Buying a Business?
by Leia Kelly
I am retired and with a small pension. I have always wanted to own a cafe/bar with living quarters. I like the idea of being in the downtwn area as I don't drive and love walking. I speak some Spanish and probably can learn more, although hard to remember new things at 64.
Can you tell me approximately what cost this would be or if such may be available? And what are the laws about foreign ownership of businesses etc.?
I commend you for your business initiative.
There are some restaurants for sale here in Cuenca. There's a small one right on Parque Calderón, the main square, but it probably doesn't have living quarters.
There's one very popular with expats that will be on the market very soon, with owner accommodations and two longer-term rental suites, but it won't be cheap (probably in the $400-$500K range -- but since sold).
There are also hotels and restaurants for sale all over Ecuador. I know of a small hostal for sale in Olón, on the coast, with 14 rooms for $157K.
As for owning a business, Ecuador has no problems with expats owning them, but an Ecuadorian must own at least 1% of the company.
I should warn you, however, that EC's laws are strongly (very strongly) on the side of the worker. In fact, there are the equivalent of ambulance chasers here, lawyers who go looking for workers to file suits against their employer for some wrong or another.
The employer almost always loses, the worker makes a bit of money, and the lawyer takes most of the cash.
Something to consider before you plunk down a pile of cash.
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