Online business registration in the Philippines skyrocketed as more and more entrepreneurs conduct business via the internet due to strict lockdown restrictions imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19, the Philippines' Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Tuesday.
The DTI said registration of online businesses jumped to 75,876 as of Sept. 2 from 1,753 recorded in January to March 15 before the government placed Metro Manila and a large part of the economy under quarantine, reports Xinhua.
Citing the latest data from its Business Name Registration Division (BNRD), the DTI said the total number of business names registered in the DTI as of Sept. 2 is 712,657 or 12 per cent higher than the 637,690 business names registered during the entire 2019.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the DTI's "end-to-end registration system is the reason for the increase," citing the growing adoption by citizens of digital transactions.
"We are pleased to know that our citizens are starting their businesses right by registering their business with appropriate government agencies, such as the DTI," Lopez said in a statement.
"With the online business name registration system (BNRS), I believe that our entrepreneurs find it easier to comply as they can finish the entire registration process within eight minutes. This platform is readily available to the public in the comfort of their own homes," he added.
Lopez said the DTI saw a drastic increase during the pandemic when business name applications reached 9,692 in May and further peaked in June when over 33,000 business names were registered.
"The silver lining in COVID-19 is the accelerated adoption of eCommerce," Lopez said, adding that the DTI is also increasing its efforts to promote eCommerce "by building trust between consumers and merchants, and focusing on the digitalization of our micro, small and medium enterprises."
Lopez also reported that aside from the increase in the number of total businesses registered, there was also a surge in people transacting payments online.
"The DTI is closely working with fellow government agencies and the private sector to address speed, security, and structure," Lopez added.
Lopez said the migration of business registration to the digital platform is part of the DTI's efforts to ease doing business in the Philippines.
In 2018, reforms to make business name registration easier and more convenient were introduced.
The following year, the DTI launched the BNRS Next Gen allowing the end-to-end online registration of business names.
To register, sole proprietors can submit new or renewal applications for business name registration, pay the registration fee via credit card, Gcash, Paymaya, and Landbank's Link Biz portal, and download their certificate of business name registration through the BNRS Next Gen at anytime, anywhere using their mobile devices connected to the internet.