Sales Representative in the Philippines

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
The general outline of distribution in the Philippines is not different from the traditional system; it is based on the chain of manufacturer-distributor-retailer-final consumer. Large national or foreign companies usually have representatives or branches in the different areas of the country to be able to be more effective in their distribution networks or provision of services.
  • Main Actors
A list of trading companies in the Philippines is available here.
  • Main Actors
A list of wholesalers in the Philippines is available here.
Useful Resources
Department of Trade and Industry

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
Using an agent/distributor increases your chances of success as they are valuable intermediaries on the market, facilitate transactions and are aware of opportunities.
Where to Be Vigilant
You must be sure of the financial power of the distributor (to guarantee sufficient stocks, the quality of after-sales service, the competitiveness of the terms of remuneration), and of the geographical area he covers (strategic zones of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao).
Elements of Motivation
Remuneration is an important factor in motivation, as is the establishing of a relationship based on trust  and respect.
The Average Amount of Commission
It varies from 5 to 10%.
Breach of Contract
No Philippine law prohibits the termination of an agent/distributor's contract if one of the parties so wishes. Contracts usually provide for thirty days' notice or include a date mutually accepted by the parties.
Finding a Commercial Agent
Global Representation
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in the Philippines on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
Setting up a commercial representation allows you to get a hold in Philippine reality at an affordable price.
Where to Be Vigilant
This step implies that you have a long term vision of the commitments carried out.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
The representative office is a first approach to the Philippine market. It is the easiest and least costly form of setting up business. Its activities are limited: it ensures the promotion of the products or services of the company it represents, and can only be a local relay for a company that wants to canvass local partners or envisage a physical implantation.
  • A Branch Office
The branch office is only an extension of the parent company and therefore it has no specific legal personality. It is administered by its parent company. The latter is responsible for commercial operations carried out by the branch office in the Philippines. It must be registered with the SEC.
  • A Company
The individual company is the most common form adopted by individuals who want to open a small business in the Philippines. For a long time this activity was reserved for Philippine citizens. Since  25 March 2002, foreign nationals can open a retail store as long as their activity does not appear on the Closed List and they invest at least 830 000 USD to open the said store.


Evolution of the Sector
Franchising, which began in 1910, has experienced very fast development, and the sector has one of the strongest growths in the Philippine economy (700 local names and 311 foreign names in 2006, for a total of about 100 000 franchises). Most foreign franchises come from the United States, although Asian names are breaking into the market.
Some Big Franchises
McDonald's, fast food
Pizza Hut, pizzeria
Jollibee, fast food
Max's, restaurant
Tropical Hut, food market
Purefoods, food market
For Further Information
Philippine Franchise Association

Finding Assistance

Export Trading Companies
Raco Trading Phils Inc.
Industria Trading Philippines
Find more on about Selling to the Philippines.

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