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Working as a freelancer in Indonesia

Hi,

A lot of expats dream of becoming self-employed: we would like to help you to make that dream come true.

Can foreigners work as self-employed in Indonesia? What are the formalities to work as a freelancer?

What are the pros and cons of this status: social security, tax system, etc.?

How is the freelance market in Indonesia?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience,

Kenjee

Oh oh....Kenjee that can end up in a hot discussion here.

If you/members following the various topics about visa respectively work permit then you you will know that basically it is not possible to work as a "freelancer" in Indonesia.

Working (meaning earning money) without work permit is against the law.

The only "grey zone" is if one is married to a local then you have the right to support to your family needs as long you keep low profile.

So now let's wait for the others..... :dumbom:

HH has it about right, with reservations; this is a can of worms.

UU6/2011, pasal 61 makes it clear, a KITAP holder has the right to work freely to support his family, but manpower disagree, insisting on an IMTA (work permit).

Several expats with long term spouse sponsored visas (KITAP) have been very clear they're working without a work permit, and all seem to have been totally ignored by the manpower department.

I'm unaware of any wife sponsored KITAS (Short stay visa) holders that have taken that route, but I'm open to news of any.

The authorities ignore casual work by either group, as long as there is no contract and you keep your head down, but there is no law potentially protecting KITAS holders.

Basically, a KITAP holder should be able to work as a part time freelancer without problems, but there is massive room for debate.
As for home working on the internet, no one knows so it's pretty much 100% safe.

This will only be sorted out if manpower take someone to court, and they have refused to do so thus far.

I have been on a spousal KITAP since 2015. I have worked for major companies on this KITAP and these companies have gladly provided me with the work permit (IMTA). Now I am contemplating doing independent consulting to the mining industry but I am now running into very grey areas. The law says I can work to support my wife & family here without an IMTA. Immigration have confirmed this. My problems start when I speak to a family friend who works in the Dept of Manpower (Depnaker). He says I cannot work for a company without a work permit. He does however say I can work as an "entrepreneur" without an IMTA. When I told him I considered independent consulting as being an entrepreneur, he disagreed. By "entrepreneur" he meant I could make Bakso in my kitchen and sell it from a trolley in the street. Alternatively, I could work for my wife's "company". This assumes she has one. Does this mean my wife needs to start her own company to allow me to ply my skills or do I need to learn how to make Bakso?
Consulting, by it's very nature, usually only lasts for several weeks. It is totally unrealistic to expect any company to go to the trouble of getting a work permit for me just for a few weeks work. And then repeat the process for the next consulting job. This seems totally ludicrous but my Depnaker friend says this is the case. I know of no company that would do this.
Is it possible for my wife to get me an IMTA without having her own company and we pay the US$1,200 training levy ourselves? Or do I get a friend who does have a PT company to sponsor my IMTA?
If my wife had married a Bakso vendor there would not be a problem but she didn't. She married a professional engineer who cannot work simply because he is not a Bakso vendor.
Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.

This is the big argument between the two groups, and it looks like the situation hasn't changed since the law was socialised.
At that time immigration made it very clear they weren't going to hunt out anyone working on a KITAT regardless of having an IMTA or not, but manpower insisted on the need for the permit.
The law says you CAN work but it's ambiguous in that it doesn't mention the work permit either way.

Informal work was defined as part time or temporary with no formal contract at the time of socialisation of UU6/2011.

I suppose the work in question is, "Freely".

This needs a test case to sort it out but no one on either side seems to want to go for it.

On a tourist visa, freelancing is a clear no.

However even on a KITAS/KITAP it becomes a tricky subject. The way I see it:

- you can help your wife out with their business, or at least if it is in their name
- you can do something very small (selling bakso for example, that will be a first for a bule)

I've had numerous agents tell me I can work, but I shouldn't report my taxes :D. Which in my opinion would put you in the exact same situation as all the other foreigners who are  "just doing it" until someone says stop.

If you want to do it in a legal way, try looking into setting up a rep office.

Hi all.  Any update on this post?  Curious.  Am in a somewhat similar situation.  Many thanks in advance. 

>>ChristianAC  02 June 2017 09:54:03 


I have been on a spousal KITAP since 2015. I have worked for major companies on this KITAP and these companies have gladly provided me with the work permit (IMTA). Now I am contemplating doing independent consulting to the mining industry but I am now running into very grey areas. The law says I can work to support my wife & family here without an IMTA. Immigration have confirmed this. My problems start when I speak to a family friend who works in the Dept of Manpower (Depnaker). He says I cannot work for a company without a work permit. He does however say I can work as an "entrepreneur" without an IMTA. When I told him I considered independent consulting as being an entrepreneur, he disagreed. By "entrepreneur" he meant I could make Bakso in my kitchen and sell it from a trolley in the street.

Many expats somehow fund their lives in Indonesia by being a travel blogger, writer, etc so he/she kinda work elsewhere (outside Indo) but lives here. Or being a partner of a firm? Or make your own company and partnered up with Indonesian (your wife can be owner/co-owner)?

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