Bali continues to deliver a paradise on earth for the many foreign nationals that have made Bali home or set up a successful Bali business here. However, just ask the many foreign nationals that have or have had serious legal problems and 'Bali Paradise' is a phrase they will seldom use. Blame it on the relaxed life-style, the climate, the night-club 'boogie' (ha ha), or the trusting girlfriend you met there (at the nightclub or even supermarket), that easy-going, friendly smiling person/s that 'seemed so trusting' at the time or just blame it on bad luck or 'karma' as the locals do. However, whom or whatever you blame it's YOU and only you that will have to face the very serious consequences of your misplaced trust, poor character judgement, or from not putting the correct legal protections in place from the get-go or just by finding yourself with serious legal problems through any number of negative events that can and do happened (even in paradise) to someone EVERYDAY.
Expats living and working in Bali and tourists and visitors can find themselves in 'hot water', not just a hot climate by subjecting themselves to grave risks that in most cases are simply not necessary. So let us talk about one such very common and totally unnecessary risk often taken by expats and tourists alike on Bali roads. Not all foreigners on Bali that hire or own motorbikes are willing to risk life and limb riding on Bali's over crowded and for many reasons 'dangerous' roads with NO HELMET! (many do). However, MOST are riding their motorbikes and cars with NO LICENSE! (let alone insurance).
Now, if you were to ask the many offending riders/drivers why they are willing to take the risk of breaking Indonesian laws by not carrying a valid/approved driving licence you will get mixed responses. One common response is, "I wouldn't do it at home, but If a cop stops me here I'll just give him a couple of bucks". Well, while this might still work (not sure about a couple of bucks, maybe in 1980), the current government is going to never seen before lengths to stamp-out or at least limit corruption. Other events, like a tourist bribing a traffic cop and then posting the event via an online facebook video have also helped limit offenders being able to successfully bribe themselves out of trouble. A more likely outcome (especially if stopped during the all now so common large scale police road stops to check rider/driver documents), is your bike or car will be impounded until you attend court. If you are lucky and are carrying valid car/bike ownership papers or road tax license, the police will often just take those documents (most bike/car hire businesses don't give these to renters) and you'll have to work it out with the person/business whom you rented from when you can't return the car/bike or paperwork or go to court and pay the fine.
However, lets talk about a far more serious risk that goes like this. You're driving on the streets of Bali and one of the dozens of road accidents that happens daily involves you today. A very large crowd gathers in minutes (not everyone has TV here), the police arrive and everyone is blaming YOU! (this will not end well for you). It will soon be discovered that you have no driving license, or atleast one that does not work here (POOP). This now means that no matter who caused the accident, YOU are 100% solely responsible. This is because you have no driving license, so in the eyes of the law you should not be on the road, the fact you are on the road with no legal right to drive you are now legally responsible for all damage and loss (God forbid someone dies), not to mention a driving offence (the least of your worries).
You will now be taken to the police station and will now have to come up with an exceptable (guaranteed to be seemingly very large) amount of money to compensate the person/s that have suffered losses because of you illegally driving on the road to prevent them from pressing charges. If you can't come to an agreement they will press charges and you are in IT! If your actions resulted in a fatality only a very large pay-off to the family will see you even have a chance of avoiding jail time. So, if this don't sound like much fun make sure you have a valid license AND ware a helmet (not necessary in a car).
However, expats/foreign nationals working illegally or operating an unlicensed Bali business are at no less risk (even without a fatality). Police station cells around Bali and the immigration lock-ups at the airport and Denpasar are always holding unfortunate foreigners who ran afoul of the law (or not). Visa over-stays/violations, illegally working, business disputes (that so often lead to criminal investigations) drug related crimes, theft, fighting, road accidents, DUI charges and indecent exposure (sex in a public place), seem to be the most popular.
Many of our clients became 'victims' due to investing in an 'in-trust' relartionship in an attempt to avoid business set-up costs or by trying to circumnavigate property foreign ownership restrictions. While stories of the 'trusting' foreigner' that lossed his/her successful business to their 'trusted' local partner (girlfriend/boyfriend) are common folklore here, more and more we are seeing property nominee issues and ownership challenges resulting in losses to foreign nationals.
Please DO NOT make the same very costly mistakes above. Show respect for YOURSELF, your family and people that depend on you. Show respect for your hard earned money and life-savings. Come have a chat and start that Bali business or make that Bali investment LEGALLY and SECURELY. We can register your Bali business name, produce for you a legal company, with appropriate trading business license, bank accounts, tax compliance and ongoing business/client support. For those of you looking to invest in Bali property we can produce secure contracts that will protect your investments. We also can get you a 'driving license'.
However, if you did not get to read the above or did, but too late. "Don't Say Anything, Before You Call Us". We can provide all necessary legal or negotiation services aimed at getting you out of the 'poop' (for the best possible price).
Keep This Number in Your Wallet - +6287860350256
Or better yet if you're still on the outside come and have a chat about protecting your business and investments in Bali TODAY (before you SIGN or BUY anything).
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