cost of company registration in the philippines by emerhub

  • Sohaib serves as the Director of Emerhub in the United Arab Emirates

    Sohaib Ikram

    Sohaib Ikram serves as the Director of Emerhub in the United Arab Emirates.

Planning to launch your business in the Philippines? Here’s the inside scoop on the costs of registering a company in the philippines! Starting a business in the Philippines is a thrilling opportunity, but it also requires careful planning, especially when it comes to budgeting. 

This article elaborates on what to expect in terms of costs when registering a company in the Philippines with Emerhub, including the fees for different types of companies, additional expenses to keep in mind, and strategies to help save money. 

Before taking the steps for registering your company in the Philippines, it is important to note that investors are not required to travel to the Philippines for the registration process. The process is completed through a representative or through a third-party service provider like Emerhub. 

Types of companies and their costs of registration in the Philippines

The cost of registering a company in the Philippines depends on the type of company you are forming. 

The 3 most common types of companies registered by foreigners in the Philippines include:

  1. Domestic Corporation
  2. Branch office
  3. Representative office

For more details on the process and requirements of registering a company in the Philippines, click here.

1- Domestic corporation

A Domestic corporation is a company formed and based in the Philippines that operates within the country only. It is a separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders) and is recognized as such under Philippine law, which allows it to enter into contracts, own assets, and perform other legal activities.

Timeline: The process of establishing a corporation in the Philippines typically takes 29 days. 

Step-by-step process for registering a domestic corporation in the Philippines:

The process for registering a domestic corporation in the Philippines includes:

Step 1: Registering a company name with the securities and exchange commission (SEC)

Step 2: Filing articles of incorporation with the SEC

Step 3: Obtaining a business permit and license

Step 4: Registration with the bureau of internal revenue (BIR) for corporate taxing

Step 5: Obtaining a tax identification number (TIN) from the bureau of internal revenue (BIR).

Step 6: Applying for a Corporate Bank Account

Step 7: Registering with the Social Institution (PHIC, SSS, HDMF)

Total cost with Emerhub: While the total cost for registering a domestic corporation in the Philippines varies based on the industry you wish to operate in and the required add-on services (such as resident agent and virtual office), the approximate cost for registering a domestic corporation with Emerhub is USD 9,050.

Cost breakdown: 

The cost of registering a domestic corporation in the Philippines with Emerhub includes the following charges.

  • Incorporation Registration (USD 2500):

This includes registering the company with the following authorities:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Local Government Unit (LGU)
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
  • Social Institution Registration (SSS, Philhealth, and Pagibig) for 1 employee
  • SEC Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST) Registration
  • Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Registration
  • Government Fees Deposit (starting from USD 1,000 + 1% of the authorized capital)
    • To be used for any government fees incurred in the registration process. Any funds in excess will be refunded to the client no later than 30 days after the completion of the registration process, accompanied by official receipts.

Add-on services:

It is mandatory for a domestic corporation to have a corporate secretary, a treasurer in trust, and an office space if they wish to register in the Philippines. If the company does not have these available, Emerhub provides all three as add-on services.

  • Corporate Secretarial Service (USD 2,900 annually, with a USD 1,000 deposit)
    • Emerhub provides a Corporate Secretary to the company for 1 year.
    • The secretary will assist in drafting corporate documents such as Board Resolutions, Minutes of the Meetings, Secretary’s Certificate, and handling the Stock Transfer Book.
    • The secretary will also assist in reviewing and dealing with other corporate matters entrusted to Emerhub by the Company, as well as all SEC compliances that must be signed and prepared by the Corporate Secretary.
  • Treasurer in Trust Nominee (USD 2,000 annually, with a USD 1,000 deposit)
    • Emerhub will provide a Treasurer in Trust to the company for 1 year.
    • The Treasurer in Trust will not be involved in the finances of the company
    • This includes the opening of a Corporate Bank Account
  • Virtual Office (USD 650 annually, with a USD 500 deposit)
    • Use of Emerhub’s Business Address to be your Registered Business Address

Domestic corporations in the Philippines are commonly chosen for the following industries.

  • Retail
  • Wholesale
  • Professional services
  • Tech companies
  • Consultancy
  • BPO/IT

2- Representative office 

A representative office (RO) in the Philippines is a type of foreign investment vehicle used by foreign companies to engage in market research and promote their products and services in the Philippines. By definition, this type of business can not conduct any revenue-generating activities and only act as an extension of the parent company.

Timeline: Establishing a representative office (RO) in the Philippines typically takes a minimum of 5 months.

Step-by-step process for registering a representative office (RO): 

The process for establishing a representative office (RO) in the Philippines is as follows:

Step 1: Register for a Tax Identification Number for Foreigners from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). At this point, the company needs a Treasurer in Trust to open a Treasurer in Trust (TITF) account. Once the account is opened, the investor needs to send USD 30,000 Inward Remittance to the account which will later be used as the company’s equity.

Step 2: Acquire a Certificate of Inward Remittance from the bank.

Step 3: Obtaining a certificate of registration from the securities and exchange commission (SEC) by submitting articles of incorporation from the parent company, a bank certificate, auditor’s report, or any other proof of the parent company’s business operations, and appointment of a resident agent to receive legal notices on behalf of the RO.

Step 4: Register with the bureau of internal revenue (BIR) for tax purposes.

Step 5: Register with the Local Government Unit for a Business Permit

Step 6: Registration in the Social Institutions (PHIC, SSS, HDMF)

Step 7: Registration in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

Total cost with Emerhub: While the total cost for registering a representative office in the Philippines will vary based on the industry you wish to operate in and the required add-on services (such as resident agent and virtual office), the approximate cost for registering a Branch Office with Emerhub is USD 6,850

Cost breakdown: 

The cost of registering this type of company in the Philippines with Emerhub includes the following.

  • Incorporation Registration (USD 2,500)

This includes registering the company with the following authorities:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Local Government Unit (LGU)
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
  • Social Institution Registration (SSS, Philhealth
  • and Pagibig) for 1 employee
  • SEC Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST) Registration
  • Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Registration
  • Government Fees Deposit (USD 1,000)
    • To be used for any government fees incurred in the registration process. Any funds in excess will be refunded to the client no later than 30 days after the completion of the registration process, accompanied by official receipts.

Add-on services:

It is mandatory for a representative office to have a resident agent, a treasurer in trust, and an office space if they wish to register in the Philippines. If the company does not have these available, Emerhub provides all three as add-on services.

  • Resident Agent (USD 1,700 annually)
    • Emerhub will provide a Resident Agent to the company for one year.
  • Treasurer in Trust (USD 1,000)
    • Emerhub will provide a Treasurer in Trust to the company.
    • Used to open a TITF Bank account
    • Once the TITF account is converted to a Corporate Bank account, the need for a Treasurer in Trust ends.
  • Virtual Office (USD 650 annually, with a USD 500 deposit)
    • Use of Emerhub’s Business Address to be your Registered Business Address

Representative offices in the Philippines operate in various industries such as:

  • BPO and Call centers
  • IT and back office administration
  • Consultancy businesses (Finance, healthcare, business, etc)

3- Branch office

A branch office in the Philippines is a type of foreign corporation that is established by a foreign parent company to conduct its business operations in the country. It operates under the name of the parent company and is considered an extension of the foreign corporation. 

Timeline: It takes approximately 5 months to complete the process of registering a branch office in Vietnam.

Step-by-step process for establishing a branch office in the Philippines:

The process for establishing a branch office in the Philippines is as follows:

Step 1: Register for a Tax Identification Number for Foreigners from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR): At this point, the company needs a Treasurer in Trust to open a Treasurer in Trust (TITF) account. Once the account is opened, the investor needs to send USD 200,000 Inward Remittance to the account which will later be used as the company’s equity.

Step 2: Acquire the Certificate of Inward Remittance from the bank.

Step 3: Obtain a certificate of registration from the securities and exchange commission (SEC) by submitting articles of incorporation from the parent company, a bank certificate, an auditor’s report, or any other proof of the parent company’s business operations, and appointment of a resident agent to receive legal notices on behalf of the RO.

Step 4: SEC Registration of Security Deposit

Step 5: The branch office needs to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and obtain a tax identification number (TIN)

Step 6: Register with the Local Government Unit for the Business Permit

Step 7: Registration in the Social Institutions (PHIC, SSS, HDMF)

Step 8: Registration in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

Total cost: While the total cost for registering a branch office in the Philippines will vary based on the industry you wish to operate in and the required add-on services (such as resident agent and virtual office), the approximate cost for registering a Branch Office with Emerhub starts from USD 6,850

Cost breakdown: 

The cost of registering a branch office in the Philippines with Emerhub includes the following charges. 

  • Incorporation Registration (USD 2500):

This includes registering the company with the following authorities:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Local Government Unit (LGU)
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
  • Social Institution Registration (SSS, Philhealth, and Pagibig) for 1 employee
  • SEC Electronic Filing and Submission Tool (eFAST) Registration
  • Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Registration
  • Government Fees Deposit (starting from USD 1,000 + 1% of the authorized capital)
    • To be used for any government fees incurred in the registration process. Any funds in excess will be refunded to the client no later than 30 days after the completion of the registration process, accompanied by official receipts.

Add-on services:

It is mandatory for a representative office to have a resident agent, a treasurer in trust, and an office space if they wish to register in the Philippines. If the company does not have these available, Emerhub provides all three as add-on services.

  • Resident Agent (USD 1,700 annually)
    • Emerhub will provide a Resident Agent to the company for 1 year.
  • Treasurer in Trust (USD 1,000)
    • Emerhub will provide a Treasurer in Trust to the company
    • Used to open a TITF Bank account
    • Once the TITF is converted to the Corporate Bank account, the need for a Treasurer in Trust ends.
  • Virtual Office (USD 650 annually, with a USD 500 deposit)
    • Use of Emerhub’s Business Address to be your Registered Business Address

Branch offices in the Philippines generally operate in the following industries. 

  • Information technology (IT)
  • Business process outsourcing (BPO)
  • Manufacturing
  • Trading
  • Construction.

Additional costs for registering a company in the Philippines

Starting a business in the Philippines requires more than just the cost of registration. Most of these costs are based on the company’s intended activities in the Philippines, and may not be required by law.

Additional expenses for operating a company in the Philippines, besides the registration costs, varies depending on the size of the company. 

  • Office rent – Ranges from PHP 15,000 to PHP 200,000 ($300- $4000) per month, depending on the location and size of the office. A physical or virtual office is required by law for all four types of companies mentioned above in this article. 
  • Employee salaries – Ranges from PHP 10,000 to PHP 100,000 ($200- $2000)  per month, depending on the number of employees and their positions.
  • Communication and internet expenses – High-speed internet (around 100 Mbps) in the Philippines costs 450 USD to 800 USD for offices, depending on the service provider. 

Strategies for minimizing the costs of company registration in the Philippines

Starting a business in the Philippines requires careful planning, including budgeting for company registration. It’s important to understand what you’re trying to achieve with your business and whether registering a company is necessary to meet those goals. By being mindful of the costs associated with registration, you can make informed decisions to maximize the success of your business. 

  • Avoid unnecessary expenses: Avoiding, such as a physical office space. This is achieved by having a clear understanding of your intended objective and opting for virtual offices or co-working spaces instead.
  • Hire using an employer of record: Get employer of record (EOR) services to minimize costs when setting up a company in the Philippines. EOR services offer an alternative to company formation and let you hire employees without registering a local entity. The EOR company becomes the legal employer and handles payroll and taxes, freeing you to focus on your core business. Learn more about EOR services 

How does Emerhub help foreigners set up their companies in the Philippines?

Starting a business in a foreign country is challenging, especially if you have little knowledge about the local regulations and requirements. This is where Emerhub comes in – a professional service provider specializing in helping businesses establish and grow in Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines. Emerhub provides a comprehensive range of services aimed at streamlining the process of registering a new company in the Philippines.

  • Assessment of registration requirements and fees
  • Preparation and submission of the necessary documentation
  • Liaison with government agencies
  • Assistance in obtaining business permits and licenses
  • Support in opening a bank account.

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