If you are looking into starting an offshore team in the Philippines, there are several ways you can actually do it. I am going to sort it it in order of speed or complexity.
1. Work directly with freelancers using ODesk or Elance.
Find them in sites like freelancer.com, LinkedIn, ODesk or Elance, even Craigslist or just google for them! Trouble is, management is very difficult even if you are using sites that are made for this. The risk is also obviously higher and satisfaction rates are lower (based on my experience). If you happen to find a good one then good luck in also keeping them to yourself! Most take more than one projects at a time.
2. Hire a staff leasing provider
What these bigger companies usually provide on top of finding people for you is actually managing them for you. Remote management rarely works. The key here is good management that you can rely on. However, there is one thing that might be worrisome: lack of control — you have no idea how they are running your team on a daily basis. And this lack of knowledge of what goes on there sometimes would drive you nuts! Later on, you might find yourself extremely dependent on these companies that you might find yourself stuck with just agreeing on their terms just because they own your most precious resource — the people. The good thing is that, these companies usually can provide you with people quickly (within days), and even a fitted office space to go along with it. Otherwise, you have no reason to consider them if they respond slowly. Also, try to shop around and research the going rates and if possible the reputation of the company. Make sure contracts are not very restrictive on your part.
3. Buy a domestic company with existing staff
Why buy the milk when you can own the cow? However, make sure you have done your due diligence, checking the financial status of the company, checking also its compliance with all government institutions. And definitely check if they have the people you are looking for your business venture.
4. Start a domestic company from scratch
If you have time on your side, and clients not barking at your door, you can take your time and build it from scratch. Problem is, you actually have to have someone travel to the Philippines to get this started. It is best to send someone from your company to manage the operations totally. You would have to find your own administrative staff, down to messengers and assistants to get your office to run smoothly. You need to hire legal and accounting counsel as this is crucial to doing things right. You can also consider registering your company for Tax Free incentives such zero corporate income tax holiday for several years either through BOI (Board of Investments) or PEZA. You will need the service of a broker to find an office space (or find it yourself — which is a lot of hardwork). You will need to visit government agencies such as the SEC, the local and city government, BIR, SSS, PagIbig, Philhealth or hire someone to do it for you. And let’s not forget, you need to open corporate bank accounts too.
5. Start a local branch of your firm
This option is quite similar to #3 except that there are more documents needed such as financial statements and proof of financial capacity from the mother
ship company. You also need to appoint a resident agent, usually someone you sent from your company to work on your behalf. The resident agent should have proper visas to stay in the country.