Philippine Business For Foreigners.
As always here at PhilFAQS, your information and advice source for living in the Philippines, finding a job in the Philippines or investing in the Philippines, I always seem to learn more from my readers than any other source.
Recently an expert reader who (a foreigner, not married to a Filipino, by the way) who has been living and working in the Philippines for nearly three decades made some excellent comments to my recent post regarding owning your own business in the Philippines Start a Business in the Philippines — Legal Ways to Own and also included a copy of the official government of the Philippines
Now remember, I’m no lawyer, and if you are thinking seriously about investing in any business you certainly need one. But I felt it was useful to put this out in one place for easy reference and further discussion, if anyone is interested.
Occupations Foreigners May Not Engage In
- 1 Occupations Foreigners May Not Engage In
- 2 Businesses That May Not Have Any Foreigner Ownership
- 3 Businesses That May Have Up to Twenty Percent (20%) Foreigner Ownership
- 4 Businesses That May Have Up to Twenty-Five Percent (25%) Foreigner Ownership
- 5 Businesses That May Have Up to Thirty Percent (30%) Foreigner Ownership
- 6 Businesses That May Have Up to Forty Percent (40%) Foreigner Ownership
- 7 Businesses That May Have Up to Sixty Percent (60%) Foreigner Ownership
This is the most restrictive part of the list. Doesn’t matter if you have the idea of being a solo practitioner, working for a professional firm or any other status, the practice of these professions is restricted to Filipino citizens except in certain cases prescribed by Philippine law.
Practice of all professions
Electronics and Communication
Naval Architecture and Marine
Medicine and Allied Professions
Midwifery (ed note: in the Philippines, this corresponds to what we would call a CNA or LPN in the US)
Nutrition and Dietetics
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Radiologic and X-ray Technology
Marine Deck Officers
Marine Engine Officers
(ed note; Now do you see why I sometimes sound like a broken record when I tell you to stop wasting lime looking for a job in the Philippines?)
Now, let’s shift gears. Suppose you don’t want a job, per se, but want to open a business. Great. The Philippines will welcome you with open arms … if you get past a few more laws and requirements:
First, there are certain business that may not have any foreigner equity (ownership). As in, no foreigner may own any part of the business:
Businesses That May Not Have Any Foreigner Ownership
Mass Media (this most assuredly includes local radio stations, newspapers and other media outlets. Does it include “new media”, such as blogs and websites?)
Retail trade enterprises with paid-up capital of less than US$2,500,000. So that sari-sari store you’ve been planning to open had better have an investment of more than $2,500,00 USD.
Cooperatives (Ch. III, Art. 26 of RA 6938)
Private Security Agencies
Utilization of Marine Resources (there’s language here that covers virtually everything regarding fisheries, fish farms and other water-based commerce)
Ownership, operation and management of cockpits (if you have to ask, it wouldn’t be for you anyway)
Manufacture, repair, stockpiling and/or distribution of nuclear weapons (this had been my personal favorite up til now )
Manufacture, repair, stockpiling and/or distribution of biological, chemical and radiological weapons and anti-personnel mines
Manufacture of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices
Businesses That May Have Up to Twenty Percent (20%) Foreigner Ownership
Private radio communications network (see RA 3846)
Businesses That May Have Up to Twenty-Five Percent (25%) Foreigner Ownership
Private recruitment, whether for local or overseas employment
Contracts for the construction and repair of locally-funded public works (certain exemptions apply)
Contracts for the construction of defense related structures
Businesses That May Have Up to Thirty Percent (30%) Foreigner Ownership
Businesses That May Have Up to Forty Percent (40%) Foreigner Ownership
Exploration, development and utilization of natural resources
Ownership of private lands
Operation and management of public utilities
Ownership/establishment and administration of educational institutions
Culture, production, milling, processing, trading excepting retailing, of rice and corn and acquiring, by barter, purchase or otherwise, rice and corn and the byproducts thereof
Contracts for the supply of materials, goods and commodities to government owned or controlled corporation, company, agency or municipal corporation
Project Proponent and Facility Operator of a BOT project requiring a public utilities franchise
Operation of deep sea commercial fishing vessels
Ownership of condominium units ….
Businesses That May Have Up to Sixty Percent (60%) Foreigner Ownership
Financing companies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission
Investment houses regulated by the SEC
See also the attached List B, where foreign ownership is limited for reasons of security, defense, risk to help and morals, and protection of SME’s (Small and Medium scale Enterprises owned by Filipinos).
Aside from these restrictions, you are pretty much good to go. Always remember and never forget my personal hero, Henry “Smokey” Yunick (May 25, 1923 – May 9, 2001), an icon of NASCAR racing who was famous for his opinion of “the rule book”. When challenged on why he had modified one of his race cars in ways that were not envisioned by “the rule book”, Smokey replied, “Well, it didn’t say I couldn’t”.
The Foreign Negative list and ‘the rule book” tell you what you can not do. Only your imagination and initiative can limit what you can do.
Still wanting a Job in the Philippines or looking at Philippine Business For Foreigners.