Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL) in the Philippines


Are you considering investing in the Philippines? Understanding the regulations surrounding foreign investment is crucial for making informed decisions. FilePino is here to be your trusted partner in navigating the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL) and unlocking the vast opportunities available in the Philippine market.

Foreign companies or nationals who want to invest in the Philippines will be happy to know that the requirements for doing so have been considerably eased.

Executive Order No. 98, which took effect in 2012, has broadened the scope of activities where up to 100% foreign equity is allowed. The Executive Order amends the Foreign Investment Act (FIA), which contains the guidelines for foreign investments in the Philippines.

Navigating Foreign Investments: Equity Limits and Business Structures in the Philippines

Anyone, regardless of nationality, can invest in the Philippines with up to 100% equity. A business with 60% Filipino equity is considered a Philippine company, while one with more than 40% foreign equity is considered a foreign-owned domestic company.

Foreign-owned companies may be formed as a corporation, branch, regional headquarters, or representative office. The type of formation defines the foreign owners’ liability.

Are you interested in learning more about the opportunities for foreign investment in the Philippines? Read here

Restrictions to 100% foreign ownership

Any business may be 100% foreign-owned except for those covered in the FIA Foreign Investment Negative List A & B. These restrictions are determined by:

  • The nature of the business
  • Amount of paid-up capital


Negative List A includes economic activities where foreign equity is restricted in compliance with the Philippine Constitution and Special Laws provisions. The restrictions range from zero to only 60% foreign equity allowed.

  • Activities where zero foreign ownership is allowed include:
  • mass media
  • the practice of professions
  • the use of Philippine marine resources
  • small-scale mining
  • the manufacture, repair, stockpiling, and/or distribution of nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons
  • Retail
  • others as found in FIA Foreign Investment Negative List A

Negative List A also details economic activities where foreign ownership is restricted up to 20%, 25%, 30%, 40% and 60%.


Negative List B includes activities where foreign ownership is restricted only up to 40% due to security, defense, health and moral reasons, as well as to protect small and medium-scale industries.


Foreign ownership of businesses is also restricted by the amount of paid-up capital, depending on the nature of the business. Executive Order No. 98 has lowered the minimum paid-up capital needed for up to 100% foreign ownership, as follows:

Domestic enterprises

Unless otherwise stated in the FIA Negative List A&B, domestic enterprises, or companies catering to the domestic market, may have up to 100% foreign ownership if the paid-up capital is at least US$200,000. For domestic enterprises employing at least 50 persons and/or using advanced technology, the required minimum paid-up capital is only US$100,000.

Retail trade enterprises

Retail trade companies may have 100% foreign ownership if the paid-up capital is at least US$2,500,000, with a minimum investment of US$830,000 for establishing a store.

Retail companies specializing in luxury or high-end products are allowed 100% foreign ownership with a minimum paid-up capital of US$250,000 per store.

Export enterprises

A business qualifies as an export company if it exports at least 60% of its output. KPO, BPO, web development, and similar businesses serving foreign clients are considered export companies. Export companies may have 100% foreign ownership with a minimum paid-up capital of only P5,000, but have to submit an additional document that said companies are export entities to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Your Path to Investment Success

Navigating the FINL and understanding its implications for foreign investment can be complex. At FilePino, we specialize in guiding investors through the regulatory landscape of the Philippines. Our experienced consultants provide comprehensive advice tailored to your investment objectives, ensuring compliance with the FINL and other regulatory requirements.

Ready to Invest? Contact FilePino Today

Unlock the potential of the Philippine market with FilePino by your side. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in navigating the FINL and establishing a successful investment in the Philippines.

How can we help?

Filepino, being a one-stop shop, can assist you with your business operation from start, during its season, and up to its end. We’ve offered expert consulting services to both individuals and businesses, helping them to achieve their strategic business goals effectively.

To arrange a initial consultation, please do not hesitate to reach out to us through the following: 


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