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Make it official: 5 steps to registering your startup

Not only does a registered business give you and your company credibility, it also opens you up to bigger clients.
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For many startups—home-based and freelancers alike—the first few experiences of doing business is of the informal kind (i.e. no receipts, no taxes). But once you gain more customers and begin to grow, you’ll need to make it official. It’s actually not as hard as you think.

[related|post]Registration. Ah. The dreaded business registration process. But that was decades ago. Thanks to the Internet, you can now register as many business names as you want without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. While this is may be the first step in the entire registration process, give yourself a pat on the back nonetheless. You are on your way to having a legal personality. Not only does a registered business give you and your company credibility, it also opens you up to bigger clients who know that home-based and freelance businesses are cheaper than those who pay rent.


1. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has made registering your business name easier with its Business Name Registration System (BNRS). Log on by visiting and check if the business name you have in mind is already taken. To save time, think of three to five possible names for back up.

2. Create your own account by filling in your full name and e-mail address. The BNRS will send your password to your e-mail, and using the password, login into your free account.

3. Once you’re logged in, go to the Online Services tab and click on the request for a New Application. After reading and understanding the Terms and Conditions, click the button indicating you agree and proceed to filling up the online application form.

4. Once complete, submit the online application form and to receive an e-mail notifying you of the approval of your application. If approved, you’ll receive a Transaction Reference Number Acknowledgement Form (TRNAF), which you will need to print, sign, and later submit to the DTI Office together with the following:



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