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Bali’s Small Business Owners Call On Foreign Companies To Operate Legally 

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As business development and interrelation investment in Bali boom, one small business owner in the tourism sector has spoken to reporters about the impact foreigners operating businesses illegally in the country have been having on his company. 

Motorcycles To Rent In Bali

The comments come as business leaders and politicians in Bali continue to discuss whether or not the island has become colonized, both socially and economically, by foreign interests.

As the government implements more and more easy and accessible ways for foreigners to stay long, spend more, and even invest in building a life and business in Bali and beyond, some academic leaders, communities, and business owners are calling for the situation to be reassessed and quickly. 

Immigration officials, police, and top officials have seen a rise in the number of foreigners behaving badly in Bali since borders reopened post-pandemic.

‘Bad’ behavior has ranged from drunkenness, driving without a helmet, drug offenses, visa violations, and operating a business without the correct permits and licensing.

All of these offenses have a real impact on local communities in Bali, not least foreigners operating businesses without adhering to local regulations and outcompeting locally owned small businesses too. 

Yoga Antara, who owns a motorcycle rental company in Canggu, spoke to reporters about his observations of how locally-owned vs. foreign-owned businesses are working in the booming tourism resort.

Antara said, “What is happening in Canggu? What I see is that there are many small businesses from citizens of other countries. Like Russian and Ukrainian guests coming here and taking part in businesses like local residents.”

He added “Tourists find it easy to join this warlok business for two reasons. First, because of permits and second because of a lack of supervision from the government. Whatever business is built and created, to start it you must have a business permit and be closely monitored.”

Antara continued, “Allowing businesses to exist in Bali without permits and without monitoring causes foreign tourists to easily form businesses in Bali and erodes the economy of local residents.”

He explained how foreign business influence is starting to change the business models of the area, too.

Antara told reporters “Tourists can rent a villa at the same time as a motorbike package. This will be marketed at a cheaper price of up to 50% and this is not in accordance with our agreement here.”


Antara shared “Moreover, it is offered to fellow tourists because they have a community. So the competition is unfair because our prices are considered too high. We are losing in the system, and this is causing the number of consumers who rent here to start decreasing. So we are losing money, that’s why our business is starting to erode. This is the reality.” 

This race to the bottom can be seen not only in Canggu but other resorts across Bali that are rapidly developing, similar situations can be observed in Uluwatu, Seminyak, Ubud and if travel trends continue, these situations will soon be observed in emerging destinations like Seseh, Sideman and Munduk too. 


It is not only in the motorcycle rental and accommodation space where this competition is impacting local business owners.

Travel agency businesses, content creation and marketing businesses, retreats, health and wellness offerings, photography and even tour guiding are all services that foreigners have been found to, or have been suspected of operating in Bali illegally

Antara’s closing comments to reporters are ones that have been echoed by community leaders, business owners, academics, and local politicians. He is calling on both the central and provincial governments to coordinate and implement existing legislation in a much more strict way. 


Antara said, “The hope is that the government can monitor small businesses in the Canggu area and other areas. Business permits will also be tightened and checked regularly so as not to kill the businesses of local residents.”

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Wednesday 12th of June 2024

What's the problem if places offering accomodation offer cheap scooter rental.

It's been happening for years.

Making it a package? What's the problem as long as there's the necessary permits and licenses?

You'd be naive to think it's only Russians who are offering it.

For those complaining about 'Bloody Russians' are you going to be equally critical of others?


Monday 10th of June 2024

It is quite possible that the villa / scooter package includes an illegal villa rental paid for overseas to a so called Nomad earning money outside of Indonesia. There are thousands of illegal villa rentals incurring no tax or proper service fees for staff, and the owner not paying income tax. The government ignores this enormous theft of income preferring to charge tourist arrivals. The government needs to check all developers and agents offering high "return on investment " on apartments and villas to ensure the income is properly taxed.


Monday 10th of June 2024

Bali is pass the turning point due to its own greed and inactive policing. Stupid articles don't help! Foreignerdont care about Baliinese,except to use them as stepping stones to their income.canggu is lost and serves as a warning of how little most new expats care about Bali. Bali has sold out..

Steve b

Tuesday 11th of June 2024

@Ananta, you should put shame on all corrupt officials for allowing it to happen !!

Na Kolohe

Monday 10th of June 2024

Increase fines and jail time for these offenders. Enforce the rules, otherwise this problem will never go away. After doing the time and/or paying the fines, deport them back to their countries where they leave just to dodge the mandatory military service. They are not here to do any good for the Balinese society.


Monday 10th of June 2024

this foreigners (especially Australian) doing whatever they want, never abide the law, oppressing the locals, i reckon they never go to school and living just like animals.. shame on you