How To Register A Business In The Philippines: A Guide To BIR, DTI, And SEC Application6 min read
Budding entrepreneurs can find lots of ideas and inspiration online. And when you’ve had your Eureka moment and finally figure out what you want to invest in, one of the first steps is business registration. If you’re wondering you how to register your business with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), we’ve got you covered.
Luckily, it’s now so much easier to register your corporation, single proprietorship, or partnership in the Philippines as government agencies already provide online registration services.
Registering your business is not as hard as you think. You’ll first need to secure your business name, and this detailed list will guide you through the rest of the process. You’ll only need to register with these four government agencies, and the rest, you’ll learn to set up along the way.
How to register your business with DTI
Here are the steps to legitimizing your business with the Department of Trade and Industry, depending on the type of ownership:
As a sole owner, you’ll need to process your business registration at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
You can do a quick online check on the availability of your proposed business name/s through the Philippine Business Registry website.
DTI Business Registration can be done online. The DTI Application Form is available on their website.
When you go to their office, prepare at least three (3) proposed business names and observe the DTI registration requirements below:
- Applicant must be above 18 and a Filipino citizen
- Bring two (2) copies of completed application forms, signed by the owner
- Bring at least two (2) photo-bearing government-issued IDs
Upon submission, the next step is to pay for the registration and documentary stamp tax.
The following DTI registration fees apply depending on the territorial scope of your business:
According to DTI, if you want to expand the territorial scope of your business, you may register under the same business name “provided that it will be registered with a different city and will cover the new business location.”
Your business name is valid for five years from the date it was registered.
Partnerships or Corporations
You may register your business at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Verify the availability of your business name on the SEC website, and once verified, you may already reserve the company name online. Confirmation of your company name should be done at any SEC office within four (4) days, or it will be forfeited.
(Read: BIR Wants Online Sellers To Register Businesses By July 31)
Fill out the online application forms via SEC i-Register, and print it for submission to the SEC office.
Here are the basic SEC requirements for registering a corporation or partnership:
- Cover Sheet for Registration
- Reservation Payment Confirmation
- Articles of Incorporation (AI)
- By-laws (BL)
More documents will be required specific to your type of business:
- Domestic Partnership
- Foreign Owned Partnership
- Domestic Stock Corporation
- Domestic Non-Stock Corporation
- Foreign Owned Corporation
- Foreign Corporation
The SEC document requirements are available for download on their website. Upon completion of online registration, name reservation, and/or download of partnership forms, you may pay online or at the SEC cashier.
For those who want to apply manually, you may verify and reserve your proposed name at any of the SEC offices. You will be guided for the next steps to obtain the articles of partnership forms, and the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws.
While you’re there, you can consult them for more details on business registration, or ask for endorsements to other agencies, if applicable.
Getting a Barangay Clearance and Mayor’s Permit for your business
Depending where you will set up your shop, you’ll first need to go to your own barangay to obtain a barangay clearance. This will be a requirement in applying for a mayor’s business permit. The requirements and processes may vary in different local offices.
These are the main documents for Barangay Clearance application:
- DTI or SEC certificates – bring original and photocopies
- Business location sketch/map
- Contract of lease if you rent the place of business, or land title/tax declaration if you own the place of business.
- Duly filled out barangay clearance application form
Depending on the type of business, other documents may be required, such as below examples:
- National Food Authority (NFA) License for rice/corn and wheat dealers
- Bureau of Food and Drug Administration (BFAD) and Department of Health (DOH) for drugstores, bakeries, or other food and health related businesses
The same documents are requested for mayor’s permit, with the addition of mayor’s business permit application form, certificate of occupancy in the building or unit of your business, and a Liability Insurance, if applicable.
How to register your business with the BIR
To comply with the BIR, you can first download and complete the following forms from the BIR website before going to the BIR office:
- BIR FORM 1901 – Application Form for Single Proprietors
- BIR FORM 1903 – Application Form for Partnerships and Corporations
Other forms to be submitted for all types of businesses:
- BIR FORM 0605 – Payment Form
- BIR FORM 2000 – for Documentary Stamp Tax
Other BIR business registration document requirements:
- DTI or SEC certificates. Bring original and photo copies
- Mayor’s Permit
- Contract of Lease if you rent the place of business, or Land Title/Tax Declaration if you own the place of business.
- Business location map
Along with the issuance of your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), you should also be given the “ask for receipt” sign to be posted on your business establishment.
(Read: ‘Netflix Tax’ In the Philippines? Congressman Pushes For Digital Economy Taxation)
Social Security System (SSS) Employer’s Registration
Employers must submit the SSS coverage of an employee within (30) days of employment. The SSS website provides detailed information on the responsibilities and obligations of an SSS employer.
To be a registered SSS employer, you must accomplish and submit the following:
Single Proprietors’ document requirements:
- Employer Registration – SSS Form R-1, registration may be done through the SSS website
- Employment Report – R-1A
- DTI or SEC Certificate
- Mayor’s Permit and Barangay Clearance
- main documents such as baptismal, birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Card or Seaman’s Book.”
- SS Forms R-1 and R-1A
- Photocopy of SEC Articles of Partnership
This includes non-stock and non-profit corporations.
- SS Forms R-1 and R-1A with authorized signature
- Photocopy of SEC Articles of Incorporation
Other document requirements for all types of businesses:
- Business location sketch/map
- Miscellaneous Payment Return (SS Form R-6) validated, or SS Form R-6 with Special Bank Receipt (SBR) – proof of payment for the Employer Registration Plate
When the business has started operating and you’ve hired more employees, you’ll need to register them with PhilHealth for their health care, Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) registration for SS members earning at least P4,000 per month for PAG-IBIG Fund, and for business operations with five (5) employees or more, you’ll need to register with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).