Comparison of company registration Indonesia: representative office , pt and pt pma

Comparison of foreign-owned company, local company and representative office in Indonesia

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 9 February 2015
  • 7 minute reading time

Do you have plans to pursue company registration in Indonesia, but you still don’t know how to register your company in Indonesia? Are you still confused about what type of legal entity is the most suitable for your business – AKA ‘KPPA vs PT vs PMA Indonesia’?

If so, this article will give you a business overview setup and a better understanding of the possible types of company registration in Indonesia.

Indonesia has several types of companies, which commonly confuses foreign investors when choosing the most suitable legal entity for their business activities. Each form of the company certainly has its respective advantages and disadvantages, and we have selected the three most common types of companies in Indonesia for this article.  We describe the differences between these forms below.

Local Company (PT PMDN)

One of the available legal entities in Indonesia is a limited liability company. A limited liability company, also called “PT,” is the most popular and most widely used form of business entity in Indonesia for carrying out business activities in various fields. In addition to having a clear legal basis as provided for in law No. 40 Year 2007 on limited liability company, PT is considered the only option for foreign investors who want to expand in a business that is closed to foreigners.  PT is a company founded by a minimum of two local people as responsible shareholders, limited from the debt of the company.

The advantages of the Indonesian PT are:

  1. Shareholder liability is limited to the company’s debt
  2. Can easily get additional funds/capital, for example by issuing new shares
  3. The viability of the company is more secure
  4. Efficient use of leadership, because the leadership can be replaced at any time through a general meeting of shareholders
  5. The company management has a clear responsibility to the owner or shareholders
  6. Set out clearly by law and other regulations, a limited liability company binds and protects the company’s activity
  7. The company registration request, less minimum capital investment, is specifically based on company size: small IDR 600 million, medium IDR 600 million – 10 billion, large IDR more than 10 billion.
  8. The company can have three main business activities.
  9. Usually, no limitations apply, and it can use all open government tenders.

However, the Indonesian PT also has disadvantages, such as:

  1. It is subject to a separate tax, and dividends received by shareholders will be taxed
  2. The company’s trade secrets are less secure, as all activities should be reported to the shareholders
  3. The founding process takes more time and money than other entities
  4. The dissolution process, changes to articles of association, mergers, and takeovers require time and money, as well as approval by a General Meeting Of Shareholders (RUPS).
  5. The company is 100% owned by local shareholders

Foreign-owned company (PT PMA)

Foreign owned company in IndonesiaForeigners who want to create or build a business in Indonesia tend to create a PT PMA. What is a PT PMA? PT PMA (Penanaman Modal Asing) or Foreign Investment Company, is the establishment of capital for the purpose of doing business in the Republic of Indonesia by a foreign investor, by using foreign capital fully or in part with a domestic investor. Before an investor decides to register a PT PMA in Indonesia, he has to investigate his exact business activities regarding the Positive Investment List, which notes foreign ownership limits in certain business classifications. It was issued by the Investment Coordination Board, also called  BKPM. The minimum investment plan is IDR 10 billion, which is allocated in Indonesia for land, building, work capital, etc. The minimum paid-up capital required is also IDR 10 billion, which shall be deposited after the company is established and the bank account is issued. After incorporation, the company is required to submit an Investment Activity Report and monthly tax reports, even if the company does not have any activities and owes no taxes.

As for the advantages of PT PMA in Indonesia:

  1. PT PMA has the same rights and responsibilities as local companies
  2. Minimum of two shareholders (can be individuals or legal entities)
  3. Minimum organizational structure is one Director and one Commissioner
  4. Easy and quick license permits
  5. The granting of special customs facilities at PMA
  6. On-site tax or import duties are lower
  7. The foreign investor owns 100% or less of the company
  8. Can sponsor many foreign employees

However, a PT PMA in Indonesia also has disadvantages, such as:

  1. The company must make monthly tax reports
  2. The company is required to provide reports on business activities to the BKPM every 3 months so that the BKPM may monitor the company’s development
  3. The minimum investment plan is IDR 10 billion


Representative Office in Indonesia (KPPA)

foreign owned companyAnother business entity is called KPPA or representative office of a foreign company. KPPA is an office established by a foreign company to take care of its business activities in Indonesia. This can include preparing to establish a foreign-owned company.

The activities a Representative Office can undertake in Indonesia are limited. These include:

1. Activities in its role as a supervisor, connector, coordinator, and caretaker of company interests or of its affiliate companies in Indonesia and/or outside of Indonesia. The representative office in Indonesia is not allowed to seek income or pursue sales transaction activity and purchases of goods and services.

2. Perform market research for items or products based on company requirements.
3. Sales monitoring in Indonesia for the company’s marketing activities.
4. The representative office must be located in the capital of the province and in an office building.

The Representative Office is required to have KPPA permission to conduct its activities. A petition for permission to have a Representative Office in Indonesia and foreign nationals working for the company must be submitted to the head of the Capital investment Coordination Board, also called BKPM.
The following is required to set up a Representative Office:

  1. Articles of Association of the foreign companies that will be represented
  2. A designation letter from the foreign company that will be represented
  3. Photocopies of the passports (for foreigners) or ID cards (for citizens) who will be the representative executives
  4. Statement of willingness to live and work as the Executive Representative only, and not conduct other business
  5. A power of attorney, if the petition is not filed by the foreign company’s management

The Representative Office in Indonesia is usually the first step for a foreign company in building its business in Indonesia. It is commonly used as a feasibility assessment before establishing a PT/PMA. After the Representative Office shows that an examination of its products proves they are marketable and suitable for the Indonesian market, then the foreign companies can create a PT PMA or foreign capital investment limited liability company.


The comparison summary of 3 mentioned entities in our article:


Type of Company        Minimum        Capital Shareholder Main Characteristics
PT Depends on Bussiness Licence (SIUP) Categories 100% local share
  • The Company is eligible to conduct business in up to 3 different business lines
  • Minimum paid-up capital for Small SIUP is IDR 50.000.000 – IDR 600.000.000
  • Minimum paid-up capital for Medium SIUP is IDR 600.000.000 – IDR
  • Minimum paid-up Capital for Large SIUP is above IDR 10,000,000,000
  • Can be sponsor company of KITAS
  • Minimum 2 shareholders, 1 Director, and 1 Commissioner
PT PMA The minimum investment plan IDR 10 billion

The minimum paid-in capital is IDR 10 billion

Based on the negative investment list
  • In the form of a limited liability company, which can perform complete business activities in Indonesia (includes generating revenue)
  • Has same rights and responsibilities as a local company
  • Only allowed to operate in 1 specific business area
  • Minimum 2 shareholders (can be individuals or legal entities)
  • The minimum organizational  structure is 1 Director and 1 Commissioner
  • A minimum investment plan is over US$1 million
  • The minimum paid-up capital is US$250,000
  • A company can sponsor many foreign employees
KPPA No Minimum Paid Capital Required Based on the negative investment list
  • In the form of a branch office from the parent company overseas
  • Activities are limited to marketing, research, and promotion, meaning that this representative office is not allowed to generate revenue or to conduct direct transactions in Indonesia. The transaction goes directly to company headquarters
  • There is no shareholder requirement
  • There is no Director and Commissioner requirement
  • There is no capital requirement
  • Limited sponsorship of foreign employees (at least Chief of Representative Office and Assistant of Chief of Representative Office)


Cekindo registers dozens of foreign-owned companies every month and our legal team is ready to assist you!

Feel free to contact us for a free quotation on pursuing Company Registration in Indonesia.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

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