Legal requirements for starting a business in the Philippines

Legal requirements for starting a business in the Philippines

Whether the type of enterprise you want to run in the Philippines is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation, the basic legal requirements of starting a business in the Philippines are the following: 


1. Register the business with the corresponding department or agency

Sole proprietorships must be registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Partnerships and corporations, on the other hand, must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The name of the business is also included in the registration. 


2. Obtain a business permit

Head to the local government unit of the place you intend to operate your business in. Secure a business or mayor’s permit. Each municipality has its own specific requirements and procedures for the registration of businesses, so be sure to check the individual websites of these areas for more information. 


Many of the basic requirements include:

  • DTI or SEC registration form

  • Barangay clearance

  • Zoning clearance

  • Sketch of the location

  • Land title or contract of lease

  • Community tax certificate

  • Public liability insurance

  • Occupancy permit

  • Sanitary permit

  • Environmental permit

  • Fire permit

  • Other additional documents or permits


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

After obtaining the necessary documents and permits, register the business with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Business owners need to get a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the Revenue District Office (RDO) within the registered location of the business.


There are two kinds BIR forms you can fill out depending on the type of business you’re starting. These forms are:

  • Form 1901 for people who are self-employed, single proprietors, or professionals

  • Form 1903 for partnerships and corporations


4. Registering with the SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG Fund

If you hire employees, register them with the necessary government programs. The Social Security System (SSS) is a social insurance program that collects the monthly contribution of employees, along with the share of their employer. The SSS gives employees health and retirement benefits from their monthly contributions, along with a variety of small loans. An SSS membership is mandatory for all employees who are 60 years old and below.


The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is another government agency that requires monthly contributions from the employee and the employer.


The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) provides a variety of housing loans to employees. Monthly contributions are deducted from the salary of the employee.


5. Additional requirements:

Aside from the requirements mentioned above, there are also other special requirements that businesses need. These requirements depend on the nature of the business and their corresponding industry. If you intend to open a school or offer training or education programs, register with the Department of Education (DepEd). For businesses that sell food products, register with the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD).


FilePino is uniquely positioned to help you set up your new business here in the Philippines. If you’re just starting a new company, we have the contracts and knowhow to grow your business quickly.


Call us today at:
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Philippines : +63.917.8922337


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