Business Permits and Licenses

So you want to start a business in the Philippines?
Here is a basic outline of your requirements, this is not comprehensive as requirements may differ for different types of businesses and/or services
a) You’ve secured your capital,
b) you’ve established your suppliers,
c) you already know how to market your business, and
d) your business plan is almost perfect.

Launching your business may seem like the next step but opening a business in the Philippines requires obtaining of several business permits and licenses.
Before registering for any business permit or license, business owners must first identify the type of business that they have to determine which requirements they need.
Here are some of the essential business permits and licenses that you should secure before launching your business,
1. Bureau of Internal Revenue TIN
In order to acquire all the necessary permits and licenses for your business, you need to have a tax identification (TIN) number issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). At the end of each fiscal year, business owners must submit a tax statement using their TIN.
2. Barangay Clearance
Barangay clearance certifies that your business complies with the requirements of the barangay where it is situated. To secure a barangay clearance, you must submit community tax certificate or cedula, duly accomplished form and a valid government-issued ID.
3. Department of Trade and Industry Business Name Registration Certificate
You need to obtain a registration certificate from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which will be valid for five years, so that you’ll be able to use your trading name for any business-related operation. It also protects your business name from being used by others.

Keep in mind that applicants must be a Filipino citizen and should be at least 18 years old.

Come up with a list of business names in case your preferred name has already been taken.
Certain businesses and services may need additional requirements.
Moreover, fees will depend on the scope of your business.

4. Mayor’s Permit/ Business Permit
Getting a business permit from the mayor’s office ensures that your business is safe to operate under your city or town’s ordinance.
In order to secure a mayor’s permit, you need to register your business first with DTI for self-employed individuals and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for corporations and partnerships.
Keep in mind that your business permit needs to be renewed annually.

5. SEC Registration Certificate
If your business falls under the corporation or partnership categories, you must secure a SEC certificate.
Make sure to bring name verification slip, articles of incorporation and by-laws, joint affidavit of two incorporators to chance corporate name.
Non-stock corporations must submit a list of members certified by corporate secretary, the list of the names of contributors or donors as well as the amounts contributed or donated certified by the treasurer.

Businesses with employees must secure other government-mandated permits:
1. SSS Employer’s Registration
– This will ensure that employees are covered with insurance benefits like sickness, disability, maternity and death in accordance with Republic Act No. 8282.

2. PhilHealth Employer’s Registration – This will cover their employees’ health insurance.

3. Pag-ibig Employer’s Registration– This will benefit employees who intend to apply for housing loan.

4. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)– applicable for five or more workers