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Putting up an Internet Cafe in the Philippines (for non-Filipinos)

Let’s get straight to the point. Foreigners or non-Filipinos can not own any percentage of a “small” retail business in the Philippines (e.g. Internet Cafe) as indicated in Section 5 of Republic Act 8762.

As of this writing, the only way you can have full foreign participation is if you have a paid-up capital of $2.5 million dollars (US) or more, provided that investments for establishing a store is not less than $830,000 (US). This is an over kill if you just want to put up an internet cafe!

So how can you own an internet cafe in the Philippines?

You can own an icafe “indirectly” if you’re married to a Filipino because it will be a conjugal property. In case your natural-born Filipino wife/husband has gained foreign citizenship through naturalization, he/she can apply for Filipino citizenship to gain dual nationality… thus re-acquiring his/her Filipino citizenship and may open an internet cafe under his/her name.

You on the other hand may not work on it to gain any salary, unless if you have a working VISA.

But as a couple you can always receive financial support from your spouse right? Just make sure that you don’t have your name on the business and no records whatsoever that you are being paid by the business.