For foreign companies, licensing a business and obtaining different permits involves the preparation of several documentary requirements from the parent company. For example, if a foreign company wishes to set up a branch office in the Philippines, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) will require a copy of the Articles of Incorporation of the parent company, Audited Financial Statements and a Board Resolution. The main difficulty for foreign companies to establish their presence in the Philippines is thus the process of legalization of these documents. In fact, all the aforementioned requirements must be translated into English (if different language) and authenticated by the respective Philippines embassy or consulate in the documents’ country of origin.
For some countries such as Korea or Singapore, this process is pretty straight forward. An English translation, a simple notarization, and a visit to the Philippine Embassy will be sufficient and can easily be achieved in a few days. However, in some cases this process requires much more effort.
Let’s take France for an example. If you wish to produce documents accepted by the Philippine SEC you need to consider the following steps and process:
- All documentary requirements, which are written in French, must be translated by a Certified Translator;
- The translated documents must be notarized by a Public Notary;
- The French Department of Foreign Affairs must legalize the Notary; and
- All of the above must be authenticated by the closest Philippine Embassy or Consulate in France.
Knowing the bureaucracy of France, this process might take a month or two and only once accomplished, one will be ready for submission to any Philippine Government. Obviously, this process must be anticipated in advance to limit the delay of a business registration. As we all know, “time is money” and a company willing to invest in the Philippines most likely cannot afford to be stuck in such administrative process.
In general, authentication of documents is required for any official document originating from a foreign country. This applies to Board Resolutions, Certificates of Free Sale (FDA), Financial Statement, and so on.
Triple i Consulting has an extensive experience in establishing foreign entities such as Branch Office, Representative Office or Regional Headquarters. Our expertise also covers all regulatory affairs work when it comes to licensing (LTO) and product registration (CPR) with the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). Our knowledge in terms of requirements and processes allows us to assist all foreign companies to be incorporated with a smoother and efficient process and successfully establish their presence in the Philippines within their schedule.
By: Nicolas Fauchille