What You Need to Know about Business Permits in the Philippines

Philippines Business RegistrationEvery business whether a corporation or partnership registered with the SEC or a sole proprietorship registered with the DTI is under the obligation to immediately obtain business permits in the municipalities where they operate.
Corporations whether PEZA registered or not operating without the necessary business permits will incur fines, penalties or closure from the BIR or City Hall.

Registration is required for every separate or distinct establishment or place of business including facility types where sales transactions occur and warehouse where inventory of goods for sale are kept, and must be obtained before commencement of business and payment of any tax due.

BIR FINES

Failure to Register

– Fine of not less than P5,000 but not more than P20,000 and imprisonment of not less than 6 months but not more than 2 years.

Compromise Fees

a. Cities 20,000
b. 1st class municipalities 10,000
c. 2nd class municipalities 5,000
d. 3rd class municipalities 2,000

Official Receipts

Failure to issue receipts/invoices 1st violation 10,000 – 2nd violation 20,000
Refusal to issue receipts/invoices 1st violation 25,000 – 2nd violation 50,000

The above are just a few of the penalties that the BIR may impose.

Mayor’s Permit

None registration with City Hall has its own penalties;

Makati City Penalty example:
SEC. 3A.11. Penalty – Any violation of the provisions of this Article shall be punished by a fine of not less than One Thousands Pesos (P 1,000.00) nor more than Five Thousands Pesos (P 5,000.00), or imprisonment of not less than one (1) month not more than five (5) months, or both, at the discretion of the Court.

The above does not includes a surcharge of 25% for late payments and a 2% monthly interest on the unpaid taxes, fees or charges including surcharges.

The documentation required varies according to the municipality, below are listed :

– Barangay Clearance/Permit for the new year
– Previous Year’s Business Permit
– Financial Statement/ Income Tax Return for the preceding year
– Latest Community Tax Certificate
– Contract of Lease/ Lessor’s Permit
– Comprehensive General Liability Insurance
– List of Company Employees with Medical Certificates

Documentary requirements may vary from year to year, we recommend that you check for changes before filing your business permit renewal with City Hall.

Annual Mayor’s Permit Fees (business tax) vary according to the nature of the company’s business, the company’s preceding years gross sales are used to calculate the amount of tax due which can be less than 1% to 3% or more, regardless of when the business started to operate .

In the case of a newly-started business the initial tax for the year shall be calculated on the capital investment or paid up capital, contract of lease and size of office.

All business permits should be prominently displayed in every location where business is transacted.

Steps in Securing Your Corporation’s Business Permit at the City Hall

Philippines Business PermitOnce you’ve obtained your Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) certificate of incorporation and your barangay permit, the next step in registering your Philippine-based corporation is to get a business permit – also called the mayor’s permit – from city hall.

The process of business permit application tends to vary among localities. In some places, the actual processing time can be as short as one hour, but the queues can be long, especially in January, when all businesses flock to the city hall for their annual permit renewal.

And then, there are localities where the process is more convoluted – but still navigable.

Requirements

The basic documents necessary for business permit application are your

• SEC registration;
• barangay clearance;
• your community tax certificate, which you can get at the city hall; and
• your office lease contract.

Now depending on where your company office is located, you may also be required to present your homeowner’s clearance, business insurance, etc. The city hall will inform you of these additional requirements.

Steps

1. Get an application form at the city hall’s Business Permits and Licensing Office, and fill it out.

2. Submit your application form for the computation of your basic fees and the encoding of your data. The fees are based on your stated business capitalization and size of your office.

Now you will pay the fees, or you may be instructed to visit other offices first and get your required clearances.

Be sure to have your application printout photocopied. If you’ve already paid for something, photocopy the official receipt as well before going to the next step.

3. Make the rounds to secure other necessary clearances. You’ll need to visit

• the engineering office for your certificate of occupancy or building permit,
• the city planning and development council for your location clearance,
• the health center for your sanitary permit, and
• the fire department for your fire safety clearance.

Some of these offices may require additional fees and inspections. They may also issue you a temporary clearance, pending on-site investigation, just so you can finish your registration at the city hall. If that is the case, you will need to secure the actual clearances within 90 days after registration.

5. Submit your papers (clearances, receipts, and application printout) back at the city hall. You will be informed when to return to claim your permit. This could be within the day, but in some cases, it will be after a few days or even a few weeks. Make sure to get a contact number so you can call ahead and confirm that your permit is indeed ready before you return to claim it.

With your business permit (or at least, your official receipt) on hand, you may now proceed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for the last step in your business registration process.

Avoid the hassle of multiple visits and long lines at city hall. Hire Dayanan Business Consultancy to obtain your permits from city hall for you.