Updated: January 16, 2018
In the Philippines where rice is eaten every day, starting a rice retailing business or bigasan makes a lot of sense. You have consumers who buy in great numbers and food establishments who order in bulk.
Thus, becoming a rice dealer or retailer can net you good profits because of its daily demand. And with a low starting capital of about P80,000 to P120,000 — it’s also an affordable business to start as well.
To help you succeed in this business, here are five important tips you should follow.
1. Get an NFA license first.
Your first priority when starting a rice retailing business would be to secure a license from the National Food Authority (NFA). They are the ones who will tell you if you are allowed to sell and distribute rice.
The NFA license can be procured at the nearest NFA office that has jurisdiction over the location of your business. You will be given an application form from a Licensing Officer (LO) after paying an application fee of P100.
Once you’ve submitted the application form back to the LO, you will pay a license fee that depends on your capital and receive an official receipt from the cashier.
The last thing you need to do is prepare your equipment and facility to be inspected by NFA investigator and if approved, head back to the LO with your notice of inspection, official receipt and proof of compliance with deficiencies (if any).
After acquiring an NFA license, your next step is to register your business. A single proprietorship business must register with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), while a partnership and corporation must register with the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC).
Related topic: How to Register Your Business in the Philippines
2. Buy proper equipment
The NFA needs you to have the proper equipment for selling rice. You will need a calibrated weighing scale, white-painted rice boxes, and price tags that indicate the price of the rice per kilogram among other things.
Other requirements include the classification, variety, and grade of the rice grain whether it is NFA or otherwise.
Lastly, you will need to put up a signboard that is 45 cm wide and 75 in length that shows the business name, the NFA control number, and the words “Licensed Grains Retailer” or “Wholesaler” to complete your legal requirements for selling rice.
3. Choose a good location for your rice business.
The location you choose should have the right target market, has heavy foot and vehicle traffic. Study the habits of those who frequent buying rice in “palengkes” and groceries to gauge how you would approach the situation to your favor.
4. Invest on proper storage for your rice.
The downside of selling rice is that it can spoil easily, and its quality will deteriorate in three months. So implement a first-in, first-out inventory method to optimize the shelf life of your rice and maintain its quality.
Another thing you should take note are insects or bugs that eat rice, such as bukbok or grain weevils. Keep your storage area clean and sanitized. Ask tips from your rice supplier as well on how to prevent infestation.
5. Get to know your suppliers and prospective customers
List down all the rice suppliers you have nearby and develop good relations with them, this way you would be able to take discounts further down the road and even get referrals from them.
Having a wide variety of rice will make it easy for customers to choose to do with your business since they have a lot of options to buy from you.
While this may be easy, consider making deals with large-scale businesses such as hotels, resorts, restaurants and small-scale businesses such as carenderias. By providing discounts to businesses, they would likely be more loyal to you and maybe even refer to you if they have other clients interested in buying rice in bulk.
Contact Information for Business Licensing Authorities
Department of Trade & Industry
Trade & Industry Building, 361 Senator Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines 1200
MSME Assistance Hotline:(+632) 751-5096
National Food Authority Philippines
North Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Mobile no.: 0906-436-3133
Security and Exchange Commission (Licensing Unit)
G/F Secretariat Building, PICC Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, 1307
Fax no.: 818-7187
Do you have a rice retailing business? I’d like to hear additional tips so please share them below in the comments section. Thank you.