The Best Businesses to Start in Indonesia

With a large population, work force, and infrastructure, Indonesia can be a fertile ground for new businesses and emerging industries. Indonesia business owners also say that extensive banking and investment capital resources aid in attracting and maintaining funding. Indonesia is good for business, but what business could you start in Indonesia? Here are 11 business ideas for you to consider.

Fitness/recreation business

Exercise has long been found to be the bedrock of healthy living, and almost everyone wants to boast of having visited the gym at least once or twice in a week. With this trend, opening a fitness center would surely pay you, and considering the population of Indonesia, you may likely make a success out of your business if you have the right marketing strategies.


Retailing is not a novel business idea, but it is still thriving as far as the economy is still viable. If you have good marketing skills, you can choose a niche and start your retailing business. You can approach manufacturers and offer them your services. If you build trust with them, you could be given goods on credit for you to pay later.

SEO for local businesses

You can start this business just by building an “SEO Agency” optimized website that generates leads for businesses. As long as people are using their laptops or smartphones to find their next solar company, landscape architect, locksmith, real estate agent, etc., this business will thrive.

Accountant or Bookkeeper

Taxes are a certainty of life as far as the Indonesia is concerned. People and businesses will almost certainly need help with bookkeeping and tax filing. If you have the necessary training and certifications, offering your services as an accountant can be a great idea for you.

Real Estate Agent

Another great idea is to become a real estate agent. You can earn impressive percentages from people who need to buy their own homes, people who need holiday apartments and residents of the city who need to rent good apartments

Wholesale and distribution

Similar to retail, you can start a business where you become wholesale distributor for companies. Note that this business may be a bit capital intensive, but you can also start it on your own capacity and expand it as you go along.

Landscape Architecture

This idea has the potential for extensive growth and innovation. The city already has many public parks and a green area that needs to be maintained and properly designed to enhance beauty. From simply planting the spring plants to set up a whole big fountain, this job has many options.

It all depends on which services you can offer efficiently. You can start from residential projects and move to the public sector when fully established.

Graphic Design

If you have the expertise in this field with just a little advertisement, you can earn great profit. It can be efficiently operated, staying at home. Every other thing needs some design to make it look appealing. From book covers to company logos, you have a great choice to focus on. The better your services, the better your clientele.

Grocery Store

Whether buying into a franchise or opening a niche grocery store, owning your own grocery business can be a path to profits in the Sunshine State. Know your area and the industry, though. Depending on the type of store, profit margins can be as little as 1% for a conventional supermarket, and up to around 10 – 12% for a smaller, more specialized grocer.

Be prepared for extensive permitting, plus investing potentially half a million to start a small or medium-sized store.

Advertising and promotion

With a lot of big and small businesses in Indonesia competing for the market, a business centered on advertising and marketing would be quite profitable in the state. If you are good with putting up promotional materials that can draw people to the products you are marketing, then maybe you should set up an advertising service.

Software school

If you are familiar with the use of specialized software, you can build a business around teaching people how to use everyday software like Photoshop, QuickBooks etc. You can start by giving private lessons where you charge hourly, then you can grow it into a small group session and charge for complete tutorials. You can always hire other specialists and diversify.

More great businesses to start in Indonesia

The industries above are great food for thought, but other business opportunities abound in Indonesia too, such as:

Tourist/Visitors Guide

Indonesia has more than ten thousand visitors a year, this is a huge number if you know your way in and out of the city, and you can undertake this good startup business idea in Bali with high-profit returns. You must be a very friendly person to undertake this viable business idea and you may start it as it is one of the best part-time businesses in Center Indonesia (if you are starting alone) but if it an enterprise, you may start full time at once.

Export Business

Indonesia especially Miami has a very large port from which goods can be shipped efficiently to any part of the world, so even if you are into agriculture, or arts or food processing, and you understand the technicalities involved, you can undertake this creative small business opportunity.

Restaurant / Food truck

Eating food is inevitable by any person alive and because most people have tight schedule and most of them are tourist, they don’t have time to cook and they must eat, so they would pay to get good food to eat if you have a good cooking skill, why not try running a “mobile food vendor enterprise” a name I coined.


Indonesia business-friendly climate means that the Sunshine State is home to one of the highest levels of small business ownership in the country. Whether it’s one of the businesses above or the one you’ve been dreaming about, the best business to start in Indonesia is yours to decide.