So you’re planning to start a new business. You’ve already drafted your business plan and saved enough money as capital. But before you get your business permits, you must first register your business name with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The DTI has made it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to register their business through the DTI Business Name Registration System (DTI BNRS) website.
Registering a sole proprietorship business used to be an exhausting, time-consuming experience. Would-be entrepreneurs had to go through bureaucratic red tape to come up with the legal permits necessary to start their business operations. Oftentimes, registering your sole proprietorship business takes several days or even more than a week.
It came to a point that the Philippines has become notorious for its lengthy business registration process. The government recognized this and took steps to improve the ease of doing business by reducing red tape and moving the DTI business registration process to the Internet.
Through DTI BNRS, you no longer have to visit the DTI office to register your business name and get your DTI certificate of business registration. Everything is done online, including payment. You will receive your DTI permit or certificate through email and you can print it for use when applying for your mayor’s permit and other business legalities.
Choosing Your Business Name
Coming up with a great name is one of the hardest things to do when starting a new business. Aside from choosing a memorable business name, you must also comply with the following guidelines from the DTI:
- Not composed of mostly generic or geographical words (such as The Pawnshop, Manila Supermarket);
- Not used for a business that is offensive, illegal, scandalous, inappropriate or contrary to public morals (such as X-Rated Video House);
- Not the same or similar as an existing registered business, partnership or corporations, and must not violate or infringe on a trademark or tradename (such as MacDonna Restaurant, Ayphone Repair Shop);
- Not suggestive of the quality of a product or service (such as Best Lechon Manok, World Class Auto Repair);
- Not used by the government or any government agency (such as PNP Security Services, DOST General Merchandise);
- Not used by any national, international or inter-governmental organization (such as ASEAN Trading)
- Not a name that cannot be appropriated by law or regulation (such as Intelligence, State College); and
- Not deceptive, misleading or a misrepresentation of the name of business (such as Sunshine Marketing when the nature of business is travel).
In the past, you are required to submit three proposed business names. That is a big headache to entrepreneurs because coming up with one name is already hard enough! The good news is that the DTI BNRS website now only requires you to choose a single business name.
Make sure that your proposed business name is not already taken. You can use the DTI BNRS website’s search function to check if there is already an existing business that carries your proposed business name. In any case, the system will check if your proposed business name matches an existing business during the DTI online registration process, and will inform you of such.
If you have already come up with a unique name for your sole proprietor business, the next step is to register your business name with the DTI.
DTI Business Registration Step-by-Step Process
The Department of Trade and Industry has revamped the DTI BNRS website to make it more user-friendly and accessible to ordinary Filipinos. Compared to the old website, the new DTI BNRS website has a sleek and modern look. Each step in the DTI business registration process is streamlined and easy to understand.
Step 1: Visit the DTI BNRS Website
Open the DTI BNRS website on your browser: www.bnrs.dti.gov.ph. Click “Register Now.”
Read the terms and conditions, especially the part about choosing your business name.
When you’re done, click the “I Agree” button near the bottom of the page.
Step 2: Enter Your Personal Information
Enter your personal data including complete name, citizenship, date of birth, civil status, and gender. Required fields are indicated by a red asterisk (*).
You will be asked to answer if you are a “stateless person” or a refugee. In most cases, the answer should be “No.”
Take note that your entered information will be automatically capitalized, so you don’t need to use the Shift or Caps Lock keys.
Click “Next” to proceed.
A pop-up window will appear with the information you entered. If everything is correct, click “Proceed.”
Step 3: Choose the Scope and Proposed Business Name
Choose the business scope as follows:
- City or municipality
The business scope is the geographical area in which the business may have its offices, branches, stores, factories, and other business structures or facilities. You can engage in business outside your scope as long as you don’t have an office, facility or building there. So for example, if your business scope is limited to Makati, you can still transact or do business in Cebu as long as you don’t have a physical presence in the latter.
If you’re planning to open a store or rent an office in different places, then it’s better to choose “National” as the business scope. But if you only plan to have an office or shop in Makati, for example, then choose “City/Municipality.”
Choose the region, city/municipality, and barangay (if necessary). Enter the Dominant Name of your business and the Business Name Descriptor.
The dominant name is a word or a group of words that is unique to your business. The business name descriptor is a word or a group of words that pertains to the nature of your business according to the Philippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC).
For example, if your business name is “Maria Clara Department Store,” the dominant name is “Maria Clara” and the business name descriptor is “Department Store.”
After choosing your proposed business name, click “Check Name Availability.”
A pop-up will appear with your proposed business name. Click “Validate Business Name.”
The result of the business name validation will be shown, whether it passed or failed all the name availability rules. If one or more rule is shown as failed, you will have to choose a different name. You can click “Try another name” to choose a new name.
If all availability rules are passed, click “Next” to proceed to the next step.
A pop-up will appear with the details of your DTI business registration. If you’re not too happy with your choice, just click “No” to go back to the previous steps.
Click “Yes” to confirm your business name registration.
You will be given a reference code which can be used to access your transactions in the DTI BNRS website. Just enter the reference code in the transaction inquiry page to do so.
Step 4: Enter Your Business Information
Complete your business name registration by entering all the required information. Some fields are already filled up from the previous steps and cannot be changed.
Additional information that must be included are mobile number, email address and residence address.
Click “Next” when you’re done.
A summary of your business information will be shown. Click “Next.”
A confirmation message will appear. Click “Confirm and Proceed” to continue.
Read the Undertaking carefully. You may click “Download” to download the sole proprietorship application form (BNR Form No. 01-2018).
You will also receive an email from the DTI with your reference code and instructions on how to pay for your DTI permit or certificate.
Click “Proceed” to go to the payment page.
Step 5: Pay the Registration Fee
This is where you will pay for your DTI certificate of business name registration. The total payable amount is the processing fee based on the business scope plus the ₱30 documentary stamp fee.
Choose your payment method (GCash, Visa/MasterCard/JCB, PayMaya, Landbank, Smart Padala, or DTI/teller). Some payment methods cannot be selected which means that they are not available at that moment.
Click “Proceed Payment” to go ahead with the payment.
In my case, I chose the Visa/MasterCard/JCB option, which is being handled by PayMaya. Unfortunately, my debit card was rejected and the transaction failed, but I was still able to go back to the DTI BNRS website to make another attempt.
Don’t worry if you can’t complete this step right away. You can always go back where you left off by going to the transactions inquiry page and entering your reference code.
After payment, you will redirected back to the DTI BNRS website and the transaction status will be listed as completed and paid. At the bottom of the page, you will see links to download your DTI certificate as well as the official receipt.
You will also receive another email containing your DTI permit and official receipt in PDF format, which you can download and print for future use.
Congratulations! Your business is now registered with the DTI. The next step is to apply for your mayor’s permit and other pertinent documents in order to start doing business.
If you want to update your business information, such as changing the business scope or address, you can do it by going to the update information page and entering your reference code. You can even cancel your registration with just a few clicks.
As you can see, the DTI business registration process can now be done completely online, thanks to the revamped DTI BNRS website. It’s nice to get your DTI permit or certificate of business name registration in the comforts of your home, without going to the DTI office and filling up an application form.
Hopefully, the government will continue to make the entire business registration process much faster and easier for ordinary Filipinos. Small businesses are the foundation of a strong economy, and making life easier for entrepreneurs and business owners is one of the best ways to encourage entrepreneurship in the country.
If you have any questions or clarifications about the DTI online registration process, don’t hesitate to contact the DTI BNRS Help Desk at (02) 890-1302, (02) 251-1223 and 09175953930, or email [email protected].