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Thread: Help Starting a Business at Aruba

  1. #11
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    There are no organized site with business for sale in Aruba and no business brokers either. I have found a few for sale online, but often it is word of mouth. So if you know business people on the Island they normally have a good idea of what is for sale (its a small island). I.e. restaurants and bars are not often for sale in public.
    The ones that are online are completely scattered and often they are no longer for sale.
    At the moment there are small butique resorts for sale, as well as a few of the Turist businesses such as boats driven businesses. The Tennis club is also for sale. I know of restaurants for sale and one of the Forwarding companies are for sale. There are also at least one for sale in the constructions business. At least 1 car rental is on the market as well as an Accounting firm. Tattoo is still for sale online, but I think that boat have sailed ;-). A sportsbar and online based businesses are also for sale. There is also a poorly run Boat service and shop business that went belly up due to poor management that is for sale and Aruba certainly need it to reopen.
    So all in all a lot of options, so you have to narrow it down a lot. Most of the businesses that are for sale are not cheap, but most are of course negotiable, but bring a lot of cash. Business loans are hard to come by and quite expensive in Paradise.
    Well this was my quick and incoherent input, but bottom line, they are out there ;-).
    Carsten

  2. #12
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Carsten, thanks for the insight. It sounds like the best course of action is to develop some contacts on the island who have an ear to the ground so to speak?

  3. #13
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    Hi Lisa

    That is definitely the best options, but as always: Google is your friend if you know how to tickle it .
    Carsten

  4. #14
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    Business ownership in Aruba

    Hello folks...

    First time poster long time reader!!!!

    I have a somewhat general question regarding foreigners owning a small/medium size business in Aruba (in retail, tourism, or real estate).

    I've read a lot of information on this topic this past year including all the posts made available here like the Chamber of Commerce, DIMAS, etc (and thanks for all the valuable info!).

    I understand the rules for Free Zone business investment and permit requirements for starting a business in Aruba but what I can't find is specific information regarding regulations about foreigners buying an existing business in aruba outside the Free Zone.

    I've read general comments that there is a 51% Aruban national partnership necessary to start some businesses outside the Free Zone but I don't know if that is the law, if it is current today, if it applies to startinga business as opposed to buying an existing business already established.

    I've also read that there are certain businesses restricted from foreign ownership which are reserved for locals but don't know if that includes purchase of existing businesses or applies to new start-ups.

    I'm hoping that someone can provide some info on these topics:

    Can a foreigner (Canadian) own (buy or start) a business on Aruba outside of the Free Zone without an Aruban partner?

    Are there specific businesses that foreigners are restricted for owning, such as retail or in tourism activity.

    Can a foreigner own real estate (such as apartments) for rent and if so, do the same business/related permits apply because they are earning income on property rental?

    I've done quite a bit of research but continue to hit these road blocks so I'm hoping some local or other knowledgable forum users can offer some info and help my wife an I realize a dream of owning and running a small business on beautiful Aruba - Canadian winters are nasty despite my love for hockey!!! :-)

    Thanks and hope to talk soon!

  5. #15
    Senior Member luvsun's Avatar
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    Hi Jerrie, we are in the process of starting our business in Aruba. Not an easy task. PM and my husband and I can try and answer your questions.

    If anyone knows of anyone that wants to buy a house in beautiful Wisconsin let me know ;~}

  6. #16
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    It would be great if everyone could have this discussion online since the question does come up from time to time.

    For anyone wishing to do their initial research there is a lot of information starting at
    http://www.arubachamber.com/establishing.htm

  7. #17
    Senior Member lizzardo's Avatar
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    I think because business ownership is a really complicated topic, you can't really give a 'black and white' answer to this question and that's why it's not really
    talked about in detail. The laws change and people's situations are all different and that's why people choose to talk about it off line.

    There are several subjects about Aruba like this. I personally am wary to
    say 'this is how it works' because it can work differently for someone else.
    Even having different lawyers or professionals involved can change the
    equation quickly.

    I would hate to say something to someone and have them find out it does not work for them based on a bunch of factors.

  8. #18
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    hopefully our member mark68 will reply soon to this thread giving his experiences.
    he bought a restaurant/bar cafe' capri.
    mark is an american.

  9. #19
    Senior Member MARK68's Avatar
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    Hello Andrea,
    Lizzardo hit the nail on the head. I have been on the island for almost two weeks dealing with a transfer of a business. There are several different government agencies that have different requirements and don't work hand and hand. I can give a detail description of what the process involves but everyone is different and the type of business your forming or buying is a factor. The N.V. is probably the only choice I know of forming or buying a company and is similar in forming a coperation in the states with a director and shareholders agreement. Be aware when buying or doing a business on the island there is a good chance you will need a good working relationship with the previous owner as they will be involved with you for sometime and make sure you are listed on the original share holders agreement and listed on the paperwork at the Chamber of Commerce. I can give you more details when I get back to the states in a few days.

  10. #20
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    Thanks for all you comments - I certainally agree with Lizzardo that it isn't "black and white" issue - I'm sure this is why I've seen severl discussion threads but found very few specifics and only general comments about the process.

    Because everyone's situation is unique and somewhat different, I'm hoping to encourage some dialogue and get some comments about "this is how it worked (or didn't work) for me" from those who have went through the process - I agree that what works for one can't work for everyone - especially considering the different business markets and distinct rules/guidelines for each area - but I'm sure that there are some "common" junctions or hoops that individuals have passed through in their business endeavours and it would be interesting and helpful to identify the common points (and learn of the differences).

    Mark68, any info or comments on your experience would be helpful.

    Thanks again, folks!!

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