19 Checklist for New Business Registration

Running your own business requires a lot of your time, energy, money and sometimes, patience. And, just like having a new born baby, you wouldn't want to raise him or her without having an actual name, would you?

That's why it's important that you register your business, not just for legal matters, but for future plans such as business expansions. 

Business registration in the Philippines requires companies to go through several government agencies in order to legally operate in the country. Below is a checklist of the government offices, requirements and fees involved in business registration.

Step 1: Business Name Registration

Sole Proprietorships:
Sole proprietors must register a business name at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

• Two valid photo-bearing national-issued I.D. with signature
• 2 copies application form

Registration fee varies depending on the territorial jurisdiction.
• Barangay: PHP 200.00
• City/Municipality: PHP 500.00
• Regional: PHP 1,000.00
• National: PHP 2,000.00

Application is now easier for sole proprietors with the Philippine Business Registry (PBR), a web-based system that integrates all the agencies involved in the registration. Each of these agencies’ systems are interlinked, which enables the applicant to apply for permits without physically going to each of the offices.

Corporations and partnerships are required to register at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

• Name Verification Slip
• Articles of Incorporation (AI) and By-laws (BL)
• Treasurer's Affidavit
• Joint affidavit of two incorporators to change corporate name (not required if already stated in AI)
• Additional requirements

The registration fee depends on the Input Authorized Capital Stock. The SEC provides a calculator on their site to help calculate the approximate registration fee.

Step 2: Barangay Clearance

A business clearance is required for all businesses and can be obtained at the local Barangay Office where the business is located. The size of the business as well as the district the barangay belongs to will determine the fee for obtaining a clearance.

Step 3: Social Security Service

All employers must ensure that their employees are covered by the viable tax-exempt social security service. This means that businesses must also register with the SSS and follow its rules and regulations regarding reporting and remitting contributions.

Single Proprietorships
• SSS Form R-1 (Employer Registration)
• R-1A (Employment Report)

• SSS Forms R-1 (Employer Registration)
• R-1A (Employment Report)
• Photocopy of the Articles of Partnership. Original copy must be presented for authentication.

• SSS Forms R-1 (Employer Registration)
• R-1A (Employment Report) signed by its President or any of the corporate officers
• Photocopy of the Articles of Incorporation. Original copy must be presented for authentication.

Step 4: PhilHealth

To ensure that employees are adequately covered by health insurance, the law requires employers to register them with PhilHealth and also remit their share of the contribution.

• Employer Data Record (Er-1) Form
• SEC Registration for partnerships and corporations
• DTI Registration for sole proprietorships
• License to Operate

Step 5: Pag-ibig

New employers may register through a Pag-ibig branch, through the Pag-ibig website or through DTI's PBR system.

• Employer's Data Form (EDF [HQP-PFF-002])
• Specimen Signature Form (SSF [HQP-PFF-003])
• Valid ID
• SSS Certification (if already registered with SSS)
• Certified True Copy or Proof of Business Existence

Sole Proprietorship
• DTI Certificate
• Business Permit/Mayor's Permit

Partnership/Corporation/Foreign-Owned Corporation
• SEC Certificate
• Approved Articles of Partnership/lncorporation and By-Laws
• Business Permit/Mayor's Permit

No fees. But initial employee contributions including the employer counterpart must be paid.

Step 6: Mayor’s Permit

A Mayor's Permit may be obtained at the Mayor’s Office only after registering with the DTI or SEC. Procedures for obtaining one may vary depending on the city or municipality.

• Barangay Clearance
• DTI Business Name Certificate (Single Proprietor)
• Certificate of SEC Registration / Articles of Incorporation or Partnership
• Public Liability Insurance (for Restaurants, Cinemas, Malls, etc.)
• Authorization Letter of owner with ID
• Lease Contract / Tax Declaration
• SSS Certification
• Community Tax Certificate

Step 7: Bureau of Internal Revenue

A BIR registration not only provides businesses with a Tax Identification Number, but also gives them the authority to print receipts and invoices, register books of account, and determine the types of taxes it needs to pay.

Sole Proprietorship
• BIR Form 1901
• Birth certificate or any valid identification showing name, address and birth date
• Mayor’s permit or application for Mayor’s Permit
• DTI Certificate

Partnerships and Corporations
• BIR Form 1903
• SEC Certificate
• Mayor’s Permit or application for Mayor’s Permit

• Annual Registration Fee: PHP 500.00
• Certification Fee: PHP 15.00
• Documentary Stamp Tax: PHP 15.00

Aside from these, a business might need to secure special or secondary licenses from other government agencies if they fall under special types of businesses.

This is a guest post.

Danella Yaptinchay is the Managing Director of Full Suite, a services company providing backend support to small businesses. She is a co-founder of Co.lab, a coworking space, and of the media company, Homegrown. In constant pursuit of balance and self-development, she tries to apply the practices of yoga to her daily life.


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  1. That's interesting. Too bad we don't have Limited Liability Companies (LLC) here in the Philippines. That would be much better than a sole proprietorship as it has the added protections of a corporation.

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