A Guide to Starting a Business in the Philippines

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Increasing urbanization, middle-class growth, and a considerably young population mean that the Philippines has an economic dynamism created on the basis of powerful consumer demand through an improvement in real incomes and the robustness of the country’s remittances. In addition, industrial and technological development has allowed businesses to transform and improve, and has led to the creation of new entrepreneurial opportunities for locals and foreigners alike.

In this blog, we will be covering the basics of starting a business in the Philippines.

Steps Involved in Starting a Philippines Business:

Step 1 –Researching your preferred industry:

Before initiating the company registration process, you must spend some time in learning everything there is to learn about your preferred industry with regards to the Philippines. If you are an international entrepreneur, you must remember that there are certain businesses or industries that are closed to foreigners. For this reason, get in touch with the business registration agencies in the Philippines and make sure that you will be able to go ahead with your chosen business idea.

Step 2 – Choosing and registering your business name:

Once you have ensured that you can go ahead with your entrepreneurial idea, you need to pick a name for your business and get that name registered. For the registration process, your pertinent department will depend upon the type of business entity that you will be forming:

Sole Proprietorships are registered through the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry).
Partnerships or Corporations are registered through the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).
Cooperative businesses are registered through the CDA (Cooperative Development Authority).

Legal Documents Required for Running a Philippine Business:

1) Document proving SEC registration:

This document is required for entrepreneurs looking to operate as corporations or partnerships.

2) Document proving DTI registration:

This document is required for registering the BTR (Business Trade Name).

3) Document Proving BIR Registration:

You will require this to obtain your TIN (Tax Identification Number), which you will be using for your official invoices and receipts, account books, and for paying the taxes pertaining to internal revenue (such as Income Tax, Percentage Tax or VAT, and Withholding Taxes).

4) Document proving Pag-Ibig Fund, PhilHealth, and SSS registration:

These documents will allow you to get your company or yourself registered as employers, which, in turn, will give you the right to remit your share as an employer with the contribution of your employees.

Generally, the Municipality or City Office and the BIR need the DTI and SEC registration certificates in order to register a business. Hence, you must make sure that your business is registered with the aforementioned offices in order to start your operations.

Step 3 – Choosing an address for your office:

You will now need to locate and rent premises for your commercial operations. There are certain residential and other areas closed for businesses, so you need to be clear about all those regions. In addition, make sure that you choose a business location that will put you close to your target market.

Step 4 – Opening a corporate bank account and paying the required deposit:

The Philippines requires all business owners looking to register their business within the country to start an account in their company name and transfer an amount of at least PHP 5,000. To open this bank account, you might have to produce your company’s identification documents and the AoI (Articles of Incorporation).

Step 5 – Applying for and securing any business permits or other required clearances:

Every new business entity across the country is expected to possess every clearance, license, and permit that it requires to conduct business, before it starts off with its commercial activities. Alongside the requirements mentioned above, you might need to fulfill any additional requirements, so make sure to check within the area where you will be operating your business from.

Once you have completed all the above steps, you can officially open your business doors and entertain customers.

Most Lucrative Markets in the Philippines:

Confused about the industry where you should start your business? Maybe this section, outlining some of the top business industries in the Philippines, will help you out:

1) Tourism and travel:

The Philippines is rich in terms of luxurious tourist destinations and scenic beauty, which means that package offers, services, accommodations, facilities, transport, trips, food and drinks, and any other travel-related service is likely to be in high demand.

2) Agriculture:

The tropical nature of the country means that the Philippines has massive fertile soils which are suitable for a wide range of crops such as rice, coconut, sugarcane, mango, cacao, banana, pineapple, coffee, and corn. In addition, the livestock and poultry produced by the Philippines allows it to support the basic requirements of its people, making agriculture an excellent industry for entrepreneurial ventures.

3) Manufacturing:

Being an agrarian country does not mean that the Philippines is not suited for manufacturing enterprises – quite the opposite, in fact. Entrepreneurs can produce products such as food and drinks, transport, petroleum, textile, and industrial equipment.

4) Healthcare:

Healthcare expenditures for Philippines have grown significantly over the last several years, allowing the industry to pick pace within the country. More and more Filipinos are starting to prioritize their health – a trend that is only going to intensify.

Final Word:

The Philippines’ strategic location, developing infrastructure, and a confident young population make it one of the best entrepreneurial destinations for all kinds of entrepreneurs. We hope that this guide will help you get started with your Philippine venture.

If you require expert assistance regarding the business opportunities or registration process in the Philippines, please feel free to reach out to us.



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