Allow me to put this under the suggestion tree one day before Christmas.
As much as I have problems with the word L A W Y E R S - they are certainly the ones that know how to go about specific things. Find one you trust and can talk to. This is a priority task
Not to over simplify, but if my best American friend were going to open a business on Aruba, I would have him do the following:
#1 Thorough business plan and not a BS sheet about how good this and that blah blah. Make sure that this plan includes legal expenses as well as travel and lodging.
Why - In the long run, you will need bankers, even if only for a credit card machine, and they need and love substantial documents.
#2 A separate statement on the economic impact of the proposed business. Here I refer to creating jobs, taxes to be paid, benefits to locals.
#3 A separate statement on the benefits to tourism (Short and long run).
Why - Sooner or later you will go for approval to a government agency and this information is what they like to see.
#4 State specifically how you will be promoting your business and what venues you will use.
Why? - Many more businesses than we would like to think have gone bust due to poor marketing.
#5 - Find a Point person you can rely on. This is the guy that does all of the running back and forth of documents and keeps you informed at all times on what is going on. This is a person that is NOT a lawyer but knows them and is NOT a banker but knows them and DOES NOT work in the chamber of commerce but knows how to file the papers and get things moving and lastly this is a person that does NOT work in DIMAS but knows the people there. The amount of money you will save in trips, lodging etc is enormous. One of the things that you will notice about working with such a person is that the process continues to give you plenty of time to re-evaluate or modify the decision without being mixed up in the heat of battle.
#6 Lastly - have some strong "sit-down conversations" with yourself regarding the true reasoning for wanting to start a business on Aruba or any island. In the short, mid and long run - BUSINESS IS BUSINESS AND IT REARS THE SAME LOVELY AND UGLY HEAD EVERYWHERE. If you you have the slightest thoughts that this is a "Jimmy Buffet" thing to do .... Pull out and don't spend your money on WANNABE situations that require investment.
Sorry about that last statement, but it comes from the heart.
If you would like to have further conversations on this topic, feel free to mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to call me at 011-297-730-0001
If you know of someone that would be interested in buying functioning business, feel free to let me know as well. This is sometimes the easiest entrance into our small economic and business world.
be well and have a great holidays