How to start a Business in the Philippines (Corporation)


In addition to opening a bank account when starting a business in the Philippines and hiring employees there are a number of government agencies that you must register with. Registering your company is necessary to avoid any legal problems until business operations commence. The following are the necessary steps to register your new business legally in the Philippines.


1. Secure the name of the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The first step is to register your preferred corporate name with SEC while your lawyers are working on articles of incorporation and by-laws of the company.

2. Register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Once the following documentary requirements have been completed, the application may be submitted to SEC for registration:

  • Name Reservation and Payment Form
  • Notarized Articles of Incorporation and By-laws
  • Treasurer’s Affidavit
  • Duly accomplished SEC Form F-100 (for corporations with more than 40% foreign equity)
SEC Certificate of Incorporation

Registration by SEC takes 10 to 15 working days after complete documentation specifications are submitted, provided there are no holidays during this time.

3. Register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

BIR Certificate of Registration

A business must receive a taxpayer identification number (TIN) after SEC registration, register its account books and apply for permission to print official receipts from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the national taxing authority in the Philippines.

4. Obtain a Mayor’s or Business Permit

2020-2021 Business Permit

The following documents are required to secure a business permit:

  • SEC Registration, Articles of Incorporation, and By-laws
  • Locational Clearance
  • Lease Contract
  • Barangay Clearance
    This clearance is obtained from the Barangay where the company / business is located. The payments depend on the paid-up capital of the company plus an additional sum of taxes, insurance and other charges that may differ for each Barangay. The basic document required is the notarized lease contract between the company and the lessor of its registered office.
  • Obtain a company Community Tax Certificate (CTC)
    Obtained at the barangay office or city hall. Takes only 1 day. Fee will be P500 minimum.

Done at the Business Licensing Office in City Hall. Takes it to complete about 2 weeks. Your biggest expense in terms of fees as it will depend on your declared capital. Prepare P10,000, at least. You will be required to file certain forms and specifications apart from the documents mentioned above. Ask the licensing office for the check list.

4. Register your employees

Takes about 2 weeks to get everything processed. As required by law, the Social Security System (SSS), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will require you to enroll your employees (which may include yourself).

This step-by-step guide is just a simplified summary and may require other steps, especially for businesses requiring special permits and clearances.

The length of the filing and the fees listed are based on personal experience. If you have recently registered a company in the country and have a different experience to what I wrote above, please share it as a comment. Thank you.

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