A guide to online retail business registration with the DTI

A guide to online retail business registration with the DTI

2020 saw a significant spike in online retail businesses in the Philippines. According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), this was a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many Filipinos to look for alternative sources of income.

According to the DTI, over 73,000 of these online businesses were registered between March 16 to August 31 — a massive 4,000-percent increase in the number of online businesses that were registered from January 1 to March 15 of that year.

Given that this uptick in online selling is likely to continue even with the lifting of lockdowns, government officials are now urging online entrepreneurs to have their businesses registered. This is a relatively easy task since all applications for DTI business name registration are now required to be made online through the DTI’s Business Name Registration System (BNRS).

Benefits of registering your business

According to authorities, Registering online businesses with the DTI legitimizes the businesses, and gives the owners access to government programs and incentives such as loans, subsidies, and tax breaks.

Aside from giving business owners access to government incentives, other benefits associated with registering one’s online business include the following:

  • You secure your reputation and build trust among your customers and suppliers.
  • You avoid legal problems and hefty fines associated with illegal operations.
  • You can freely market your products and services anytime and anywhere.
  • You can freely offer value-added services such as warranties, returns, and exchanges to your customers.
  • You can transact with bigger corporations and entities, thereby opening more opportunities for your business.

One must note, however, that registration with the DTI is only for sole-proprietorships. Registering a corporation in the Philippines must be done with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Here is FilePino’s quick guide on how to register your online business in the Philippines:

Make sure you are eligible

Under Philippine laws, Filipino citizens — provided they are of legal age — may apply for DTI business name registration.

Non-Philippine nationals and recognized refugees or stateless persons can also do the same, provided that they have a Certificate of Registration of Sole Proprietorship/Certificate of Authority to Engage in Business in the Philippines and a Certificate of Recognition issued by the Department of Justice – Refugees and Stateless Persons Protection Unit (DOJ-RSPPU), respectively.

Make sure you have all the necessary documents and identification

Before proceeding with the registration, check if you have documents such as your passport, driver’s license, Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID), and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID with you, as these will serve as your primary identification throughout the entire process.

Other valid IDs accepted by the DTI include:

  • NBI Clearance
  • Postal ID
  • Voter’s ID
  • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID
  • Seaman’s Book
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID
  • Senior Citizen’s ID
  • PWD ID
  • Government office ID
  • Validated state college/university ID

Do note that police clearances are considered valid, provided that they are in ID form.

In addition to the documents, applicants must also cover the business name registration fee. The amount, however, varies depending on your business’ territorial scope, starting at PHP 200 for businesses at the Barangay level, and PHP 2,000 for businesses with nationwide operations.

Aside from that, applicants must also pay an additional PHP 30 for the Documentary Stamp Tax during your business registration with the DTI.

Make sure your business or trade name is available

Sometimes the name you really want, the one that best represents your vision of your business, is taken. If this is the case, you’re out of luck, and will have to use another name, unless you’d like to purchase the name from the registered owner. A quick check on the “Business Name Search” page of the BNRS website will show if the name you have in mind is available for use.

Once you have confirmed the availability of your preferred trade name, you can proceed with your registration.

Complete the registration process at the BNRS website

Proceeding with your DTI business registration online is easy.

  1. First, you must access the New Registration page of the BNRS site, read the Terms and Conditions, and then click the I Agree button at the bottom of the page.
  2. Next, fill out the online registration form itself, making sure to fill in all fields marked with a red asterisk. Your tax identification number (TIN) must also be provided on the online form.
  3. Upon completion, you will be asked to review the information you provided. Make corrections as needed.
  4. Pay the business name registration fee within five calendar days from your online application date, or your application may be deemed abandoned. You can make your payments at the DTI office or Negosyo Center indicated in your Transaction Reference Number (TRN) acknowledgment form, or online via GCash, PayMaya, LandBank Link.Biz, and even by credit or debit cards.
  5. Once you are done, you can claim your Certificate of Business Name Registration at the nearest DTI office or simply download it for printing.

Do note, however, that you still have to register your business at the municipal office and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) after getting your certificate.

Starting up a business in the Philippines can be time-consuming. Let FilePino assist you with your business registration and other needs. Get in touch with us today at +63.917.892.2337 for more information.