Registering a business has always been a pain for all SMEs here in the Philippines due to unpolished processes and too many requirements that needs to be taken from different offices miles away from each other. I never wanted to do this myself so I asked my bookkeeper, Perci Bysshe Schelley R. De Ocampo to help me in creating a post about this to educate other SMEs like me especially those in the online industry. I believe, Business permit is a must for every VApreneur.

Now, let’s begin with everything that you need to prepare before going to the Municipal’s office. Don’t go there with incomplete documents or else you’ll end up going back and forth for these…

Initial Requirements in Business Permit Renewal

1. DTI Name Registration Certificate – if you’re a new business, you need to go to the nearest nearest DTI office and get your company name registered. If you’re renewing a business, check if your DTI certificate has expired. If not, no need to go there. Just bring your DTI Certification.

2. Philhealth Clearance – go to the nearest Philhealth office and get a certification that you’ll need in registering your business. Make sure to pay necessary fees. It all depends if you’re already a Philhealth member, with updated payments or just to enrol yourself as new member. Clear all financial obligations first. If you’re renewing a business registration, make sure that you paid your dues for the past year to avoid future problems.

3. PAG-IBIG (HDMF) Clearance – just the same as Philhealth, you need to be get a certification from them to register your business and in renewal, too.

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4. Community Tax Certificate of the business owner – you need to get one from your barangay or municipal hall as part of your requirement

5. SSS Clearance – just the same as HDMF and Philhealth, you need to get a certification from SSS, too. They have different requirements there, too so make sure that you comply to that. If you don’t have any employees, you may tell the in charge and explain so they’ll give you the clearance that you need. Be sure to explain nicely, properly and in lay man’s term. You maybe talking to people with NO knowledge about online business whatsoever, so make sure that you use terms they understand. Be as polite as you can be.

If you’re renewing a business, you need the updated payments record or the past year’s R3 forms for employees.

The Renewal Process Itself

The yearly Business Permit renewal deadline is every 20th of January, so please make sure that you accomplish all requirements before the said date.

STEP 1. Get the Business Renewal form from the Municipal Hall and fill it out diligently.

STEP 2. Go to the Municipal Hall’s Sanitary Department to get your Sanitay Permit. If your business concerns food, you’ll be asked to provide some clinical tests like sputum, chest Xray, etc. so make sure you have extra funds for this. If not, they will give the clearance right away without the need for inspection.

STEP 3. Next is the clearance from the Engineering department – just the same, they will let you fill out a form and give you the certificate. Always bring cash since each departments ask for different fees, with or without receipts at times. Just make sure you ask for your official receipts, though.

STEP 4. Another clearance from the Municipal Police Department – again, the routine of forms filling out, payment and getting the certification.

STEP 5. And the clearance for Valid Fire Safety Inspection – this is where the tricky part comes in. Some officers asked for a fire extinguisher to be installed in your home-office. Some doesn’t. So I guess it depends on the municipality police officials. Other officers also sell or have contact to the seller. If they don’t ask, you are under no obligation to provide one. It’s just always better to be safe than sorry, though.

STEP 6: If everything is done, go to the mayor’s office with all the requirements. You may have to wait for 2-3 days before your permit is ready for pick up.

It may sound simple but the process of getting those requirement alone may take more than a day or even up to a week especially if the government offices are located in different places. If you have problems with the documentation, make sure that you bring everything that you may need. I suggest that you also bring in sandwich and water in case theres a long queueing. Or just expect that there really is. Better if you have someone to accompany you so that the other can help with the photocopying, payment or running here and there for missing or incomplete documents while you line up and make sure you don’t miss the queue. It’ll also help keep your cool when all else is about to break loose.

Pray before you leave the house, bring in a basket full of patience. See, I really have to warn you. 🙂