Have you ever wondered what entrepreneurs go through when starting a business, like what exactly do you need to do first and what you need to do after that? We list down the 5 stages every newbie entrepreneur has to go through when launching a business in the Philippines.

We’ve blogged before about the seven things you might not know about when starting your own business in the country, but if you want something more extensive to take you step-by-step in the whole process, consider this your guide:

Stages of Starting a Business

Stage #1: The Big Idea

For all entrepreneurs, it all starts with an idea – a light bulb moment. Whether it’s to fulfill a need, provide an alternative option to an existing solution or service or even following one’s passion, entrepreneurs get their ideas from everywhere.

The main challenge would be to executing that idea into a great business. Looking for inspiration? We have listed eight must-read business books for you to get started on the business idea.

Stage #2: Do Your Homework + Plan Plan Plan

Similar to building a house, you cannot just start a business without a plan. Sure, you may have an idea, but like building houses, it isn’t much of a house without a concrete plan, a blueprint. You need to see if this idea of yours will work, where it should open or whether it’s going to be more feasible launching shop virtually at first (online).

Fitz Villafuerte, a known financial blogger, has outlined this phase of launching a business very well. You can find his detailed process on his blog.

Don’t fall into the trap – failing to plan is planning to fail.

Logistically speaking, you also have the option of working a full-time job while starting to launch a business – you’d need all the money reserves you can get to make sure your business stays liquid. You can run your business anywhere these days, thanks to technology.

You’d need to decide on whether you are going solo in this venture or taking in a partner or partners. This is an important aspect when it comes to registering your business.

Stage #3: Give Your Business an Identity

So you want to start a business. Initial market research showed that your idea might just work! Congratulations! Now what?

However, you’d need to decide on a name first. First impression lasts so make your business name stand out. Always run a check whether your decided business name is taken or has a similar-sounding one registered. You’d want your business name to stay unique and speak your brand.

Once you have a name to go with your business, the real leg (and paper) work begins.

Stage #4: Paperwork (lots of it!)

In the Philippines, you’d need to register your business in different government agencies depending on whether you are a solo entrepreneur, a partnership or a corporation.

If your business is under a:

1. Sole proprietorshipregister your business under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 
(small business owner, freelancer, entrepreneur, professional)

2. Partnership or corporationregister your business under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You can do it in one dayYour business might be any of the following: foundations, associations, NGOs, religious organizations, local and foreign companies (corporations) that have branch, representative offices, regional headquarters, general or limited partnerships.

3. Cooperative – register your business under the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)

Before going to your local municipalities where your business is going to be operating, you would need to register your business with the Bureau of Internal Revenue so you can 1) pay taxes and 2) issue official receipts or sales invoices to your customers.

From there you would need to obtain a barangay clearance from your barangay to allow operations to start then get a business permit (Mayor’s permit) from the municipal hall. Based from experiences from seasoned entrepreneurs, requirements vary between municipalities so it is best that you ask around (better if directly from them) before obtaining a permit.

We have a comprehensive list of agencies you’d need to register or obtain a license to operate within our services page. The legwork can be pretty extensive – we can help you.

If you have employees, don’t forget to register them for benefits too.

Here’s a checklist for startups on which you need to prioritize or do later.

Stage #5: Brace Yourself. It’s Time to Launch!

You have all your paperwork done and completed, products are ready to sell and you are ready to launch! It seems that it’s the end of a really tiring journey, right?


Now the real work begins. The key here is to allow yourself some leeway in recovering your investment. There will surely be losses than profits during the first few months as you try to work around your business. What you may have projected or expected might not be the one that happens. It’s OK. Just make sure your business stays afloat, make adjustments and work harder.

Good Luck!


5 Stages Of Starting A Business In The Philippines



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