Atty. Rami Hourani
Have you had a business idea that you want to formalize? Do you have an existing venture that you are pursuing informally? Do you have a profitable side-hustle that you would like to be able to issue receipts for? Then you should continue reading to the end of the article.
The process of starting a business in the Philippines is not an easy one. It requires a lot of time and knowledge to navigate the restrictions imposed by the various government offices involved in the process. The government has taken an important step towards the simplification of these processes though. A single website which aggregates all the steps that you need in order to get your business registered under Filipino Law.
This website is the Central Business Portal. This website has information as well as a web interface that will help you register your business in the Philippines. It will take you through the most basic steps of setting up a corporation.
It will even show you precisely where you are in the process of securing government approvals. Let’s take a look where the guidance of the Central Business Portal will take us.
An Overview of the Process
The part that follows will be a breakdown of the process of creating a new corporation.
There are a few different options that the Central Business portal will present you with and it will have simple guidance on the difference between these entities. Typically, most people are interested in the creation of a corporation and the Central Business Portal will send you to the SEC Website for this purpose.
The website goes so far as to provide you with digital copies of the Certificate of Incorporation from the SEC once the SEC has issued the same.
What sets the Central Business Portal apart from simply going to each of the individual websites or each government office is the Unified Application Form. This removes the need for manually rewriting the information that is the same across the different applications.
As soon as you receive the Certificate of Incorporation from the SEC you can then proceed directly from the Central Business Portal to the Tax Registration portion of the process.
This only requires that you fill out a short questionnaire in order to determine the tax type that the entity you create will be subject to. You can even pay for the fees imposed by the BIR for the Certificate of registration through UnionBank, GCash and PayMaya.
Employer Social Agency Registration
An automatic part of the process is the generation of the Employer’s Social Security Numbers for compliance with PhilHealth, SSS, and Pag-Ibig.
The website also allows you to add your employees directly to different social agency system’s directly from the Central Business Portal. This is is far as my explanation can go without going into a detailed discussion of the different licenses and permits that need to be procured for different kinds of industries in the Philippines.
Currently, you are unable to get your Business/Mayor’s Permit if you are in an LGU other than Quezon City. Part of the planned roll out of the service though is that eventually all Business Permits from all LGUs can be applied for in the Central Business Portal.
While the above explanation might outline the process simply, these benign looking transactions have serious legal ramifications. Additionally, the particular kind of enterprise you are setting up may require special approvals. These are all things that you should consider discussing with a lawyer.
Atty. Hourani practices law in Cebu City, Philippines. If you would like to set an appointment with him, you may reach him here.