When starting a sole proprietorship business (not partnership or corporation) here in the Philippines, you should first get your business name registration certificate from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The good thing is that you can register your business name online, where you can process and download your certificate in the comfort of your own home. However, based on my experience, DTI’s online business name registration portal can sometimes be inaccessible and other times can have system errors that there is no way to proceed. I suggest calling their hotline number once these things happen.
So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to register a business name online using the DTI website:
Step 1. Go to the website: https://www.bnrs.dti.gov.ph. Click the “REGISTER NOW!” button.
Step 2. You will be taken to a page that contains the Terms and Conditions of your business name registration. Read through these terms and after doing so, click the button named “I Agree” at the bottom of the page.
Next, you will be prompted to do the following:
- Check whether you are a stateless person or not. (in most cases, no)
- Check whether you are a refugee or not. (in most cases, no)
- Choose your citizenship
- Enter your name, date of birth, civil status, and gender
After completing this, click the blue button at the bottom that says “Next.”A pop-up window will appear to confirm the data you have entered. Click the green button named “Proceed.”
Step 3. Choose the scope of your business. The next window will show the scope of your business, whether it is national, regional, city/municipality or barangay. Choose the most appropriate one.
Next, you will be required to enter the following:
- Region, City/Municipality and Barangay of your business.
- Dominant Name: This is where you type your desired business name. The name that you type will automatically be entered under the blank for the proposed Business Name.
- Business Name Descriptor: Type in what type of business you have. The data will load automatically, and you can choose from the dropdown list.
Go back for the Proposed Business Name and click the blue button named “Check Name Availability.” A pop-up window will show your proposed business name. If it is correct, click “Validate Business Name.” Wait for a few seconds as the system validates it. If there is an error, it will say “Please try again.” Repeat until you see the validation results that show whether you have passed the following rules:
- BN Structure, which means your business name has no special character
- No DESCRIPTOR in dominant field, which means the dominant name does not contain a descriptor
- Explicit Words, which means the business name has no offensive word content
- IPO Words, which means the business name has no IPO word content
- BN Reserved Words, which means the business name has no reserved word content
- Article Rule, which means the business name has no article content
- BN Registered, which means the business name is not registered
- BN Reserved, which means the business name is not reserved
If you want to change your business name, you can click the red button below that says, “Try Again” and you will be required to enter another business name.
Click Next. A pop-up window will show the details of your business name registration. If the data are correct, click “YES”. Write down your Transaction Reference Number (TRN) because you will need it during payment or when downloading your certificate online.
Step 4. Fill up your business details. You will be directed to a page that will enable you to enter the following details:
- Business address
- Personal information, such as your email address, phone number, TIN (Tax Information Number), and residence address
- Other details such as assets, capitalization, gross sales/receipts, and number of male and female employees
Click on “Next”. A pop-up will show, saying “You will not be able to change any details once you click the ‘Confirm and Proceed’ button.”. Click “Proceed”.
Step 5. It is time for payment.
On the payment page, the easiest way to pay is via “Gcash”. So if you don’t have a Gcash account you may ask a friend with an account and enough load to pay for your transaction. You may also go to any store or kiosk with the Gcash service available. For “Method of Receiving Business Name Document from DTI”, choose “Download”. In my case, I was able to download and print my certificate 24 hours after my payment.
Registering a DTI business name online and downloading the certificate is a fast, simple, and smooth process. However, as I’ve said, the DTI website that handles the job can sometimes be unreliable so best of luck to you.