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Ready To Start A Business? How To Apply For A Business Permit
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  • Many business sectors were gravely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but some remained stable and a few even flourished. If you are among those who found a new way to earn a living and are determined to start an enterprise, the next goal is to apply for a business permit.

    Entrepreneurs who’ve been there will agree that the process is rather laborious and requires a lot of legwork. So you have to be physically and mentally prepared if you choose to do it yourself.

    How to apply for a business permit 

    To know exactly what you’ll go through, peruse first the document jointly prepared by the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The two government agencies have outlined the nitty-gritty of doing business in the Philippines. Here are the steps to apply for a business permit and other documents:

    Registration of business name

    The investor — single proprietorship, corporation/partnership, cooperative — needs to have a business name, and they should register it to the DTI. For single proprietorship, the requirements are an accomplished application form, 2x2 ID photos, and documentary stamps.

    Corporation/partnership applicants are also required to submit their Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration and Articles of Incorporation/Partnership. On the other hand, cooperative applicants need to submit their Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) registration. 

    Barangay business clearance

    Having registered your business name, you’re now eligible to apply for a business permit. Secure a clearance at the barangay unit of the city of municipality where you will hold business.


    Don’t forget to bring your community tax certificate, which you can get from the barangay hall or at the city or municipal hall beforehand. Pay the barangay clearance fee.

    Building permit

    With your barangay business clearance secured, you now go to the city or municipal hall. This time, you will apply for a building permit and an electrical inspection certificate.

    There’s a long list of requirements, so make sure you got all of them before making the trip to the capitol. These include:

    1. Building plans (fencing, signboard, among others)
    2. Lot plan
    3. Clearances (locational, home owners, barangay, MMDA)
    4. Fire safety requirements
    5. Contract of lease and authorization of the owner (if you’re renting the space or building)
    6. Title, tax declaration, tax receipt (if you own the space or building)
    7. Contractor’s business permit
    8. Sketch of the building and location
    9. Old building permit
    10. Bill of materials, specifications, structural computation
    11. Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)/Philippine Technological Council (PTC) license of the engineer 

    Fire safety inspection certificate

    Call the fire department of the city or municipality to inquire about the inspection of the site of your business. The fire safety inspectors will then give the requirements and recommendations.

    Afterward, you will go back to the city or municipal hall to apply for a fire safety inspection certificate. You will need the following documents:

    • Business plans
    • Building permit
    • Barangay business clearance
    • Fire insurance coverage
    • Compliance to the requirements and recommendations from fire safety inspectors

    Sanitary permit

    Call the health center of the city or municipality and inquire about the sanitary inspection. After your establishment has been inspected, you will go back to the city or municipal hall to apply for a sanitary permit.

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    You will have to bring your chest X-ray and ID picture and pay the necessary fees. You also need to secure a medical certificate or health card issued by the City Health Officer or a duly authorized representative.

    Locational clearance

    While at the city or municipal hall, you can apply for a locational clearance. Just make sure you have all the requirements, such as:

    • Pictures of the site
    • Fire inspection permit
    • Building permit
    • Authorization from the owner (if you’re renting the space or building)
    • Electrical permit
    • Sanitary permit
    • Certification of non-improvement
    • PRC/PTC license of the engineer

    Mayor’s permit

    Having secured all the permits, certificates, and clearances, you’re ready for the last stop in the city or municipal hall. Make sure you have photocopies of the documents and keep a file for easy reference. Bring all the documents and submit them to apply for a mayor’s permit.

    BIR Registration

    The final stretch of the process in applying for a business permit involves going to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). There, you will apply for a business tax identification number (TIN) and Certificate of Registration.

    You will also need to secure a Social Security System (SSS) number for your business enterprise and register as an employer-member of PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG.

    And finally, it's all systems go for your and your business. Good luck!

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