17 Popular Types of Businesses in the Philippines [Survey Data]

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Quick Take

What is the most popular type of business in the Philippines?

Based on the study from Grit PH, the most popular type of business in the Philippines is in the Food and Beverage sector. This industry leads with a significant interest among potential Filipino entrepreneurs (27%), reflecting the country’s rich culinary traditions and its people’s love for food.

Retail follows as the second most popular sector, indicative of the growing consumer culture in the Philippines. These two sectors are at the forefront in terms of popularity among business types in the country.

The entrepreneurial spirit in the Philippines is thriving, as evidenced by our recent survey that explored the types of businesses Filipinos are most interested in starting.

Gathering insights from 610 respondents across a variety of age and gender, the survey shed light on what type of business potential Filipino business owners are interested in.

On the lead is Food and Beverage, capturing 27% of the responses. This comes as no surprise considering the country’s rich culinary traditions and love for food. Not far behind, the Retail sector garnered 17.5% which reflects the growing consumer culture and the demand for diverse shopping experiences among Filipinos.

Other sectors also showed promising interest including Service-oriented businesses with 9% of the vote, followed by Agriculture at 8%. Technology-based ventures were considered by 6.4% of respondents and creative industries, including arts, design, and crafts, attracted 5.6% of potential entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, e-commerce ventures were favored by 4.3%, indicating a shift towards online platforms and the digital marketplace.

Here’s the result of our survey:

Business Type
Food & Beverage27%
Creative (ie: arts, design, crafts, etc…)5.6%
Healthcare & Wellness4.4%
Professional Services (ie: accounting, law, construction, consulting, etc…)3.1%
Franchise Business2.8%
Financial Services2%
Tourism & Hospitality2%
Non-profit or Social Enterprise1.5%
Transportation & Logistics1%
Environmental or Green Business0.5%

If you’re considering starting your own business in the Philippines, here’s a look at the best industries to explore.

Looking for more ideas? Also read: 150+ Business Ideas in the Philippines

Top Business Industries in the Philippines

Here are some of the best industries to try if you’re considering starting your own business. Keep in mind that some of these industries may be more saturated than others, so it’s important to conduct thorough market research and identify gaps or opportunities within each sector.

Additionally, many successful businesses span across two or more industries, leveraging the strengths and opportunities of each to create a unique and competitive offering. This approach can increase your revenue and make you more resilient against market fluctuations.

1. Food & Beverage

The Food and Beverage (F&B) industry are businesses involved in the preparation, distribution, and sale of food and drinks.

This sector is known for its wide array of offerings, from traditional Filipino dishes to international cuisine, catering to a diverse palate.

  • Restaurants
  • Fast-food chains
  • Catering services
  • Cafes
  • Food trucks
  • Bars
  • Food stalls
  • Food processing and distribution companies
Industry Value (PH)PHP 284 billion (2023)
Initial CapitalLow to Medium

2. Retail

Retail involves the sale of goods to consumers for personal or household consumption. This sector is visible in every corner of the Philippines, from malls to online platforms, catering to the varied tastes and preferences of the Filipino market.

Retail businesses range from large department stores to specialized shops and it plays a major role in the country’s economic activity by directly serving end consumers.

  • Department stores
  • Specialty boutiques
  • Online marketplaces
  • Bookstores
  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
Industry Value (PH)$53.6 billion (2021)
Initial CapitalMedium to High

3. Service

The service industry encompasses businesses that provide intangible goods or services to consumers. Unlike manufacturing or agriculture, which produce tangible products, the service sector delivers value through expertise, experience, and customer care.

It is a broad category that includes everything from hospitality to information technology services, playing a crucial role in the Philippine economy due to the country’s strong English-speaking workforce and hospitality culture.

  • Customer service centers
  • Hospitality services, including hotels and restaurants
  • Cleaning services
  • Event planning services
  • Sales & Marketing agencies
  • Information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO)
  • Healthcare services
Industry Value (PH)PHP 13 trillion (2023)
Initial CapitalLow

4. Agriculture

Agriculture is a foundational part of the Philippine economy. It refers to the cultivation of crops and the raising of livestock.

This sector is vital for food production and as a source of livelihood for a significant portion of the population, contributing to both domestic consumption and export markets.

  • Rice and corn farming
  • Organic farms
  • Agri-tech startups
  • Coconut and sugarcane plantations
  • Livestock raising, including poultry and swine
  • Aquaculture and fisheries
Industry Value (PH)PHP 551.50 billion (2023)
Initial CapitalLow

5. Technology

The technology sector is rapidly growing in the Philippines, thanks to the increasing demand for digital solutions.

This industry includes businesses involved in software development, hardware manufacturing, and digital services, aiming to meet the technological needs of both businesses and consumers in a digitally evolving world.

  • Software development companies
  • Hardware manufacturing
  • AI research labs
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Blockchain companies
  • Tech startups focusing on digital solutions
  • Cybersecurity services
Industry Value (PH)$36.5 billion (2022)
Initial CapitalMedium to High

6. Creative

The creative industry includes businesses and individuals involved in the production and distribution of cultural, artistic, and entertainment content.

The major stakeholders of this sector include artists, designers, and entrepreneurs who all contribute to the cultural and creative landscape.

  • Art galleries and studios
  • Music production studios
  • Publishing houses
  • Photography studios
  • Graphic design and advertising agencies
  • Film production companies
  • Handicraft and artisanal shops
Industry Value (PH)PHP 52.8 billion (2023)
Initial CapitalMedium to High

7. Healthcare & Wellness

This industry includes businesses that provide medical services, manufacture medical equipment or drugs, provide medical insurance, or otherwise facilitate the provision of healthcare to patients.

With a growing focus on health and wellness, this industry ensures the well-being of the Filipino population.

  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Fitness centers
  • Yoga studios
  • Physiotherapy clinics
  • Cosmetic surgery centers
  • Health insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Wellness centers and spas
Industry Value (PH)$18 billion (2020)
Initial CapitalHigh

8. E-commerce

E-commerce involves buying and selling goods and services over the Internet.

This sector has seen rapid growth in the country due to increased internet penetration and consumer preference for online shopping. It offers a convenient alternative to traditional retail through websites and mobile apps.

  • Online marketplaces
  • Online stores and live selling
  • Subscription box services
  • Auction websites
  • E-tailers specializing in specific categories like electronics, fashion, or home goods
  • Online grocery delivery services
  • E-commerce platforms for B2B transactions
Industry Value (PH)$17 billion (2021)
Initial CapitalLow

9. Professional Services

Professional services refer to a category of businesses that offer specialized knowledge and skills to their clients.

This sector includes a wide range of services, from financial advice to legal assistance, playing an essential role in supporting other industries by giving expertise that is needed to make better operational and strategic decisions.

Industry Value (PH)$125.6 million (projected for 2028)
Initial CapitalLow

10. Franchise Business

Franchising is a business model that allows individuals to operate their own businesses under the umbrella of an established brand.

This model is popular all over the country since it gives budding entrepreneurs a way to start their own business with the support and recognition of a known brand.

  • Fast food and restaurant franchises
  • Retail store franchises
  • Service-oriented franchises, such as laundry and cleaning services
  • Education and training franchise opportunities
Industry Value (PH)PHP 605 billion (2022)
Initial CapitalMedium to High

11. Educational

The educational sector covers institutions and services dedicated to learning and teaching.

Businesses in this sector can offer formal education at various levels, as well as provide supplemental education services.

  • Schools and universities
  • Vocational and technical training centers
  • Online education platforms
  • Study abroad programs
  • Tutorial and review centers
Industry Value (PH)PHP 222.2 billion (2018)
Initial CapitalMedium to High

12. Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the process of converting raw materials into finished products through the use of machinery and labor.

This sector is crucial to the country’s economy, contributing to its GDP and providing employment opportunities.

It encompasses a wide range of industries, including electronics, automotive, and food processing, exporting goods worldwide.

  • Electronics assembly and production
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Chemical plants
  • Plastic production plants
  • Food and beverage processing
  • Textiles and garments production
Industry Value (PH)PHP 3.8 trillion (2023)
Initial CapitalHigh

13. Financial Services

Financial services include businesses that manage money for individuals and corporations.

Its services can range from banking to insurance, giving much-needed financial infrastructure for personal finance management and business operations.

Industry Value (PH)PHP 20.8 trillion (2022)
Initial CapitalHigh

14. Tourism & Hospitality

Tourism & Hospitality is a major economic contributor in the Philippines.

This sector capitalizes on the country’s natural beauty, historical sites, and cultural attractions, and includes businesses that cater to tourists and travelers, such as accommodations, tours, and recreational activities, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP.

  • Hotels, hostels, and resorts
  • Tour operators
  • Convention centers
  • Recreational facilities, such as amusement parks and dive resorts
  • Cultural and ecotourism sites
  • Cruise lines
  • Theme parks
Industry Value (PH)PHP 1.38 trillion (2022)
Initial CapitalMedium to High

15. Non-profit or Social Enterprise

Non-profit organizations and social enterprises are dedicated to addressing social issues and making a positive impact on communities.

In the Philippines, these entities work across various sectors, from education and health to environmental conservation, driven by a mission to create social value rather than profit.

  • Charitable organizations and NGOs
  • Social enterprises focusing on livelihood projects
  • Environmental conservation groups
  • Educational and health-focused non-profits

16. Transportation & Logistics

This industry covers the movement of people and goods from one location to another. It facilitates trade and commerce, supports economic activities, and ensures the mobility of the population.

  • Shipping and freight companies
  • Courier and delivery services
  • Port operations
  • Taxi services
  • Moving and storage companies
  • Public transportation operators, including buses, jeepneys, and tricycles
  • Logistics and supply chain management services
Industry Value (PH)$18.03 billion (2023)
Initial CapitalHigh

17. Environmental or Green Business

Environmental or green businesses focus on products and services that have a positive impact on the environment or contribute to sustainability. This emerging sector includes businesses involved in renewable energy, waste management, and eco-friendly products, reflecting a growing awareness and concern for environmental issues.

  • Renewable energy companies, such as solar and wind power
  • Eco-friendly product retailers
  • Waste management and recycling services
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Organic farming

Business Types in the Philippines FAQs

What are the different types of business structures or entities in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, there are several types of business structures or entities, each with its unique characteristics and requirements. Here are the main types:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest business structure, where the business is owned and run by a single individual. The owner has full control of the business but also bears unlimited personal liability for its debts and obligations.
  2. Partnership: A partnership involves two or more individuals who agree to contribute money, property, or industry to a common fund with the intention of dividing the profits among themselves. Partnerships can be either general or limited. In a general partnership, all partners have unlimited liability, while in a limited partnership, at least one partner must have unlimited liability, and the others can have limited liability.
  3. Corporation: A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners, who are the shareholders. It has a board of directors and officers. Corporations can be stock (with shares of stock as evidence of interest) or non-stock (usually for non-profit organizations). Corporations offer limited liability to their shareholders.
  4. Cooperative: A cooperative is an organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. Cooperatives are often formed to provide services or products to their members, and profits are distributed among the members or reinvested in the cooperative.
  5. Branch Office: Foreign corporations can do business in the Philippines through a branch office. It is an extension of the parent company and not a separately incorporated entity. The foreign company is liable for the actions of the branch.
  6. Representative Office: This is a type of business structure set up by a foreign company to deal directly with its clients in the Philippines but is not allowed to derive income from the country and cannot engage in any business activities.
  7. Regional Headquarters (RHQ) or Regional Operating Headquarters (ROHQ): These are specialized types of business structures for foreign corporations. An RHQ undertakes activities such as supervising, overseeing, and coordinating the corporation’s subsidiaries, branches, and affiliates in the Asia-Pacific Region and other foreign markets. An ROHQ, on the other hand, can engage in a broader range of services than an RHQ.
  8. One Person Corporation (OPC): This is a relatively new option in the Philippines, where a single individual can establish a corporation. The OPC is especially suited for entrepreneurs who want the benefits of limited liability and the ability to run their business independently.

Each type of business entity has specific requirements for registration, capitalization, and compliance under Philippine law.

The choice of business structure depends on various factors, including the nature and scale of the business, tax considerations, and the level of liability protection desired.

Which business sectors are seeing rapid growth in the Philippines?

Here are the business sectors in the Philippines that have experienced rapid growth over the last 2 years:

1. Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO)

The BPO sector, particularly IT services, remains one of the fastest-growing industries in the Philippines. This includes call centers, software development, and knowledge process outsourcing.

2. Ecommerce and Digital Services:

With the increasing internet penetration and the growth of digital platforms, e-commerce has been booming. This sector also includes digital marketing, online retail, and fintech services.

3. Real Estate and Construction

Driven by both the private and public sectors, real estate development, particularly in urban areas, and infrastructure projects are significant growth areas.

4. Renewable Energy

The Philippines has been focusing on renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal power. Investments in this sector are growing as the country seeks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

5. Tourism and Hospitality

The tourism sector has been a consistent growth driver, fueled by the country’s natural attractions and government initiatives to promote tourism.

6. Retail

The retail sector, particularly in urban areas, continues to grow, driven by rising consumer spending and the development of shopping malls and retail outlets.

7. Logistics and Transportation

With the growth of e-commerce and the need for improved infrastructure, there’s increased investment in logistics and transportation.

What are some low-capital business ideas suitable for beginners in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, there are several low-capital business ideas suitable for beginners who are looking to start their entrepreneurial journey.

These ideas often require minimal investment but can yield substantial returns if managed well. Here are some of our suggestions:

  1. Online Retail or Dropshipping: Start selling products online through platforms like Lazada, Shopee, or Facebook Marketplace. Dropshipping allows you to sell products without holding inventory, reducing the initial investment.
  2. Food Business: Street food or home-based food businesses like baking, making homemade snacks, or meal preparations can be started with limited capital. Catering for small events or offering specialized food items like vegan or organic can also be lucrative.
  3. Freelance Services: If you have skills in areas like writing, graphic design, web development, or digital marketing, you can offer your services on platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr.
  4. Agricultural Ventures: Engage in small-scale urban farming, like growing vegetables or herbs, which can be done even in limited spaces like balconies or small yards.
  5. Buy and Sell: Purchase items in bulk at a discounted rate and sell them individually at a markup. This can include clothing, accessories, collectibles, or tech gadgets.

About jasonacidre

Jason Acidre is the publisher & head of digital content strategy at Grit PH.

He is a serial tech entrepreneur, organic digital consultant, and a financial literacy advocate in the Philippines. In 2011, he started his first venture, a digital marketing agency that specializes in technical SEO, content marketing, and digital PR. The business started with an initial capital of P1,500 - that eventually grew and generated $1.5 million in revenue in 2016.

Over the past decade, his team has worked with several Fortune/Inc. 500 brands as well as some of the most highly-valued startups in the world. Helping drive millions of traffic, sales, and revenue to their websites.

Along with the team at Grit PH, his current goal is to help 1,000,000 Filipinos identify and achieve their own "true success".

Education: University of Santo Tomas (Undergraduate, Civil Engineering)
Focus: Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Investing & Personal Finance

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