How To Register A Business In The Philippines: Startup Tips

6 min. read By eCompareMo on

Budding entrepreneurs looking for the best business to start with can find lots of ideas online. For starters, one can look at affordable options for franchising or starting their own food stall.

When you’ve had your Eureka moment and figure out what business you want to invest in, one of the first steps is business registration.

How to Register A Business In The Philippines

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 venture is not as hard as you think. You’ll first need to secure your business name, and this detailed list, which includes business permit cost in the Philippines, will guide you through the rest of the process.

1. Get your Business Registration

It is required by law that you register your business. Specifically, it is required under Section 1 of Act No. 3883, which states that it is unlawful to use any name in running a business without first registering it with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Depending on whether you’re are a single proprietor or part of a business partnership or corporation, the process will vary.

  • Single Proprietor

As a sole owner, you’ll need to process your business registration at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

First, do a quick online check on the availability of your proposed business name/s through the Philippine Business Registry website.

You can get your DTI Business Registration application form online. The DTI Application Form is available on their website. Fill it out and print.

When you go to their office, prepare at least three (3) proposed business names and make sure you fulfill 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:

Barangay P200
City/Municipality P500
Regional P1000
National P2000

You can pay your business name application through Bancnet online payment or GCash when you apply via the www.bnrs.dti.gov.ph website.

According to the 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.

(Read: 5 Points To Consider When Choosing A Site For Your Business)

  • Partnerships or Corporations

If your business will be run under a partnership or a corporation, the business registration with 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.

The cost for SEC registration will depend on the type of business you have, and its capital. The SEC website has a registration calculator so you already know how much you’re going to pay for the registration. Enter your capital stock through the SEC Registration Calculator page.

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 business registration:
  • 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:

Partnership

  • Domestic Partnership
  • Foreign-Owned Partnership

Corporation

  • 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 on where 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.

2. Get a Barangay Clearance and Mayor’s Permit

This will depend on the location of your business. First, go to your own barangay to obtain a barangay clearance.

Main document requirements 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. Some examples of additional documents are as follows:

  • 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

You will need to have a barangay clearance before you get a mayor’s permit as it is a requirement for the mayor’s permit application process.

The same documents you present when applying for a barangay clearance are also needed when applying for a Mayor’s Permit.

You will also need to present the following:

  • Filled-out Mayor’s Business Permit Application Form
  • Certificate of Occupancy in the building or unit of your business
  • Liability Insurance, if applicable.
  • Barangay Clearance

(Read: Liza Soberano & Other Young Pinoy Celebrities Who Own Businesses)

3. Register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

You can 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 registration document requirements:

  • DTI or SEC certificates. Bring the originals and photocopies
  • 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: Four Points To Cover If You Want To Expand Your Business And Increase Profit)

4. Get your 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.”

Partnerships:

  • SS Forms R-1 and R-1A
  • Photocopy of SEC Articles of Partnership

Corporations:

This includes non-stock and non-profit corporations.

  • SS Forms R-1 and R-1A with an 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 healthcare, Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) registration for SS members earning at least P4000 per month for PAG-IBIG Fund, and for business operations with five employees or more, you’ll need to register with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

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