If you want to get into the Philippines market, a proper introduction by a trusted intermediary is highly advised. Healy Consultants Group has a comprehensive write up on Philippines’ requirements for business registrations.
Like most Asian markets, it is always best to do business on a face to face basis and in a pleasant atmosphere particularly for the initial meeting. As part of their business culture a typical Filipino likes to be indirect and spend time catching up on mutual friends and exchange pleasantries before getting down to business. To them, cultivating friendship and establishing contact and rapport are essential before taking the business further.
Especially in governmental offices, it is good to have someone with prior connections with the office to make some form of introduction on behalf of the requesting party. Once again, due to cultural norms, do allow at least fifteen minutes grace period before your Filipino contact arrives for a pre-arranged appointment. Typically the wait would be longer for senior VIPs.
Also be aware that a formal agreement may take more than a couple of follow-ups to be finalized. Similar to other Asian cultures, Filipinos are particular with “losing face” or any form of humiliation and will try to avoid any direct confrontation and would instead offer polite replies rather than an outright rejection. As such a “yes” comes with many implications and one should be aware of the subtleties.
We will explore more of Philippines’ business culture in future articles. For more information about setting up businesses there, please go here: https://www.healyconsultants.com/philippines-company-registration/