How do you really start a business in Batangas? Whether it be in Lipa or Batangas City, or a 4th class municipality like Mataasnakahoy, the rules for starting a business are almost same. This article will tackle on starting with yourself and your business idea, and will try to guide you in securing your government requirements. It will be a work in progress and allow me to add/delete details in the future. In the end, you will hear of some advice from seasoned Batangueno businessmen in starting your own business.
Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Putting up a business takes a lot of guts, because any business entails a lot of risks. Are you the type who wants security for your future? Will you have the time to manage your business hands-on? Do you have to borrow money to start your business idea? If your answer is no to all of these questions, then being a businessman might not be in your blood.
Your Business Idea
What is a good business idea? If you have a better product, a better service, or an entirely new product or service that will improve the lives of many, then you just might be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. Batanguenos are known as traders, and most of our wealthy kababayans made money this way. Right now though the market is saturated, and the real challenge for businessmen is to create new products and services that will 1) provide a solution to an existing problem and 2) create jobs for the community.
Once you believe you have that business idea, it’s time to draft your business plan. If this is your first time, it might be impossible to create a business plan on your own. Hire an accountant or a consultant to help you. You may also research online and sample business plans van be found here.
The discussion for franchising, which this author considers to be more of an investment rather than a business, will be on a separate article.
DTI and SEC
The first step in preparing your government requirements is to determine the ownership of your business. If you will be investing alone, then that’s a Sole Proprietorship. If you are investing with a friend, that’s a partnership. Both of these can be registered in your local DTI office, which in this case is in Lipa beside the Lipa City Cultural Center. Here’s the link to DTI’s Online Services.
If there are more than 2 owners, it will be best to register the business as a corporation. Corporations are registered at the Security and Exchange Commission or SEC in EDSA-Ortigas. Check the SEC Website for Articles of Incorporation samples, and some more information in creating a corporation.
Only during the registration with DTI or SEC will you finally decide on a business name. Yes you may have thought about it already in the business plan, but you will soon find out that your chosen name is most probably already registered with DTI or SEC. As such, prepare at least three (3) business names and try them in order of preference during registration.
Depending on the type of your business, you might need to get licenses from other Government Offices like the BFAD, DOLE, DOH.
After SEC or DTI registration, don’t wait too long to process your papers for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. You are only given one month to register with BIR, otherwise a stiff late registration fee is applied to your business. This is not a good way to start your business career. It doesn’t matter to the BIR that your business is not operating yet. They only consider the DTI or SEC registration dates. So go and register with BIR asap and just file Not in Operation Yet for your monthly tax requirements.
When you are finally settled with the national requirements, it’s now time to register locally. First you must get a Barangay Permit or Clearance to Operate Certificate in your Barangay Hall. This will cost anyhwere from P250 to P1000 depending on your Barangay laws. The Clearance to Operate will be part of your requirement in getting the Mayor’s Permit. During the application process, you will also have to secure a Fire/Sanitary/Engineer permits as well as other fees sanctioned by your town or city.
Others will argue that you should start with your local requirements first but this will not go well for you. First, your business name might not be approved nationally. Second, the DTI and SEC Registration and even BIR are most of the time required for the Mayor’s Permit application.
Watch out for advice and tips from successful Batangueno Businessmen.