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Registering your business

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Your new business should be legally authorized to engage in commerce. This entails obtaining appropriate registrations and licenses from the relevant government agencies charged with the regulation and supervision of economic entities.


Sole Proprietorship


If you are intending to operate as a sole proprietorship, you need to register the name of your business with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). To apply, you must at least be eighteen (18) years old and should have not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.  You need to fill up an application form with two 2" x 2" color identical and signed (at the back) ID pictures taken within one (1) one year preceding you application. You also need to present proof of citizenship such as your birth certificate, naturalization certificate and oath of allegiance, or a valid ID card issued by the government. If your family name suggests alien nationality, you may be required to present your passport. You would also need to present a photocopy of your Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) license if your business requires you to practice your profession such as accounting, law or medicine.  


To lodge your application, you may visit the Department of Trade Industry or any of its offices nationwide. You may also apply on-via the DTI’s Business Name Registration System Facility at www.bnrs.dti.gov.ph/bnrspub.




If your business is a corporation, you need to secure a certificate of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To form a corporation, you must at least be five (5) but not more than fifteen (15) in number. You must all be of legal age, and a majority of you should be residents of the Philippines. A stock corporation has capital stock which is divided into shares to which you subscribe. You share in the surplus profits of the corporation through dividends on the basis of the number of shares you hold. As an incorporator, you must own or subscribe to at least one (1) share of capital stock in the corporation.


You lodge your application with the Securities and Exchange Commission by submitting the following requirements:


  • Cover sheet
  • Name verification slip
  • Bank Certificate of Deposit of Paid-up capital, notarized in the place where executed
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Treasurer's Affidavit
  • By-Laws
  • Undertaking to Change Name
  • Registration Data Sheet


  • Endorsements/clearances from other government agencies, if applicable
  • Proof of remittance by non-resident aliens and foreign corporate subscribers (only for those foreign subscribers who wish to register their investments with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), for corporation with Foreign Equity
  • Application Form F-100, for corporations with more than 40% foreign equity.


For further information on incorporation, you may visit the website of the SEC at www.sec.gov.ph.




If you are a partnership, you also apply for registration with the SEC. To apply, you must comprise at least two or more individuals all of legal age. A majority of you should also be residents of the Philippines. You are forming a partnership when you and your partners contribute money, property or industry to a common fund with the intention of dividing the profits. If you intend your partnership to have limited liability, you should add the word "Limited" or "Ltd" to your partnership name.


You may submit your application with the Securities and Exchange Commission by submitting the following requirements:


l      Cover sheet

l      Name verification slip

l      Articles of Partnership

l      Registration Data Sheet

l      Endorsements/clearances from other government agencies, if applicable

l      For partnerships with Foreign Partners

  • Application Form F-105
  • Bank Certificate on the capital contribution of the partners
  • Proof of Remittance of foreign partners (for those who want to register their investments with the BSP)


For further information on setting up a partnership, you may visit the website of the SEC at www.sec.gov.ph


Operating Licenses


After obtaining your certificates of registration to operate your business, you need to secure licenses from the different government agencies also charged with the supervision of your operations.


Mayor’s Permit

You must secure a Mayor's Permit or locational clearance, which is a license granted by the local government unit (LGU) where your business is located. Different LGUs will have their own documentation requirements.  You need to post your mayor’s permit prominently in your place of business.


Tax Identification Number


For tax purposes, you need to secure at a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). You also need to apply for a Value Added Tax (VAT) Number/Certification if your operations are covered by VAT. You also need to register your books of accounts and authority to print your official receipts.


For information on your tax obligations and requirements, you may visit www.bir.gov.ph


Employee Benefits Compliance


You also need to ensure that your employees are duly covered and enrolled in the social security and government health care benefits systems.


For information on securing and paying employee benefits, you may visit, www.sss.gov.ph.


For more information on registering and conducting your business, you may visit www.biztradephil.com and the www.dti.gov.ph.


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Emmanuel Mariano  |  January 05, 2015
Thank you for posting this guide. How about registering an online business? What would be the main difference for it? I am currently selling online and posting my ads in free classified ads sites like olx.ph and mybenta.com at the moment, but I would to be able to send out sales quotes to offices, so I would be needing to have my small online business registered.