11th Nov 2014
Contrary to popular belief, it is actually easy to legally do business in the Philippines. The Philippine government has taken great strides to ensure ease of doing business in the country. You must first remember that in order to do business in the Philippines, you must choose the business vehicle that you wish to utilize. You can either do business as a single proprietorship and register the same with the Department of Trade & Industry or through a corporation or partnership which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration as a sole proprietorship is good for 5 years and renewable thereafter. On the other hand, the life of a corporation is normally 50 years, however, there are reportorial requirements every year in order to keep the registration alive.
Once you have registered your business entity, the next step is to secure a barangay clearance in the barangay where your business is located. Thereafter, a business permit from the city where your business is located is also necessary. Part of this process is the procurement of clearances from the Engineering and Electrical Departments, Health and Sanitary Office, City Environment and Natural Resources Office and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
It must be noted that business permits expire every 31st of December and must be renewed on January of the next year.
Once this has been accomplished, the business must be registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue for tax purposes. You must find the Revenue District Office (RDO) which has jurisdiction over the locality where you are doing business. It is mandatory to get a Certificate of Registration (COR) and Authority to Print (ATP) in order to have your official receipts printed. It bears great emphasis that only BIR accredited printers can make official receipts. Furthermore, your books of account must be duly stamped by the BIR.
Thereafter, the business, along with its employees must be registered with the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig). These government agencies have regional offices located in key cities. Hence, it is necessary to register with the regional office in the city where your business is located.
It is important to remember that there are certain monthly, quarterly and annual reports required by the BIR, SSS, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig. Moreover, whenever you hire any employee, you must register him/her with the aforesaid government agencies.
Once all these are accomplished, you can generally now do business in the Philippines (except for certain business activities which will require special licenses and permits from other government agencies). This is how to legally do business in the Philippines. If you are interested in setting up a business or company in the Philippines, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Our business and corporate lawyers may be able to help you.