Frequently Asked Questions About Business Registration Services in the Philippines

Frequently Asked Questions About Business Registration Services in the Philippines

To give you a better understanding of Business Registration Services in the Philippines, we provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address general inquiries about the service.

Q: What types of business entities can I register in the Philippines?

For business registration in the Philippines, a local or foreign individual/company can register any of the following business entities, namely: 

  • Philippine Corporation (Domestic Corporation, One Person Corporation)
  • Foreign Corporation (Regional Operating Headquarters, Regional Headquarters, Representative Office or Branch Office)
  • Partnership (General Partnership or Limited Partnership)
  • Sole Proprietorship (Filipino-owned or Foreign-owned)

Q: What are the requirements for business registration in the Philippines?

Before undergoing the process of business registration in the Philippines, you need to accomplish the pre-registration requirements first, which are generally as follows: 

  1. Reserve/register a company name with SEC
  2. Draft Articles of Incorporation/Partnership and By-laws
  3. Secure the Contract of Lease of your office address
  4. Open a Treasurer-in-Trust Fund (TITF) account (for branch or representative offices only)
  5. Appoint a Resident Agent (for foreign corporations)

Q: What are the requirements to accomplish after business registration in the Philippines?

After business registration in the Philippines, you need to accomplish post-registration requirements, which are generally as follows:

  • Conduct first meeting and elect corporate officers
  • Open a corporate bank account
  • Hire and register employees with the government
  • Apply for tax incentives (optional and dependent on chosen industry)
  • Comply with annual regulatory requirements

Q: How long is the turnover time for business registration services?

Depending on the type of business entity you register under, business registration procedures can last for a minimum of 2-3 months.

Q: Are foreign enterprises allowed to register a business in the Philippines?

Foreign enterprises are allowed to register and start a business in the Philippines. According to Philippine laws, foreign enterprises are allowed to have full or partial ownership over the business. However, such will be subject to the restrictions provided by the Foreign Investments Negative List (FINL).

Q: What kind of business entities can foreign enterprises register with the SEC?

There are six different types of business entities foreign enterprises can choose from:

  • For foreign investors seeking to establish a local company:
  • For existing foreign corporations seeking to expand operations into the Philippines:
    • Branch Office
    • Representative Office
    • Regional Headquarters (RHQ)
    • Regional Operating Headquarters (ROHQ)

Q: What is the Foreign Investments Negative List?

The Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL), or Negative List, is a list of economic sectors where foreign ownership and participation in the Philippines are regulated.

Q: What kind of business activities are not allowed to have foreign ownership?

The following industries are prohibited from foreign ownership: 

  • Mass Media
  • Practice of professions
  • Retail trade enterprises with paid-up capital of less than US$2,500,000
  • Private Security Agencies
  • Small scale mining
  • Utilization of marine resources in archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone as well as small-scale utilization of natural resources in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons
  • Ownership, operation, and management of cockpits
  • Manufacture of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices

For a more detailed list, you may refer to the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL) to guide you.

Q: What is the minimum capital requirement in the Philippines?

Under the Revised Corporation Code (RCC), stock corporations are not required to have a minimum capital, except if provided by special law. However, the amount of capital for the corporation should be equivalent to the business activity that it will undertake

Q: What are the fees for business registration in the Philippines?

The following are the minimum fees for business registration in the Philippines:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registration Fees:
    • Business Name Reservation for 90 days: ₱120
    • SEC Express Lane: ₱600 
    • SEC Registration Fee: ₱2,530 
    • Stock Transfer Book: ₱500 
    • BIR Documentary Stamps: ₱1,500 
    • Notarial Fees: ₱1,500 
    • Total SEC registration expenses: ₱6,750
  • Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Registration Fees:
    • For Barangay: ₱200
    • For City/Municipality: ₱500
    • For Regional: ₱1,000
    • Total DTI registration expenses: ₱1,700
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Registration Fees:
    • Registration Fee: ₱500
    • Loose Documentary Stamp Tax: ₱30
    • Total BIR registration expenses: ₱530

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