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Business Consultant

Business Permit Processing

There are several prerequisites to doing business in the Philippines, but they all start with registering your company: 

  • with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for sole proprietorships 

  • or with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for partnerships and corporations.

Once your company is registered, you need to obtain a few more permits and clearances, foremost of which is a business permit from the local government where you plan to set up your business.

Requirements in applying for a business permit

Also referred to as mayor’s permits, business permits usually expire on December 31st of each year, and needs to be renewed before the end of January the following year.

It has to be emphasized that the requirements in obtaining a business permit vary by city or municipality. Some may ask for more documents and licenses than others. Fees also vary greatly. Additionally, the requirements depend on the nature of business and the type of operation.

To avoid confusion, it is best to check with the local government’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) about the particular requirements for your business.

In most cases, however, the following are required:

  • DTI or SEC registration certificate 

  • Barangay Clearance 

  • Community Tax Certificate 

  • Lease contract (for rented property) or tax declaration (for owned properties) 

  • Building or occupancy permit for newly-constructed buildings or offices 

  • Special permits and clearances from appropriate government agencies, depending on the nature of your business. These include:

  • Fire safety and inspection certificate 

  • Sanitary permit 

  • Mechanical permit 

  • Security permit 

  • Clearance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 

  • Police Clearance 

  • Certificate of electrical inspection 

  • Zoning clearance 

  • Others

A barangay clearance is obtained from the barangay or the smallest local government unit where you are setting up your business. The following are needed in applying for one: 

  • Application Form

  • SEC or DTI certificate of registration. Corporations also need to submit their approved articles of incorporation and bylaws.

  • Treasurer’s Affidavit – this shows that the required paid-in capital has been received by the corporation’s treasurer and deposited at the bank

  • Plan/site map of the business’s location

  • Contract of lease for the business’s office

The community tax certificate is obtained from the City or Town Treasurer’s Office upon payment of the community or local tax.

Applying for a business permit

A business permit is usually obtained at the City or Municipal Hall’s Business Permit and Licensing Office, and the entire process takes around one to two weeks. Along with the permit, you will get a business plate and sticker, which need to be prominently displayed at your company’s premises.

The following is the usual procedure for the application:

1. Submit the duly filled-out and notarized application form, along with other required permits and clearances. 

2. The BPLO will assess your application, and if everything is found in order, will issue an Order of Payment detailing the total amount of fees you need to pay. Business permit fees vary according to the local government’s fee structure, the nature of the business and the size of the place to be occupied by the business. 

3. Pay the fees and obtain a receipt. 

4. Present the receipt in claiming your business permit and business plate about one to two weeks later.

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