Business Permit Application Guide for First-Time Entrepreneurs

Published: May 29, 2020 | Updated: September 25, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Government Services

Business Permit Application in the Philippines | Moneymax

Opening a new business soon? A critical task you should make time for is your business permit application. This document is your proof that you can legally operate in the city or town where your business is located—whether it’s a physical store, a courier service, an online shop, or any enterprise.

Read More: How to Register Your Online Business and Pay Taxes to BIR

So you can set up your business without fuss, know how to apply for a business permit properly. Here’s a simple guide for first-time business owners in the Philippines.

What is a Business Permit?

A business permit is a certification that your business is legitimate. Having this document means your business has the license to operate in the city or municipality where it’s registered.

This official document is also called the mayor’s permit because it’s processed by the local government unit (LGU) with jurisdiction over the place of business.

Business permits are issued to ensure that businesses pay taxes and comply with local regulations for safety, security, health, and sanitation. This document also entitles an individual or organization to any support provided by LGUs to businesses in their area.

Running an enterprise without this permit can result in penalties such as fines and imprisonment. In worst cases, the LGU may close the operations until a business permit is secured.

3 Things to Know Before Filing Your Business Permit Application

1. Apply for one ASAP

Business Permit Application in the Philippines - Get it asap

Being a new entrepreneur, you have so much on your plate as you prepare for your business launch. Despite that, it’s important to make your business permit application a priority.

Why? First, it’s required by law. Sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, cooperatives, foundations, and associations in the Philippines need to get a business license from their respective LGUs before they start operations.

Second, a business permit is one of the requirements for applications for business loans, government financial assistance programs, BIR registration, and other related transactions. It may also be required for when you apply as an authorized reseller/distributor of a brand or as an online seller on e-commerce marketplaces.

Thus, you need to get this permit first, so you can set up your new enterprise smoothly.

2. You Should Secure Other Documents First

Before filing your business permit application, you need to register your business with the appropriate government agency and secure other clearances and permits.

Business permit requirements take time and effort to process and obtain. You might not have these documents on hand yet, so secure them first.

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Business Permit Requirements

Every LGU has its own specific set of documents required for permit applications, but here are the typical requirements you have to obtain in the following order:

Business Permit Requirement


Where to Get It

Applicable business registration document:

  • Certificate of Business Name Registration (for single proprietors)
  • Articles of Partnership (for partnerships)
  • Articles of Incorporation (for corporations)
  • Certificate of Registration (for cooperatives/foundations/associations)
Proof of business registration
  • For single proprietors – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  • Partnerships and corporations – Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Cooperatives – Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
  • Foundations and associations – The regulating government agency
Barangay Business ClearanceProof of business locationBarangay hall with jurisdiction over the business location
  • Contract of Lease (if renting a commercial space)
  • Transfer Certificate of Title / Tax Declaration (if the property is owned)
Proof of business location and existenceOwner or building administrator of the leased property (if renting)
Sketch and photos of the locationProof of business location and existenceOwner or building administrator of the leased property (if renting)
Locational Clearance / Zoning Clearance

Proof of compliance with the city’s/municipality’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance

City Planning and Development Office of the city/municipal hall
Occupancy PermitProof that the structure where the business will operate has passed safety and health standards
  • Owner or building administrator of the leased property (if renting)
  • City Engineering Office of the city/municipal hall (if owned)
Public Liability InsuranceProtection against legal liabilities as a result of bodily injury/property damage to third parties in connection to the insured’s business operationAny Insurance Commission-accredited insurance company
Authorization letter/Special Power of Attorney and valid ID (if filed through a representative)Proof that the person is authorized to transact on behalf of the business ownerBusiness owner

Your LGU may impose additional requirements, taxes, and fees for business permit applications. To know what else you need to secure and how much the fees are, contact your mayor’s office or visit your LGU’s website.


3. The Application is Typically Done in Person

Business Permit Application in the Philippines - Typically done in person

Photo from PIA website[1]

Perhaps, you’re wondering if you could save time by getting a business permit online. That can be possible in the future, but for now, most LGUs process only walk-in applications.

This means you have to submit the requirements personally or through your authorized representative to the city or municipal hall where your business is located.

However, if you’ll open a business in Valenzuela City, you can use its integrated online permit system called #PaspasPermit[2]. Within seconds after payment confirmation, you’ll receive a provisionary business permit. The actual document will be delivered to you within three to five working days.

How to Apply for a Business Permit in the Philippines

Business Permit Application in the Philippines - How to apply

Application form from the Quezon City LGU[3]

Procedures for new applications vary per LGU. But to give you an idea of what to expect, here are the general steps to remember when you apply for a business permit.

  1. Go to the Business Permit and Licensing Office located within the premises of the city/municipal hall having jurisdiction over your business address.
  2. Secure and fill out the application form. The form is available on-site, or you can download it in advance from the LGU’s website.
  3. Submit the accomplished application form and other requirements. The personnel will evaluate your documents. Your application will also undergo an assessment of tax and fees.
  4. Pay for the assessed tax and fees to the cashier (once approved). Receive your official receipt.
  5. Claim your business permit. The document may be issued together with a registration plate/sticker or any other certificate. Make sure to display them prominently in your store or office.

Final Thoughts

A business permit application may look tedious because of its long list of requirements, but the actual procedure is simpler than you might expect.

Remember that business permits should be renewed annually. Make sure to renew your permit between January 2 and 20 of every year to avoid penalties and suspension of your business license.

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