Handy Guide for Business Starters: Where do I register?

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By Rowena B. Cequeña

To be considered legitimate, your business must be duly registered with the appropriate government agency. Otherwise, you will encounter problems, because just about every procedure in running your business involves dealing with different government offices. The government has the right to padlock your main office or branches in the cities or municipalities where you are operating. After determining what type of business you want to open, you need to register it with the proper government agency.

1. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

Registration of the sole proprietorship form of business is done with the Department of Trade and Industry. The first step is to determine your business name, which should have no similar name in the DTI’s roster of registered businesses. You can check out this roster at DTI’s website: www.dti.gov.ph. Once your business name is approved, you can already start the registration process. DTI provides downloadable forms.

2. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Partnerships and corporations are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First, go to https://crs.sec.gov.ph and register the name of your organization. If there are no other businesses with the same name, you may reserve it and pay the required registration fee, either at the SEC teller counter or with a SEC-accredited bank.

Once your business name is approved, you may then continue with the registration process.

Online registration of a new company is the present system of SEC. Once all data are encoded, you can already print the articles, by-laws, cover sheet and even the stock and transfer book. You will then print the documents for uploading to SEC website after having it signed and notarized to proceed with the registration process. Pay the required fees in the bank or at SEC cashier. Submit the original signed documents in four copies after paying the required fees.

3. Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)

Cooperatives are registered with the Cooperative Development Authority. Similar to the other forms of business enterprises, you must first determine your business name and register it with CDA. The CDA requires that cooperative members attend a seminar
on how cooperatives work. For details, check out www.cda.gov.ph.

4. Social Security System (SSS)

The law mandates that all businesses in the Philippines pay SSS contributions both for the employees’ and the employer’s shares. Register your company with SSS to avoid penalties. Even if you have no business of your own and want to enjoy SSS benefits, you may volunteer to become an SSS member and pay your contributions regularly. Visit the SSS branch nearest your place of business or you may log on to www.sss. gov.ph for more information.

5. Philhealth

Philhealth membership is mandatory for employers so that their employees can enjoy Philhealth benefits, such as discounts in hospital bills. Like the SSS, you may register to become a Philhealth member even if you have no business of your own. Registration procedures and forms may be downloaded from www.philhealth.gov.ph.

6. Home Development and Mutual Fund (HDMF), fondly called the Pag-Ibig Fund

Just like SSS and Philhealth, employers are mandated to make sure their employees are HDMF or Pag-IBIG members. The minimum monthly contribution for employers and employees is only P100.00 a month.
As in SSS and Philhealth, individuals without a regular job or business can also be HDMF members. For details, log on to www.hdmf.gov.ph.

7. Barangay Micro Business Enterprise Act of 2002— RA 9178 (BMBE).

If your business or activity falls under the micro enterprise category, you can apply or register as a Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BMBE) and avail of the tax exemption privilege granted to such entreprises. A BMBE is any business engaged in the production or processing of products, as well as trading and services with total assets of not more
than P3 million. You can ask your barangay or city goverment for further details.

*This excerpt is taken from Handy Guide Business Starters By Rowena B. Cequeña*

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