So, you’ve finished laying down the groundwork for your business in the Philippines. What are the next steps to take? Further down this article, we outlined a couple of business processes you might want to outsource to local professionals, as well as important things to do before you formally launch your business in the Philippines.
Your company secretary is the person in charge of your business’ administration and matters of corporate governance. Included in their list of things to do are preparing official minutes of any meetings, filing your business’ General Information Sheet (GIS) every year with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and looking after your company’s books and statutory registers.
As mandated by Philippine law, your company secretary should be a resident of the Philippines, preferably one who is experienced in secretarial functions and obligations in the country. You can hire a company secretary with relevant experience or find a trustworthy corporate secretarial firm.
The second and third persons you need to keep your business in the Philippines afloat and thriving are an accountant and a bookkeeper. They are both responsible for handling your business’ financial statements and records, not to mention manage your company’s payroll and other payment-related activities.
Unlike the company secretary, you are under no obligation to hire an accountant and a bookkeeper who are residents of the Philippines. If you are hiring a foreign national, however, you need to ensure they have the proper visas and documentation work in the country.
Alternatively, you can outsource this business process to an accounting and bookkeeping firm here in the Philippines.
While planning the set-up of your business in the Philippines, you might have glossed or scanned over tax obligations in your research. Now, it is time to revisit your tax obligations depending on several factors including your company’s business structure.
For instance, there is a corporate income tax rate of 30 percent and special income tax rates for resident foreign corporations. There is the 15 percent Branch Profit Remittance Tax (BPRT) for branches of foreign corporations. Your business’ home country might also be in a tax treaty with the Philippines, which can mean additional tax exemptions or preferential tax treatments. Click here to learn more about taxation in the Philippines.
As you establish your company and expand it here in the Philippines, it is important to distinguish your business and the services it offers to stand out from the competition. You will need to register your logo or trademark with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
The first thing to do is to check if your company’s logo or trademark is still available in the Philippines. That means it isn’t registered nor is there a pending application for it. You can start your search here.
If your company’s logo or trademark is indeed free, you can go to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to submit the application in person. Alternatively, you can process it online by filling out two forms accordingly, attaching a picture of your company’s logo or trademark, submitting the documents, then paying the relevant fees.
Foreign nationals who will be working in the Philippines for a period of six months or less are instructed to get a Special Work Permit. Meanwhile, foreign nationals who plan to work here for a longer period of time are required to get a work visa from the Bureau of Immigration and an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
If you plan to bring a family member with you to the Philippines, they can come with you on a dependent visa.
You can learn more about working permits for foreigners here. Remember that this does not only apply to you but to any foreign national you plan to hire for your business in the Philippines.
To learn more about opening a business in the Philippines, browse our website or contact our team today.