To operate legally in the Philippines, businesses are expected to have a business permit, and keep it up-to-date every year. While it’s best to prepare your documents for business permit renewal at least a month before January, you’ll be able to meet the deadline as long as you don’t leave things until the last minute. Read on to know the documents you need to prepare for business permit renewals, the deadline for this year, and more!
What is a business permit?
A business permit, also known as a mayor’s permit, is a government license secured from your local government unit (LGU). It allows you to operate your business legally within the area of your LGU. It is also your local LGU’s way of ensuring you are paying business taxes and following health and safety standards.
Business permits can be obtained from your business LGU’s City Hall or Municipal Hall.
Who needs a business permit?
All businesses – sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or cooperatives – should have a business permit and renew it every year.
LGUs track the number of businesses under their jurisdiction by the number of business permits they issued for the year. In addition, potential customers and partners may also request for your business permit before conducting business to prove your business legitimacy.
When is the deadline for the annual renewal of business permits?
Business permit or mayor’s permit renewal is from January 1 to January 20 of every year. This deadline applies regardless of the date of your business registration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
What are the business permit renewal requirements?
The documentary requirements for business permit renewal varies depending on the LGU where your business is registered. Thus, check with your LGU to see the exact list of business permit renewal requirements for your area.
Most LGUs will require the following documents:
I. Barangay Business Permit
Also known as Barangay Clearance or Barangay Clearance Certificate, the Barangay Business Permit is a license that requires annual renewal before January 20. The barangay business permit can be obtained at your local Barangay Hall by providing the following documents:
- Latest Barangay Business Permit
- Official Receipt for payment of latest Barangay Business Permit
- Renewal application form
- Other requirements that may be asked by your local barangay
II. Business Permit from previous year
III. Official Receipt of Business Permit from the previous year
IV. Company Documents
- Community Tax Certificate (Cedula)
- Latest Income Tax Returns (annual, monthly, or quarterly)
- Latest Audited Financial Statements with proof of payment
- Value Added Tax Returns or Percentage Tax Returns, whichever is applicable
- Latest signed and notarized Contract of Lease, if renting
- DTI, SEC, or CDA Registration
- Information on number of employees at the time of renewal
- SSS/Pag-IBIG/Philhealth registrations of employees at the time of renewal
- If not operating during the previous year, an Affidavit of No Operations
V. Other documents specific to your LGU or type of business
Some LGUs request additional documents that pertain to your specific industry -- for instance, a Sanitary Permit for restaurants and businesses dealing with food and beverages. Thus, you may also need to submit the following:
- CENRO (Community Environment and Natural Resources Office) Certificate
- Sanitary Permit
- Fire Safety Inspection Certificate
- Comprehensive General Liability Insurance
- Occupation and Zoning Clearance Certificate
- Declaration of Gross Receipts
- Affidavit of No Operations, if your business did not operate or engage in financial transactions in the previous year
What are the fees I need to pay to renew my business permit?
- Local business tax (LBT)
- Mayor’s permit fee
- Sanitary inspection fee
- Garbage fee
- Building inspection fee
- Zoning fee
- Others fees as may be imposed by your LGU
Where do you renew your business permit?
You should first get a new Barangay Clearance or Barangay Business Permit at your local Barangay Hall before renewing your business permit at the City Hall or Municipal Hall.
Going to different offices to submit requirements takes a lot of time and energy. Thanks to the Ease of Doing Business Act, however, many LGUs have set up a business one-stop shop (BOSS) where you can get both your Barangay Business Permit and Mayor’s Permit. These one-stop shops can be found at the city hall, municipal hall, malls, and gymnasiums of your local area. Thus, check your LGU website or social media accounts for any announcements related to business permit renewal before going to your local City Hall or Municipal Hall.
Some LGUs implement a renewal schedule based on your business location or the last digits of your business permit number. Other LGUs also have hybrid business renewal systems, which lets you set an appointment schedule online before submitting the requirements in person. Visit your LGU's designated renewal stop or set an online appointment at your LGU website (if applicable), then follow these general steps:
- Get a renewal application form for barangay business permit at your barangay hall.
- Submit the requirements for assessment.
- Pay the processing fee and keep the receipts.
- Return to your barangay hall on the specified date by your LGU to get your barangay clearance.
- For the business permit or mayor’s permit, get the renewal application form at the city hall or municipal hall.
- Submit the requirements including your new Barangay Clearance for assessment
- Pay the processing fee and keep the receipt.
- Return to your city hall or municipal hall on the specified date by your LGU to get your business permit.
Business permit renewals can take one or two weeks, but some LGUs can release permits within the day.
Is business permit renewal online available?
Some LGUs offer online business permit renewals, while others only let you reserve a physical appointment via an online system. Most LGUs still require that you appear in person to submit your requirements and renew your business permit.
As of January 2024, the following LGUs have an online business permit renewal process (in addition to in-person renewals):
- Muntinlupa City
- Malabon City
- Navotas City
- Parañaque City
- Quezon City
- Valenzuela City
- Taytay, Rizal
- Imus, Cavite
- General Trias, Cavite
- Cagayan de Oro
- Carigara, Leyte
What is the penalty for late renewal of business permit?
Skipping or delaying business permit renewal or mayor’s permit renewal entails the following penalties under the Local Government Code of the Philippines: a 25% surcharge on the business tax assessed; an additional 2% penalty for every month of non-renewal, including surcharges; and the possible closure and/or seizure of properties and assets for cases of extreme delinquency.
What else do I need to know about business permit renewal?
Aside from your business permit, you will also need to renew the following permits and registrations every year:
- Barangay business permit: Deadline on January 20
- BIR annual registration fee: Deadline on January 31
Note that you cannot renew your business permit without renewing your barangay business permit or barangay clearance.
Accomplishing the process of getting a business permit can be a daunting task. However, it’s essential to all businesses because it can save you from legal, tax, and other financial problems in the future. Having an up-to-date business permit also helps you build trust and a good reputation from clients, partners, and the government.
We hope that this guide helps you meet your business obligations in time! If you need anything else for your business, especially with extending your working capital or finding the best options for business loans, just visit the First Circle blog to learn more.