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17 steps to starting a business in General Santos City

And why it\\\'s easy to start a business there
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General Santos City has been judged by the International Finance Corporation as the best city for entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the Philippines. With 17 procedures and 22 days for the entire process, the city has one of the most efficient processes in business registration among the Philippines\\\' 25 major cities.

Now, we share the 17 steps on how to register a business in the country\\\'s Tuna Capital based on the IFC\\\'s Doing Business in the Philippines 2011 book.

Step 1. Verify and reserve

The company name may be verified and reserved with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). There is no charge for the verification process, to check if the name is still available.

Step 2. Deposit paid-up capital

At least 6.25 percent of the authorized capital stock of the corporation shall be deposited in an Authorized Agent Bank, which in return issues a bank certificate of deposit. The paid-up capital shall not be less than P5,000.00.

Step 3. Have corporate documents notarized

The articles of incorporation and treasurer\\\'s affidavit shall be submitted to the notary public for notarization, deeming it public documents. The Corporation Code of the country provides that the articles of incorporation should be notarized before filing with the SEC.

Step 4. Register

The company can register either online through SEC i-Register or physically at the SEC office. Payments for registration, however, must be made at the SEC office. The following documents are required for SEC registration:

a. Company name verification slip;
b. Articles of incorporation (notarized) and by-laws;
c. Treasurer\\\'s affidavit (notarized);
d. Statement of assets and liabilities;
e. Bank certificate of deposit of the paid-in capital;
f. Authority to verify the bank account;
g. Registration data sheet with particulars on directors, officers, stockholders, and so forth;
h. Written undertaking to comply with SEC reporting requirements (notarized); and
i. Written undertaking to change corporate name (notarized).

Step 5. Pay the community tax

After the issuance of the SEC certificate of incorporation, pay the annual community tax and obtain the community tax certificate (CTC) from the City Treasurer\\\'s Office (CTO).

Step 6. Get a barangay clearance

This clearance is obtained from the barangay where the business is located and is required to obtain the business permit from the city or municipality. Barangay fees vary for each barangay since they have the discretion to impose their own fees and charges for as long as these fees are reasonable and within the limits set by the Local Government Code and city ordinances.

Step 7. Acquire business permits

Obtain application form from Business Permits and Licensing Division (BPLD).

Step 8. Have business permit application form notarized

Notarize the business permit application form at the notary public.

Step 9. Register your business with the Social Security System (SSS)

To register with the SSS, the company must submit the following documents:
a. Employer registration form (Form R-1);
b. Employment report (Form R-1A);
c. List of employees, specifying their birth dates, positions, monthly salary and date of employment; and
d. Articles of incorporation, by-laws and SEC registration.

SSS registration is a prerequisite to the issuance of the business permit by the BPLD.

Step 10. Register with the Philippine Health Insurance Company (PhilHealth)

To register with PhilHealth, the company must submit the following documents:
a. Employer data record (Form ER1);
b. Report of employee-members (Form ER2);
c. SEC registration;
d. BIR registration; and
e. Copy of business permit.

Philhealth registration is a prerequisite to the issuance of the business permit by the BPLD. While the SSS registration is a pre-requisite to Philhealth registration.

Step 11. Get necessary certificates and a taxpayer identification number from the BIR

The company must register each type of internal revenue tax for which it is obligated by filing of Bureau of Internal Revenue Form No. 0605 and paying the annual registration fee of P500. Upon registration, the BIR will issue to the company the certificate of registration—BIR Form No. 2303.

To obtain the TIN, the company has to file:
a. Barangay clearance;
b. Mayor\\\'s permit; and
c. Copy of its SEC registration.

For company registrations filed with the SEC Head Office in Metro Manila, the BIR confirms the pre-registered TIN issued by the SEC.

Step 12.  Pay necessary fees

The registration fee and documentary stamp taxes are paid with the respective AABs. The COR will be released only after all the DSTs are paid.

Step 13. Obtain a permit to Operate

Upon the applicant’s submission of the notarized application form, the BPLD personnel route the application form to the following offices:
1. Bureau of Fire Protection (to obtain the temporary FSIC)
2. City Engineering Office (CEO) (to obtain building clearance)
3. City Planning and Development Office (to obtain property index number and zoning clearance)
4. City Health Office (to obtain the sanitary permit)
5. City Environment Office (City ENRO) (to obtain environmental clearance)
6. City Treasurer’s Office (to obtain the land tax clearance, fiscal examination, and assessment and billing).

Once all the clearances are ready, the BPLD personnel will inform the applicant via phone call or SMS message.

Step 14. Prepare special books of account

Special books of accounts are required for registering with the BIR. The books of accounts are sold at bookstores nationwide. One set of journals consisting of four books (cash receipts account, disbursements account, ledger, general journal) costs about P400.00. If the company has a computerized accounting system (CAS), it may opt to register its CAS under the procedures laid out by the BIR.

Step 15. Get an authority to print receipts

The authority to print receipts and invoices must be secured before the sales receipts and invoices may be printed. The company can ask any authorized printing company to print its official forms, or it can print its own forms (i.e., it uses its computers to print loose-leaf invoice forms) after obtaining a permit from BIR for this purpose.

Step 16. Print receipts

Receipts and invoices can now be printed. These are necessary documents when transacting with potential clients and suppliers.

Step 17. Get stamped

Your books of accounts and Printer’s Certificate of Delivery (PCD) should be stamped by the BIR.

Eyeing other locations for your new business? Check out the 10 Philippine cities where starting a business is a breeze


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