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Sourcing a company’s official information and understanding its shareholding structure is a crucial and time-consuming aspect of the corporate onboarding and know your business (KYB) process in the Philippines.

Gaining access to this information directly from the local business or company registry is essential for compliance teams as it mitigates the risk of fraud. It ensures that their investigations are based on the same official data relied upon by regulators. However, navigating these registries can be a complex endeavour, involving language barriers, administrative procedures, and the need to create multiple accounts and handle payments in various currencies.

In this article, we will explore the key details of the Philippines business registry, including how to access it, available documents, and important statistics about registered firms in the country.

If you are looking for corporate information about a specific business registered in the Philippines, you can purchase a single Business KYC report directly from our website here. To learn about the full coverage of our registry connector, click here.  

How can you access the Business Registry in the Philippines?

To access the business registry in the Philippines, you can visit the official website at: https://secexpress.ph. The registry is accessible to the public, and account creation is not necessary to search for information about registered companies. Payment for requested documents is processed through credit card transactions.

Document availability and processing time

The main document available in the Philippines’ registry is the Registry Extract, which provides comprehensive information about a company, including its officers and shareholders. It serves as an official summary or snapshot of the company’s registration details and may include the following information:

  1. Company Information: This usually includes the company’s registered name, business address, registration number, and other identifying details.
  2. Directors and Officers: It lists the names, positions, and addresses of the directors and officers of the company. This section may also include details such as their appointment dates and any changes in their positions.
  3. Shareholders and Share Capital: The extract may provide information about the company’s shareholders, including their names, addresses, and the number of shares they hold. It may also include details about the authorised and issued share capital of the company.
  4. Registered Address: The document may specify the registered address of the company, which is the official address where legal notices and correspondence are sent.
  5. Incorporation Details: The registry extract may include information about the company’s date of incorporation, the type of company (e.g., corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship), and other relevant details related to its formation.
  6. Amendments and Filings: Any significant amendments, changes, or filings made to the company’s registration details, such as changes in share capital, registered address, or directors, may be mentioned in the registry extract.
  7. Status and Validity: The extract may indicate the status and validity of the company’s registration, confirming if it is active, dissolved, or involved in any legal proceedings.

A registry extract is a useful document that provides an official and up-to-date summary of a company’s key registration details, making it a valuable resource for legal and business purposes, due diligence, and verifying the company’s status and information.

It is important to note that the processing time for document requests may take up to 7 days.

Key entity types in the Philippines' registry

The company registry in the Philippines covers various entity types, such as:

  1. Private Company Limited by Shares: This entity type is commonly chosen by businesses looking to operate with limited liability and have their shares held privately.
  2. Public Company Limited by Shares: Publicly traded companies that offer shares to the public fall under this entity type. They are subject to additional regulatory requirements.
  3. General Partnerships: General partnerships are formed by two or more individuals who agree to share profits, losses, and responsibilities in a business venture.
  4. Sole Proprietorships: Sole proprietorships are owned and operated by a single individual who assumes all liabilities and receives all profits.

Data on active and newly registered firms in the Philippines

As of December 31, 2022, the company registry in the Philippines recorded a total of 715,037 active firms. Among these, 597,493 (84%) are corporations, while 117,544 (16%) are partnerships. (Source)

Based on the data provided by the World Bank (source), there is an interesting trend in the number of newly registered businesses in the Philippines between 2006 and 2020. The data reveals that the highest peak occurred in 2017 with a total of 24,379 newly registered businesses. However, there was a noticeable drop in 2020, with only 15,161 new registrations. This decline in new registrations can be attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had significant effects on businesses worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about economic uncertainties, disrupted supply chains, and imposed restrictions on various industries. These circumstances likely contributed to a decrease in entrepreneurial activities and new business registrations. The lower number of newly registered businesses in 2020 compared to previous years suggests the challenging business environment created by the pandemic.

How can Know Your Customer help with real-time registry access?

Real-time access to official information from company registries is increasingly important for regulated organisations in the Philippines and globally. There are two key reasons for this.

Firstly, financial institutions face growing pressure from regulators to perform thorough customer due diligence and investigate corporate structures. By relying on up-to-date primary source data instead of static databases, compliance teams can confidently base their anti-money laundering (AML) and know your business (KYB) reviews on reliable and accurate beneficial ownership information.

Secondly, accessing company registries in real-time is not only a compliance requirement but also a business opportunity. Accessing a registry in real time makes it possible to safely and quickly verify also newly registered companies which might not be present in a traditional database. This represents a huge opportunity, as new companies often need financial and professional services that can be provided quickly once compliance checks are performed.

Know Your Customer offers a seamless experience where users can access official registries in 125+ countries through a single platform or API. The retrieved information is automatically transliterated and standardised, simplifying the breakdown of shareholder and beneficial owner details for easy navigation. By leveraging Know Your Customer, compliance teams can streamline their onboarding and KYB processes, meet regulatory requirements, and gain a competitive advantage in the digital financial services landscape.

Experience the benefits of our Live Registry Solution and Automated UBO Engine to optimise and accelerate client onboarding for your business.

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Last updated on September 15th, 2023 at 12:39 pm

Stephanie Zhu

Stephanie is currently the Senior Marketing Manager, APAC at Know Your Customer. With over a decade of experience in 360-marketing, including marketing strategy, brand development, and digital marketing, Stephanie has worked across various industries and geographies in APAC including AXA, Procter and Gamble, and trade.io. A seasoned marketer and entrepreneur, Stephanie also founded Cotton Pigs, the first reversible organic baby clothing line in Hong Kong, back in 2019.