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Common Types of Entities Registered by Foreign Companies in the Philippines

Philippine foreign registration

The Philippines offers a wealth of opportunities for foreign investors seeking to expand their businesses or establish new ventures in Southeast Asia. However, before venturing into the Philippine market, foreign companies must choose the right type of entity for their operations. In this blog, we'll explore the most common types of entities that foreign companies typically register in the Philippines.

1. Subsidiary Corporation

A subsidiary corporation is one of the most popular choices for foreign companies entering the Philippines. Key features include:

  • Separate Legal Entity: A subsidiary corporation is a distinct legal entity from its parent company, offering limited liability protection for shareholders.

  • Ease of Compliance: While it requires adherence to local regulations, it allows for easier compliance with Philippine laws and regulations.

  • Control: The parent company maintains full control over the subsidiary's operations and management.

2. Branch Office

A branch office is an extension of a foreign company in the Philippines. Key considerations include:

  • Direct Control: The foreign company retains direct control over the branch office's activities, making it suitable for established businesses looking to expand their presence.

  • Taxation: Branch offices are subject to the same tax rates as domestic corporations, making them an attractive option for certain industries.

  • Liability: The foreign company assumes unlimited liability for the branch's obligations, which can be a drawback.

3. Representative Office

A representative office is primarily used for market research and promotional activities. Key aspects include:

  • Limited Activities: Representative offices are restricted to non-income-generating activities, such as market research, promoting the parent company's products or services, and gathering market intelligence.

  • Liability: They do not have a separate legal identity, so the parent company assumes full liability.

  • Temporary Status: Representative offices are typically temporary and must transition to a different entity type if income-generating activities are planned.

4. Regional Operating Headquarters (ROHQ)

ROHQs are attractive to multinational corporations looking to centralize certain functions in the Philippines. Key features include:

  • Cost Efficiency: ROHQs can benefit from certain tax incentives, making them a cost-effective choice for businesses looking to centralize back-office functions like finance, HR, and IT.

  • Limited Activities: ROHQs are limited to servicing affiliates, subsidiaries, or branches of the foreign parent company.

  • Minimum Capital Requirements: They typically have higher minimum capital requirements compared to other entity types.


Choosing the right entity type for your foreign company to register in the Philippines depends on various factors, including your business objectives, the industry you operate in, and your desired level of control and liability. Each entity type comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it's essential to carefully assess your specific needs and consult with legal and financial experts to make an informed decision. Our firm have a wide experience in registering a foreign entity who want to register their business in the Philippines. Please contact us if you guidance and assistance.

Ultimately, by selecting the most suitable entity type and adhering to Philippine regulations, foreign companies can unlock the vast potential of the Philippine market and position themselves for success in this dynamic and rapidly growing economy.

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