Starting a business in Fiji?

Some people want to stay in Fiji and get involved in tourism as a business. Is starting a business in Fiji possible? If so, what is the red tape?

I did the legwork looking into it because I wanted to rent a big house in Suva and start a hostel there. The idea was great: cheap dorm close to the port where people have to take early or late ferries to the Northern Fiji Islands. I still think the need for it exist!

I should also note that this was looked into under military rule and officially in 2014, democracy was restored (on paper). I am not sure if that means some changes is how starting businesses work for non-Fijians or not.

invest-fijiWhat is the process of starting a business in Fiji?

The fact of the matter is it is all about getting your money from you and lots of it.

Invest Fiji or officially, the Fiji Trade & Investment Board (FTIB) is the first stop. They have a packet of information and they want $1,500 US dollars to process it. Yes, you read that right. $1,500! In comparison, Samoa is $40 and Tonga is $65.

After you pay them the fee, they send you to Ministry of Revenue to get a tax number there.

Now, you have to go to Immigration and get a visa to work in Fiji. That is another $1,000++ and you must give them $25,000 dollars to hold. In addition, you need to maintain $50,000 in a Fiji based bank account.

After that, you have to get permits for this and for that. More forms and more fees.

start a business in fijiIs it worth it to start a business?

That is up to you to make that call. It might be if you have the money or the partners to make it work. Make sure you can make it profitable after looking at all the startup cost though.

I made the determination that the mere cost of legally starting a business alone would keep it from working. The amount of money that would tied up would hard to receive on charging tourist $5 a night in a dorm.

The attitude I got from them is they want people with deep pockets only. They are not at all interested in people with dreams of startups. They mainly just want people to start more resorts! That was the feeling I was left with anyways.

If you have started a business in Fiji, let me know how it worked out for you.

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