The world's Internet giants that provide services in Indonesia (such as social media platforms) are encouraged to establish a permanent presence in Indonesia in the form of a representative office or foreign investment company (PT PMA) hence becoming taxable entities. If not, their services can be blocked by Indonesian authorities. Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro informed reporters about this plan on Monday (29/02). Although he declined to mention any names, it is assumed Brodjonegoro refers to social media platforms and those that sell products/services to the massive online audience of Indonesia.
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Recently, the Indonesian Investment Authority (BKPM) issued Regulation no. 13 of 2017 regarding Guidelines and Procedures for Investment Licensing and Facilities (13/2017 Regulation). The 13/2017 Regulation is of great importance for foreign investors that currently have or wish to establish a foreign investment company in Indonesia. The regulation regulates the investment requirements for Foreign Limited Liability Companies (PT PMA) and several types of Foreign Representative Offices. In this column we discuss the licensing system for foreign capital investment.
Although the amount remains a secret, the government of Indonesia and Alphabet's Google finally managed to reach an agreement on the tax settlement after a long dispute that started in mid-2016. The news was confirmed by Indonesian Finance Ministry Sri Mulyani Indrawati. The dispute started because Indonesian authorities felt the so-called "over-the-top content" giants, referring to those companies that deliver content through Internet, deliberately did not set up permanent establishments in Indonesia in order to avoid taxes. Besides Google, other examples are Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter.
In late September, the Minister of Public Works (Minister) issued Minister Regulation number 10/PRT/M/2014 regarding Guideline Requirements for Giving Permission Foreign Construction Service Representative Office (New Regulation). The New Regulation for construction representative offices in Indonesia replaces the old Minister regulation 05/PRT/M/2011 (Old Regulation) which had a similar title. The New Regulation has become more comprehensive than the Old Regulation and in this column we will discuss the most significant changes for foreign investors.
A Foreign Representative Office (Kantor Perwakilan Perusahaan Asing [KPPA]) is a more general form of representative office than the foreign trade representative office and the foreign construction services representative office as we covered in previous columns. The Foreign Representative Office is regulated by BKPM, whereas the aforementioned representative offices are regulated by respectively the ministry of trade and the ministry of public works. Due to the general nature of a Foreign Representative Office, it is typically set up to provide managerial support to the parent company abroad.
A foreign construction service representative office in Indonesia is established by foreign overseas parent companies, specifically for conducting business activities in the field of construction services. Construction services can be defined as consultancy services in planning of construction work, construction implementation services, and consultancy services regarding the supervision of construction work.
A foreign trade representative office in Indonesia can be set up by overseas companies quickly and with relative ease. In general, a foreign trade representative office is established with the purpose to take care of the interests of the parent company abroad and/or for preparation of the establishment and development of foreign investment activities in Indonesia. Due to their purpose the scope of activities is limited to representation of the overseas company and is therefore not allowed to directly be engaged in sales and related activities.
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