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The Hassle-free Guide to Setting Up a Business in the Philippines from Abroad

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world had to shift to work-from-home practices to keep things in motion. In terms of setting up businesses in the Philippines, foreign investors and entrepreneurs might find it difficult to submit certain documents in person given travel restrictions and such. Luckily, doing so is still possible — and even better yet, hassle-free — with Greenpoint!



In short, the only things you need to provide are fairly straightforward:

  • a local business address,

  • capital requirements depending on corporation characteristics,

  • a local corporate bank account, and

  • specific documents required depending on corporation type for registration.

Once those have been secured, it can be passed on to a representative for your company, like a consultant from Greenpoint. We can then take care of the rest.


The Specifics


It is common for foreign investors to set up either a domestic corporation or a one-person corporation (OPC). The requirements for each are as follows:


Domestic Corporation

  • 2-15 directors or shareholders

  • Certificate of Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission

  • Mayor’s permit from the relevant local government

  • Certificate of Registration with the Bureau of Internal Revenue

  • Employees’ registration for Social Security System, PhilHealth, and the Home Development Fund

  • 4-6 weeks lead time

  • Appointment of officers within 15 days of incorporation:

    • President

    • Corporate Secretary

    • Treasurer

  • Minimum capital requirements

One-Person Corporation

  • Single shareholder, which can be:

    • A natural person,

    • A trust, or

    • An estate

  • Certificate of Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission

  • Mayor’s permit from the relevant local government

  • Certificate of Registration with the Bureau of Internal Revenue

  • Employees’ registration for Social Security System, PhilHealth, and the Home Development Fund

  • 4-6 weeks lead time

  • Designation of nominees in the Articles of Incorporation

  • Appointment of officers within 15 days of incorporation:

    • President

    • Corporate Secretary

    • Treasurer

The only kinds of domestic corporations that are allowed 100% foreign ownership must fall under these categories:

  • Internet businesses

  • Wellness centers

  • Teaching in higher education or outside the formal education system

  • Lending companies

  • Financing companies

  • Investment houses

  • IT

  • Service sector businesses

The minimum capital requirements for corporations also varies depending on certain characteristics:

  1. Over 40% foreign ownership: > USD 200,000*

  2. Less than 40% foreign ownership: PHP 5,000 (~USD 100)

  3. At least 50 employed Filipinos: USD 100,000

  4. Use of advanced technology approved by the DOST: USD 100,000

  5. At least 70% of products are exported: PHP 5,000 (~USD 100)

* This may be higher for specific industries.


Rest assured that while the process is tedious and involves a lot of bureaucracy, Greenpoint will walk with you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to contact us at info@greenpointconsultancy.com to find out more.

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