Frequently Asked Questions
about Foreign-owned Companies
and Investments in the Philippines

For More Questions

A: As amended by RA No. 8179, it is an act that regulates the participation of foreigners in Philippine economic activities and prescribes the procedures for registering enterprises that plan to do business in the country.

The FINL enumerates economic areas and activities where foreign equity or ownership is limited to a maximum of forty percent (40%). It has two sublists: List A, which, and List B, which. As per RA No. 7042, the list is amended at least every two years. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the 11th FINL last October 29, 2018.

A: Yes, foreign ownership of corporations is allowed. Companies with more than forty percent (40%) foreign ownership catering to the Philippine local market are usually required to have a minimum paid-in capital of USD200,000.00.

Export enterprises are exempt from the USD200,000.00 paid-in capital requirement.

A: Corporations are registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A: Local Business Permits, commonly known as “Mayor’s Permit”, which includes Zoning and Locational Clearance, Sanitary Permit, Fire Safety Inspection Certificate,  Barangay Clearance,  and depending on the nature of your business; FDA Licence to Operate, Importation License.

File an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission, with the proposed Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, and Treasurer Affidavit.

A: Depending on whether the business needs a secondary license or not, it now takes around 2 months to register a business with the SEC, and another 4 weeks to obtain local business permits.

A: The amount of paid-in capital for a corporation, and inward remittance for branch and representative offices is determined either by the Corporation Code of the Philippines, the Foreign Investment Negative List, DTI, BSP or SEC regulations.

SEC fees depend on the amount of authorized capital at time of incorporation, after incorporation documentary stamp tax on issuance of original shares should be paid. Then local business permits must be obtained, cost is determined by the size, length and amount of rental.

A: Yes, foreigners who are legal residents of the Philippines may open bank accounts in various currencies. Some banks will open accounts for tourists but only in a foreign currency.

A: Foreigners may not own land in the Philippines, but may own up to 40% of a corporation which owns land.

A: Up to 40% of a condominium project may be foreign-owned.