Philippine Laws on Business Name Registration: What You Need to Know

Registering a business name in the Philippines is a crucial step for entrepreneurs and business owners. It ensures that the business name is legally recognized and protected, and it enables the business to operate officially. Understanding the legal requirements and procedures for business name registration is essential for compliance and smooth operations. This guide will provide an overview of the key aspects of business name registration under Philippine laws.

Key Legal Frameworks

  1. Business Name Law (Republic Act No. 3883)

    • Governs the registration and use of business names in the Philippines.
  2. Revised Corporation Code (Republic Act No. 11232)

    • Governs the registration and regulation of corporations, including the use of business names.
  3. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regulations

    • The DTI administers the registration of business names for sole proprietorships and partnerships.
  4. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Regulations

    • The SEC handles the registration of business names for corporations.

Steps for Business Name Registration

  1. Determine the Appropriate Type of Business Entity

Requirement: Decide whether the business will be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Considerations:

  • Sole Proprietorship: Owned and managed by one person. Simple and inexpensive to register.
  • Partnership: Owned by two or more persons. Requires a partnership agreement.
  • Corporation: A separate legal entity owned by shareholders. More complex and involves stricter regulations.
  1. Conduct a Business Name Search

Requirement: Ensure the chosen business name is unique and not already registered. Process:

  • DTI BNRS: For sole proprietorships and partnerships, use the DTI Business Name Registration System (BNRS) to check the availability of the business name.
  • SEC Name Verification: For corporations, use the SEC Name Verification System to check name availability.
  1. Prepare the Necessary Documents

Requirement: Gather and prepare all required documents for business name registration. Documents Needed:

  • Sole Proprietorship: Completed application form, valid government-issued ID, and proof of payment of registration fees.
  • Partnership: Partnership agreement, completed application form, valid government-issued IDs of partners, and proof of payment of registration fees.
  • Corporation: Articles of Incorporation, by-laws, completed application form, valid government-issued IDs of incorporators, and proof of payment of registration fees.
  1. Register the Business Name

Process for Sole Proprietorship and Partnership:

  • Online Registration: Register the business name online through the DTI BNRS portal.
  • Payment of Fees: Pay the registration fee, which varies based on the territorial scope (Barangay, City/Municipality, Regional, or National).
  • Issuance of Certificate: Upon approval, the DTI will issue a Certificate of Business Name Registration.

Process for Corporation:

  • SEC Registration: Submit the required documents to the SEC for registration.
  • Payment of Fees: Pay the necessary fees for name verification and registration.
  • Issuance of Certificate: Upon approval, the SEC will issue a Certificate of Incorporation, which includes the registered business name.

Legal Requirements and Restrictions

  1. Name Uniqueness

Requirement: The business name must be unique and distinguishable from existing registered names. Considerations:

  • Similarity: Avoid names that are similar to existing registered names to prevent confusion and potential legal disputes.
  • Generic Names: Avoid generic or descriptive names that do not clearly distinguish the business from others.
  1. Prohibited Words and Phrases

Requirement: Certain words and phrases are prohibited or restricted in business names. Considerations:

  • Misleading Terms: Avoid terms that are misleading or imply activities not allowed by law.
  • Government Affiliation: Do not use words that suggest affiliation with government agencies or international organizations without proper authorization.
  • Offensive Language: Avoid words or phrases that are offensive, immoral, or contrary to public policy.
  1. Renewal and Validity

Requirement: Business name registration is valid for five years and must be renewed to remain active. Process:

  • Renewal Application: Submit a renewal application to the DTI or SEC before the expiration date.
  • Updated Documents: Provide updated documents if there have been changes in the business structure or ownership.

Best Practices for Business Name Registration

  1. Choose a Strategic Name

    • Select a business name that reflects the brand identity, values, and target market of the business. Consider future expansion and scalability.
  2. Verify Name Availability Early

    • Conduct a name search early in the business planning process to avoid conflicts and ensure the chosen name is available.
  3. Maintain Accurate Records

    • Keep thorough records of all registration documents, certificates, and correspondence with the DTI or SEC. This will facilitate renewals and any future changes.
  4. Seek Legal Advice

    • Consult with a legal professional to navigate the complexities of business name registration and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

  1. Incomplete Submissions

    • Ensure all required documents are complete and accurate to avoid delays or rejections.
  2. Failure to Renew on Time

    • Mark the renewal date on your calendar and renew the business name registration promptly to avoid penalties or cancellation.
  3. Ignoring Restrictions

    • Be aware of and comply with restrictions on prohibited words and phrases to avoid legal issues.
  4. Not Conducting a Thorough Name Search

    • Conduct a comprehensive name search to ensure the chosen name does not infringe on existing trademarks or business names.


Registering a business name in the Philippines involves understanding and complying with various legal requirements and procedures. By following the outlined steps, adhering to legal restrictions, and implementing best practices, entrepreneurs and business owners can successfully register their business names and operate legally.

Navigating the business landscape in the Philippines can be both rewarding and intricate. Whether you’re embarking on a new venture or scaling up, ensuring that your corporate endeavors are in line with local regulations is paramount.

At CBOS Business Solutions Inc., we pride ourselves on simplifying these processes for our clients. As a seasoned professional services company, we offer comprehensive assistance with SEC Registration, Visa processing, and a myriad of other essential business requirements. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring that your business is compliant, well-established, and ready to thrive in the Philippine market.

Why venture into the complexities of business registration and compliance alone? Allow our team to guide you every step of the way. After all, your success is our commitment.

Get in touch today and let us be your partner in achieving your business goals in the Philippines.

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Mobile No.: +639270032851

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