DOING BUSINESS IN CLARK PHILIPPINES – starting a business in Clark Freeport

Doing business in Philippines is not easy and anyone who tell you otherwise is either trying to con you into something spurious or clueless on what it is really like to begin with. Doing business in Clark Philippines is a better proposition because of two things: (1) the playing field is more level and (2) there are less people to deal with.

One of the most attractive features of Clark Philippines is its infrastructures. Wide roads, clean air, low level of noise pollution and a sparse population all add up to a healthier and more efficient lifestyle and superior working conditions.

So how does one put up a business in Clark Philippines?

Assuming that you have a business plan in mind, the first thing you have to do is to register your business in Clark Freeport. Businesses registered in Clark are referred to as “locators”. To become a “locator”, you first have to have a business address in Clark. That is accomplished by obtaining a lease or sublease on a property which can be land, a building or a unit in a building, although office buildings are not really readily available in Clark.

Dealing with the bureaucracy of the government agency which administers and manages Clark Freeport can test your patience especially if you approach this exercise with pre-conceived notions borne of years of doing business in other counties like Singapore, Hong Kong, USA, Europe, Korea and Japan. The best and most painless way to cut through the proverbial red tape is to deal with an existing locator. Putting up a business in Clark Philippines is a lot easier this way. Here is how:

  1. Approach a business which is already registered in Clark – a Locator – which has excess land leases that it can spare for your business;
  2. Enter into an agreement with that business which will then endorse you to Clark Development Corporation – the administrative body of Clark Philippines.
  3. You might be required to pay certain fees depending on the amount you declare for the payment of the sublease.
  4. Within a few weeks, you are a legitimate business duly registered and properly located in Clark Philippines.


Doing business in Clark Philippines can be quite rewarding if you avoid certain landmines that have plagued and even devastated some businesses to a point of causing them to pack up and leave swearing never to return. These are some of the things you want to think about real hard no matter how much your gut feelings tell you otherwise:

  1. Get involved with government officials, doing deals of any kind: Best to keep everything neat, tidy and above the table. Many would teach you ways to save and cut corners. All will come back to haunt you.
  2. Study the labor laws well. This country is 110% pro-labor to a point of absurdity and embarrassment. For your employee to sue you in a labor court, all he/she has to do is to obtain a pre-printed form, make a few ticks on what the complaint is about, write down names and such and a case is filed against you, just like that. For you to get out of that case, you engage a lawyer and go through months of hassle often involving extortion not only from the complainant, his/her family members but also court personnel. Stick to hiring part-time, less than 6 months. Trust nobody. Nothing you learned in the past elsewhere as a shrewd and successful businessman can possibly prepare you to deal with this.
  3. Level the playing field by doing business only with people like yourself – foreigners and stake-holders. These people have as much to gain or lose as you, so they will speak the same language and operate under similar parameters and code of ethics.


What are some of the businesses that really make a lot of sense in Clark Philippines? Well, if anyone has the answer to that question, he would probably not want to share it with anyone. But what is in huge demand here in Clark Philippines are residential properties and small-to-medium-sized offices. Doing business in Clark is made much more difficult and costly when businessmen have to live in hotels and conduct all their business activities in bars, restaurants and business centers. If you have US$1 million to invest, you would probably be glad that you spent it in building a mixed-used mid-rise (say, 10 storey) building with 2-bedroom 80- to 150-sm apartments and offices of similar sizes for rent. You will probably find yourself having to manage a waiting list before your project is completed.

If you need more information or wish to discuss your business plans with someone who is an existing Clark locator, email or call (632) 637-5019 and ask for assistance to put up a new business in Clark Philippines.


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