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For Locals, Expats and tourists in the Philippines.
Necessary Phases in Starting a Business

Necessary Phases in Starting a Business

The best way to earn in the country second to a high-paying employment is doing a business. Starting a business in the Philippines can be summarized in the following steps.

First of all, starting a business means getting a birth certificate. Then open the Sunday classified ads of any major daily in the country to look for people or companies offering business. Choose one that suits your preference, list several offers, and call them up one by one. Of the offers in the list choose two to three that seem to promise a more preferable deal. Meet with representatives of these offers. Most of these will probably be franchise offers, the trend in the country.

If the business is a franchise, ask for franchise documents that will prove one’s ownership of the franchise. This document will be asked by city hall officials and stall or concession owners one will later meet. Be sure that franchise documents are complete. This is important in starting a business. For particulars on franchise documents, contact the franchise main office. They will likely be listed online. Or try telephone operator service.

If the business is non-franchise, be sure to have all pertinent documents and records of the business one has bought. Among these are Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) documents for solo or single proprieties or a partnership and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) papers for corporations. Then there’s the business permit which is secured from city hall. Last, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) business papers. Be sure to have all these documents transferred to one’s name. Besides these business documents, starting a business also needs one to secure a barangay character and business clearance from the barangay where one plans to put up a business. Birth certificate is needed here.

The best option is to start one’s own business. Starting a business from scratch (not bought from somebody else) requires routine securing of all aforesaid documents. A warning though: without the barangay clearances no documentation will be accomplished at city hall. Days or week may pass before DTI or SEC or business or BIR papers can be released. So while waiting, one can proceed looking for business locations. Location is crucial in starting a business so give it lots of time.

Starting a business in the Philippines need to go through several phases: getting barangay clearances, securing DTI or SEC papers, business permit from city hall, BIR permit, and choosing a business location.


  1. Bryan

    Hi, thanks for the infos, but im still confused, im very young and really wanting to start my biz, can you post here the requirements for each; barangay clearance, DTI/SEC, business permit, bir permit…?

  2. TJ

    nice, very informative! but what about if the business is online only? For example, I have a web hosting and domain name registration services, it’s a small business and I am not the service provider, I am only a retailer of one of the biggest web hosting company in the UK, they are the main source of our data and services, they are the one who really have the data centers (one in the US and one in the UK) and business permits, do I still need to register my business here in the Philippines? My website is already online but I still don’t have any customer because I am not sure if I can start to advertise my business. My profit here is only commission based, let’s say 0.10 cents USD per transaction per month, do I really have to go to BIR just to pay the taxes? I don’t have any physical location for my business, I only have a website. I want to know all the legal matters for this kind of small business before I start to offer services in public. Thank you.

  3. vivian

    i’m planning to start a small business. i want to know i much capital should i have to? i’m also curious with regards to the rentals of space in malls particularly in SM. i really don’t know where and how to start…i need your comments and asvise…thank you.

  4. blackvirus

    I have a foreigner who wants to do up a business with me in the Phils. The thing is, we still do not know exactly which business to do.

    Things that we have in mind are: money remittance; clothes boutigues; restaurant;

    How is the procedure? What is required of a foreigner if he wants to do a partnership business with me?

    Appreciate your help.

  5. darna

    need to know what agency/department handles revenues from business permits for the whole philippines, for the year 2009. I tried BIR central office but they said they dont have the info i need. can someone help me? thanks.

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