7 steps to start a business -advices from the Philippines

Posted on 23 February 2008

There are plenty of resources out there with advices about what you are supposed to do if you want to start a business. I’ve selected 7 Must-Do Tasks Before You Start Up from the Pinoy Web Startup (a venue to find like-minded entrepreneurs and build exposure for Philippine startups in the web technology ecosystem.) because is well documented and has plenty of references to external resources.

They say: “I just want to share with you issues I dealt with starting out — and consequences of some I still have to deal with today. This is written with a Metro Manila, Philippines setting in mind but should be easily replicated elsewhere.”

Here are the 7 tasks in the article (with my comments of course)

  • Unleash the Entrepreneur within

While they give plenty of external resources on this one, I think it’s missing a point. Money! The only reason entrepreneurs want to start a business is to make money. Of course, money can have different names like work for yourself, being your own boss, pride and recognition, or whatever reason an entrepreneur might have, but the real framework for anything you would like to accomplish is making money.

  • Save at least 3 months worth of living expenses…

Even if they are talking about web start-ups which might require little or no initial investment, planing to earn a living from the newly started business in 3 months might be fullish. Unless there are some special conditions which allow you to get customers, deliver and cash money in very short sales cycle, chances are that it will take about a year to get the financial security you need (and that if you are lucky). But yes, you should save money, make a budget and be prepared to say what they say: “I used to buy nice clothes or shoes at least once a month or whenever I eye a sale; since starting our company, I’d buy a nice dress every quarter or so — and no new shoes!”

  • Find 1 or 2 partners

I have started the same, with 2 partners. And while I know it was the only way I could start a company at that time, you should think very well about picking up your partners. Most likely is not very important who your partners are if things don’t work, but it makes all the difference in the world if it works and there are money to burn. Once again, an impressive list of external resources on this subject on the blog.

  • Register your company

Interesting to see what it takes to start a business in Philippines.

  • Have a common conducive workplace

(I had to look in the dictionary to find out what conducive means :)). Basically the workplace should be a good enough environment to start a business and to sustain whatever you are doing. Of course I agree with that, but chances are that you might need a year or so to be able to rent a nice place to work. Usually if you start small, an office at home is quite ok, especially if you start an online business like they did.

  • Raise funds from your own pocket and from family and friends

Unless you are in USA, is quite hard to find investors ready to burn money for just an idea. Everywhere else, be prepared to have a 7 figures turnover to get the investors attention. Once again, relevant articles are linked on the paragraph there.

  • Focus your efforts

While they have a funny explanation about focusing on the business “I gave up my car and comfortable living at my parents’ to stay in a cheap condo so I can be near our office.”, most likely one of the early days issues is that because you have bills to pay, you can’t say no to customers or business lines that simply aren’t good enough to make you grow. You know that for this customer you will work more than you should, you know that on the long run, doing X or Y is going to slow you down, but you are simply too hungry not to take the job!

I would add an extra step:

  • Make a business plan!

While some will not agree with this one, is absolutely fundamental to see what it takes to pay the bills. What are your expenses, how you are going to cover them and how long till you break even.Well, enough ramblings, you better have a look at the “7 Must-Do Tasks Before You Start Up” – there are plenty of resources there which you might find interesting.

Oh, and good luck to the people behind the blog and their venture!

This post was written by:

- who has written 814 posts on Small Business Entrepreneur blog.

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56 responses to “7 steps to start a business -advices from the Philippines”

  1. gaic says:


    Interesting article.

    We building a free Entrepreneurs Investors community. Our idea is to bring to entrepreneurs advice that will help them in the growth process. It ll be great if you can join us on thestreetmarket.com!

    Thanks and good work!

  2. […] writing a while ago about SME Insight Magazine from Philippine and later about 7 steps to start a business – advices from the Philippines – I’ve became interested in finding out more on entrepreneurship in “far away […]

  3. D.Manikandan says:

    hai everybody
    i want start a buissness and i am in india.Rightnow i am an software engineer.Could anybody help with me some idea. i ready to put my hardwork and smart work here.
    i will be happy if anybody replying to this.
    thaks friends

  4. admin says:

    Hi Manikandan,

    Well, there are plenty of opportunities. You could either develop some software product and sell it online. If that’s not possible, you could be selling somebody else software’s and get paid a commission for it (you become an affiliate). You can have a look about that here: http://www.avangate.com

  5. Maui says:

    Hi I’m from the Philippines, I would like to start a business I want it to be an online store. I would like to ask does online businesses such as online store needs to register?

  6. admin says:

    Hi Maui,

    While I’m not an expert in the legal requirements to run an online store in Philippines, basically you will have suppliers and buyers. This means you will have invoices to pay, invoices to issue to your customers and pay taxes.

    Which means you have to register.

  7. francis says:

    To All Entrepreneurs/Brokers,

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    We provide business registration services (SEC, DTI, BIR, SSS, PHILHEALTH, PAG-IBIG Registrations and Mayor’s / Business Permit at reasonable rates.

    We also provide all accounting services (bookkeeping, audit, financial statements (FS) and income tax return preparation(ITR), etc.) on a monthly retainer’s fee basis.

    Please contact us at:

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  8. nice article. it will be a great help to those people who wants to try or build their own business. now they have some ideas to start their own business. even though their not in the Philippines, they can use those tips. but it will only depend on the person or in the entrepreneurs on how will they make their business successful. do not just depend on this tips, but depend on your skills and abilities to handle a business.

  9. Hannah says:


    I am in working in Dubai as Secretary. with the situation here we are not secured of our jobs.. and i would like to start up a small business in the Philippines. I would like to start up a Shawarma booth in a mall..can you pls. help me how to start?

  10. Eddie says:

    Hi Hannah,I am tired working in the United States and planning to go home next year to start a boutique high class used styles clothing store with my relatives in the Philippines. There are so many requirements and the best is to hire a CPA in Mandaluyong who specialized of getting all the requirements.

    God Bless


  11. Eddie says:

    Hi Maui, I am planning to go home and set on line boutique high class used clothing store in the Philippines with my relatives. Yes,you’ve to registered with SEC, DTI, BIR, ETC. and get appropriate requirements, get an air courier and create an account, get a website and create your own inventory and you’re ready to go. Check with the air courier if they can pick up your items for delivey. Good luck and I hope for your success.


  12. Marilyn Ybanez Wanzo says:


    Could you send me information on obtaining a list of middlemen to get merchandise on consignment in terms of setting up a store on line? China and Japan would be cornerstone of getting merchandise.

  13. Fidel says:

    Making money should not be the first thing to consider if your planning to go into business. You must think first how you can add value to other people and the rest(including money) will follow..


  14. Abigail says:

    Hi guys. If you want to start a business in the Philippines, I believe I can help you. I am a Marketing Executive for a company based in Arizona. Do contact me if you’re interested at abi_0303@yahoo.com

  15. John Paul Sazon says:

    Hello to All!! Im a Filipino working in a KMR here in London, KMR means Keymove Relocation, our company offers Relocations both for private or corporate individuals around different countries.Email me @ jp_sazon@yahoo.com for more inquiries.

  16. John Paul Sazon says:

    Anyway can some one help me on how can i start to make a linkage of company from here in London to the Philippines? because KMR is planning to start a company in the Philippines.. email me for answers plzz..

    Thank You!!


  17. Great post! I agree that when one comes to a decision to finally start a business, he/she must know the DOs and DON’Ts in having a business. Planning is a MUST. A well planned business is more likely to do great than those that are not.

  18. Eddie Isles says:

    To Marilyn Ybanes Wanzo

    Starting a consignment on line clothing store is possible if you can connect to a wholesale/retail on line store that network with a start up like you. We will start our wholesale/retail/Rental “Special Attire” on line in the Philippines either this year or the 1st half of 2011. If you have small capital and want to start to get all my samples here in the USA, I can shipped to you some of my products (minimum 1-10 boxes) once my on line store open before summer. Either you find a person like you who want to start this business at home and we talk how much is your commission by showing some of your samples to see the brand, quality and compare what is on the market. Right now, we have 55 boxes available for Wholesale of good quality products and 30 boxes of “Special Attires” such as Wedding, Tuxedo’s, Men Suits, Evening Dress and 2 pc. suits for our rental business. Most of our products are Class A (slightly used, overstock and returns (used once) of good brandname, Class and good condition. I continue buying some more boxes before I start my on line store in the USA. I will start remodeling my house in the Philippines as a “Show Room” for all my products so that they can see the picture on line. So it is up to you what you want to do. You have to registered your on line store, get a business permit and license in the Philippines. This is a big business here in the United States. Please e-mail me your interest and I will e-mail you once my on line store is ready to do business.

    God Bless You,


  19. Alex Tremayne says:

    This is great! I’m also interested on a business in the Philippines and would like your input. My family own lands(rice lands, mango lands, coconut, and even mahogany plantation). I would like to form a company that will manage all of these lands and possibly export the products. My thinking is that with a company run lands, we will be more productive and I will have control on how these lands are used. I’m a US resident but I do have dual citizenship so I could also form the company in the Philippines owning 100% of it. Is this a good idea? Have you run into this type of business before? And do you have any recommendations??

    Thank you.

  20. share says:

    We have an idea and are in a planning stage to open a business. Do you need registration for a business and do you need to be there in the phil. for the business permit application? Thanks for this site.

  21. Confused and don’t know how and where to start your business. At Triple I Consulting, we are here to help you in your business registration, permits, securing licenses.

    You may visit us at http://www.tripleiconsulting.com or write an email to miles.garcia@tripleiconsulting.com

  22. sheng says:

    Eliminate Stress! Focus On Your Business Plans! Leave To Us Your Business Registration, Accounting And Tax Problems!

    We provide business registration services (SEC, DTI, BIR, SSS, PHILHEALTH, PAG-IBIG Registrations and Mayor’s / Business Permit, Estate taxes processing at reasonable rates.

    We also provide all accounting services (bookkeeping, audit, financial statements (FS) and income tax return preparation(ITR), etc.) on a monthly retainer’s fee basis.

    For Davao City only:

    Please contact us at:

    mobile number:

  23. Rodil A.Sangcap says:

    Hi!! guy’s, please could you help and advise me. How to get and start my own business in the Philippines. The person who expert and have an experience in business, please help and advise me how much a minimum or maximum to get start my on business.

    And what particular matter or requirement’s do i need, so that i can start up soon. If somebody have a good and interest to give me an advise, please email me rizvynoel@yahoo.com.

    Thank you very much, May God Bless You…

  24. Rose says:

    Hi Iam working in aldives and would like to open up a small business back in philippines. i have searched and found some ideas but am not sure whether its worth enough to spend the money therefore can one of you give me an idea of what could be the best for 300000 pesos?

  25. kathryn love says:

    hi i am working here in Dubai and planning to start up a small time business back in Philippines. i need advice on how to do the business with the help of the experts in the feild of food industry

  26. Aizel Pasagdan says:

    hi i want to start a small business,but i dont know what business i gonna start,i need advice on how to do a business with the help of the expert business man or woman.please help me i really need and advice,,here is my email address u can send me an email,,paizel@ymail.com

  27. Vic says:

    To the admin,
    love to see Filipinos who are enthusiastic in business and entrepreneurship. This is such a helpful blog.

    To Aizel,
    It think that you should first assess yourself:
    What is your passion?
    What are your skills?
    What skills and expertise can acquire more?
    How much capital can you afford?

    Doing business, is not just earning money. It’s also about how you can serve best. So it’s better to assess ourselves first. The rest will follow.

  28. kelly says:

    Hi,i’m Kelly from South Korea,i am planning to build a business in the Philippines like kindergarten..is it possible for me as a Korean citizen?If then,what are the requirements should i have to prepare?Help please.thanks

  29. lucy mahumok says:

    Hi rose,

    With the amount of money that u mentioned, there is a big opportunity to open a business already. I want to say that big capital is not needed to start a business…It depends on what kind of business u will have. J ust like me, i have a little sari sari store here in philippines, im a single mom and i find this interesting, very affordable start up and easy to handle.. Be sure also that the business you will put up is within your capability to handle or else everything will be into nothing…If you need my help, you can call at…+63 908 455 0379..or email me at…lucenanaim2002@yahoo.com…thanks

  30. lucy mahumok says:

    Hi guyz,

    Is there anyone out there who wants to put up a business here in philippines that needs employee? A friend of mine needs a job since her husband passed away just last month. She has 4 kids who are very young yet and as a friend, i am helping her find job onnline,, she cant apply in the company anymore coz of her age at 42..Maybe is someone out there needs to do the household chores,..please feel free to contact at….0908 455 0379..thanx….lucy

  31. myles says:

    Hi! I would like to open a boutique here in my province that sells clothes shoes ans bags from Bangkok. Can you please help me how to start.

  32. Jingay says:

    Could you please help me think of a good and profitable small business to open and start with in the Philippines,it seems like almost all kinds of businesses are already done in the philippines?
    Thank you for any help given.

  33. LUCY MAHUMOK says:



  34. LUCY MAHUMOK says:




  35. jb mell says:

    hi! i would like to ask what are the requirements to start a construction business? a small construction business focusing on condo units..thanks

  36. Cher says:

    Hi JB,

    Same as other business you must do the registration before you could start you operation.

    you may visit this site to be guided -> http://www.mixph.com/2006/03/steps-to-register-your-business.html

    This have been a great help to me.

    God bless!!

  37. Becky says:

    I would like to request the terms for registering a construction / general trading and services company in Philippines. Is there any difference?

  38. james says:

    i need a business pls help me my capital is 150,000.00pesos

  39. Stephen says:

    I’m setting up a business finding philippine businesses for western investors and vice versa, we’re looking for business partners/ investors who are interested in both the residential and commercial property market

  40. mr.vijay says:

    hello sir,

    i m indian citizen and first i get travel visa 21 days then i want start small mobile business at manila-philippines. as a starting i want small business then depend on good business. so can phili govt. give me permission for business there and which type first i get visa? ur really help for me? i think that first i stable at phili then start business then i get sucess otherwise not stable so how can i sucess? right?
    solve it

    thanks sir

  41. Stephen says:

    @Stephen. Yeah mate I’m very interested to hear what your investment ideas are. I too am looking at something similar. Please contact me at sdv82@yahoo.com.



  42. yhang says:


    i want to start a small business w/ a small capital also.. im still w/ a loading station coz. im working into a car insurance company here in cebu…

    im interested in a RTW.. but i dont know how to start this kind of business..

    can you advice me if what should i do? should i open an insurance or a RTWs outlet inside the mall?

  43. anne says:

    i want to do importing beauty products to the philippines… can someone help me what are the processes if i will import products to the Philippines?

  44. jun says:

    For those who put up their businesses, you can register your business or company at http://www.adstig.com

    It’s free business listing site in Philippines.

  45. This is a very interesting post, a good guide to start a Business in the Philippines.

  46. Lette says:

    Hello mr.vijay!

    My name is Marly Manipon, Vice President of Wall Street Accounting and business solutions. We specialize in obtaining business registrations and permits. We have helped a lot of foreign investors start their businesses here in the Philippines. We have translators that could help you, and because most of our clients are foreigners, we are affiliated with a law firm that could help you with your immigration requirements. Please feel free to contact me at the email given above, or call me at +632-533-8772, or text me at 09159046522 or you can also visit our website at http://www.wallstreetaccounting.com. Looking forward to hearing from you. Cheers

  47. Marly Manipon says:

    Hello Mark,

    Congratulations on your idea of starting a franchise. Depending on the type of franchise you are interested in, we can help you decide and assess the best franchise suited to your talents. We have a complete listing of all the franchisors in the Philippines. Once we’ve helped you decide on a franchise, we can help you set up your business by obtaining your business permits and licenses, SEC papers and other city requirements. We can also help you in filing your tax returns, payroll processing, enrollment of employee benefits. Please check our website at http://www.wallstreetaccounting.com for more information. You may also contact me via email at marlymanipon@wallstreetaccounting.com or text me on my cellphone at 639263440889 so I can further assist you. Looking forward to hearing back from you.


    Marly Manipon
    Vice President-Accounts
    Wall Street Accounting and Business Solutions, Inc.

  48. Nory De Souza says:


    We would like to know what is the procedure to start a business in Phils which is inport and export, I am a Filipino national and my husband is an indian national, and at the moment were living in Dubai and would like to settle in Phils and start a business.

    Best Regards,

  49. Tintin says:


    I would like to start a ready to wear and beauty products at home just to start. I’ll have some people sell them. My products are coming from the US and Canada.
    Do I have to register my business since I don’t have a permanent place yet and just on the testing phase? And do I have to ask permission to the company about their products that I would sell?

  50. Amme says:

    We’ve already started a foodcart business w/ at least 3products in a day. We have 1 main product. It’s been almost 3months but it’s not working. We used to be inside a school canteen & infront a school outside. Our products were good and even have a low price just to meet the students’ budget.
    We just pulled out the cart. We still want to continue. Please help… Any idea???
    Thanks to this site…

  51. atyyat says:

    i want to start a business in philippine with a capital 300000 p and i want to know how much income i can get monthly with that ,any help
    thank to all

  52. Cheenee says:

    Hi Eddie,

    Have you registered your online business already?

    Have you registered it as a sole proprietorship?

    I’am hoping for your reply.

    Thank you.

  53. Stephen says:

    Thanks for this post. Aside from money, I think many Filipinos also want to become entrepreneurs they want to be their own boss. In a study in the US, they say that most Americans would rather want to be called as entrepreneurs than CEOs

  54. Eddie Isles says:

    Capital of Ph300k is good start up if you can select a business with 5% operating expensrs. I plan to open online boutique and rental in the Philippines with an initial capital of Ph 275,000 including renovation of my show room. I will start with Oh 100k rental inventory and Ph 75k for sale apparel and plan to double my investment in 3 months. I will double my for sale apparel and double my income. For one year, my capital will go up to Ph 600k and recovered all my investment. My mark profit is 250% to double my investment. Most of my rental and sales are word of mouth marketing and referral. So it depends what kind of business you want. I hope it will help some of you.

  55. Eddie Isles says:

    For those who want to start a business but no idea what business to open, my advice is to attend a business workshop you are interested or start an affilliate with on line store who are looking for affiliate. Most affiliate are paid commission. Once you learned the business, you can buy your own inventory.If you need some info, email me and I will help those who want to sell on line. Home based business is a good start to be successful because you have less operating expenses. My target income will help my retirement and my relatives for our monthly expenses. My business plan is my guide to start this business. I hope it will give other some idea of starting a new business. There are so many to learn but you have to start somewhere.

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