How to set up an IT-related company in the Philippines?

A comprehensive guide to setting up an IT company in the Philippines, including registrations and timelines.

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Legal Requirements for setting up Information Technology and IT-related companies in the Philippines

The Philippines is cultivating an ecosystem for Information Technology and IT-related companies, following the footsteps of other Southeast Asian countries like Hong Kong and Singapore. Here are the steps for setting up your IT-related company in the Philippines with Emerhub.

Steps for registering an IT company in the Philippines

To establish your IT-related company in the Philippines, Emerhub will take you through the following process to obtain: 

  1. SEC license to operate
  2. Certificate of Registration with the Bureau of Internal Revenue
  3. Business Permit from the Local Government Unit (LGU) where the business is situated
  4. Certificate of Registration with the Social Institutions
  5. Bank account setup (Certificate of Deposit)

Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

To set up your IT company in the Philippines, Emerhub first registers the business with the SEC. It is the national government regulatory agency responsible for registration, regulation, licensing, and supervision of all partnerships and corporations organized in the Philippines, including foreign corporations which are licensed to engage in business activities or to establish branch offices in the Philippines. Registration of IT companies at times might require approval of certain under-departments, such as the Philifintech Innovation Office, and the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department.

Process:

  1. Submit online application
  2. SEC approval
  3. Send documents to signatories
  4. Payment and Physical submission of hard copies
  5. Release of the Certificate

It takes approximately 30 working days to gain an SEC Certificate.

Registration with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

A company has to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which is the national taxing authority in the Philippines and is responsible for collecting national taxes. It requires people residing in the Philippines who are accepting income from within or outside the country to pay their income taxes and file income tax returns. Emerhub registers your IT-related business with the BIR manually, while all future transactions are reported online. 

Process:

  1. Apply for Taxpayer Identification Number 
  2. Secure authorized computation from the officer-in-charge
  3. Payment of Documentary stamp tax
  4. Request for a template from an authorized printer
  5. Submission and acceptance of documents
  6. Release of Certificate of Registration
  7. Release of ATP
  8. Stamping of Books of Account

Process timeline: 14 days

Registration in Local Government Unit (LGU)

A company must register with the local government unit (LGU) where it plans to do business within 30 days from the SEC certificate’s issuance date. At this stage, securing a sanitary permit, barangay clearance, locational clearance, community tax certificate, and zoning certification are some of the supporting documents that need to be submitted before a mayor’s permit is issued. Emerhub offers registration to Metro Manila and Calabarzon, as well as towns in the province of Cebu.

Process:

  1. Submission of application form 
  2. Inspection of location
  3. Assessment of fees
  4. Making payment
  5. Issuance of Business Permit

Process timeline: approximately 30 working days

Registration with Social Institutions

Before your IT-related company hires its first employee, Emerhub has to register you with Social Institutions in the Philippines. These institutes provide benefits to the workers in the Philippines which are working in various sectors. These benefits include:

These include the following:

  • Philhealth is the medical insurance program by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) that provides universal health coverage. Employers need to process an application for fresh graduates or employees, not registered with PhilHealth yet. Employees already registered with PhilHealth should share their registration number with the company in order to continue their contribution to the health agency.
  • SSS – Social Security System provides protection against various contingencies such as old age, disability, calamities, sickness, pregnancies, unemployment, and death. Under the Philippines law both, employees and employers share a part of the monthly contribution to SSS which is deducted from their payroll. Contribution is based on the salary of the employee and under which bracket it falls.
  • Pag-IBIG is the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) which provides home loans and affordable housing financial assistance to employees.

Process:

The process for registering in all three aforementioned institutions is similar and mentioned as follows:

  1. Emerhub prepares the required documents
  2. Signing of documents by the authorized signatory
  3. Submission to the government agency
  4. Evaluation of documents submitted
  5. Release of Certificate
  6. Creation of online access

Process timeline: 30 working days

Bank account Set up

A business bank account refers to a separate account that has been set up specifically for business purposes. It is where you keep track of your company’s finances. Business bank account holders have extra benefits like accounting integrations and lower interest rates especially if they register an SME account. 

Process:

  1. Preparation of bank forms by Emerhub
  2. Secure the signature of the authorized signatories and directors
  3. Submission to the relationship manager
  4. Evaluation of documents
  5. Issuance of the account number

Process timeline: 30 working days 

Timeline for setting up an IT company in the Philippines

  1. Security Exchange Commission (SEC) license: 30 working days
  2. Registration in Local Government Unit (LGU): 30 working days
  3. Certificate of Registration with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR): 14 working days
  4. Certificate of Registration with the Social Institutions: 30 working days
  5. Bank account set up: 30 working days

There might be instances where a National Telecommunications Commission registration might be required depending on the product and business activity of the IT-related company. A Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) is required before an entity is allowed to install, operate and maintain public telecommunications facilities and services in the country. Emerhub will register your company with the NTC if required. 

Register your IT company with Emerhub

Emerhub assists you in setting up an IT-based company in the Philippines. Interested in learning more? Fill out the form below and one of our consultants will reach out to you to get things started.

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