Opening a bank account for a business is crucial when starting a business in the Philippines. It is a fundamental tool for managing various financial activities, including profit handling, accounts payable, and employee payroll. While the necessity of a business bank account varies depending on the type of business, having one is generally recommended. In this article, we will explore how to open a business bank account in the Philippines.
Why open a business bank account in the Philippines?
Opening a bank account for a business can provide numerous benefits for your company. Here are some reasons to open a business bank account in the Philippines:
- Enhanced financial management: When you open a business bank account in the Philippines, it simplifies accounting and taxation processes, allowing for larger payments, expense tracking, and cash flow monitoring.
- Access to specialized services: Business banking offers specialized services that automate payment processes, manage payables and receivables efficiently, and allow the acceptance of multiple payment methods.
- Credit facilities and financing options: Business banks offer credit lines and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) loans for various business needs, and building a strong relationship with your bank and maintaining a good loan payment history enhances your chances of getting favorable loan terms and higher credit limits.
- Risk mitigation and security: Business banking solutions offer strong security features to safeguard against fraud, such as multi-factor authentication, encrypted transactions, and customizable alerts for unauthorized access and suspicious activities.
- Easier management of employee transactions: A business bank account in the Philippines provides customizable debit or credit cards for employees, along with payroll account services and access to e-payment facilities for managing salaries and government benefits.
What are the types of business banking accounts in the Philippines?
Business banking accounts are an essential part of any company’s financial management. They allow businesses to process financial transactions, manage expenses, and securely open a bank account in the Philippines for business so that they can set aside the necessary funds for future growth and expansion. Below are the seven types of business bank accounts in the Philippines:
- Checking account: Allows businesses to deposit and withdraw large amounts of money, pay bills and suppliers, issue post-dated checks, and manage day-to-day financial activities, including payroll.
- Savings account: Enables businesses to set aside funds for future plans and financial emergencies, providing a strong cash position for growth and adaptability.
- Corporate credit card: Offers quick access to cash, with high credit limits, low interest rates, and business-friendly features, providing special perks through credit card points for businesses looking to open a business bank account in the Philippines.
- Merchant account: Enables businesses to accept electronic payments for their online stores through a payment gateway, saving time and hassle by automatically depositing customer payments into selected savings or checking accounts.
- Certificate of Deposit (CD) account: A good alternative to regular savings accounts that’s ideal for companies looking to open a business bank account in the Philippines and earn more interest but with restricted access to funds for a particular CD term.
- Money market account: An interest-bearing account that combines savings and checking account features, offering a higher interest rate than regular savings accounts, check-writing capabilities, and debit cards.
- Foreign currency account: An essential account for businesses involved in international transactions that allows holding funds in different currencies but with high minimum deposit requirements and associated fees.
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What are the requirements for opening a bank account in the Philippines?
Business owners looking to open a business bank account in the Philippines have several requirements that must be fulfilled. These requirements may vary depending on the bank and local laws. Here are the requirements for opening a bank account in the Philippines:
- Brand and company certifications: Provide a “doing business as” certificate if your company’s registered and branded names differ.
- Credit score information: Include the credit score if your company already has one, or provide the business owner’s credit score if opening an account for the first time.
- Business registration documentation: Submit documents such as a tax certificate, registration document, and proof of office space purchase to prove your business entity’s registration.
- Licensing information: If your business requires specific licenses, provide them when you open a business bank account in the Philippines.
- Ownership and partnership agreements: Submit legal paperwork and identification for each partner if your business involves partnerships or entities with controlling shares.
- Personal identification: To open a business bank account in the Philippines, provide a valid government-issued identification (not expired) for the business owner and treasurer-in-trust/authorized signatory.
- Employer information: Submit the company’s Treasurer’s Affidavit (notarized) and a copy of the Proposed Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws.
How to open a business bank account in the Philippines in 7 steps
Opening a business bank account is crucial for any company, whether you are just starting or expanding your operations in the Philippines. A dedicated corporate bank account lets you separate your personal and business finances, track your cash flow, and facilitate financial transactions. Here are seven steps on how to open a business bank account in the Philippines:
Step 1: Research the available options
Before deciding on a bank, it is important to conduct thorough research. Take a close look at all the available offers, benefits, and costs offered by different banks. Consider your current business status and future expansion plans. This research will help you make an informed decision when choosing a bank.
Step 2: Choose a preferred bank
Once you have researched, select the bank you want to open an account with. Take the time to explore all the options available from the bank. Conversing with a bank representative to understand their account features and services is also beneficial.
Step 3: Select the account type
Decide whether you need a business checking account, savings account, or both. Consider the interest rates and fees associated with each account type. Choose the account that aligns with your business needs and financial goals.
Step 4: Gather the required documents
Certain documents are necessary to open a business bank account in the Philippines. It is crucial to gather them beforehand to prevent any delays or surprises during the application process. These documents will typically need to be notarized. Some banks may also require directors and power of attorney holders to be present in person, so be prepared.
Step 5: Complete the application form
Complete the account application thoroughly and accurately. Provide as much information as possible and be specific. Inputting accurate data will help expedite the processing of your application.
Step 6: Make an initial deposit
Most banks require a nominal deposit to open a business account. Ensure you gather the needed funds and write a check that meets the deposit requirements. The typical deposit amount for local banks in the Philippines is ₱ 100,000 ($1,800), but some banks catering to SMEs may ask for a lower amount, like ₱ 40,000 ($720) to ₱ 50,000 ($900). Choose the bank and deposit amount that best suits your needs.
Step 7: Activate your bank account
The process is complete once you receive confirmation that your account has been opened. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the banking services available, both online and offline. Once your account is active, you can use it for business transactions.
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What are popular banks in the Philippines for business banking?
As a business owner in the Philippines, having a trustworthy and efficient banking partner is essential. Your company’s success can be greatly impacted by having a bank that knows your business needs and can offer customized services. Here are the five popular banks in the Philippines for business banking:
1. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
As one of the oldest banks in the Philippines with a history dating back to 1851, BPI is known for its wide range of financial products and services catering to businesses of all sizes. BPI offers loans, credit cards, and business savings accounts. Key features that make BPI an excellent choice for business owners looking to open a business bank account in the Philippines include strong online and mobile banking capabilities and customer support. Moreover, BPI’s dedicated corporate banking division provides specialized services for larger businesses.
With a strong reputation for reliability and innovation since its establishment in 1962, Metrobank is another top choice for business owners looking to open a business bank account in the Philippines. Its online and mobile banking capabilities, competitive interest rates, and fees attract businesses seeking reliable banking services. Metrobank also offers specialized services such as cash management and foreign exchange solutions.
3. Land Bank of the Philippines
While primarily focused on providing financial services to farmers, fishers, and rural entrepreneurs, the Land Bank of the Philippines also offers products and services tailored to the needs of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Its low interest rates and fees for small business banking and its commitment to supporting local businesses and communities make it a great choice for SMEs seeking financial assistance.
4. Security Bank
Security Bank has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most trusted banks in the country, known for its personalized service and innovative solutions. Business owners value Security Bank’s strong online and mobile banking capabilities, competitive interest rates, and fees. Additionally, Security Bank offers specialized services like cash management and payroll solutions.
5. Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)
Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is a government-owned bank promoting economic growth and development. DBP offers financial products and services specifically designed to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). DBP provides loans, credit lines, and other financing solutions for small business banking. Key features that make DBP a popular choice for SMEs looking to open a business bank account in the Philippines include competitive interest rates, fees, and a commitment to sustainable development and social responsibility.
What are online business banking options in the Philippines?
The digital age has revolutionized the traditional way of doing business, making it easier to open a business bank account in the Philippines. Online business banking options have emerged to cater to the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Here are some of the best online banks in the Philippines:
1. BPI Bizlink
BPI Bizlink is an online portal by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) designed to help business owners manage multiple BPI business accounts and transactions in one place. Using the app or web version of Bizlink, you can open a business bank account in the Philippines and approve business transactions for multiple accounts.
BPI Bizlink comes in two bundles when you open a business account online: Bizlink BPI Digital Access, which has no Average Daily Balance (ADB) requirement, and Bizlink BPI Core, which requires ₱ 100,000 ($1,800) in ADB for all enrolled accounts but has additional features such as government payments.
2. Security Bank Digibanker
Security Bank’s Digibanker is another online business banking portal that helps business owners manage cash flows, payments, and business transactions. Security Bank Digibanker’s services include receivables management, vendor payments, eGov payments, liquidity management, and fund transfers.
With Security Bank Digibanker, business owners can open a business bank account in the Philippines on the Security Bank website and forward hard copies of their documents to the bank for verification.
3. Unionbank Hub
Unionbank MSME Business Banking Hub, or Unionbank Hub, is an online platform tailor-made for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Like the other portals, Unionbank Hub has a web and app version designed to help you manage your account transactions.
To access Unionbank Hub, you’ll need to open a business checking account first that comes in two types: Business Starter and Business Check, with ₱ 5,000 ($90) and ₱ 100,000 ($1,800) in initial deposit requirements, respectively. Like Security Bank Digibanker, you can complete your application online by visiting their website.
4. BDO Business Online Banking
BDO Business Online Banking is an online user portal for BDO Cash Management Services (BDO CMS) that offers a full suite of solutions to help business account holders manage their cash and liquidity. As part of BDO CMS, BDO Business Online Banking provides online collection, payment, and information services.
To sign up for BDO CMS, visit a BDO branch or talk to a BDO SME Business Development representative. Small Business Package and Manpower and Personnel Management Business Package include BDO Business Online Banking.
Wise, known as TransferWise, was founded in 2011 and offers international money transfers and multi-currency accounts with actual exchange rates. Wise has become a popular choice for foreigners and global businesses. You can hold over 40 currencies in your Wise bank account, including Philippine pesos. Many companies consider Wise the best bank to open US dollar and Philippine peso business bank accounts in the Philippines.
Individuals and companies can open a bank account at Wise in less than ten minutes and start using their account directly. You can request a Wise debit card for any ATM in the Philippines without paying extra fees or high exchange rates.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the easiest bank to open a checking account in the Philippines?
Security Bank All Access Checking Account is often considered one of the easiest banks to open a checking account in the Philippines.
What are the types of bank accounts in the Philippines?
The common types of bank accounts in the Philippines include checking accounts, savings accounts, corporate credit cards, merchant accounts, Certificate of Deposit (CD) accounts, money market accounts, and foreign currency accounts.
Can I open a bank account in the Philippines while abroad?
No, as a US citizen, it is usually impossible to open a bank account abroad in the Philippines due to documentation requirements. Typically, you would need to be a resident of the country to open a business bank account in the Philippines.
What is the minimum amount to open a business bank account in the Philippines?
The minimum amount to open a business bank account in the Philippines is typically ₱ 100,000 ($1,800) for most local banks. However, some banks catering to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) might have lower requirements, ranging from ₱ 40,000 ($720) to ₱ 50,000 ($900).