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Business Registration and Incorporation in the Philippines

Our lawyers and consultants will carefully assess your business in the Philippines to determine the investment vehicle best suited for you and your company. We will assist with formation procedure, planning, and registration with the relevant government agencies starting with the Philippines SEC in Metro-Manila, Davao, Santa Rosa (Laguna), Cebu, Clark, and Subic.

Investment incentives such as income tax holidays are available to foreign investors engaged in activities that significantly contribute to national industrialization and socio-economic development, or are considered export-oriented enterprises such as IT-BPOs or other companies with cost center operations. Eligible businesses may apply for incentives with Philippine government agencies such as PEZABOI, CEZA, and TIEZA.

Types of company registration

Our tax & corporate lawyers will perform the following:

  • Determine company formation
  • Determine Capital Requirement
  • Open corporate bank account
  • Register and secure company name with SEC
  • Draft Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws
  • Register company with SEC, BIR, SSS, etc.
  • Determine eligibility for incentives with BOI, PEZA, CEZA, or TIEZA
  • Process Mayor’s Permit, Business Permit, and Barangay Clearance

Business Registration for Most Foreign Companies

Foreign investors typically register and start a business in the Philippines through a Domestic Corporation or Branch Office. Either entity has advantages and disadvantages. Corporations are more favorable in terms of administrative regulation. Branches may be more advantageous taxwise, but cannot be used if the activities undertaken by the business are included in the Foreign Investment Negative list (FINL) since they are considered completely foreign-owned. The FINL prescribes the Philippine equity participation necessary for various businesses restricted from full foreign ownership by law or the Constitution. Corporations are able to accommodate the necessary Philippine equity requirements.

Where a business entity exports goods or services and generates revenue from abroad exceeding 60% of its gross sales, it may be fully foreign-owned and it is exempted from the regular $200,000 inward capital remittance requirement. These qualified entities are considered Export Enterprises under the Foreign Investments Act. Branches and domestic corporations considered export enterprises can be registered with as little as P5,000 paid up capital. Philippine business however, must open a local bank account and most banks require P25,000 – P50,000 as an opening balance.

The failure of a foreign corporation to obtain a license to do business prevents it from filing suit in Philippine courts. The issuance of a certificate of incorporation from the SEC signifies the commencement of corporate existence and juridical personality for a company however, before commencing actual operations, businesses must also register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Social Security System (SSS), the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Phil-Health), and the local government unit where its principal office will be located. View SEC & Other Government Fees for Registration.

Registration and Company Setup of Foreign-Owned Company

Tax and Incentives Registration

Locations of Business Incorporation, Formation, and Registration

  • Metro-Manila (Makati, Ortigas, QC, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Alabang)
  • Cebu
  • Davao
  • Santa Rosa, Laguna
  • Cavite
  • Bulacan
  • Clark
  • Subic