A Foreign Investor’s Step by Step Guide to Registering Business in the Philippines

Business registration in the Philippines may be a daunting but necessary step.


Registration is an important step when starting a business firstly because it avoids any legal complication in the future that might derail the success of the business. It also makes your business name more permanent as you build reputation, gather clients and grow your investment.


Knowing about the different steps in business registration may help to start the process rolling.


Step 1: Business name registration

Step 1 Business Name Registration

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Sole Proprietor businesses register their names with the Department of Trade and Industry or DTI.


A sole proprietor business simply means that there is only one owner of the business name. Sole ownership requires minimal capital investment, easier and lower cost of registration, and minimal regulations and monitoring requirements.


Five steps are needed to complete registration with DTI:

  1. Think of a name that best suits the business. Business names should say something about the business and should only contain letters, numerals and punctuation marks found in the English and Filipino alphabet.


Tip: Think of two more back up names for the business in case the first name is already being used by another company.

  1. Visit DTI’s website and search if the business name in mind is still available.


You may reach DTI’s business name search here.

  1. Fill up a Business Name (BN) Application form. The BN can be completed online or downloaded in PDF format.


For online application, go to the online services tab and select New Application from the Menu sidebar. Accept the terms and type the needed information.


As soon as BN application is submitted online, a reference number will be sent through e-mail. A maximum of three days is given for the business owner to submit required documents in DTI offices.


Foreign business owners need to produce and complete documents listed below:


Downloadable copies of the required documents may also be viewed and downloaded through DTI’s website.


A downloadable checklist in word format is available here and PDF here.

  1. Depending on the business scope, registration fee costs:


Php 200 for barangay or district

Php 500 for Municipality or City

Php 1000 for Regional

Php 2000 for Nationwide


For online application payments are accepted through DTI teller, Gcash or Bancnet.

  1. Completed paper based BNs can be submitted to DTI main office or branches nationwide.


The Certificate of Registration can be picked up from the DTI office or downloaded online. The certificate is valid for 5 years.


Registration filed in Metro Manila offices are done within a day, however, processing papers filed in field offices require 5 days to complete.


Step 2: Registration with Barangay or District


After receiving Certificate of Registration from DTI, proceed to the barangay hall or district office for a Barangay Certificate of Business Registration.


Complete the application form and submit with the certificate from DTI, 2 valid IDs and proof of address (Contract of Lease or Certificate of Land Title).


Step 3: Registration in the Mayor’s Office

Step 3 Registration in the Mayor's Office

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Head to the municipal office to apply for a Mayor’s Business permit.


Submit your completed application form, DTI certification, barangay clearance certificate, 2 valid IDs and proof of address.


Step 4: Tax Registration

Step 4 Tax Registration

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After acquiring permits and certificates with DTI, district and municipal levels visit the Regional Business Office (RDO) to apply for your BIR Certificate of Registration (Form 2302).


BIR stands for the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the department are in charge of Philippine taxes.

  1. Complete BIR form 1901 or the Application for Registration

  2. Submit the form together with the following documents

  •  DTI Certificate of Registration

  • Barangay Clearance

  • Mayor’s Business Permit

  • Proof of address

  • Valid IDs

  1. Pay the Registration Form (BIR Form 0605)

  2. Register your book of accounts and receipts


This list is merely a guide and an overview of what to expect when registering for a business in the Philippines. Some steps and fees may vary depending on the district or municipality or an increase that was not included during the time of publication.


It is still best to consult with trustworthy professionals in the field. They can help owners get through most hurdles and ensure that the business is up and running as soon as possible.


Downloadable copies of the required documents may also be viewed and downloaded through DTI’s website.

Candice C

Candice is a school teacher and a mother, She loves writing about practical guides and of course, parenting advice.


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