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Tips for Expats Buying a Small Business in the Philippines

March 03, 2015 | Sharon Cheong

If you're thinking about opening a new small business in the Philippines, then you're not alone. People move to this region every year because of the warm tropical climate and beautiful surroundings. There are numerous opportunities for business owners, but the first step is to make sure you have the right permits and licenses to start your business. 

The second step involves deciding on a legal structure for your business. You might choose sole proprietorship because it's the easiest to get set up. There are a few requirements in order to get this type of business set up. Most types of business need a tax number and some require additional licenses. A few business types are tightly restricted so before spending money on a business plan, make sure that Philippine law allows your business type. 

Getting Professional Advice 

Many expats find it helpful to hire an accountant and/or lawyer to help them with the legal and financial requirements. This is a great way to ensure that you abide by all the laws and get your business set up correctly. Having a knowledgeable and experienced person to advise you on financial and legal matters can be very beneficial. If you're thinking of getting involved in an import export business, then be sure to learn about all the laws and regulations surrounding this lucrative industry. 

What Businesses Do Well in Philippines? 

Labor is cheap in the Philippines so many large companies have set up factories here to take advantage of the low cost of labor. There are many great small business ideas that can be very lucrative, including software architects and app developers, communications firms, and financial directors. Depending upon what you have to invest, you might be able to purchase and develop a tract of land. Two other growing fields in the Philippines are the biomedical profession and Information Technology. 

The Metro Manila area has been experiencing tremendous economic growth in the past few years and the region has recovered nicely from the global financial meltdown of 2008. Goldman Sachs is predicting that the country's economy will grow rapidly over the next 30 years and could become a Top Twenty world economy by 2050. This would be a great time for new investors to come to the Philippines and set up a new business. According to experts, the Gross Domestic Product should grow steadily over the next few years. 

Luxurious Office Suites Now Available 

If you need an upscale office, but don't have the money right now for everything, then consider serviced and virtual office space. Servcorp Serviced Offices are available in 20 countries around the world. They offer exciting office space for the savvy entrepreneur that includes beautiful furnishings, top-notch communications equipment and highly skill personnel. Small business owners can take advantage of prime office space and a prestigious address that will impress clients and investors. These office spaces include amenities like a dedicated receptionist and in-house bilingual IT staff. In Manila, Servcorp provides premier managed office space in Tower One Ayala Triangle, one of the city's deluxe skyscrapers.