Foreign companies with online services in the Philippines must register with the SEC



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Iris Gonzales – The Filipino Star

September 14, 2021 | 00h00

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign companies whose services are available in the Philippines through online channels must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This includes all foreign businesses, especially those that sell foreign currencies, cryptocurrencies, and other digital assets.

They are making their products and services available to the country through their social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, the SEC said in a notice.

Thus, the SEC urged the public to be careful when dealing or dealing with companies or entities that are not licensed or registered in the Philippines.

The SEC has received numerous inquiries regarding the implications of dealing with unregistered foreign companies and entities whose products or services are accessible in the Philippines through their website or online applications and platforms.

By law, an entity is required to register and obtain a master registration with the SEC if it intends to do business in the Philippines.

However, the SEC said a number of companies and unregistered entities allow Filipinos to access their online platforms and allow registration, creation or registration of customer accounts through online means despite lack of registration or license to do business in the Philippines.

These unregistered online platforms include, but are not limited to, currency brokers, digital asset exchanges, multi-asset companies, websites for securities token offerings, trading apps binary options and gaming platforms to win, the SEC said.

“The public is reminded to be vigilant and exercise due diligence before dealing and dealing with an entity. The public is also advised to avoid dealing with companies or entities without registration or license to do business in the Philippines in order to avoid losing their income, ”the SEC said.

If an entity or business is unlicensed or unregistered and is based overseas, Filipino investors may not get their investment back, the companies regulator said.

“If you put your income on a platform accessible in the Philippines, but operated by unregistered companies or entities, the government may offer very limited protection or in some cases no protection against any harm, damage, fraud or any form of misconduct that may be caused or committed by these companies or entities, ”he noted.

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