Setting up a business and getting visas

I am planning on moving to the Philippines but i am not sure how long i will be allowed to stay i have heard there is a 59 day rule but i have also heard that you maybe able to get extensions. I am also considering setting up my own business selling products on the internet such as ebay but again i don't know if foreigners are allowed to start a business i have heard that if you knew a native there i would have to set it up in there name but the person that i spoke to wasn't 100 % sure either. If anyone has any information that would help i would appreciate it.

If you are a Filipino expatriate (expat) who wants to start business in the Philippines or a foreigner who wants to invest in Philippine business, there are few things that you need to know about the business laws and regulations in the Philippines.

Be sure to take of these things to save you from business headache and lawsuits that could result from ignoring them.

Here are some points that you need to consider:

1. A foreigner cannot form a solely owned business in the Philippines without a heavy investment (for a corporation, you are looking at USD$200,000).

2. A foreigner can have up to 40% ownership in a corporation - minimum capital to start a corporation is only Pesos 5,000 (approximately USD $1,000).

3. The best way to be in business in the Philippines is to be married to a Filipina who holds ownership of the proprietorship, or form a corporation with a Filipina spouse with you owning 40% and she owning 60%.

4. You also enter into a corporation with 40% ownership with a Filipina girlfriend or a Filipino friend - but consider the huge risk of having no control over your fellow majority stock owner(s).

5. Depending on the purpose of the corporation (such as purchase of a real estate - land or house), it might still make sense that when the property is sold you would be entitled to your share of the proceeds.

6. There is one exception whereby you CAN become a 100% owner of a corporation and that is if the corporation is formed to purchase land, your sole other shareholder is your spouse, and she dies. Under this arrangement, as the heir to you deceased spouse, you are able to retain 100% ownership of the property.

Now, assuming that either you are married to a Filipina, or the business will be a real estate investment, the question then becomes what should be the form of ownership.

The options are:

1. Sole proprietorship - this is a business structure owned by you spouse who has full authority in her own name and owns all the assets. However, she also will owe and answer personally to all liabilities or suffer all losses, but enjoys all the profits. It is easy to form and simple to register with the government.

2. Partnership - this is a business structure owned by two or more partners. One with more than Pesos 3,000 capital has to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All the partners have unlimited personal liability for the affairs of the business. There is no benefit to you as a foreigner with this form of ownership by your spouse.

3. Corporation - this is my preferred form of ownership if the business is going to be anything larger than a small hobby type business.

For a small business, you are best off just being in a sole proprietorship - due to the low cost and ease of formation and its relative freedom from regulation by the government.

However, for a business of any significance (a real estate ownership business, a franchise, a significant manufacturing or export business, etc), this is definitely the preferred form of ownership, and you as the foreigner can retain up to 40% ownership.

Minimum paid up capital requirement for a Philippine business is Pesos 5,000 and it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The shareholders/owners liability is simply limited to their amount of the share capital. There must be at least five (5) incorporators, each of which must hold at least one share. So what you do, for example, is issue 56 shares to your spouse, 4 shares to her relatives, and 40 shares to yourself.


There are various of Philippine Visa that is available if you meet the qualifications


Moderated by kenjee last year
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There might be hope though, in the part of foreigners who are wishing to own a business in the Philippines without having a Filipino partner. We'll still have to wait on what incoming president's measures for this, since he has promised to ease foreign restrictions. For the visa part of your question, you can always seek assistance from visa consulting firms or help from the Philippine embassy in your country.

i think  a business visa is a good choice if you intend so stay for a longer period of time in the philippines, a good source of info i supposed anything related to conducting business in the philippines, the dummy thing is not new in the philippines but there are legal issues that needed to be ironed out should you decide to go on with this arrangement....good luck in your quest anyway


9a Tourist visa:

You can apply at the Philippine consulate for a single entry 59 day tourist visa in person or by mail, check with the PI consulate in your area. If a consulate is inconvenient, you can simply enter the Philippines as a tourist for an initial stay of 30 days.

Your passport should be up to date with at least six months remaining before a renewal is required. Blank pages in the passport and a forwarding or return air ticket to your return destination. … er-e-o-408

Onward tickets:

About 5 days prior to the expiration of your initial 30 day tourist visa you can extend it for an additional 29 days at the main BI office or extension offices. After that you can extend for an additional two to six months and you will be required to apply for an ACR-I identification card at the same office at which you are applying for your visa extension, a simple procedure. Currently you can continue to extend your tourist visa up to three years after which you will have to leave the country and start over again.

An alternative if you plan on having a long term business would be a permanent resident 13a visa which you can avail yourself of if you are married to a Filipina who is a Philippine citizen. 
Second would be an SRRV Special Resident Retirees Visa which does not require marriage but does require a hefty bank deposit depending on your age.

SRRV link:

A couple other helpful links: … a-tourist/ … nd-59-days

DO NOT overstay your visa,

Starting a business:

This link will supply you with firsthand experience from another expat. … foreigner/



If you could avoid using a local to set up a business under their name do it because there is an Anti-dummy law here in the Philippines.

I am looking for information on how to get a working visa for my business partner. Does anybody know of a good immigration lawyer in Cebu City that we can consult?

Brief background, we have a 10-month old corporation where he is one of the major stock owner and he is currently on tourist visa. He is an Indian National. Can someone please point me to the right direction?

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