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Starting a business

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By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippines has been known for being difficult in terms of ease in doing business.

To enlighten and guide the reading public on the requirements of starting micro, small and medium-size
enterprises (MSMEs), this newspaper has gathered a range of guidelines from various government agencies that would-be entrepreneurs have to comply with.

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Actually, the process can be simple. The first stop for single proprietorship, especially for MSMEs, is the
Department of Trade and Industry to register your business name. With the online Business Name Registration
System, you can finish the processing in just 8 minutes.

Starting is further made easier with the enactment of Republic Act (RA) No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. With the enforcement of the law this year, businessmen can now expect faster processes of applications and transactions with the government.

The Ease of Doing Business Law essentially is a revamped version of 2007’s RA 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape
Act of 2007. The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) enforces the Ease of Doing Business Law. Foremost, the law seeks
to eliminate bureaucratic red tape and eventually curb corruption in government agencies.

One of the most important provisions of RA 11032 is the way it sets deadlines for each type of transaction.
Simple transactions (anything that requires nothing more than a ministerial action or an inconsequential issue that asks for nothing more than a resolution) should be acted on within 3 days.

Complex transactions (those that require evaluation in the resolution of complicated issues) should last no more than 7 days in their agency/office. Highly technical transactions like those that involve activities which could be a threat to public health, safety, morals, policy are given within 20 days.

Failure to process applications or transactions within these 3-7-20 day timeframes, the official or agency handling
such particular transaction may face corresponding charges. ARTA has now required government agencies to come up with their Citizen Charter, which is a list of requirements for the public to follow every time they transact with a particular government office. This is to ensure there are no other requirements asked outside of the Citizen Charter. With all these efforts, doing business in the Philippines is becoming friendlier and more encouraging.

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