A Step-by-Step Guide
to Company Formation in the Philippines

Welcome to our guide to company formation in the Philippines. Whether you’re a local entrepreneur or a foreign investor looking to set up a business in the Philippines, understanding the step-by-step process is crucial.


In this article, we will walk you through each stage of company formation, explaining the legal requirements, necessary documentation, and important considerations you must be aware of. From choosing the right business structure, registering your company’s name, and obtaining the required permits and licenses, we’ve got you covered.


The Philippines offers a favorable business environment, a growing economy, and a supportive government. However, navigating the complexities of company formation can be challenging. That’s why we’ve simplified the process for you, providing clear explanations and practical tips.


With our step-by-step guide, you’ll gain a solid understanding of the legal framework and procedures involved in setting up a company in the Philippines. So, let’s get started on your journey to business success in the Philippines.

Benefits of setting up a company in the Philippines

Setting up a company in the Philippines offers numerous benefits for local and foreign entrepreneurs. The country’s strategic location, skilled workforce, and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for investment. Here are some key advantages:


1. Strategic Location: Located in Southeast Asia, the Philippines serves as a gateway to the vibrant markets of the Asia-Pacific region. Its proximity to major economies, such as China, Japan, and South Korea, provides ample opportunities for trade and expansion.


2. Growing Economy: The Philippines has been experiencing robust economic growth in recent years, with a strong focus on sectors like information technology, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, and tourism. This growth potential presents a favorable environment for business development and profitability.


3. Supportive Government: The Philippine government actively encourages foreign investment and offers incentives to attract businesses. Various programs and agencies, such as but not limited to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Board of Investments (BOI), provide tax breaks, streamlined processes, and other benefits to investors.


4. English Proficiency: English is widely spoken and understood in the Philippines, making it easier for foreign investors to communicate and conduct business transactions. This language advantage eliminates potential barriers and facilitates smooth operations.


By establishing a company in the Philippines, you can tap into these benefits and position your business for success in the dynamic Southeast Asian market.

Legal requirements for company formation in the Philippines

Before diving into the process of setting up a company in the Philippines, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements involved. Compliance with these requirements is crucial to ensure your company’s legitimacy and to avoid any legal complications. Here are the key legal considerations:


1. Business Structure: The first step in company formation is choosing the appropriate business structure. The options available in the Philippines include sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Each structure has its advantages and implications, so it’s important to carefully evaluate your business goals and requirements before deciding.


2. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registration: Registering your company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is mandatory. The SEC is responsible for ensuring the protection of investors and the efficient operation of the capital market. The registration process involves submitting the necessary documents, such as articles of incorporation or partnership, and paying the required fees.


3. Tax Registration: Once your company is registered with the SEC, you need to register the company before the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN). This number is essential for your company’s tax compliance and reporting obligations. Additionally, depending on your business activities, you may need to register for other specific taxes, such as value-added tax (VAT) or withholding tax.


4. Local Government Permits and Licenses: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to secure additional permits and licenses from the local government units (LGUs). These include the mayor’s permit, barangay clearance, and other clearances specific to your industry. Compliance with local regulations is essential to operate legally and avoid penalties.


Understanding and fulfilling these legal requirements is vital for a smooth and hassle-free company formation process in the Philippines.

Registering your company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Once you have decided on to commence business by establishing a corporation or company, the next step is to register your company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC is the primary regulatory body responsible for overseeing corporate registration and compliance in the Philippines. Here’s an overview of the registration process:


1. Name Reservation: Before registering, you must reserve your company’s name with the SEC. This ensures that no other entity can use the same or a similar name.


2. Preparation of Articles of Incorporation or Partnership: The next step is to prepare the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. These documents outline the company’s purpose, structure, authorized capital stock, and other relevant information. Ensuring accuracy and compliance with SEC guidelines is important when drafting these documents.


3. Submission of Documents and Payment of Fees: Once the necessary documents are prepared, you must submit them to the SEC along with the required fees. The exact documents and fees may vary depending on the business structure and the nature of your company’s activities. It’s advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure a smooth and error-free submission.


4. Issuance of Certificate of Incorporation: After the SEC reviews and approves your application, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation. This certificate proves your company’s legal existence and is required for various transactions, such as opening a bank account or applying for permits and licenses.


By following these steps and fulfilling the necessary requirements, you can successfully register your company with the SEC and proceed with the next stage of company formation.

Obtaining necessary permits and licenses for your business

After registering your company with the SEC, you need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally in the Philippines. Compliance with local regulations and industry-specific requirements is essential to avoid penalties and ensure a smooth business operation. Here are some key permits and licenses you may need:


1. Mayor’s Permit (or Business Permit): This permit is issued by the local government unit (LGU) where your business is located. It authorizes your company to operate within the jurisdiction and ensures compliance with local ordinances and regulations. The requirements and procedures for obtaining the Mayor’s Permit may vary depending on the LGU.


2. Barangay Registration: A Barangay Registration is a certification from the barangay (the smallest administrative division in the Philippines) where your business is situated. It proves that your business complies with the barangay’s rules and regulations. The specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on the barangay.


3. Industry-Specific Permits and Licenses: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses specific to your industry. Examples include food and drug permits for restaurants or pharmaceutical companies, environmental permits for manufacturing or construction businesses, and special licenses for regulated industries such as finance or healthcare. It’s important to research and identify the specific permits and licenses applicable to your business.


By diligently completing the permit and licensing requirements, you can demonstrate your commitment to legal compliance and operate your business smoothly in the Philippines. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements of your industry and seek professional advice if needed.

Conclusion and next steps

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our step-by-step guide to company formation in the Philippines. By now, you should have a solid understanding of the legal requirements and procedures involved in setting up a company in this vibrant country.


Starting a business in the Philippines can be rewarding, but it requires careful planning and compliance with regulations. Consult with legal and industry professionals to successfully navigate the complexities of company formation.


As you move forward, stay informed about any changes in laws or regulations that may affect your business. Keep track of important deadlines for renewing permits and licenses and maintain accurate records to ensure compliance.


With the right knowledge and guidance, you can embark on your journey to business success in the Philippines. Good luck!

How Ricasio Law can assist you?​

Ricasio Law is a law firm in the Philippines and an expert in Corporate Law and Company Formation. Our team of Corporate Law experts can give you useful advice and help you figure out the best thing to do. Get in touch with us right away to talk about your goals and let us help you extablish a company in the Philippines.

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