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A Step-by-Step Guide to Opening a Corporate Bank Account in the Philippines

A corporate bank account is an important tool for businesses to manage their finances, pay employees and suppliers, and receive payments from customers. It also helps to establish credibility and professionalism.

The process of opening a corporate bank account can be intimidating, but it is essential to have one to manage the business effectively. This guide provides a step-by-step overview of the account opening process and offers tips on how to maintain the account properly.

The purpose of this guide is to help business owners understand the requirements and process of opening a corporate bank account and to provide advice on how to maintain the account in good standing.

Preparing for Account Opening

Businesses need to choose the right type of account based on their needs. A checking account is ideal for managing day-to-day transactions, while a savings account is suitable for storing cash reserves. Other types of accounts include merchant services accounts for accepting credit card payments or loans for financing business operations.

Before applying for a corporate bank account, gather all the necessary documents. These may include:

  1. Proposed Articles of Incorporation - This document outlines the business's purpose, structure, and ownership.

  2. Proposed By-Laws - This document specifies how the business will be governed and the rights and responsibilities of shareholders and directors.

  3. Treasurer in Trust IDs - These are identification cards that prove the treasurer's identity.

  4. Treasurer in Trust Affidavit - This document attests that the treasurer will use the funds in the bank account solely for the business's benefit.

  5. Bank Account Forms such as specimen signature cards - These forms collect information about the business, including its legal name, address, and authorized signatories.

  6. Choose a bank - Research and compare banks to find the one that meets the business's needs. Consider factors such as fees, interest rates, services offered, and reputation.

Submitting Requirements

Submit requirements to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) - For corporations, the SEC requires the submission of the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws. The business needs to register with the SEC to obtain its SEC registration number.

Submit requirements to the chosen bank - Once the necessary documents are complete, submit them to the chosen bank. The bank will review the documents and request additional information, if necessary.

Wait for confirmation and account activation - The bank will review the documents and confirm if the account has been approved. Once approved, the bank will issue a welcome kit containing the account number, terms and conditions, and other relevant information.

Account Activation

Visit the bank to activate the account - Once the account is approved, visit the bank to activate it. Bring a valid ID and other documents that the bank may require, such as a business permit or business registration.

Submit additional requirements, if any - The bank may require additional documents or information, such as identification cards, to activate the account.

Set up online banking, if available - The bank may offer online banking services. If available, set up online banking to manage the account more efficiently. Online banking allows businesses to access their accounts and manage their finances from anywhere at any time.

Maintaining the Account

Maintain the minimum balance - The bank may require a minimum balance to keep the account open. Make sure to keep the account's minimum balance to avoid penalties or account closure.

Keep track of transactions and bank statements - Regularly monitor the account and keep track of transactions and bank statements to avoid errors or fraudulent activities. Review bank statements promptly and report any discrepancies to the bank immediately.

Update account information, if necessary - If there are any changes to the business's information, such as a change in address or authorized signatories, notify the bank promptly to update the account information.


In conclusion, opening a corporate bank account in the Philippines is easy and straightforward. All you need to do is provide the necessary documents, choose the right bank and make sure you follow all their regulations and open the account! With that done, you'll be well on your way to taking advantage of all the benefits that come with having a corporate bank account.

What Is A Foreign Investments Act?

Foreign investments provide an economic boon, but investing in the Philippines proved to be a challenge because of the laws and processes involved. In 2015 alone, the country's economy has increased by 6.5%, and most of which are due to foreign investments. However, if you are a foreigner venturing into setting up a business in the Philippines, the process is not going to be easy. From endless paperwork to accomplishing BIR registration, the corporate law is, without a doubt, complicated.

Foreign investors and entrepreneurs have to be aware that there are government restrictions involved in foreign equity. This has been specified under Republic Act No. 7042 otherwise known as the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 (FIA). The act has been amended by Republic Act No. 8179. The Act provides a detailed explanation of the limitations on foreign equity.


Sec. 2. Sec. 7 of Republic Act No. 7042 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 7. Foreign Investments in Domestic Market Enterprises. – Non-Philippine nationals may own up to one hundred percent (100%) of domestic market enterprises unless foreign ownership therein is prohibited or limited by the Constitution and existing law or the Foreign Investment Negative List under Sec. 8 hereof.

Sec. 3. Sec. 8 of the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 8. List of Investment Areas Reserved to Philippine Nationals (Foreign Investment Negative List). – The Foreign Investment Negative List shall have two (2) component lists: A and B:

a) List A shall enumerate the areas of activities reserved to Philippine nationals by mandate of the Constitution and specific laws.

b) List B shall contain the areas of activities and enterprises regulated pursuant to law:

1) which are defense-related activities, requiring prior clearance and authorization from Department of National Defense (DND) to engage in such activity, such as the manufacture, repair, storage and/or distribution of firearms, ammunition, lethal weapons, military ordinances, explosives, pyrotechnics and similar materials, unless such manufacturing on repair activity is specifically authorized, with a substantial export component, to a non-Philippine national by the Secretary of National Defense; or

2) which have implications on public health and morals, such as the manufacture and distribution of dangerous drugs, all forms of gambling, nightclubs, bars, beer houses, dance halls, sauna and steam bathhouses and massage clinics.

Small and medium-sized domestic market enterprises with paid-in equity capital less than the equivalent of Two hundred thousand US dollars (US$200,000.00), are reserved to Philippine nationals: provided, that if (1) they involve advanced technology, or (2) they employ at least fifty (50) direct employees, then a minimum paid-in capital of One hundred thousand US dollars (US$100,000.00) shall be allowed to non-Philippine nationals.

Amendments to List B may be made upon recommendation of the Secretary of National Defense, or the Secretary of Health, or the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, indorsed by the NEDA, or upon recommendation motu propio, of NEDA, approved by the President, and promulgated by a Presidential Proclamation.

The Transitory Foreign Investment Negative List established in Section 15 hereof shall be replaced at the end of the transitory period by the first Regular Negative List to be formulated and recommended by NEDA, following the process and criteria, provided in Sections 8 and 9 of this Act. The first Regular Negative Lists shall be published not later than sixty (60) days before the end of the transitory period provided in said section and shall become immediately effective at the end of the transitory period. Subsequent Foreign Investment Negative Lists shall become effective fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines: provided, however, that each Foreign Investment Negative List shall be prospective in operation and shall in no way affect foreign investment existing on the date of its publication.

Amendments to List B after promulgation and publication of the first Regular Foreign Investment Negative List at the end of the transitory period shall not be made more often than once every two (2) years.

Sec. 4. The Foreign Investments Act is further amended by inserting a new section designated as Sec. 9 to read as follows:

Sec. 9. Investment Rights of Former Natural-born Filipinos. – For purposes of this Act, former natural born citizens of the Philippines shall have the same investment rights of a Philippine citizen in Cooperatives under Republic Act No. 6938. Rural Banks under Republic Act No. 7353, Thrift Banks and Private Development Banks under Republic Act No. 7906, and Financing Companies under Republic Act No. 5980. These rights shall not extend to activities reserved by the Constitution, including (1) the exercise of profession, (2) in defense related activities under Sec. 8 (b) hereof, unless specifically authorized by the Secretary of National Defense, and (3) activities covered by Republic Act No. 1180 (Retail Trade Act), Republic Act No. 5487 (Security Agency Act). Republic Act No. 7076 (Small Scale Mining Act). Republic Act No. 3018, as amended (Rice and Corn Industry Act), and P.D. 449 (Cockpits Operation and Management).

Sec. 5. The Foreign Investments Act is further amended by inserting a new section designated as Section 10 to read as follows:

Sec. 10. Other Rights of Natural Born Citizen Pursuant to the Provisions of Article XII, Sec. 8 of the Constitution. – Any natural born citizen who has the legal capacity to enter into a contract under Philippine laws may be a transferee of a private land up to a maximum area of five thousand (5,000) square meters in the case of urban land or three (3) hectares in the case of rural land to be used by him for business or other purposes. In the case of married couples, one of them may avail of the privilege herein granted: provided, that if both shall avail of the same, the total area acquired shall not exceed the maximum herein fixed.

In case the transferee already owns urban or rural land for business or other purposes, he shall still be entitled to be a transferee of additional urban or rural land for business or other purposes which when added to those already owned by him shall not exceed the maximum areas herein authorized.

A transferee under this Act may acquire not more than two (2) lots which should be situated in different municipalities or cities anywhere in the Philippines: provided, that the total land area thereof shall not exceed five thousand (5,000) hectares in the case of rural land for use by him for business or other purposes. A transferee who has already acquired urban land shall be disqualified from acquiring rural land area and vice versa.

Sec. 6. The National Economic and Development Authority, in consultation with the Board of Investments, the Department of Trade and Industry and Securities and Exchange Commission, shall prepare and issue the necessary primer and other information campaign materials regarding the Foreign Investments Act and the amendments introduced thereto, with copies of said materials furnished all the Philippine embassies, consulates and other diplomatic offices abroad and disseminated to Filipino nationals, former natural-born Filipino citizens, and foreign investors, within sixty days after the effectivity hereof. 

Sec. 7. The NEDA is hereby directed to make the necessary amendments to the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 7042 in order to reflect the changes embodied in this Act.

Sec. 8. Sections 9 and 10 of Republic Act No. 7042 and all references thereto in said law are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. All other laws, rules and regulations and/or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Sec. 9. If any part or section of this Act is declared unconstitutional for any reason whatsoever, such declarant shall not in any way affect the other parts or sections of this Act.

Sec. 10. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.

Tips For Legally Doing Business In The Philippines

Entrepreneurs who want to legally do business in the Philippines should start with exploring some viable options. A businessman just cannot jump into a business without familiarizing its technicalities. There are some things you need to take into consideration before you can operate your business. 

You need to start with knowing the types of business ownership under the Philippine law: 

1. Corporation 

This type of business structure has five owners or more and they are referred to as shareholders. There are two types of corporation: stock corporation and non-stock corporation. With stock corporation, the capital is divided into shares and distributed to the investors. In turn, investors receive allotments and dividends, which will be based on the numbers of shares they have within the corporation. 

A non-stock corporation is intended for public purposes and issuing shares of stock is already out of the picture. This corporation’s purpose is usually cultural, educational and charitable. 

2. Partnership 

There are two or more individuals involved in this type of business structure. This is why they are called partners according to the Civil Code of the Philippines. The partnership can either be a general partnership or a limited partnership. Partners in a general partnership only have a limited liability for the financial obligations while a limited partnership requires one person to have unlimited liability while the rest have liabilities based on their capital contribution amount. 

3. Sole Proprietorship

As the name implies, this business structure is fully controlled and owned by an individual, which will also enjoy the profits and handle the liabilities of the business. For a sole proprietorship to be in effect, the owner must apply for a business name. It is also the proprietor’s obligation to register with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

Important Things To Consider For The Business To Run Smoothly: 

Your business cannot be considered legal without registering it with the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Make sure you register your business to the Revenue District Office (RDO) where your business is located. You will also need to secure a Certificate of Registration (COR) and Authority to Print (ATP) for your official receipts to be printed. You should also keep in mind that only printers accredited by BIR will be acknowledged. The official receipts should show that it is BIR accredited. Even books of account must bear BIR stamp. 

Aside from BIR, you should also register your business and employees with the Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig) and Philippine Health Insurance (Philhealth). These government entities will also require you to submit reports. It is imperative that you register newly-hired employees with these government agencies as well. 

Why Documenting Oral Advice Is Important?

These days, cases are filed due to the negligence of documenting oral advice and while majority of clients may still give little importance to this, its effect can create a serious damage to the business. This is why it is every business owner’s responsibility to document oral advice especially if it involves information that is beneficial to the company. Lawyers will consider the defense weak if no strong evidence is presented. When documenting oral advice, some key items or essential details must be present. Documentation that lacks essential information can be compared to an undocumented oral advice. The documents’ principal rule: if it’s not there, it did not happen. 

All You Need To Know About Documenting Oral Advice

There are sensitive issues concerning your business that require advice from experts and it does carry weight especially if you are going to use this in defense for any claims. The documentation is more than enough to strengthen any claim and it serves as a way to validate any agreement or discussion that took place. It is also necessary that you include some essential details such as the date of the discussion, the names of participants, the facts that have been provided, and any considerations that the advisor may have given, notice that proves there was no legal advice provided and the items that show recommendations and other additional actions that have to be taken. 

Business operations will also receive unsolicited advice especially regarding the approaches that must be used for the betterment of client operation. While these are considered useful and something that the client can benefit from, it is necessary that the advice must be documented following a specific format. 

The discussion is documented with the use of firm working papers, but this should also include some essential information such as the recommendations and the name of the people involved in the discussion including the a third party if present. These documents need to be written in vivid details because if there are any allegations, the documentation will be instrumental for the resolution. 

Giving oral advice may seem like a very simple way to provide suggestions but it can have a deleterious effect if this is not taken seriously. For matters that can create a huge impact on your business, a document should be kept in mind. Documentation is not just about an issue of trust but a matter of clarifying things especially when you need to use the advice for your future endeavors. It can save you a costly trip to the court as you defend yourself against allegations. 

5 Helpful Tips When Setting Up Your Business

It is a brave move for anyone to decide on starting a business and giving up a job routine they have been accustomed to for years. While being your own boss is such a dream come true, there is more to running a business than meets the eye. Before you consider taking that huge leap, arm yourself with knowledge about business principles. Otherwise, you will be doomed to fail.

No one can really predict whether a business is viable or not because it solely depends on how you manage it. If you do not have any business background, you may feel as though a business is a total alien landscape. Everything seems foreign to you and it is like going to a battle unarmed. While establishing a path may seem very challenging, learning the business principles will lead you to the road of success.

Create A Feasibility Study

The most common mistake that people make is investing their hard earned money into a business they are not even familiar with. This is the kind of risk that is the hardest to take because if things don’t go as planned, you have to start from scratch and this means spending vast amounts of money. In a feasibility study, you will cover the following areas: products and services, target market, suppliers, competitions, pricing and marketing techniques. With all these in mind, you are slowly putting things in their proper perspectives. The main purpose of creating a feasibility study is for you to determine the nature of business that suits your skills. You can also learn more about your target audience or potential customers’ needs and wants with feasibility study. If you already have a competition before you start your own business, you have an idea how you can stay ahead of the game.

Formulate A Business Plan

Once you have identified viable products and services, the next step is to create a business plan. If you do not have a strong background in business management, find someone who can help you with drafting the plan. The business plan should include essential information on the nature of your business. Aside from the summary of the product, readers must also obtain details of your product. A business proposal must also be kept in mind and each section must outline the strategies you have developed for your business. Don’t forget to include your competition and budget in your business plan as well. Your projections must be realistic and it should the cost of the product, projected sales and even the financial requirements.

Analyze The Availability Of Cash Flow

A steady cash flow is going to be necessary if you want your business to be smooth-sailing. However, when cash flow becomes unavailable, there are still other financial institutions that will provide you assistance in fulfilling your business needs. You just have to see to it you have a sound financial projection or your objective of making a profit will be defeated. Prepare a financial report so you can keep track of your finances. Hire accounting or bookkeeping professionals for this task so you can keep your budget in check. Major business losses are usually due to financial mismanagement and if you want to increase sales and make your business more profitable, you should always keep a record of your financial activity.

Seek All The Help You Can Get

Some entrepreneurial hopefuls end up bursting their tiny bubble due to the lack of business knowledge. You may have the funding and a viable product to set up a business but do you really have what it takes to increase your chances for success? Investing your money in a business is a game of survival and those who manage to keep up with the competition win. Get expert advice so you will know how you can make your business more profitable.

Secure All The Necessary Permits

As an entrepreneur, it is your obligation to follow business rules which include securing a business permit. There are several steps involved in getting a business permit and you are not allowed to operate your business if these have not been secured. For this process, prepare all the essential documents such as notarized documents, certificate of deposit, clearance, receipts and other requirements you need for your business permit.