List of Business Permits and Licenses in the Philippines

People do business to make a living, serve their community, and pursue their dreams. It is good to hear a person who’s taking risk to start his or her business, whether small, medium or big. However, the process of starting and registering a business can be one of the most crucial stages of doing business. Getting the right permits and licenses should be done before running a business, otherwise, you may end up operating a business without a license, which can be punishable under certain business laws. That is why if you are an aspiring business person or entrepreneur, and if you want to conform with the government’s rules on establishing and legalizing a business, you have to be aware of the following list of business permits and licenses in the Philippines.

Basic permits

The following are the business permits and licenses that are generally required to all business industries.

1. Barangay Clearance – The barangay clearance is a certificate that your business complies with the requirements of the barangay where your business is located. To get a barangay clearance, you may visit the barangay office where your business is located.

2. DTI Business Name (BN) Registration Certificate – This is the certificate of registration of your business trade name. It gives you the power to use your registered business trade name for business operation. It also protects your business name against being used and registered by other business establishments. However, take note that DTI registration only gives you the authority to use your business trade name, but it doesn’t give you the license to start operating your business without getting the required licenses from other government offices, such as BIR and Local Government Office (Mayor’s Office). Check out our post on how to register a business trade name with the DTI.

3. SEC Certificate of Registration – Corporations (stock or non-stock) and partnerships have to secure a certificate of incorporation or certificate of partnership with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to be considered as legal or juridical entities. These certificates are also used as a requirement for registering with the BIR, Mayor’s Office, and other government offices. Take note that sole proprietorship businesses are not registered with SEC, but they are registered with the DTI. To register with SEC, you may reach the following SEC address and contact information.

SEC Building, Edsa, Greenhills, Mandaluyong City
Tel. Nos.: (+632) 726.0931 to 39
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or (for online registration)

4. Mayor’s Business Permit. Businesses have to secure a Mayor’s Business Permit or the Local Government Office where their business are located and operated. Requirements in obtaining a Mayor’s Business permit vary from different cities or municipalities. This permit is also a requirement by the BIR in issuing a BIR certificate of registration. You may read our post on how to get a Mayor’s Business Permit for more information.

5. BIR Certificate of Registration. Any business must be registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue to comply with the Philippine tax requirements. BIR registration will assign a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) to the company or business owner, will give the business authority to print its official receipts and invoices, and registered its books of accounts. To register with the BIR, you have to go to the BIR office which has the jurisdiction of the place where your business is located. You may check out our post here about registering a business with the BIR.

6. SSS Employer’s Registration. Republic Act No. 8282 or otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 1997 requires businesses or business owners who use the services of another person or employees in business, trade, industry, or any undertaking to be registered with the SSS (Social Security System). For more information, check out our post on how to register a business with the SSS.

7. PhilHealth Employer’s Registration. All businesses and employers are also required to register with PhilHealth to enable them to provide social health insurance coverage to their employees. To check the requirements of registering your business with PhilHealth, please visit this page.

8. Pag-IBIG Employer’s Registration. Employers also have to register with the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) to secure their Pag-IBIG Employer ID Number and to provide the required benefits to their employees, who should be Fund members. Please visit Pag-IBIG website for the registration process.

9. DOLE Registration. Businesses with five or more employees are encouraged to register with the Department of Labor of Employment (DOLE) for the purpose of monitoring their compliance with labor regulations. For companies with 50 or more workers, they are required to register with DOLE, under the Bureau of Local Employment which administers the registration of establishments.



Special permits

The following are the special or secondary permits that are usually required for business establishments with special operation or industry.

10. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) – for banks, financing companies, pawnshops, money changers, and other financial institutions.

11. Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) – for business related in the manufacturing, trading, repacking, importing, exporting, distributing of any products related to food and drugs.

12. Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) – for business related to animals.

13. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) – for business related in fishing and aquatics products.

14. Bureau of Forest Development – for exporters of forest products (e.g. logs, lumber products, plywood, etc.).

15. Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) – for business related to plants and vegetable crops.

16. Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Education (DepEd) – for entities involved in providing education.

17. DTI-Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) – For commodity clearance for producers, manufacturers or exporters, whose product quality after due inspection, sampling, and testing, is found to meet established standards.

18. Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) – for business related in fiber producing products.

19. Forest Management Bureau (FMB) – for business related in lumber, logs, and other wood product.

20. Garments and Textile Industry Development Office (GTIDO) – For all manufacturers of garments and textile for exports.

21. Insurance Commission (IC) – for insurance and other IC regulated entities.

22. Intellectual Patent Office (IPO) – for registering your trademarks, logos, slogans, processes and secret formulas.

23. National Food Authority (NFA) – for rice, corn and flour dealers.

24. National Subcontractors Exchange (SUBCONEX) – for those interested to tie up with export oriented firms as sub-contractors/suppliers, provided they fall under any of the following sectors: garments and handwoven fabrics, gifts and housewares, furniture and fixtures, footware and leather goods, fresh and processed foods, and jewelry.

25. National Tobacco Administration (NTA) – for business related to tobacco products.

26. Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) – for businesses related in grain-rice farming and trading.

27. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) – for institutions involve in technical education and skills development.

There are maybe other business permits that are required for certain types of businesses aside from what we have listed and mentioned above. Moreover, please remember that legalizing your business doesn’t only extend to registering it and securing a license or permit. A legalized and compliant business is one that consistently complies with the government’s laws and regulations from registration, to operation, and until cessation.

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