For new businesses, it is essential to secure a Mayor’s Permit (also known as a Business Permit) from your Local Government Unit (LGU) where your business will be located. Although it might be tempting to delay this process to cut costs or avoid paying taxes, you would be surprised with the number of benefits you can get from having a Mayor’s permit in the long run. It does not only serve as your “license” to operate, but also opens more opportunities for your business. We have listed down some of its benefits which can hopefully convince you to go to your nearest municipal hall and obtain one.
I have mentioned previously how a business permit can work as your “license” to engage in commercial activities. You may brag about the name of your business, but nothing carries more credibility than the stamped business permits hanging on your wall. Customers coming in will be attracted to deal with a legitimate business, much more are the potential investors who would be interested to engage with a stable business like yours. If you also want to be involved in government projects, it is mandatory for your business to be registered first.
Obtaining a mayor’s permit grants that the business has complied and aligned with all the city or municipality’s rules and regulations. Moreover, it protects you, as the owner, and the business from being shut down or suspended for performing illegal or unauthorized activities. In other words, a business permit gives you a certain protection from being put under legal scrutiny.
Business permit allows you to file your personal and company’s taxes separately. This means that for the sake of record keeping, you would have a better report of your company’s income and losses over a given period. In some instances, LGUs also provide free assistance to licensed businesses who complied with their standards and guidelines. Giving the public the access to your business information can make you eligible to one of these programs.
Access to Business Financing
At the early stage of your business, you might not feel the need to apply for any type of financing – you might even try to avoid debts as much as possible. However, as the business grows bigger and more projects come in, you will find yourself looking for additional sources of funding. Whether you apply from a formal institution like banks or online lending companies like First Circle, the first thing they would ask for are your business permits. It does not only prove your legitimacy as a business, but also gives the creditor the confidence that they are only lending to good businesses.
How to get a Mayor's Permit for new businesses
The steps in registering for a mayor’s permit may vary depending on the city or municipality ordinance and regulations. If it is your first time to register, you must remember that a Business Permit is renewed every year, usually at the beginning of the calendar. Failure to renew the business permit on the prescribed period may incur penalties on your business.
1. Secure the Initial Requirements
- To learn more about getting a certificate of registration from the Securities and Exchange Commission click (SEC)
- To learn more about getting a certificate of registration from the Department of Trade and Industry click (DTI)
- To learn more about getting a certificate of registration from the Cooperative Development Authority click (CDA) *for cooperatives
2. File your Application Form to your BPLO
Once you have secured all the initial requirements, you may file them along with your accomplished application form to the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) at the city/municipal hall.
3. Get a Zoning Clearance
Go to the Office of the Municipal Planning and Development. Your documents will be assessed and verified by the Coordinator. An inspector may inspect your establishment for compliance of ordinances or ask for additional requirements. Once verified, the coordinator will give you your assessed fees depending on the project type and cost. After payment has been made, zoning clearance may be released.
4. Get a Fire Safety Inspection Permit
This may be obtained from the Bureau of Fire Protection. The BFP needs to conduct inspection first before they sign your clearance. If a site inspection will not be required, photos of the establishment must be presented along with the zoning clearance.
5. Get a Temporary Sanitation Permit
Go to your Sanitary Department/ Health and Sanitary Office and present your paid application requirements. For most cities and municipalities, a Sanitation Permit may only be obtained once mandatory office inspections have been completed such as:
• Microbiological water analysis (company office)
• Pest control from accredited pest control operators (the sanitary office has the list of their accredited pest control operators)
• Health certificate for all employees
6. Pay the necessary fees
Once you have completed the process, you may go back to the BPLO cashier’s office and pay the assessed fees for the permits and licenses (Mayor’s Permit Fee, Sanitary Fee, Service Fee, Local Fire Inspection Fee, Business Plate). The cost of the processing fee may depend on the scope of your business.
- Barangay – P 200
- City / Municipality – P 500
- Regional – P 1,000
- National – P 2,000
7. Release of Mayor’s/ Business Permit
After you have complied with all the requirements, you may now claim your Mayor’s or Business permit from the Releasing of Permits section. The average waiting time for the release of permits varies per city/ municipality. Others can process the same-day release, while some must wait for at least 3-5 business days.
Your Next Steps to a Successful Business
Once you’ve got your mayor’s permit, you’re one step closer to opening more doors to success. To learn more about tips on how to sustain and eventually grow your business, you can read our other tips on our blog.
Need business financing? Open a non-collateral credit line with First Circle for free today!