The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging new and existing businesses to file or renew their business names early this year to avoid hassles and penalties. For new businesses – especially sole proprietorships, local government offices require a business name registration from DTI before they are given their business permits.

Regional Director Judith P. Angeles of DTI-3 also urged new entrepreneurs to register under the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) category, through its offices and Negosyo Centers throughout the country. Under Republic Act 9178 or the BMBE law, businesses falling under the BMBE category enjoy incentives such as exemption from operating income tax and minimum wage . They are also given priority in credit windows, technology transfer and capacity building programs of the government. A business considered as BMBE is any business enterprise engaged in production, processing, or manufacturing of products, including agro-processing, as well as trading and services, with total assets of not more than Php 3 Million. The enterprise should not be a branch, subsidiary, division, or office of a large-scale enterprise and its policies and business modus operandi are not determined by such enterprise or by persons who are not owners or employees of said enterprise. Under the revised rules on BMBE registration, the DTI receives the BMBE application and issues the Certificate of Authority for BMBEs, through its provincial offices.

Existing businesses are also reminded by the agency to check if their business name registrations are still valid before they renew their application for business permits with their respective local government this month. January is the month for mayor’s permit application and renewal, while for business name registration, renewal is done every five (5) years. The renewal of business name can be done at DTI offices as early as three (3) months before the fifth year or the anniversary date.  Existing businesses are encouraged to register on or before the anniversary date to make sure that their business name will be retained by them. Otherwise the business name will automatically be removed in the DTI database after 6 months from the anniversary date, and any other business entity can then use said name.