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Opening a new business in DR

Hi every one,
I'm looking for expats who actually opened a business in DR, to hear from you the dos ans donts in the procedure.

Best regards,
Myriam.

Depending on what type of business you are talking about it can be very hard, and remember wages here are VERY low.  Again like I said in another post come over and spend a month or two.


Bob K

Bob is right and must have seen many businesses in the Sosúa area which failed, mainly in the bar/restaurant sector.
My experience is that expats with good training and professionalism in certain trades (electricians, plumbers, pool installation, car maintenance/repair, etc.) can earn a decent living here. I know several who have "survived" for more than a decade....
IMO, a month or two is very little time for a profound feasibility research, finding a suitable location and for tying a reliable and honest network.

m'frog

What about in eco-tourism?

Eco- tourism can  be excellent but as with all business depends on where, how, prices, management experience etc. One thing you absolutely  must have is a clear understanding of our labor code or someone to help you with that.

Our labor code is stacked in favor of employees so be aware.

Other issues -  financing is impossibly  expensive - bring money.  Getting a  business set up and licensed is fairly  straight forward. Location is critical  for anything tourism related.

hi hyperboles
listen to bob,he gave us a lot of sound advice over a year ago ,and has been on the nail 100%
@ planner totally agree weve been here a year and  are still on the location," should we, should'nt we, are we sure mode".
saying that eco-tourism is on the rise we are doing a lot with that,we have made some very good contacts in this feild,the saying "its not what you know its who you know" applies here more than anywhere i've been before.
look me up on FB and you can see some of the things we are up too,mabey we can help you.
be warned we came from spain so had an education in the "things happen slowly around here"  but if its worth doing its worth doing right eh ?
regards paul

There are two things you need to be very aware of: liquidation pay, and  the extra month's pay everyone gets at Christmas. Otherwise they can be totally unexpected expenses that can suddenly swamp your new business. Also be aware that it is very difficult to fire anyone.

You need to know what the law says about things like insurance, vacations, sick pay etc. These can add up very quickly. The law also prescribes how many of your employees must be Dominican.

alabemos :

There are two things you need to be very aware of: liquidation pay, and  the extra month's pay everyone gets at Christmas. Otherwise they can be totally unexpected expenses that can suddenly swamp your new business. Also be aware that it is very difficult to fire anyone.

You need to know what the law says about things like insurance, vacations, sick pay etc. These can add up very quickly. The law also prescribes how many of your employees must be Dominican.

The labor code is complicated -  count on  having  either a good HR  consultant, HR person on staff OR Labor lawyer when needed.

Cost of  liquidation, Christmas Salary,  benefits etc can easily add  25% to your payroll costs and should be  budgeted for.

And  no it is not  "very difficult to fire anyone"  in fact it is  easy  BUT it can be  expensive.....LOL

Ok, at the beginning, what should we do?
I guess I cannot just rent a place, get my products and start pumping!
What about legal procedure?

Hyperboles :

Ok, at the beginning, what should we do?
I guess I cannot just rent a place, get my products and start pumping!
What about legal procedure?

I would start with some kind of  marketing study. can be as fancy and intricate as you want but it will give you a base idea of what you are looking at.

You need to incorporate - good sound legal  advice is needed to determine the type of company.  That gives you and  RNC #required for so  many things,  hiring staff,  dealing with tax issues etc etc.

Without an incorporation you won't  get a business bank account,  a business  phone acct, internet, cannot  legally hire staff etc.

So that is your first step.  It can be done as fast as   1 week for a "shelf" company.  If you want to choose your corporate name it can take about  3 weeks with a good lawyer.

While this is going on find and negotiate your lease for space,   interview staff,   negotiate for phone lines etc.  Just nothing should actually happen till you have the incorp  done.  YOU  can set up business and start in but you are running HUGE  risks by doing it that way.  As long as you know and accept the risks up front then the choice is yours.

most times the issue is the not knowing.   Keep asking - you are  asking good questions!!!

Ah, finally some sound pointers!

Let me tell you, we know what we want to do, we have a good idea of where we would like to implement it and why it might be a good location.

We have the habit of business (for here, that is to say!) but for DR, internet doesn't explain much. So we look for expats who made it happen.

We would hate to be taken to the cleaners before we even start making money.

So maybe you could recommend us governmental or legal websites, books or so where we would find the steps and the real costs.

It's a pleasure to read you,
Myriam.

Hyperboles :

Ah, finally some sound pointers!

Let me tell you, we know what we want to do, we have a good idea of where we would like to implement it and why it might be a good location.

We have the habit of business (for here, that is to say!) but for DR, internet doesn't explain much. So we look for expats who made it happen.

We would hate to be taken to the cleaners before we even start making money.

So maybe you could recommend us governmental or legal websites, books or so where we would find the steps and the real costs.

It's a pleasure to read you,
Myriam.

Thanks  Myriam.  Just a warning,  often those good ideas will not fly here for a variety of reasons.  Make sure to check it out really well.

Go to - drlawyer.com they are an excellent firm that are more expensive then some BUT they do what they say they will do and do it right and for the most part on time.

They have many  PDF documents on a variety of topics.   There is one on  incorporation, residencia  etc. Most gov't stuff is in spanish!

Another piece of advice, whatever anyone says it will cost -  add 25% minimum. Whatever length of time it will take  add  50%!

Anything  labor related - reasonably  inexpensive.
Anything  material related -  not  inexpensive.
Anything imported -  expensive.

I am a American that was in the Dominican Republic and started a corporation 3 years ago.  The attorney obtained the corporation and the rnc number but I have not started the business yet. 

I wanted to know what do I need to do regarding becoming a permanent residence.  I was told that if I had a business I must be a permanent residence.  What do I need to do to become a residence? Is it as simples as showing my corporation papers?

Also, do I owe any taxes if my company is still under development with no profits or expenses yet?

GEOTECH :

I am a American that was in the Dominican Republic and started a corporation 3 years ago.  The attorney obtained the corporation and the rnc number but I have not started the business yet. 

I wanted to know what do I need to do regarding becoming a permanent residence.  I was told that if I had a business I must be a permanent residence.  What do I need to do to become a residence? Is it as simples as showing my corporation papers?

Also, do I owe any taxes if my company is still under development with no profits or expenses yet?

The corporation needs to do its annual reporting for both legal and taxation reasons. You may not owe any money but you need to file anyway.

No you do not automatically qualify for permanent residence nor do you need it. First do you have your Temporary Residencia? That is your first step then you renew it and file for permanent. AND you will need your residencia. 

You need a lawyer most likely to do this properly.  IF you want more info feel free to message me or email me at consultantdr[at]gmail.com

So, out of curiosity why have you not got the business going yet?

Hello everyone!
A lot of things happened since my last post here.

To be short to help newcomers, it was wise for us not to jump too fast and to live here several months to choose the best for us.
We went with Guzman lawyers, in front of the American embassy in Palma Real mall for everything and they were absolutely super.

Although we settled for a beauty business, because it fits our lifestyle here, you might also consider this:
Here in Punta Cana, you can make a living (from surviving to great wealth) by bringing anything from DR to the tourist reach or anything from outside to the Dominican reach.
Services are quicker to the buck, but goods are always... Solid, for the kinesthetics of us.

If you happen to have any skill, come teach it here. Midtown will probably become the next activity and hang out place for the whole family.

If you happen to be concerned with the earth's future, open the first  organic place here, or get in the recycling wagon of plastic or glass (the resorts are monsters consumers and could not care less about their environmental impact)...

By the way, we have no vegetarian restaurant here, nor organic juice bar, nor fair trade market... That's for inspiration.

Talk about cultural, we have a theater in Cap Cana, dozens of resorts with stages, bring in your show, bring in your exposition ...

Nice update, thanks.  As I stated previously make sure to do your homework, spend some time in the area you think you want to live, work and or open a business.

Nice idea about recycling - however - what do you do with the materials??? There is very little in the way of recycling on this island. (that could change soon)   So make sure to research every bit of the business - a good idea all by itself is never enough.

Keep us posted on your business and your progress!

Hello, I WOULD LIKE TO OPEN A BREAST IMAGING CENTER IN SANTO DOMINGO. hOW CAN I FIND ALL THE INFORMATION I NEED? pLEASE HELP.


EVELEN

Evelyn, I've responded in one of your other  posts on this.  Email me directly at consultantdr[at]gmail.com  and I can give you some direction if you like.

What you want to do will be difficult and expensive.  But, if you are serious it can be done!

i am looking to import in dr, please contact me at: coyabacambodia[at]ymail.com, l will send some samples of my products, we sell inside boutique, souvenir shops and dutyfree shops.

best regards

daniele agostinelli

l mean coyabacambodia[at]ymail.com...sorry wrong digit.

Welcome Coyaba, tell us more! We can give you feedback if you are interested.

Hi all, wonderful blog with very good first hand information.
I'm considering in setting up a medical clinic business in Dominican Republic and would like your comments, opinions, insights etc.
Thanks a lot

Welcome to the forums! What kind of clinic are you thinking? And where?

Are you a doctor here in the DR?
What kind of clinic are you looking to open
Oh...welcome to the forum

Bob K

Hi, no I'm not a Doctor buy my wife is a family physician in Canada.
I will be visiting DR soon to explore the opportunity to set up a family/walk in medicine clinic.
We were considering the Punta Cana area because we understand there are not lot of family doctors in that area and if that is the case we can try to serve locals, expats living in DR and tourists as well.
We have few ideas but would like to learn about licenses needed for foreign doctors, licenses needed to set up a medical clinic, insurance, how much family doctors charge, relations with insurance companies etc.
Everything going well our plan maybe to try employing local bilingual doctors or bring them from another country (maybe from Cuba.
Will appreciate your opinions and information about this.
Thanks a lot.

She will not be able to get a Dominican license here with out lots of hoops, $$, and about two years. She will have to sit for the boards again in Spanish, then serve a 2 year "residency" somewhere in an under served and poor barrio area. Then she will be able to practice.
I was going to do the same thing when I got here 7 years ago. I am a retired Ob/Gyn doc and after 20+ years in practice, teaching at a major medical school/hospital for 18 years, Dept. chair at a major hospital for 9 years I did not want to go through that process. Too bad for the DR.
Also you will get lots of resistance from the local DR doctors as you will be "taking money" out of their pockets.
I am not saying it cannot be done but it will be a long and difficult process.
PM me if you have more questions.

Bob K

Thanks Bob, I knew you would jump in!!!!

It is a quiet day here in Verona Italy.  Being Sunday everything is closed so we are kicking back today.

Bob K

Hi Bob, appreciated the information. I understand that there are some Cuban Doctors already working on DR. Do you know how is the process for Doctors from Cuba, it is any easier. We were wondering if we could open the clinic employing Cuban Doctors?

Why not open a clinic using Dominican doctors?

Hi Planner, that is also a choice but I understand that most DR Doctors are already working and may be little difficult to find some to work on a new clinic. On the other hand I have been told that Cuban doctors have a very good reputation on DR and being so close it should be fairly easy to bring them. The problem likely will be to get them licenses to practice in DR.

Depending how you pay it may be easy to find local doctors!

If is easy to get local DR Doctors we may go that route. Regarding payment, do you have any idea what is the average payment for a DR Family Physician?

Cuban doctors have to go through the same process.
Physicians here are not paid much.  A good salary in a private clinic is probably in the 20K a year range for family practice.
You should contact a local lawyer and get all, and I mean all, or your ducks in a row before you do anything.  You also have to go through a pretty lengthy and expensive licensing process for the clinic.  And again you will get a lot of resistance from the local doctors
I did do some volunteer work at a local clinic set up to see only the poor and non insured as a FREE CLINIC and that took over a year to get off the ground.

Bob K

Thanks Planner and Bob K for the information. I guess it is not so easy as we have envisioned and were told. We will have to look further into this matter.

Make sure you are  very carful and do full research.

Bob K

Hi Everyone!

We want to open a b&b in las terrenas. We been there a couple of time, we have Dominican friends and we love DR. Do we need a permit for a small b&b in Las Terrenas?


Thanks,

Francies

First welcome to the forums.  To be legal yes you do,  I don't know all of what you need,  you can ask a good lawyer who can steer you through the process.

Welcome to the forum.  Yes you will need a license, tax registration, and other permits.
Seems the Government is cracking down on things as they are "hungry" for more tax $$.
You should contact a lawyer before you do anything. YOu will also probably need to get your residency and cedula (this for sure) as you need a Cedula to apply for a tax ID

Bob K

Thanks for your answers. We are working on the Visa Residence here in the Netherlands. We are planing to go in NOV. to live in the DR.

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