So you’re all set to start a business in the Philippines. First things first, do you know which government agencies you need to register your business in? Let us help you out.

Once you have decided on the type of business you want to venture in and have a name for it already, it’s time to register it with the corresponding agencies so you can finally start operating legally! While the list of government agencies you have to be registered in might be overwhelming, we provide you with the “why’s” and “how’s” behind each agency to hopefully let you understand everything better.

Registering Your Business with the Government Agencies

 1. BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue)

Who Needs to Register?

•  Individual

•  Sole Proprietorship

•  Corporation/Partnership

It all starts with the BIR. You cannot operate your business without your business tax identification number (TIN).

You need to do these at the BIR:

1. Register your business establishment and all its branch offices, if any. You do this at the BIR Revenue District Office (RDO) in the place where your business is located. Once you obtain your Certificate of Registration, you must display it in a conspicuous place within your business establishment.

2. Register your books of accounts. You accomplish this at the same RDO.

3. Request for permit to print and issue receipts and invoices. You must thereafter post a notice in your business premises stating that your establishment issues receipts; and that if no receipt is issued by the cashier, then the customer must ask for one.

In relation to no. 3 above, you must also request for a permit to use a cash register and point of sale (POS) machines, as well as a permit to use loose-leaf books of accounts, accounting records or a computerized accounting system. If your business has branches, each branch must have its own books of accounts.

Related Posts:

•  10 Easy Steps to Registering Your Business With the Bureau of Internal Revenue

•  Everything You Need to Know About the New BIR Ruling on Official Receipts and Invoices

•  BIR: Filing of Tax Returns is Now Electronic

•  A Freelancer’s Guide to Paying Income Tax

2.   DTI (Department of Trade and Industry)

Who Needs to Register?

•  Sole Proprietorship

Before you can conduct business in the country, you need to register a name associated to your business. This is called business name registration (BNR). This is required if a person will use a name other than his true name.

Don’t want to line up at DTI? Register your business name online instead.

Related Posts: 

•  5 Tips for Deciding a Name for Your Business

•  Is Your Business Name Taken? How to Check If Someone Beat You To It

3. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)

Who Needs to Register?

•  Corporation/Partnership

The SEC is an agency under the Philippine Department of Finance that is responsible for regulating the securities industry.

It supervises all registered business entities in the country (with the power to suspend and revoke registrations), investigate violations of securities laws and impose sanctions, and make policies with regard to the market in securities.

It also supervises stock and bond brokers as well as the stock exchanges.

4. PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) /BOI (Bureau of Immigration)

Who Needs to Register?

•  Corporation/Partnership

PEZA is handled by the Department of Trade and Industry.

The PEZA and BOI are focused on businesses that are export-oriented, specifically in designated Special Economic Zones. The BOI is the primary agency responsible for investment promotion in the country and offers a wide range of incentive schemes for both Filipino and foreign investors.

Why Do You Need to Register with PEZA?

Not all areas in the country can be built by various business entities because there are some that have to be preserved or protected due to environment and legal circumstances.  By this business registration in the Philippines with PEZA, the agency can determine whether you are legitimate and allowed to do business operations in various selected areas.

PEZA Incentives

•  In general, enterprises located in ecozones are entitled to incentives that include:

•  An Income Tax Holiday (ITH) of 4 years for non-pioneer projects and 6 years for pioneer projects. Extension years can also be granted provided the company meets certain criteria.

•  After the ITH expires, a 5% Special Tax on Gross Income and exemption from all local and national taxes is applicable.

•  Zero taxes and duties in the importation of capital equipment, raw materials, machineries, and spare parts. An exemption on wharfage duties and export tax is applicable as well.

•  Zero VAT on local purchases and an exemption for all local government imposts, fees, licenses, or taxes.

•  Zero expanded withholding tax.

•  Non-fiscal incentives such as simplified import-export procedures, employment of non-resident foreign nationals, special visas for foreign employees in certain positions, and more.

Why Do You Need to Register with BOI?

Among the incentives that BOI-registered companies enjoy are the following:

•  An Income Tax Holiday (ITH) commencing from the start of commercial operations: 6 years for pioneer-status new projects; 4 years for non-pioneer status new projects; 3 years for expansion projects; 6 years for new or expansion projects in less developed areas; and 3 years for modernization projects. Enterprises that meet certain requirements can also take advantage of a bonus ITH year.

•  Taxes and duties exemption on imported spare parts as well as an exemption on wharfage dues and export tax.

•  Reduced duty rates on capital equipment, spare parts, and accessories.

•  Tax credits on domestic breeding stocks, genetic material, raw materials, and supplies.

•  Additional deductions from taxable income on labor expense as well as necessary and major infrastructure work.

•  Other non-fiscal incentives such as the employment of foreign nationals, streamlined customs procedures, the importation of consigned equipment, and more.

5. Local Barangay

Who Needs to Register?

•  Sole Proprietorship

•  Corporation/Partnership

You need to secure a company barangay clearance first in the barangay where your business will be operating. It is also a requirement when registering for a Mayor’s Permit.

Here’s our 5-step guide on how to register for a barangay clearance for your business.

6. City Hall

Who Needs to Register?

•  Sole Proprietorship

•  Corporation/Partnership


A Business Permit is sometimes also referred to as a Mayor’s Permit because it is processed at the City Hall – the office of the mayor. Securing a business permit from the Mayor’s Office can only be done after accomplishing two other registrations:

1. The registration of your business with the Department of Trade and Industry or DTI (for single proprietorship) or with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC (for partnership or corporation)

2. Securing a Business Barangay Clearance

Here’s our 7-step guide on how to register for a Mayor’s Permit.


Who Needs to Register?

•  Individual

•  Sole Proprietorship

•  Corporation/Partnership

The term “employee” denotes any person legally employed in the Philippines, any person compulsorily covered by the GSIS under the Commonwealth Act 186, or any person compulsorily covered by the SSS under Republic Act 1161. Such employee is automatically covered for these government-mandated employee benefits. This includes self-employed individuals or freelancers.

Here’s our guide to registering for government-mandated employee benefits.



What Government Agencies You Need To Register Your Business

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