, all businesses are open for domestic and foreign investment with these limitations and classifications:

    • Eight businesses are closed to foreign investment and may be operated by the central government.
    • Designated business sectors or joint ventures with cooperatives (koperasi) and micro, small, and medium enterprises
    • Open businesses are subject to specific conditions, such as those that are exclusively available to 100% local investors, those with restricted foreign shareholding, and investments requiring special licenses

    Certain sectors are closed to foreign investment, including narcotics cultivation, gambling, and environmental conservation activities.

    A foreigner is not allowed to form a CV in Indonesia

    To provide you with accurate pricing information for our visa and immigration consultation services, we consider the complexities of your inquiries and the dynamic nature of regulations in Indonesia. As a result, the pricing for the services may vary accordingly. For pricing details, please talk to our experts.

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