Digital Nomads & Remote Workers in Bali

Living the Dream

It is the dream of many, to pack bags, and come to Bali in order to leave behind the old life and settle on this beautiful island. A dream, that thousands of self-employed digital nomads and remote workers have made come true in recent years. The digital nomad life style is attractive; “working online and living on a tropical island, getting paid to a bank account outside of Indonesia, not paying any taxes, having clients from all over the world.” There are several factors that give rise to the “digital nomad phenomena” in Bali. 

Bali is a favourite choice for Digital Nomads – for good reasons

Remote working for another company in general boomed because of the covid restrictions and more and more companies allow their workers, or even encourage them to work from “anywhere”. And studies show, that workers are very open to the idea of breaking the chains of an office job at home and would, at least for a few months per year, would consider to somewhere else. Furthermore, websites such as freelancer.com, guru.com and others, have made it much easier for freelancers to find jobs and handle projects, regardless of where they live. This lead to a rising number of “self-employed digital nomads” finally able to make a living and create a stable income. 

And then there is Bali as a destination – this magical island offers a very convincing and attractive package of tropical life style, quality of live, reasonable costs of living, vibrant communities, tolerance, and millions of things to do and explore.

Are you prepared?

Relocating to Indonesia (or any foreign country) and choosing the life as a self-employed digital nomad, is not that simple due to tax implications, visa regulations and medical insurance coverage. You will encounter enthusiastic individuals, “influencers”, communities, and dedicated websites & apps, who boldly promote the “digital nomad life” while naively or deliberately overlooking the details and potential traps that are still existing today. They make it seem, as if there are no laws to follow. That might work for a while, and for some, but this can turn into a nightmare rather quickly. 

Reliable International Medical Insurance for Nomads and Expats

Important to Know

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Paying Taxes in Bali?

You cannot be paid in Indonesia or work with or for an Indonesian company as “digital nomad”.

The “classic digital nomad”, works and lives in Indonesia, yes, but they offer freelance services to clients outside of Indonesia, get paid abroad.  They don’t have a legal structure (company and tax number) and have no working permit (Investor KITAS etc).

The “remote worker” who is employed officially abroad and also still works for that company while in Bali is a much clearer case and less critical than being a self-employed digital nomad in relation to income.

In both scenarios the “nomad” would technically have to declare their taxes in the country they are still officially registered as a citizen. Of course, Indonesia cannot and would not control that. 

More info on Tax Liability in Indonesia (by PWC)

Where to stay in Bali as a Digital Nomad

The strongest digital nomad communities can be found undoubtably these days in Canggu, Ubud, while Uluwatu and Sanur become more popular due to increasing prices in Canggu and Ubud for accommodation.

This is what you should not do as a digital nomad…

DON’T…

  • blindly trust other nomads or agencies without double checking what kind of “visa solutions” and general advice they have in store for you
  • get a “Fake” employment KITAS from one of the many agents. Technically this type of KITAs is connected strictly to this company and the type of work they applied the KITAS for. And it has income tax implications.
  • get an Investor KITAS with the help of an agent, if you are not really an investor in that company. Some agents offer this service and make you a shareholder of an existing company. But an Investor KITAS comes with restrictions AND you are liable on many levels – legally and fiscally. Not a good idea in the long run, and the immigration officers are more and more checking on those agents and their clients get into trouble.
  • work for Indonesian companies or entities without being actually employed
  • get paid in Indonesia
  • become a yoga teacher, DJ, life coach, interior designer, facilitator running retreats and workshops in Bali while getting paid and only having a B211A or Visa on Arrival. Again, you are not allowed to make any money here.
  • rent your room to others or advertise to sub-lease rooms in Facebook etc. The officials are regularly going through these Facebook groups and they regard this activity like running a business and creating an income, which can lead to deportation

Selection of some of the Best Co-Working Places in Bali

Co-working spaces in range from cafes and restaurants where digital nomads are welcomed to sit and work to places that are highly customised to cater to the needs of remote workers, from private meeting rooms, complimentary coffee, super-strong internet, cloud services, community networking, and consulting for start-ups. Whatever the setting, these hubs are just the place to find like-minded people and dive into the vibrant digital nomad scene in Bali.

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ZIN Cafe Canggu – Cafe, Restaurant & Co-Working

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Livit Hub – BaliCard Discount

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Karya Co-working – BaliCard Discount

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STUDIO EKSOTIKA

Selection of some of the Best Co-Living Places in Bali

Living in modern villas may have its perks, but lodging together and sharing the life with a tight-knit community can be even better. Not only does a shared space allow you to easily socialize, it also allows you to be able to connect and share ideas with people of different backgrounds you might have never met otherwise.

Shashvata Bali

Canggu Hype

The Kamare

Asanaya Suites