Must-have permits and licenses to get your Philippine business started

Must-have permits and licenses to get your Philippine business started

The Philippines is bursting with an abundance of business opportunities, from digital marketing services to e-Commerce. Before you can launch a business in the Philippines, however, you first need to secure a number of permits and licenses to comply fully with the laws of the land. Let’s run quickly through a list of what you need:



Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Business Name Registration Certificate



Every sole proprietorship needs to start off by registering a unique business name with the DTI. No two businesses may share the same name; your registration grants you the exclusive legal right to use your business name for its period of validity, which typically runs to five years.


When you register your sole proprietorship at the DTI, you will be required to provide a valid ID together with your completed application form. You will also need to affix the corresponding documentary stamps upon submission of your documents.



Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registration Certificate



If your business is a partnership or a corporation, you need to register with the SEC.


The documentary requirements for registering a corporation in the Philippines are the notarized articles of incorporation and by-laws, treasurer’s affidavit, and the bank certificate deposit. A SEC Certificate will be issued upon the approval of your registration.



Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Registration



Another extremely important step to starting your own business involves securing a Certificate of Registration from the BIR. All businesses, whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation are required to obtain a COR.


Before you can secure a COR, however, you must first get a Tax Identification Number (TIN). (You will also file all your tax returns under your TIN, which is issued by the BIR.)


Your business’ COR will contain the following information: Your TIN, the name of your business, registration date, registered address, tax type, line of business, and trade name. Without a COR, your business will not have any legal basis for operating and paying taxes in the Philippines.


The COR application form you will need to fill out will depend on your type of business. For corporations and partnerships, you’ll be required to accomplish BIR Form 1903 (Application for Registration for Corporations/Partnerships).  Sole proprietorships and self-employed individuals, on the other hand, need to submit BIR Form 1901 (Application for Registration for Self-Employed and Mixed Income Individuals).



Barangay Clearance



Also, before you start a business, you will need clearance from the Barangay that governs the area where your business is to be located. Your business must, of course, comply with all Barangay requirements. A barangay clearance can be obtained by submitting the application form and a community tax certificate, along with other requirements, at the Barangay Hall.



Business Permit



Also known as the Mayor’s Permit, the business permit is another document that’s required for you to start your business. Since each city has its own procedures and ordinances, a business permit certifies that your business has complied with the municipal laws set by that particular city. The requirements for a business permit include your DTI registration, Barangay Clearance, a notarized Location Clearance, and the accomplished application form.


For businesses with employees, you must register the following as well:


  • Social Security System (SSS) Employer’s Registration


In the Philippines, business owners are required to provide social insurance to their employees. Once you register with this agency, you will be issued an SSS number for your business.


  • Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) Employer’s Registration


Registering with PhilHealth is mandatory for employers. PhilHealth, which is a government agency that makes medical care more affordable, provides social health insurance coverage to employees. To register, submit the PhilHealth Membership Registration Form and the Employer Data Record Form.


  • Pag-IBIG Employer’s Registration


Also known as the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), this agency has a variety of housing loan programs for registered employees. New employers must register through the DTI via the Philippine Business Registry System (PBRS) or through the SEC via the Integrated Business Registration System (IBRS).


  • Department of Labor and Employment(DOLE)


Businesses with five employees or more need to register with the DOLE. The DOLE ensures the protection of employee rights and welfare. To register, you need to submit the business’ DTI registration (SEC Certificate for corporations), company TIN, and business permit.


Obtaining all the required licenses and permits to start a business can be somewhat of a challenge. With FilePino by your side, you have a trusted team that can assist you with gathering the forms you’ll need and with the preparation and filing for licenses and permits. Get in touch with us today at +63.917.8922337 or contact us here.