Your guide to company registration in the Philippines

Your guide to company registration in the Philippines

Foreign companies have several registration options for their businesses: they may register as a foreign branch, as a foreign-owned domestic corporation, or as a partnership or a sole proprietorship. 


Learn more about starting a business by reading this guide on company registration in the Philippines:


Step 1: Register a business name


Business name registration in the Philippines depends on the type of company you’re starting. Registration procedures and requirements for corporations differ from sole proprietorships.


The Philippines’ registration procedure for a corporation starts by verifying the availability of the business name on the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If the name is available, register your business online or at the SEC Name Verification Unit. You must then prepare the following documents for submission to the SEC office:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • By-Laws
  • Treasurer’s Affidavit


If you’re registering a sole proprietorship, you also need to register with the Department of Trade and Industry. Start the process by going to their online registration service. You can also register your business name at the DTI office as a walk-in. For this, you need the following:

  • A duly accomplished and signed DTI-prescribed application form
  • A clear certified copy of your Alien Certificate of Registration and the Certificate of Registration for Sole Proprietorship or Certificate of Authority to Engage in Business in the Philippines issued by the concerned DTI Office


Step 2: Acquire a barangay clearance


Once you’ve received the SEC Certificate of Incorporation/Partnership or DTI Business Name Certificate, you need to get clearance from the barangay where your business is located.


Go to the local town or city hall to secure an official application form. The following are the additional requirements you’ll need when acquiring a barangay clearance:

  • Two (2) valid IDs
  • Business plan
  • Proof of address
    • Contract of Lease (if you’re renting commercial space)
    • Land title (if you’re operating on private land)
    • Homeowners Association Certificate (if you’re operating in a residential area like a subdivision, condominium complex, or village)


The barangay clearance application fee ranges from P300 to P1,000 depending on the local government unit. The whole barangay clearance application process is quick, with the assessment taking 15 to 30 minutes. Some barangays release the clearance the same day as submission while others have a schedule.


While applying for a barangay clearance, you should also secure a community tax certificate (CTC) or cedula. You will need the cedula when applying for a business permit.


Step 3: Get a business permit from the Mayor’s Office


Head over to the municipal office to get an application form. Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll need to submit the following documents:

  • SEC Articles of Partnership
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • DTI Business Name Certificate
  • Barangay clearance
  • Proof of address
  • Sanitary permit
  • Fire permit
  • Community tax certificate (CTC)


The requirements for a business permit may vary for different cities and municipalities. Double-check with the Mayor’s Office to get a full list of their requirements. This step can take a week or longer depending on the type of documents you need to furnish.


Step 4: Register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)


When you register your business name, you will also get a pre-registered Tax Identification Number (TIN). To officially register your TIN, head over to the nearest BIR office and fill up BIR Form 1903 – Application for Registration. You will need the following documents, as well:


Once you’ve submitted all the relevant documents, you will be granted a Certificate of Registration (BIR Form 2303). 


The BIR is also where you must register the company’s books of accounts and apply for the authority to print official receipts. 


After following the previous steps, you’ll have successfully registered your business. Next, take care of the registrations related to your employees’ requirements.


  • Social Security System (SSS)

    Companies must get an employer number from the SSS to use as a reference for the remittance of monthly SSS contributions. You will need the following documents:

    • Employer Registration Form (R-1)
    • Employment Report Form (R-1A)
    • SEC Registration, Articles of Incorporation, and By-laws


  • PhilHealth

    Employers are required to register their employees with PhilHealth, the national medical insurance program. The following documents are required:


    • Employer Data Record (ER1)
    • Report of Employee-Members (ER2)
    • SEC Registration, Articles of Incorporation, and By-laws


Need help understanding foreign company registration in the Philippines? Get in touch with FilePino today! Our team of experts will provide you with the guidance you need to start a business in the Philippines with ease. Contact us today at +1.806.553.6552 (USA) or +63.917.892.2337 (Philippines).