Doing Business As (DBA) – Trade Name in the Philippines

Doing Business As (DBA) – Trade Name in the Philippines

A name is a designation given to a trade or business that the public can recognize. Section 121 of The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, provides that a trade name is “the name or designation identifying or distinguishing an enterprise.” One cannot use any name at a whim. It still must be approved and is subject to restrictions.


Thus, Section 165.1 states that, “a name or designation may not be used as a trade name if by its nature or the use to which such name or designation may be put, it is contrary to public order or morals and if, in particular, it is liable to deceive trade circles or the public as to the nature of the enterprise identified by that name.”


Note that a business can register a legalized name and a trade name or what is also known as a “Doing Business As” name or “DBA” name or “Doing business under the name and style” name or “Business Name”. The purpose of a legalized name is to register such business as to what it shall be identified as in documents that shall be submitted and issued for legal and government purposes. The trade name or doing business as name, on the other hand, serves as a name that shall be used as a nickname of the business when doing activities for easier public recall such as advertising through the business website, public areas, and social media, trade events, client interactions, and the like.


It is highly recommended for businesses to use trade names. Provided that the names used follow the restrictions provided by law, having an eye-catching Doing Business As name can increase brand awareness and thus becoming the top of mind name for the services or products being offered by the business. This can also help the business grow in the market. Using a Doing Business As name can also strengthen brand identity and provide an avenue to protect the business through regulation in allowing the usage of the name in various transactions.


For the trade name to be recognized officially the same should be registered before the appropriate agency where your business was originally registered. This boils down to the company structure initially chosen from the time of business registration. Thus, if your company was registered with the Department of Trade and Industry or DTI, you register your business name with DTI. If your company, on the other hand, was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC, you register your business name or known as “doing business under the name and style” name before the SEC.


For sole proprietorship, the Department of Trade and Industry issued Department Administrative Order No. 18-07 Series of 2018 or the Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing Act No. 3883 As Amended, Otherwise Known As An Act To Regulate the Use in Business Transactions of Names Other Than True Names. As per Section 1, Rule II of the law, “only those who meet any of the following requirements may apply for Business Name Registration:


  1. Filipino citizen who is at least eighteen (18) years of age; 
    • Non-Philippine national who has obtained a Certificate of Registration of Sole Proprietorship pursuant to RA 7042 and who is at least 18 years of age; 
  2. Where the laws of the home country of the authorized non-Philippine national provides for the legal or contract age lower than 18 years, said authorized non-Philippine national shall submit proof thereof. 
  3. Refugee or stateless person, at least 18 years of age, who has been issued a written recognition from the DOJ-RSPPU, and whose recognition is not subject to cancellation, revocation or cessation, in accordance with applicable government rules and regulations.”


Preferably, the Business Name is registered together with the DTI registration so it’s a one time legal process for you.


For companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the DBA or doing business as, maybe done i. Together with the initial registration or ii. Upon amendment of the Articles of Incorporation.


Under the SEC registration of doing business as, if you would like to add a DBA name after registration, the trade name or business name is secured by filing an amendment of the articles of incorporation. For more information on the SEC amendment see this blog.


In both circumstances, however, it is necessary that your official receipts are updated to reflect the addition of DBA. This is pursuant to BIR RMC 55-2019 and National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) Section 113(b) (4) whereby it is a requirement that the business style, if any, is reflected on the official receipt. This will also mean an amendment to your BIR documents, particularly Authority to Print, and of course a re-printing of your official receipt.


Also, in most cities, the business permit certificate will also need amendment so that the DBA may also be reflected.


Note that registration of Business Name (with the DTI) or Doing Business As (with the SEC) does not necessarily mean registration of the trade name with the Intellectual Property Office or IPO. A separate trade name or trademark registration shall be necessary before the IPO.


You may also want to notify the bank as regards your business name. This way, your checks can be made payable to your business name or DBA name and this will ensure that the bank will honor your checks.


Need further information and assistance regarding Doing Business As- Trade Name in the Philippines? Talk to our team at FilePino to know more about the requirements and process. Call us today at +63.917.892.2337 (Philippines) for more information.