If there was no Internet, registering a new business or renewing your business registrations would be too stressful – especially if you are a hands-on business owner.
Filing multiple documents across different government agencies gets costly if you’re doing it in person. You would have to: travel from one agency to another to fill forms, submit them with other necessary documents, follow up the application status, and finally get your certificates of registration.
Fortunately, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Anti-Red Tape Authority launched the Central Business Portal (CBP). This platform streamlines the online business registration process – saving all business owners time and money.
The Central Business Portal
The Central Business Portal (https://business.gov.ph/home) is a one-stop online platform for accessing business services from DTI, BIR, SEC and other government agencies. The portal aims to help Filipino business owners complete their business registrations and licenses in one single site. The portal also helps new business owners determine the nature of their business.
As of writing, only new applications for business registration are available. However, other government services for business owners will soon be consolidated on the platform. The next phase of development includes online certificates of registration from DTI business registration and CDA; renewal for permits and registrations; and services for closing businesses.
How to use the Central Business Portal
Before you can access registration services, you must first create a Central Business Portal account.
- Go to https://business.gov.ph/signup.
- On the sign-up page, fill out the form with your basic data: name, mobile number and email address.
- In your email, you will receive an account verification link that you must click to finish creating the account.
Registrations and licenses available on Central Business Portal
1. Company Registration Number (CRN). Depending on your company type, you’ll have to apply or renew this with different government agencies:
- For sole proprietors: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
- For corporations and partnerships: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- For cooperatives: Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
2. Business Tax Identification Number (TIN) and Certificate of Registration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
3. Business license from industry regulators
4. Business permit from the city or municipal government where your main business is located
5. Employer Number and employee registration with Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)
How to apply for Central Business Portal services
- Prepare your business name. You’ll be using this on the Central Business Portal forms moving forward.
- Go to https://business.gov.ph/login. Click the “Register a Business” button to start an application.
- Choose the business entity that you want to register for. To help you follow the proper registration process and receive the appropriate business privileges, CBP describes each type of business registration in their Help Center. You will choose from: sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, and cooperative.
- Fill out the rest of the registration form with your personal and business details. After submission, the corresponding government agency (DTI, SEC, or CDA) will review your form.
- Review and pay the application fees, such as Annual Registration Fee and Documentary Stamp Tax. You can pay through e-payment or in person using the payment details from CBP.
Once your payment is processed, the corresponding agency handling your registration will issue your Company Registration Number and electronic Certificate of Registration. You will need these to proceed with tax registration, employee registration, and business license and permit.
To check your application status, log in to the portal and choose “Know My Application Status” on the CBP home page.
As part of the registration form above, you will answer a tax type questionnaire from BIR. The CBP will then identify your business tax type and taxes to pay based on your answers.
Take note that once you save your answers to the tax type questionnaire, it cannot be modified. Corrections or modifications must be done at the BIR Revenue District Office (RDO) overseeing your business registration.
After you pay and receive your Certificate of Registration, the CBP will also generate BIR Form 0605, which contains your business TIN. You must visit the BIR office with your generated documents to apply for an Authority to Print Receipts, or buy BIR Printed Receipts/Invoices.
The portal will also provide employer registration forms so you can get an Employer Number (EN) from SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG. If you have no Human Resources team, your employees must present your EN at each concerned agency. This is so they can apply for membership account numbers or make government contributions.
Through the CBP’s Employee Reporting System, you can inform the agencies on the number of employees you have, their names, and their membership account number. Doing so ensures your employees are covered by social security, health and home loan benefits and privileges.
Having a registered business name does not automatically allow your business to operate. You must also get a business license. This will indicate how long you can operate your business, and when you’ll need to renew.
On your initial registration, CBP will also help determine the industry sub-class and licenses required for your business. Depending on your business, you may need a license with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Insurance Commission, or any other administrator overseeing your business industry.
CBP also provides an Online Unified Business Permit Application form for 18 pilot local government units (LGU), including Quezon City, Camarines Norte, Zamboanga Del Sur, and Davao Oriental. See the full list of LGUs here: https://arta.gov.ph
If your LGU is included in the list, go to CBP’s home page and click "Online Unified Business Permit Application" on the lower left side. It should show four types of application:
- New for first-time business owners
- Renewal for existing owners
- Amendment to change a previously-approved application
- Short Term/Special Permit for business activities with a short duration
For renewals, you can only set an appointment to visit your corresponding LGU in CBP.
Why do you need business registrations and permits?
Completing your business registration – and ensuring they are renewed right before expiry – is crucial for all business owners. First, it is required by law to operate your business. A business registration gives you legitimacy, preventing legal problems and letting you freely advertise your business.
Your registration also gains you trust among customers, business partners and job applicants. Lastly, it shows your commitment to sell fairly to customers, pay taxes, and provide employee benefits to employees as required by law.
We wish you luck on your online business registration!