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Investing and Doing Business in the Philippines

Post: March 13, 2018

Who may invest?
Anyone, regardless of nationality, is welcome to invest in the Philippines. With the liberalization of the foreign investment law, 100% foreign equity may be allowed in all areas of investment except those reserved Filipinos by mandate of the Philippine Constitution and existing laws.

What requirements must be complied with before a foreign corporation can do business in the Philippines?
A foreign corporation must first secure the necessary licenses or registrations from the appropriate government bodies. In the case of corporations or partnerships, the necessary incorporation papers from the Securities and Exchange Commission must first be obtained. In the case of single proprietorship, registration from the Bureau of Trade Regulation & Consumer Protection of the Department of Trade and Industry must be secured.

What is the general policy of the government for foreign investments?
The government recognizes the pivotal role of private sector investments and, thereby, commits to continuously enhance the business climate. Foreign investments are encouraged to fill in capital gaps, help provide employment, increase production, and provide a base for the overall development of the economy.

Investment rules and regulations have thus been liberalized to facilitate entry of foreign investments.
Foreign investors investing in the Philippines can now lease private lands up to 75 years. Based on R.A. No. 7652, entitled “Investor’s Lease Act”, lease agreements may be entered into with Filipino landowners. Lease period is 50 years, renewable once for another 25 years. For tourism projects, the lease shall be limited to projects with an investment of not less than US$5M, 70% of which shall be infused in said project within 3 years from signing of the lease contract.