New online systems for business registration and tax incentive applications in the Philippines


The Philippines has implemented two new online systems for business registration and tax incentive applications as the country aims to continue improving its business environment.

On September 15, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the government agency responsible for the Philippine company registry, launched the One-Day Submission and Express Company Registration (OneSEC) feature of the Simplified Electronic Processing of registration requests. of the company (eSPARC).

Through OneSEC, domestic companies (100% Filipino-owned) can register their business with the SEC within one business day. In addition to being 100% Filipino-owned, the business must have founders, subscribers, and directors who are residents of the Philippines. In addition, the company must have a “perpetual life” and be located outside an economic zone.

Applicants must first pre-fill their company’s core business activity based on the list of industry classifications in OneSEC. The system is also connected to the SEC Electronic Payment System (ePAYSEC) – the SEC’s online payment system – and fees can be paid through online banking or digital wallets.

At the end of the online registration process, the applicant can download the digital copy of their Interim Certificates of Incorporation (CoI). Applicants can receive the original copy of their CoI once they submit the digital copy to the SEC, along with proof of payment and notarized copies of their registration documents.

Requests for partnerships and foreign companies

eSPARC can now accept applications for registration of foreign companies and partnerships that were previously made through the SEC Company Registration System (CRS). All pending applications, from company registration to current CRS status, must reapply in eSPARC.

Registration for tax incentive request

In addition to OneSEC, the government has also implemented the Tax Incentives Registration and Tracking System (FIRMS), an online portal where investors can submit and track their incentive requests at one of the agencies. investment promotion (IPA) of the country.

FIRMS allows the government to monitor companies’ investment commitments, such as the number of new jobs they create and the performance of the economic benefits that the company produces.

The system aims to speed up applications and reduce the administrative discretion of applicants, especially those seeking to benefit from the incentives provided by the CREATE Act.

Businesses registered with an IPA are eligible for incentives under CREATE, which include:

  • Between four and seven years of tax exemption;
  • A special corporate tax of five percent for 10 years (available for exporting companies);
  • Improve deductions as for the following items;
    • Depreciation allowance;
    • Labor costs;
    • Electricity expenditure;
    • Research and development; and
    • Training costs, among others;
  • Value added tax exemption.

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