Foreign Investment Vehicles


Anyone, regardless of nationality, is welcome to do business and invest in the Philippines, in almost all areas of economic activities provided these are not listed in the Foreign Investments Negative List (FINL) of the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 (Republic Act 7042, as amended by Republic Act 8179).

Foreign nationals are allowed to invest 100% equity in companies engaged in business subject to restrictions as prescribed in the FINL, a shortlist of investment areas which may be opened to foreign investors and/or reserved for Filipino citizens. If the proposed venture is not in an activity listed in the FINL, foreigners may invest up to 100% capital in a domestic entity if the paid-up capital is at least US$200,000.00, which may be lowered to US$ 100,000.00 if advanced technology is introduced or at least 50 direct employees are employed.

With or without incentives, doing business in the Philippines requires prior registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for corporations or partnerships, or the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for sole proprietorship. Other types of business enterprises that may be set up under foreign laws that require SEC/DTI registration are branch offices, representative or liaison offices, regional headquarters, and regional operating headquarters.

After SEC registration, enterprises seeking to remit profits and dividends or repatriate capital abroad may register their inward remittance with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). For this purpose, BSP rules and regulations covering procedures for registration of foreign investments are observed.

The Foreign Investments Act recognizes the rights of former natural born Filipinos. They are granted the same investment rights as Filipino citizen in activities such as cooperatives, thrift banks, rural banks and financing companies. Those who have the legal capacity to enter into a contract under Philippine laws may be transferees of private land to be used for business or other purposes up to a maximum area of 5,000 square meters in the case of urban land or three hectares in the case of rural land.