Building A Startup In the Philippines: A Guide on How to Get Started

Building A Startup In the Philippines: A Guide on How to Get Started

You don’t have to be extremely rich when building a startup in the Philippines. There’s a common saying that goes “the best ideas are just right under your nose.” The saying fits quite exactly in building startups. However, the elephant in the room would be the puzzling question of “how?” In this article you’d get a close touch on the building-blocks of startups and how you can start your own!  

businessman in yellow jacket huddling with his team

What is a Startup?

Derived from its name, a “Startup” is a company that is in its primary stages of development. If you happen to be fond of watching any form of series, you would know that series films have seasons. And likened to the concept being discussed, a startup would have itself placed within the first and second seasons of a series. 

What is a Founder?

A founder is a person who strikes an idea off the bat and molds this idea into a business. A few notable names include Elon Musk, CEO and Founder of Tesla, Malanie Perkins, CEO and Co-Founder of Canva, and our very own, Carlo Silva, Part-Owner and Founder Weremote. 

Startup Scale in the Philippines

The Philippine Startup scene is booming with potential, innovation, and vibrance. There’s no denying the success that awaits each hard-working startup company in the Philippines. With fresh and intriguing ideas emerging here and there, startups bring light to the discovery of new products and services. All these serve as a catalyst for change in the societal and market system of the country, and sometimes even internationally. You’d be happy to know that the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry highly supports the entrepreneurial culture of the country. The local government nurtures an ecosystem where local businesses can thrive and venture into more renowned opportunities.

The Innovative Startup Act of the Philippines fosters encouragement of raw ideas and hones these ideas through a stream of generous support. Startup teams and founders can enjoy Venture Funds, Grants-In-Aid, Provision of Startup Visa, and establishment of Startup Eco-zones. Bridging the gap among the different markets in the Economic Theory, startups are at the forefront of the government’s innovative initiatives, alongside the hope of eliminating exclusivity, and welcoming a new and improved competitive and inclusive market. 

three businesswomen discussing and talking important matters in a business

You can’t go wrong with these Tips on How to Start

Create a feasible and comprehensive Business Plan

A comprehensive and doable business plan isn’t a candy-coated document. A business plan doesn’t have to be polished with flowery words. A business plan serves as a guide which will hold your company’s foundation in written form. 

The topics included in your business plan are:

Title Page

For starters your Title Page must include your:

Business name

Business address

Phone number

Email address,


And the company logo

Executive Summary

An Executive Summary refers to the section that investors, partners, and bankers will review in evaluating your business plan. This section provides a summary of what your entire business plan has discussed. If you’ve ever written a research paper in high school or college, an executive summary in your business plan is like your abstract, which comprehensively but briefly discusses the entirety of the study.  

Industry Overview

An Industry Overview is a section that talks about your specific industry of business operations. Are you venturing into fishery, automotive, telecommunications? Identify which industry your business belongs to. From here, you can start writing about how your business will coincide with the market. Research on ongoing industry trends, estimated revenues, and major competitors. Explain how your business will compete in the market against different players in the industry.

Market Analysis and Competition

In this section you should discuss your target market and company offerings. Who is your business for? What products or services will you be offering to your selected target market? The answers to your questions don’t just come from the sky. To ensure that you aren’t simply grabbing random information from here and there, you must analyze the existing target market. Check for the same or similar products and services. Upon analyzing, include your company’s demographics, consumer behavior, market needs, and the geographical scope and limitations of your business.

Management Plan

In your Management Plan, you will discuss the outline of your business’ management team, internal and external human resource requirements, and your company’s legal structure. Keep in mind that externally acquired professional aid such as lawyers, valuers, and consultants must be included in your employee count. All these information will be used for renumeration of each employee.  

Operating Plan

The section for your Operating Plan is dedicated to your company’s overview of physical establishment. Included in your Operating Plan are aspects such as office space, machinery, supplies, inventory, labor, and specialized services.  

Financial Plan

Here’s where it may get tricky, your financial plan will determine how much your business requires. Know that this section will be closely observed and evaluated by investors, potential partners, and perhaps even venture capitals. Your Financial Plan will show how your company can be a viable asset for investors. Included in this section is information about your projected income, cash flow, and balance sheet.  

Appendices and Exhibits

In this section, you will establish additional information that banks on your credibility to potential investors. This section may include your building or office plans/ layout, product/ service information, marketing brochures, and proposed advertisements.  

In case you’re a rookie on this, you can brush up on your knowledge by watching lessons and crash courses on YouTube or reading through the technical aspects of creating a business plan over the internet. Know that bits and large plates of information are very accessible these days. You can learn how to create a business plan through the details that can be found right at your fingertips.  

two businesswomen talking about business while writing and taking notes

Register your Business

Here’s where it gets tough! Registering can be somewhat of a pickle. Different permits and documents correspond to different governmental offices. This means different schedules, lines, fees, and endless loads of paperwork. Oftentimes, businesses get delayed in launching their company because of requirements and papers up for filing and registration. Surely with everything on your plate, you wouldn’t want to add another stressor to your long never-ending list of “to-do’s.”  

Work smart! If you do so, you’d would find yourself seated next to a coffee table, sipping your favorite beverage on a Wednesday afternoon. Enjoy the calm and peaceful aura because you decided to get your business running through a more effective strategy. Here at Weremote we offer you stress-free business registration services. These allow startup companies to work faster, safer, and at costs that are less than what you’d pay if you didn’t register and you were fined for non-registry. 

Save yourself from the dreads of lining up for hours, days, weeks, and months, just to run a couple of troublesome paperwork.You’d be away from anger-provoking situations that go about all day in running permits and business requirements. Even if you’re the patient type, there’s no kidding about how you’ll end up with frown lines after months of stress.    

How do I know which business structure to choose?

Identify which business structure you conform with. There are a couple of structures you can examine to identify which one is best suited for the company you are building.  Which one suits you best? 

One-Person Corporation

A One-Person Corporation, otherwise known as an “OPC,” is a corporation that has only one stockholder. How is this different from a sole proprietorship? An OPC has separate entities, limited liability, succession, and has a taxation process performed through the company. 

Domestic Incorporation

Domestic Incorporation – Domestic Incorporation is a company that operates in business within its state. By definition, the operations and registry of a Domestic Incorporation are completely conducted within the country of its founder’s residence.  

Foreign Corporation

Foreign Corporation – A foreign corporation is a company that conducts business in a state that is different from its home country or country of residence. While this business structure may require more documentation and permits to operate, this is one of the structures which offers the characteristics of internationalization.


Freelancer – One of the simplest and easiest business structures from the list, to register as a Freelancer, means that you are a legitimate member of your chosen industry and your products and services. You are sealed with proof of validity from the local governmental body. As a freelancer, you are able to provide your services and products without being employed or controlled by a boss other than yourself, and you share expenditures and profits solely to yourself. 

Licensed Professional

Licensed Professional – Registering in the business structure of Licensed Professional means that you are certified and qualified to perform the services you have the authorization to conduct. This may include the professions of teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, and therapists. 

Sole Proprietorship

Sole Proprietorship – A Sole Proprietorship is a type of business structure that has only one owner. The owner of a single-proprietorship company is the person who has full authority over the company’s assets and liabilities, while also in charge of the company’s operations.  

General Partnership

 General Partnership – A General Partnership is a business structure composed of individuals working together as partners in a company. This structure may be formed by groups of two to five members, and a share of financial assets, roles, and liabilities.  


As you examine which one suits your company best, align the business structure with your company’s goals and initiatives, such as the consideration of international partners, partnerships, or responsibilities as a sole-proprietor.  

filipino business man and filipina businesswoman talking while reading a book and discussing business

Build your Team Wisely

There’s something about people that shape the way your company will develop in the long run. Your team will be the people who will work through sunny and stormy days with you. The people you hire to be part of your team will be the pillars of your company’s first steps.  

How do you know who to hire?

Ask yourself these critical questions when hiring and building your team:  

Do we share a common ground of values, principles, and work ethic?  

Does this person fit the company culture?  

What are the qualifications of this candidate?

  • What is this person’s character like? 
  • How well does this person communicate (not just verbally)? 
  • Is this person ambitious? 
  • Do I see myself as a good mentor for this person? 
  • Can I see myself and the company working and growing with this person?

Work-life Balance

Know that aside from acquiring personnel, you too must be a good candidate for the team that you are building. A company, especially a startup, isn’t a one-way street. You need to look both ways in gauging situations where you will most likely never work alone. Envision yourself and think, can you see yourself as a good role model and team member who will guide and hone the talents and skills of the people you will be working with alongside accomplishing the company’s goals? 

a very busy asian businesswoman working on her computer table with a lot of paper works

Keep your Work Intact

Perhaps you’re at the crossroads of building your dream startup, but also unable to quit the nine to five corporate job you have. Certainly, there’s nothing like establishing the dream business you’ve always wanted, however, there are some things to consider, like job security. If you’re in a place where you’re uncertain whether or not your business will fly high in the full spectrum of colors, you can test the water first. There’s a concept coined by digital entrepreneur, investor, and marketer Carlo Ople called “the 7 to 1 Squad.”

"7 to 1 Squad"

This unique concept discusses how people can still work on their passions even if they work a nine to five corporate job, or “jobs that pay the rent.” The concept encourages the discipline of working on your job within work hours, and working on projects you are passionate about from 7pm to 1am in the morning.

While this concept isn’t particularly strict with time, as some of us work differently from the regular timetable, it suggests that we allot at least six hours for our projects, businesses, and bright ideas.  

This unique concept discusses how people can still work on their passions even if they work a nine to five corporate job, or “jobs that pay the rent.” The concept encourages the discipline of working on your job within work hours alone. After work hours, you start working on projects you are passionate about from 7pm to 1am in the morning.

Building a business is no free dive. Establishing a business isn’t like winning the lottery. You can win the lottery one day and find yourself broke after three months. Countless individuals all over the world who have won the lottery have also gone broke because of hasty decision making and unprepared business launching.

two asian businessman and one asian businesswoman having a business meeting

So, look at your idea closely, look at it through a different lens, and identify the loopholes that may arise along the way. Don’t just quit your nine to five jobs just because you hatched an idea that you believe in. Ideas are good and should be nurtured and welcomed, however, the market we have locally and internationally is a competitive one.  

Grow your Business Inclusively

You wouldn’t know what opportunities await you if you won’t open the door. If you’re locked and tied to a single target market then you have only one generating market for your business. Perhaps once you have launched and started, continue analyzing the market, trends and people alike. Identify the strengths your company has, alongside its weaknesses. Know how to attend to business troubles and grievances, and learn through the day-to-day process of business.  

Film Reference

There’s one fitting film that may inspire you on the startup you are hoping to build and grow. The film is called “The Intern,” which stars Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro. Jules Austen (portrayed by Anne Hathaway), is a startup owner and founder of a fashion e-commerce company. And in their process of expansion, the team decided to hire senior interns (individuals who are in their 60’s). While it was an initially unpleasant idea to some, the team and even the founder, Jules Austen, found herself growing fond of the experience of working with senior individuals who somehow spice up the atmosphere of a face-paced startup.

Ben Whittaker (portrayed by Robert De Niro) was the senior intern who was hired to work directly under Jules Austen, whom he has grown to be fond of because of her grit, work ethic and grounded attitude – placing herself on the same level as her team members. While Ben felt as though he was old tunes, he was warmly welcomed by the startup company Jules has built, and it was clear that the people do form a culture that will serve as the architecture of your business, whatever industry it belongs to.  

A Healthy Work Culture

Building a work culture and welcoming a diverse crowd of people may be tricky at first, as beliefs and activities may be in contrast. However, when you do so, you would also discover a new era of fresh and unveiled talent which your business can use in its development and stages of growth. Different people mean different ideas and perspectives towards work, life, and varying markets. Work inclusively and you’d be inspired how many different people can have a shared value and goal.  

Explore different ideas, hire different people from different walks of life, test varying propaganda, and try experimenting with different product reactions. Know how you can better your service and products by taking the risk and getting out of your comfort zone. There’s no harm in trying, so learn from experience and work with your team in deciphering new tactics on how to grow your business and target market.  

Take Breaks

Aside from hustling all day and from 7pm to 1am, as suggested by Carlo Ople’s concept, you must have it embroidered in your mind to take breaks. You don’t want to be the first person in your team to breakdown, cry, and go hysterical when something doesn’t go as planned. You also wouldn’t want to burn out your team mates by placing all the workload on their shoulders.


There’s a word called “Sonder,” which describes how each person’s life is just as complex as your own. You may have personal matters you keep to yourself and face at the back of your head while you work, but you should know that other people, including the ones you work with, have it too. So, keep it in your nature to be kind. Kindness should always be radiated among your team members and within yourself.  

Take a walk when meetings get cancelled and you stress over deadlines. Take a deep breath and drink a glass of milk when you feel like you’re about to burst into a melancholic episode combined with mania. You will not lose shares, stocks, profits, or supplies when you take a break. You will not hit rock bottom and drown in debt if you hydrate yourself. Know that there is nothing to be proud of when you overwork, overstress, and dehydrate yourself.

The small things...

People sometimes have it the other way around when they lose sleep and form eye-bags, it’s like our goal is to be recognized for practicing unhealthy habits that go against our goals. Not sleeping will not reward us with a raise or a trophy made of solid gold, so sleep, take a breath, and know when you should rest.  

Encourage the same healthy habits with your team and allow them the liberty to take breaks and breathe too. Each of us is working hard towards a common goal. We each may take different routes one day, but in the meantime while we work, we are working to establish ourselves to grow the business we are working on as a team. 

filipino businessman in maroon suit and filipina asian businesswoman in purple suit smiling and having fun while discussing about business matters

Everything In Between

While you just read the words that form sentences explaining what you will need and what you should do in establishing a startup of your own, you must take it upon yourself to practice the habit of working for what you want to build. Companies like Airbnb were and Facebook – now Meta, were startups too. These companies didn’t just hatch and launch an idea and became a massive hit, no sadly it doesn’t work that way. Even these large multi-billion companies were once garage-level ideas that took days, nights, months, and years of hard work. Countless failures and endless relationships were tested in creating and establishing a business, just like Airbnb and Meta.

You will get tired, this is the inevitable truth about building a business, but you must know that the victory and merits of all your hard work lie beneath the surface where you find your team and your humble beginnings. It is not the most crucial moment when you decide to take the leap, and venture once you step out of your comfort zone.  

You will get tired, this is the inevitable truth about building a business, but you must know that the victory and merits of all your hard work lie beneath the surface where you find your team and your humble beginnings. It is not the most crucial moment when you decide to take the leap, and venture once you step out of your comfort zone.  

Believe in yoursef!

Take breaks, and lastly, believe in yourself. If you start a business while half-heartedly holding on to a grudge or insecurity about your idea and yourself, you might find yourself in identity and existential crisis combined, you wouldn’t want that. Work towards your goals by lining up your habits in a manner that does not go parallel, your values, projects, and schedules must coincide with each other. Have an end goal in mind that will be at the center of all the work you will be working to accomplish by yourself, and soon with your team.

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