You are maybe one of the many Filipinos who started their own business when the health crisis started. After some time, the demand for your product starts to grow. As such, it’s best that you register your business right away. There are a lot of things to do, but for today, we’ll start with the most basic one: having a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) registration.
Most small business owners in the Philippines might find registration hard and intimidating. Still, someone has to do it, as having the proper permits can actually benefit your business in the long run.
There are different government entities that you have to register your business. But for today, we’ll be teaching you how to get the easiest one, a DTI Registration or Business Name Registration.
Why do I have to register to the DTI and is it a requirement?
Before applying for other permits, you must first have a DTI Certificate. And as per the Republic Act No. 3883 or the Business Name Law, you’re only allowed to use your real name for your business unless you register to the DTI.
So instead of calling your restaurant Juan Dela Cruz, you can call it Juan’s Eatery or Juan’s Food House. What’s more, having your business name registered to the DTI means that no other business can steal it from you.
What is DTI BNRS?
The Department of Trade Business Name Registration System is an online portal that lets new and old small business owners and entrepreneurs get their DTI permits, right in the comfort of their homes.
What are the requirements for DTI registration?
- Have your business name ready. For safety, you may want to have at least one back up name if the first choice is already taken or doesn’t fit with DTI’s guidelines.
- Tax ID Number (TIN)
- Filled out registration form (for those who will apply physically)
- Application fee
How much is the DTI registration fee?
The registration fee will depend on the territorial scope you choose. But whatever you pick, they will all come with a Php30 documentary stamp fee.
What territorial scope to choose in DTI registration?
The territorial scope determines where your business operates. If you’re a home-based business or freelancer, you can settle for “Barangay” since it’s cheaper. If you’re an online seller offering your own brand then you might want to go with “City/Municipality” or “Regional.”
But if you plan on expanding your business by having branches across the country then you might want to spend a little more and go with “National.”
What is Dominant Name and Business Name Descriptor?
Let’s say you want to call your business “Monica’s Bakery”. Your dominant name will be “Monica’s” and the descriptor will be “Bakery.”
What Business Names are allowed by the DTI?
- Not a name used to distinguish or suggest a quality of the product.
- Not a name that connote activities that are unlawful, immoral, scandalous or contrary to propriety.
- Not a name that’s already registered by any government agency authorized to register names or trademarks.
- Not a name that may threaten the security of the State.
- Not a name that sounds really generic (e.g. The Drugstore, Health Care Clinic).
- The name shouldn’t be restricted by law or regulation; or that which cannot be legally appropriated (e.g. Red Cross, Red Crescent, ISIS).
- The name shouldn’t be officially used by the government in its non-proprietary functions.
- It shouln’t be a name or abbreviation of any nation, inter-governmental or international organization, unless authorized by a competent authority of that nation, inter-governmental or international organization.
- Not subject of an order by any administrative agencies/bodies or regular courts prohibiting the registration thereof.
- Not a name of other persons.
- Not deceptive, misleading or one that misrepresents the nature of the business.
Do I have to use the DTI registered business name in my marketing materials?
Not necessarily. The name you’d be registering to the DTI and other government agencies are referred to as Business Name, while the name you’d be using in marketing materials and the one your patrons will remember is called Trade Name.
For example, “7-Eleven” is considered a trade name. However, in the Philippines, it’s operated by a registered business called Philippine Seven Corp.
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How to apply for a DTI registration and certificate
Step 1: Visit the Business Name Registration portal on DTI’s website. You can read the highlighted items below. These are guidelines you have to remember when coming up with a business name.
Step 2: Scroll down and read the other notices just to be sure. Then, click “I Agree.”
Step 3: Type in all the personal details that are being asked. After filling up, click “Next.”
Step 4: Confirm that all the details you entered are correct. Once clear, click “Proceed”.
Step 5: Pick your Business Scope. If you’re not sure what to choose, you can refer to our guide above.
Step 6: After choosing a scope, scroll down and type in your Dominant Name and Business Name Descriptor. Once done, click “Check name availability”.
If you get the “Result not yet processed. Please click the check name availability button.” error, repeat the process and click the “Check name availability” button once again.
Step 7: You can choose to change the naming order. Once settled, click “Validate Business Name.”
Step 8: DTI’s system will check if the name you choose is good to go. If you get a “Passed” sign on all rules, you’re good to go. Scroll down and click “Next.”
But if you get a “Failed” mark, act upon the rule it corresponds to. In the sample below, you can see that the BN (Business Name) is already registered, so you have to pick a different one. Type a new Dominant name and click Check Name Availability again until everything is marked as “Passed”. Once clear, scroll down and click “Next.”
Step 9: Confirm all the details. Make sure everything is correct since you won’t be able to change them moving forwards.
Step 10: You’d be given a reference code. You can copy and paste it to the Notepad app, write it on a piece of paper, take a screenshot, or whatever method that will allow you to access it in the future.
You’d be needing the reference code if you plan to access your DTI application at a later time.
Step 11: Here you have to fill up some of the more detailed information about you, the business owner. That includes the address, TIN numbers, etc. Click “Next” and if you’re 100% sure every detail you put is correct, click “Confirm and Proceed.”
If you’re not sure about some of the items, you can scroll down at the bottom and click “Resume Later”. Once you’re ready again, visit this site, type in your reference code, and you’re back from where you left.
Step 12: Pay for the transaction fees. Since you’re doing the process online, it’s best to also pay using e-wallet services like GCash or PayMaya. Once paid, you’re done. Your DTI registration is complete and you can now download your DTI certificate.
How to pay for DTI registration fee using GCash?
Step 1: Proceed to Step 5 of the registration process or the one called Summary Page.
Step 2: Tap GCash in the payment options.
Step 3: Type your GCash mobile number. Then, tap “Transact” or “Proceed” after.
Step 4: You’d be asked to type your GCash’s 4-digit MPIN. Alternatively, it may ask for the one-time password (OTP) that was sent to you via text messages. Type that in, then your GCash MPIN, and click confirm.
Step 5: You’re basically done. You shall get a pop-up window confirming that the transaction was successful.
How to print the DTI certificate
After successfully completing the application process, you can download and print the DTI certificate right on the spot. But if you already logged out, you can follow the steps below to get back and get the certificate:
- Visit the BNRS Transaction Inquiry page here.
- Scroll down and click “I agree”.
- Type in the Reference Code, which was given to you during the application process. Click “Search”.
- Click on the reference number, which is highted in blue.
- You have to type the verification code that was sent on the email you used upon registration. If you can’t find the email, try checking the spam folder.
- You’re now presented with your full DTI registration details. At the bottom of the page click “Certificate” under the Downloadable Contents section.
- Your DTI certificate will be downloaded automatically as a PDF file. It’s best to have it printed in color.
What to do after DTI registration
Once you now have a DTI certificate, you can now apply for Baranggay Business Clearance, Mayor’s Permit, and lastly, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Well, basically that’s it. We’ll update this guide in case DTI announces new updates for its BNRS and online registration processes.