How to Set Up Your Business

Choosing the Site / Location of Your Business

Finding a site for your business is crucial. In the retail business, your sales potential depends on your location. Like a tree, a store draws its nourishment from the area around it. A store-owner is already half-successful if he sets up shop in a good place.

You must also be able to recognize factors in some sites that are detrimental to your business. Among these are: smoke, dust, disagreeable odors and noises, proximity to garages, hospitals, drinking places and similar establishments, poor sidewalks, and old, run-down buildings.

Some guidelines to help you find a good location:
a. Know the population of the trading area. Is the neighborhood starting to be run down? Is the population moving away? Or is it new and on the way up? Determine the purchasing power of the population. Do they own cars? Big, affluent homes?

b. Study the competition - How many stores look prosperous in the area? How many look as though they are barely getting by? How many similar stores went out of business in this area last year? How many new stores opened last year? What price line does competition carry? Pinpoint which stores will be your greatest competitors. If you intend to put up a variety store, you may find it profitable to locate your store adjacent to that of your competitors’ because the combined appeal of two or more similar stores creates greater customer traffic.

c. Study the location's accessibility – See if the location is accessible to your customers, employees and of course, to you. Ask yourself the following questions: How close is the store to jeepney and bus, and other transport facilities? Are there adequate parking spaces near the store? Are the sidewalks in good repair? Is the street lighting good?

Registering Your Business
A new small enterprise has to be registered in various government agencies. The complexity of registration varies according to the legal form of the business. A single proprietorship is the easiest to register, while a corporation requires more elaborate procedures.

Registering with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

The DTI-NCR administers the registration of business names.

If you are a single proprietor and your business is using a name other than your own name, that business name should be registered. Business name registration with the DTI is optional for partnerships and corporations. By registering your business name with the DTI, you are assured that no other entity may legally use your business name anywhere in the Philippines.
Register your Business Name at:

Department of Trade and Industry - NCR
Ground floor, DTI Main Building
361 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
or at designated Satellite Registration Centers in selected cities in Metro Manila
Tel. No. 890-4854

1. Obtain application forms (duplicate copy), preferred name slip, and index card from the Information Desk and fill these up completely. Only the owner of the business is authorized to sign all the forms.
2. Meet the following requirements (For Single Proprietorship):

• Must be a Filipino citizen, at least 18 years old. Filipinos with names
suggestive of alien nationality must submit proof of citizenship such as birth certificate, PRC ID, voter's ID, passport. If the applicant has acquired Filipino citizenship by naturalization, election, or by other means provided by law, he must submit proof of his Filipino citizenship such as I) naturalization certificate and oath of allegiance; or II) card issued by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation and affidavit of election or ID card issued by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation.

• Must provide two recent passport-size pictures

Certain types of business may have other requirements:

• Service and repair shops
• Real estate brokers
• Dental/medical clinic/hospitals
• Pawnshops
• Manpower services
• Engineering services
• Architectural services
• Other related services provided by professionals
3. Proceed to the designated window for evaluation
4. Pay required fees at the cashier
• Registration and Processing Fee
Single - P300
Corporation/Partnership/Cooperative - P500
• A penalty of P100 is imposed if the BNRS certificate is not renewed before within the 3-month grace period from the certificate’s expiration date
5. Get priority number
6. Proceed to the waiting area and wait for your number to be called by the examiners at Windows 1-10
7. Business Name Certificate is released within 10-15 minutes upon approval

Registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The SEC is the government agency that gives the business enterprise its legal personality.

Only partnerships and corporations need to be registered with the SEC. Single proprietorships need not register.

Register your business at:

Securities and Exchange Commission
SEC Bldg., EDSA, Greenhills, Mandaluyong City
Tel. No. 726-0931

Basic Requirements of a Partnership

1. Name Verification Slip
2. Articles of Partnership
3. Undertaking to Change Name
4. Registration Data Sheet
5. If it is a Limited Partnership, the word "Limited" is added to the name. Articles of limited partnership should always be under oath only (JURAT) and not acknowledged by the partners before a notary public
6. Partnerships need clearance from concerned government agencies

Additional Requirements for a Partnership

1. License of custom brokers for custom brokerage.
2. For foreign partnerships:
- Foreign Investment Agent Application Form
- Proof of Inward Remittance of non-resident alien partner or affidavit manifesting
intention not to register investment with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
- If the document was signed abroad, it must be authenticated by the Philippine
Consular Office in the country it was executed

Registration Procedures:

1. Secure name verification slip from the Records Division
2. Proceed to Cashier for payment of filing fee
3. Submit documents to the Receiving Unit of the Records Section
4. The documents are then forwarded to the Company Registration and Monitoring Department (CRMD) and assigned to processors
5. Typing pool prepares Certificate of Registration and returns to a processor (or a lawyer) and Assistant Director for initials
6. Director of the CRMD signs the Certificate of Partnership
7. The certificate of registration is forwarded to the Releasing Unit of the Records Division (ground floor), where it may be claimed by the applicant upon presentation of receipt as proof of payment of the filing fee

1. Applications of domestic corporations (stock) where subscribed capital stock are paid in cash are forwarded by the Records Division directly to the Company Registration and Pre-Need Department (CRPD).
2. Verified name is deemed unofficial unless approved by the Commission, i.e., after issuance of the certificate of incorporation
3. For businesses involving pre-need plans and commodity futures, clearance of the proposed corporate name from the Pre-need Department and Market Regulation department is required before verification of the name with the Records Division at the SEC Annex Bldg.
4. The application for registration of non-stock corporations is processed solely by the CRPD.

Application under the Foreign Investment Act of 1991 or those with more than 40% foreign equity are processed first by CRMD before payment of filing fee.

Registering with the Social Security System (SSS)
An employer, or any person who uses the services of another person in business,
trade, industry or any undertaking must be registered with the SSS. Social, civic, professional, charitable and other non-profit organizations, which hire the services of employees, are considered "employers."

Register at:

Social Security System (SSS)
SSS Bldg., East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
Tel. Nos. 920-6401, 920-6446

Single Proprietorships

An owner of a single proprietorship business may accomplish and submit SSS Forms R-1 (Employer's Data Record) and R-1A (Initial or Subsequent List of Employees).

Any of the partners of a partnership firm should accomplish SSS Forms R-1 and R-1A and submit these forms together with a photocopy of the Articles of Partnership. The original copy of the Articles of Partnership must be presented for authentication.

A corporation must accomplish SSS Forms R-1 and R-1A signed by its president or any of the corporate officers or incorporators. Submit these forms together with the photocopy of the Articles of Incorporation. The original copy of the Articles of Incorporation must be presented to the SSS for authentication.

Registering with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)

All cooperatives are required to register with the CDA as per Republic Act 6938/6939.

Register at:

Cooperative Development Authority
6F Benlor Bldg., 1184 Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Tel. No. 373-6896

1. Submit four copies of the Articles of Cooperation
2. Submit four copies of the By-Laws
3. Submit four copies of the Economic Survey (feasibility study)
4. Submit Bond Accountable Officers (Fidelity, Cash, or Surety)
5. Capitalization not lower than P2,000 (depending on the activities registered)
6. Minimum members of at least 15

Registering with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

Every business enterprise has to register with the BIR for taxation purposes. Below are the steps to follow:

1. Secure a permanent record file number of Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the BIR National Office in Diliman, Quezon City
2. Register the business/trade name at the BIR office nearest you. Secure and file an application form, together with supporting papers, as follows:
- Mayor’s permit
- Certificate of Business Name Registration from the DTI
- Articles of Partnership or Corporation
- Residence Certificate
3. Secure authority to print books of account, invoices, receipts, and other accounting records by filling up four copies of an application form. Attach four draft copies of the material to be printed as well as a copy of the job order.
4. Register book of accounts, invoices, receipts, etc.

Registering with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

Business establishments with five or more employees are encouraged to register with DOLE, the agency which monitors compliance with labor laws. Registration is mandatory for firms which employ 50 or more workers.

The Bureau of Local Employment administers the registration of establishments. To register, secure and fill up a registration form. Corporations are required to attach a photostat copy of the SEC Certificate of Registration.

Registering with the Local Government

All businesses, whatever the legal form, are required to secure a mayor's permit or municipal license from the municipality or city where they are located. Various cities and municipalities have different registration procedures, but the following steps prescribed in Quezon City would be typical:

1. Go to the Business Permit and Licensing Office of Quezon City Hall. Secure an application form from the Public Assistance Office
2. Submit three copies of the form together with a simple sketch of your business location
• Support application with a Certificate of Business Name Registration from the
DTI-NCR if you are using a firm name
• A partnership or corporation must submit the corresponding Articles of Partnership or Incorporation duly registered with the SEC together with a photostat copy of the Certificate of Registration with the SEC and the current class "C" certificate in the case of corporations
3. Proceed to the City Treasurer’s Office for any payments to be made. Present Mayor's Permit for issuance of municipal licenses

Business establishments are required to exhibit the mayor's permit conspicuously in the business establishment.

Registering with Other Agencies

Depending on the type of products they manufacture or handle and on their market orientation, certain firms are required by law to register with other government agencies:

Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD)
Philinvest Corporate Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Tel. No. 807-0721/ Fax No. 807-0751

Garments and Textile Export Board (GTEB)
4/F, New Solid Bldg., 357 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City
Tel No. 890-4810/ Fax No. 890-4653

National Food Authority - Regulatory Division
10th flr., Matimyas Building, E. Rodriguez Sr., Quezon City
Tel. 712-1719 / 712-1705

Fiber Industry Development Authority
Asiatrust Bank, Annex Bldg.,
1424 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. 373-7489 / 373-9241

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
Arcadia Building, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. 372-5057 / 373-7452

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI)
Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
Tel. 927-0971 / 926-8814

Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI)
San Andres, Malate, Manila
Tel. 525-7857 / 524-0768
Bureau of Forest Development
FMB Building, Visayas Avenue,
Diliman, Quezon City
Tel. 927-4788 / 925-2138

National Tobacco Administration
NTA Bldg., Panay Ave., cor. Sct. Reyes St. Quezon City
Tel. No. 374-3987/ 374-2505

DTI- Bureau of Product Standards (BPS)
3/F, Trade and Industry Bldg., 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
Tel. No. 890-4965/ 890-4924
Fax No. 890-5131

National Subcontractors Exchange (SUBCONEX) DTI – NCR
12/F, Trafalgar Plaza, 105 H.V. dela Costa St. Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel. No. 811-8231 to 33

Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
IPO Bldg., 351 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City
Tel./Fax No. 890-4862; 890-4942

DTI - Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP)
2/F, Trade and Industry Bldg., 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City
Tel. No. 896-5785; Fax. No. 890-4949



  1. Where do i register if my products to be sold here comes from abroad? What are the requirements to be submitted by the supplier and the Philippines distributor.

  2. helo po. tanx for the ideas, well understood. I am still a beginner, can you help me regarding shomai stand business. what are the steps or the requirements needed to open this kind of business. incase i dont have a property, how/where could i put my shomai stand??? will i pay for a rent to the gov if i put my stand at the sidewalk. pls give me some advice. tanx...

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    How to Register a Business


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