Nothing is straight forward in Bali. Been here 7months going 8 soon and have looked at a range of business options, villas to live etc. One day you get one price the next day another. Balinese live in present so things are done in the present. You have to accept the way things are done here and not compare to home otherwise there is no point in coming. I chose to come here knowing the pitfalls. Bali has a lot going for it but like every country it has its pro's and cons.
Driving: its manic on the roads so advice if coming either get used to it or catch cabs. As rupiah high more and more traffic congestion especially around seminyak. Alternative is to get a driver with car that way if you have an accident you are not as liable as if you were driving yourself. If on bike good luck. You know what i mean.
Work: There are heaps of people looking to work in Bali. Suggest you look at Bali adverstiser for opportunites or Global expat, Concord services. If you speak bahasa you have more opportunities here unless can get transfered here from your organisation whic works especially if in hospitality. A kitas costs 1200 usd and then about 7-8 mill rupiah so a sponsor can help or can pay if someone willing to help. It takes just over a month to get a kitas.
Setting up a business: fraught with issues. Need to be very specific what you want to do. Much to complicated to explain here. Toursim/hospitality most expensive to set up. Need X dollars in bank acct here but ways to get around, need to employ staff, have reg office, costs about 14-20,000 aus with all kitas etc. No longer can set up a Cv only PT and PMA. PMA gives a foreigner total control anything other is in name of nominee, director, commisionare which are indonesian. Need notaris to set up. Takes up to 6 months to organise paperwork which is sent to jakarta
Living: Many foreigners with dollars live in Sanur, Ubud, Seminyak, Kerobakan, Canguu and Umulas. Others live in different locales for a range of reasons. Each has positives and negs for living however the prices are on the rise and in Seminyak, kerobakan, Canguu and Umulas. You pay for a leased villa around 60-180 mill a year paid upfront. The price difference is due to your expectations, air con, wifi, pool, no of beds etc. Some villa owners will only go into negotaitions if you take for 2 years or more.
Hope this helps those interested in coming here to live. Sue