Starting a business in CABA

SecretShopper

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Does anyone have experience starting a business in Argentina? Since I'll be around for a little bit I might as well do something interesting. I'm looking for a starting point.
 

antipodean

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Does anyone have experience starting a business in Argentina? Since I'll be around for a little bit I might as well do something interesting. I'm looking for a starting point.
That’s a broad starting point.
You looking for advice on the administrative/ technical front or something more generic?

Broad words of advice: Work with people you trust and choose your employees wisely. Hire trusted professionals to guide you and take care of the administrative and tax side of things - it is a quagmire that will otherwise quickly consume all your time leaving none to focus on whatever it is you do best. Be fluid and flexible - business cases and plans never work.
 

SecretShopper

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Yeah that was very broad on my point. I'm still a few weeks away from arriving. I guess I should start with how to go about finding available property to lease in CABA.
 

bdk1

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I do, but what kind of advice specifically were you looking for? What kind of business?

In a nutshell, the pros are it is not a very mature market so the opportunities are endless. You don't have to come up with anything new, just replicate a product, service and/or business model from abroad that does not yet exist here. Also people are not in their wildest dreams expecting "American style" customer service - so if you can provide that, it is very easy to stand our from your competitors and you'll have very happy customers who will keep coming back.

The cons are you will get sued by your employees and/or contractors, and you will need to bribe government officials. These are not "maybes," they are facts - most businesses budget for this in advance (and also for theft, a friend of mine who owns a factory says they budget for getting robbed once a year). Also, as a rule of thumb you should only declare and invoice a maximum of 60% of your sales, with the rest being under the table. Otherwise there's just no way a business can be viable in Argentina with all the taxes you'll have to pay.
 

SecretShopper

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I want to open a small bar for food and drink. That definitely interests me. Something that can be operated without having a million employees. the advice you have given is valuable.
 

FallenAngel

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I have seen artesenal beer places that basically have a very very small footprint (low rents) and basically just serve people beer and they mostly just take it to go or congregate on the side walk. I imagine something like that would be very low employee count (potentially 0 just you) and you would likely only need to work it during evening / nights. The fixed rent cost given the small space would likely be very low. By a small space I mean very small like no seating even.

It might be a good concept to try. As the economy gets worse people drink more.
 

Ries

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I know several expats who have done this. Generally with an Argentine partner. It certainly can work- many of the most well known places started this way. Chori/LaCarniceria/NinoGordo, (Columbian expat) or Paris Burger, (French expat) , Panachef (Venezuelan expat) or NOLA (US expat) are all quite successful examples of this. Some with more financial backing, others very bootstrapped, like Panachef, which started with just him, and 4 barstools. Its going to have hurdles, things to learn, but it can be done.
 

steveinbsas

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I guess I should start with how to go about finding available property to lease in CABA.
Perhaps you should start with how to get a "guarantia" to lease an "available" property in CABA,

The first question your .potential landlord will probably ask is, "Where is your guarantee?"

As a foreigner living in Argeentina with a student visa, it probably won't be easy for you to get one.
 
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SecretShopper

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Perhaps you should start with how to get a "guarantia" to lease an "available" property in CABA,

The first question your .potential landlord will probably ask is, "Where is your guarantee?"

As a foreigner living in Argeentina with a student visa, it probably won't be easy for you to get one.
I just imagined if you had money it wouldn't be a problem. As many as aware, the student visa is just a means to an end. Hopefully there would be a way to get it without giving up too much info to the government. I would prefer to show that I have money while giving the government as little financial info as possible.
 

steveinbsas

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I just imagined if you had money it wouldn't be a problem. As many as aware, the student visa is just a means to an end. Hopefully there would be a way to get it without giving up too much info to the government. I would prefer to show that I have money while giving the government as little financial info as possible.
Argentines with proof of local income can buy a guarantia from a bank or they can use another property as "collateral" for the rent payments.

As a foreigner in Argentina with a student visa, I don't think you will be able to buy a guarantia, no mater how much money you have in a foreign bank.

Even if you had the funds in an Argentine bank account (if you could get one), withput proof of local monthly income, I still don't think that you would be able to buy a guarantia.

In that case you would probably need to find an Argentine (business) partner who could.

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