By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
If you are a Filipino, 18 years old and above, and would like to start a single proprietorship business, you must first register your chosen business name with the Department of Trade and Industry.
A business name guarantees your legal and exclusive right for its use within a five year-period, renewable thereafter. No other can use it or register the same name depending on the scope of territory of the business. Take note though that a business name is not a license to run a business. You’ll need to secure a business permit and other related documents for that purpose.
“The Department of Trade and Industry is your first stop to do a business for sole proprietorship,” said Lilian Salonga, director of the DTI Competitiveness Bureau.
The Business Name Law or Act 3883, which regulates the use in business transactions of names other than true names, a person intending to engage in business, is required to initially register a name, other than its true name with the DTI, before such name is used in any business transactions.
Starting February 2019, all applications for DTI business name registration should be filed through the Business Name Registration System (BNRS). No need to visit a DTI office to get a Certificate of Business Name Registration.
Here are the steps to register your business name online through the Business Name Registration System https://bnrs.dti.gov.ph.
Check if your prospective business name is available. Go to the Business Name Search page of the BNRS website and type the keywords of your preferred trade name.
Access the New Registration page of the BNRS site and read the Terms and Condition. When you’re done, click the I Agree button at the bottom of the page.
Fill out the online registration form. Fields marked with a red asterisk must not be left blank. Your tax identification number (TIN) must also be provided on the online form. But what is good with the BNRS is you can get four numbers already – SSS, BIR, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG.
Proceed with your DTI business registration online once you’ve confirmed that your target business name is still available. Once your business name has been approved, the next step is pay.
There are four kinds of fees depending on the scope of your business. If your business is just for barangay, you have to pay P200 plus P15 documentary stamp. For city level, the fee is P515 and P1,015 for regional in scope. For national coverage, the fee is P2,015.
You can pay at the DTI office or Negosyo Center indicated in your Transaction Reference Number (TRN) acknowledgment form. For convenience, make your online payment immediately during your DTI business registration via e-wallet, mobile banking like LANDBANK Link.BizPortal, or any payment platform such as PayMaya or GCash.
Once done, claim your Certificate of Business Name Registration at the nearest DTI office or download it for printing.
This online registration process can take an average of 8 minutes only.
If you have no access to internet, don’t worry DTI still accommodates walk-in clients applying for business name registration in all DTI Regional and Provincial Offices including its Negosyo Centers. The process is just the same as the online but you are being assisted by a DTI staff in the processing of your application. You have to fill-up a 2-page form, present a government issued ID, have your business name approved. Make sure to have a list of backups in case your three proposed business names are already taken.
Once DTI approves your business name, the next step is go to the cashier to pay the registration fee. At the end of the line, you are given a Business Name Certificate.
If you have completed all the requirements, this manual kind of business name registration can take 15 minutes only.
With your business name certificate, you may now proceed to your city or municipality to get your Mayor’s Permit, that is your license to open a business.
In 2018, 25 percent of the total number of business name registrations (new and renewal) were processed online, while 75 percent or walk-in applicants processed through DTI business name frontliners or DTI offices.
This year, more entrepreneurs have processed their business name registration online. As of October this year, 33 percent business name registrations were processed online, 67 percent through frontliners.