Navigating the Business Registration Process: A Guide for Entrepreneurs in Philippines

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In order for a new business to kick-start their business, they need to know about the necessary registrations from the different government agencies. The business registration process is tricky, but we are here to help. This guide provides an overview of the registration procedures in registering a business with the various government agencies. This guide is written for the perspective of registering a business in the Philippines. With this goal, we hope that this guide can help the Filipino people to understand how to achieve and fulfill the necessary requirements when registering a business with the government.

Business Registration Requirements in the Philippines

There are three primary requirements to complete in registering a corporation in the Philippines. These are prerequisites to acquiring other specific permits and licenses for certain types of corporations. The individual or group must decide the corporate name, obtain a barangay clearance, and apply for a business license at the city hall. Corporate name verification is done at the Securities and Exchange Commission. After deciding on the corporate name, the investor must check the name for any identical matches with the SEC or with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Upon verification of the uniqueness of the corporate name, the investor must reserve the name at the SEC. This can be done by filling out a name reservation form. During the actual registration of the business, it is advisable that the investor brings the verified true copy of the articles of incorporation at the SEC to use as a reference for the encoding of the articles of incorporation.

The investor will have to obtain a barangay clearance. This is a small order of business particular to Philippine culture. The investor must visit the barangay where the business will be located and pay a sum of money relative to the location and estimated yearly income of the business. A barangay official will then visit the business site to confirm that it is a legal entity and that the information indicated in the barangay clearance form is correct. Upon visiting the site and verifying the information, the barangay official will then give the actual barangay clearance form. This must be submitted to the city hall.

Acquiring a business license is the next step to be taken after acquiring a barangay clearance. The business license can also be seen as a form of tax. However, when applying for the business license, it is necessary to check with the city hall if a separate license should be obtained for the actual location of the business entity. The business license is a common requirement for all businesses. An investor will often find himself applying for other licenses that are relatively the same as a business license. It is not uncommon to be confused with the DTI permit. It is a permit of sole proprietorship. This is a common mistake, which is why it is vital for the investor to confirm with the local government that what the investor is applying for is a business license. Once you have all business registration requirements, you can move forward with the process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Registering a Business

Determine the business structure. Registering a sole proprietorship is most feasible for a small business, and finding the right business aliases and trade names is essential. The business owner must then obtain barangay clearance from the local barangay hall and register the business with the city hall. A notarized copy of the Articles of Incorporation, the name verification slip, and a written application should be submitted to the SEC. Stock corporations must also register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and obtain a business license from the city treasurer.

Register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Form 2303 (Certificate of Registration), 1906 (Authority to Print Receipts and Invoices), and the DTI certificate must be presented to the Revenue District Office.

Obtain a mayor’s permit from the city hall or municipal hall. The business must present the SEC registration papers, BIR certificate of registration, and DTI certificate and pay the necessary fees. Fees vary by city and by business type, so check with the local city treasurer for an accurate statement of fees. Now the business is legal and must now file tax forms appropriate to its industry and regularly renew its registration with the SEC and DTI.

Register employees with the Social Security System and obtain membership certificates and numbers for both SSS and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. A PhilHealth Employer Data Record and proof of employees’ PhilHealth and SSS memberships must be submitted to the PhilHealth local health insurance office. Finally, the employer must submit a Pag-IBIG Member’s Data Form with the Register of Employers and the third copy of the SSS form for employees with the local Pag-IBIG office.

There are a few legal logistics that a licensed attorney or Filipino friend can help with, but the business must be licensed in that individual’s name. In recent years, it has become slightly easier for a foreigner to operate a business in the Philippines, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Seek legal advice before you decide to operate a business in the Philippines. Only a few industries are open to foreign investment, and owning a business is the only way to get a long-term visa sponsored by employment.


The agency’s vision is to enable start-ups to fulfill their maximum potential. We understand that although the potential returns are high, the decision to start a business can be a daunting and challenging task. With the information on business registration in hand, we hope that you will be able to navigate the process with greater ease and confidence. This guide has been curated with the needs of entrepreneurs in mind, to help simplify the registration process and enable you to lay the right foundation for your business. As registration is just the first step of your business journey, considerations have been given to help you make the most out of your registration, and to brief you on what to expect next. Business registration Philippines may be a daunting task, but it’s an essential step.

It’s important to remember that the registration process isn’t just about ticking boxes, but about creating a solid foundation for your business. By laying the right groundwork, you can be confident that you are complying with the law, and that your business has the right legal structure. Good legal housekeeping can help you maximize the commercial potential of your business and avoid any pitfalls as you grow your business. Finally, registration opens up access to the incentives, support, and protections the government has created to help businesses like yours.