First post here. I am seriously considering moving to Aruba as well to start a business, and have found this forum to be very useful. My question is, has any US citizen been successful in relocating to Aruba? It seems like there are many posts regarding information on how to relocate but I haven't seen any success stories (or I haven't been looking hard enough).
Also, for anyone who did relocate, can you please share how long the process took, costs, etc.?
I'm actually from NJ myself. My girlfriend and I fell in love with Aruba and try to go every year. We are even planning on getting married there in the near future.
In terms of the business itself, we are hoping to open up an "ethnic" restaurant which does not exist currently in Aruba. I suppose in that sense, it's difficult to argue that opening one would take away any jobs from local residents. In fact, I would think the opposite, since we would have to hire local help to serve as waiters and runners, creating jobs and thus helping the Aruban economy.
Can you please elaborate on what you mean by "prove?" Does one have to actually show proof that by opening this business, it doesn't take away any jobs? Also, when you say it took them ages to attain the necessary work permits, are we talking about a year? 5 years? 10 years?
I am also in the process of finding a local lawyer in Aruba to help ease the process a little and if it helps our chances at all since we are not fully accustomed to the local laws there. If anyone has any references, I would greatly appreciate it.
The person that Andrea mentioned - he was telling me not long ago about the difficulty they had (and still have) about residency and owning a business in Aruba (there not in the restaurant business). To have a business in Aruba, you must have a partner that is Aruban or Dutch citizen who is the primary owner who owns atleast 51% of the business. After (not sure of how many years) the primary owner was allowed to sell his part of the business to them. His explanation of running a business and getting residency starting to get very confusing to me. There is alot to it and not easy by any means. I think he said they have to apply every year. There is a new sports bar in Palm Beach - its called Busters Garage. The owners Rusty and Ross are Americans. If you are going to be in Aruba soon, I would suggest speaking to them.
http://www.arubachamber.com/tips.htm "Permits to Establish a Business: As an Aruban you do not need a permit to establish a business in Aruba, when it concerns a sole proprietorship. You still need to register your business in the Commercial Register at the Chamber.If you are not an Aruban born Dutch national, you always need a permit to establish a business. Whether you will receive a permit depends on what sort of business you intend to start. The main criteria are if the business provides enlargement of the economic basis and if it is capital intensive."
Thanks everyone for your posts. I will definitely keep you informed on our quest for Aruba.
I have seen all of those links before and read them pretty thoroughly from your previous posts. It was very helpful and informative. You guys are great and I can't wait to hopefully be neighbors to some of you!
Also, if anyone else has any success stories on relocating, I, and others I'm sure, would love to hear them.