Updated: April 10, 2017
What are the Philippine government agencies that you need to register with when starting a business?
Remember that it is important to register your business to avoid any legal problems once business operations start.
Furthermore, it’s common practice for competitors to check on you if you have all the necessary registrations completed because if not, this will be an opportunity for them to disrupt and delay your operations by notifying the proper authorities.
Below are the government agencies that you have to contact in order to give your business a legal personality.
Depending on the structure of your business, your first step is to get a certificate of registration for your business name in one of these agencies:
- Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – for single proprietorship
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – for partnerships or corporations
- Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) – for cooperatives
After getting your certificate of registration, you will need to visit the following offices:
- Homeowners Association – for businesses inside villages and subdivisions, you need to get a homeowner’s clearance
- Barangay Hall – secure a barangay clearance to operate your business
- Local Government Unit (LGU) – visit the municipality or city hall office and process your business permit
- Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) – apply for a business taxpayer identification number (TIN), register your books of accounts, point-of-sales (POS) machines and receipts
At this point, you may now legally start your business operations, but you’ll need to then register your employees (which may include yourself) to the following agencies:
- Social Security System (SSS) – secure an SSS number for yourself and your employees
- Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – for businesses with five workers or more, register your business with DOLE
- Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) – as required by RA 7742, SSS members earning at least P4,000 a month must be registered with HDMF. This agency administers the Pag-Ibig Fund.
- Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) – all employers of are required to register their employees to this agency as stated in the New National Health Insurance Act (RA 7875 / RA 9241). PhilHealth manages and administers the government health care system.
Furthermore, there are certain businesses that are required to secure a special clearance, permit or license from selected government agencies.
Check if your business falls under any of the categories below and note the document that you need to secure and where to get it.
- Animals, animal products, animal facilities, veterinary drugs: registration certificate from the Bureau of Animal Industry
- Aquatic animals, importation, fishpond lease agreement: permit from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR)
- Fertilizer products, pesticide products: registration certificate from the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (DA-FPA)
- Fiber, fiber products processing and trading: registration certificate and commodity clearance from the Fiber Development Authority (DA-FIDA)
- Film and television production and distribution: registration certificate from the Movie & Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB)
- Firearms, ammunition and explosives: permit from the Firearms and Explosives Division of the Philippine National Police (FED-PNP)
- Food, chemicals, health related business: registration certificate from the Bureau of Food and Drugs, Department of Health (DoH-BFAD)
- Flour, corn and grains related business: operations and license from the National Food Authority (DA-NFA)
- Pawnshop, lending and finance related businesses: registration certificate from the Central Bank of the Philippines, Department of Finance (DoF-BSP)
- Plants and plant products: nursery accreditation, registration, seed and phytosanitary certificates from the Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI)
- Recruitment or placement agency for foreign employment: registration certificate from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Department of Labor (DOLE-POEA)
- Recruitment or placement agency for local employment: registration certificate from the Bureau of Local Employment (DOLE-BLE)
- Schools, technical-vocational and other educational institutions: registration, accreditation and permits from the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) or from the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (DOLE-TESDA)
- Security agency business: permit from the Philippine National Police, Department of Interior & Local Government (DILG-PNP)
- Meat plant and slaughterhouse operations: accreditation and registration certificate from the National Meat Inspection Commission (DA-NMIC)
- Mining, quarrying, logging, waste management and related businesses: permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
- Motor vehicles, automotive & heavy equipment, engineering, electronics, electrical, office & data equipments, medical & industrial equipment, appliances & devices: accreditation license from the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (DTI-BTRCP)
- Real estate projects: register with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLRUB)
- Sugar, muscovado, sugar-based products and related businesses: registration certificate from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (DA-SRA)
- Telecom business: license from the National Telecommunication Commission, Department of Transportation & Communication (DOTC-NTC)
- Tourism-related projects: registration and accreditation certificate from the Department of Tourism (DOT)
- Transportation: permits from the Land Transport Franchise & Regulatory Board (DOTC-LTFRB) or Maritime Industry Authority (DOTC-MARINA)
- Video production, sales and rental: accreditation from the Optical Media Board, Office of the President (OPOMB)
There may be other special registrations needed for other businesses that were not mentioned above. It’s best to ask the Department of Trade and Industry for any specific inquiries regarding this matter.
Registering your business legally in the Philippines is not a difficult task. It may seem confusing at first but there are always help desks and assistance available in these agencies in case you get lost in the process.