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We have a small startup that operates in BGC. So we need to have our business permit renewed every year at Taguig City Hall. In previous years, we hired an agent to do that, but this year, the agent did not respond, so we decided to do it by ourselves. 

From press reports, we learned that the registration period was between January 1 to 20 only, but the City Hall of Taguig had set up a Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) at the main office and its satellite office at SM Aura Office Tower. Naturally, we wanted to do it all in one place, so we made sure we would do it within the operation of the BOSS period, and went to the office located at 9th floor of SM Aura office tower.

But before going there, we prepared all the documents needed, which are detailed below as needed at various stages of the process.

First Visit

We arrived at 9th floor of SM Aura office tower at 9.44am on a week day in the second week of January 2020. We asked the receptionist about the steps and were given a number and told to go to the windows designated for our company's barangay clearance, which is the barangay of Fort Bonifacio.

Step 1. Barangay clearance

Documents needed were the original and photo copy of previous barangay clearance.

We were told and paid P1,500 at Counter 25 for Fort Bonifacio's barangay clearance. Other counters were avaialble for other barangays.

There was no display of the fee, so we do not know if it was the standard rate for all companies or not.

Step 2. Insurance

We were instructed to fill in an application form for business permit renewal (obtained for free from the receptionist), and then go to Counter 114. There, we showed them last year's insurance policy and paid P1,800 for the new insurance policy for the company. It was an increase from just over P1500 last year.

After that, we had to go back to Window 21 to get a chop on the application form.

Step 3. Show application form at Window 17 or 18

There, we showed them the completed application form, and were then told to go to Window 16.

Step 4. Assessor's Window

At Window 16, we got a chop from the assessor on the application form.

After seeing the chop from the assessor, the receptionist told us to go to the window for notary public to notarize the app form. Time: 10.21am.

Step 5. Notarize the application form

Window 13 is notary public. We gave them the application form and then waited. After about 10 minutes, we paid P200, and got the notarized application form.

So, after five steps, our accomplishment was that we got 3 stamps on the application form, obtained new insurance policy and had the application form notarized. The next step was the big one, as we had to go up one floor to the Business License office on 10th floor.

Photo : checklist that accompanies the application form, and one of the number tags. We got at least two number tags during the Day 1 process.

Step 6. Document check at Business License Office

On 10th floor, we got a number, and waited for our turn. When called, we went into a big room with a row of tables. At one of the tables, a lady asked us to provide the prepared documents, which were:

- completed and notarized application form;

- Copy of old business permit and sanitary permit, and official receipt

- Copy of new barangay permit

- Copy of VAT returns for first 3 Q of 2019

- Copy of 2018 audited financial statements

- Copy of insurance cover, already provided by insurance company on 9th floor.

- Certificate of Employees. Name and age of each employee.

- Lease of office space, and all the related documents such as tax return of the leased space, location map of the place, and photograph of the building

For documents that we only brought the original, we could get them photocopied for free right outside the room. It was pretty convenient. Free snacks were also provided.

After examining the papers, the lady stapled them together and filled in a checklist, and gave them to us. It appeared that all the documents that they needed were there, hooray!

Step 7. Assessment

A staff at the Business License Office guided us back to a room on 9th floor, where about 30 people were waiting. Time check: 10.42am

In that room, there was no queue number, so you had no idea where you were in line. They just call out your company name when it's your turn. We peeked behind a partition, and saw about 10 employees of the City Hall engaged in the processing of the applications. Our paper was probably assigned to one of the employees.

In that room, not only free coffee and biscuits were provided, but also free massage. Quite a few people took advantage of the free message. 

After one and a half hour in that room (12:10pm), we were called and given the bill for the business permit.

We paid what we were told to pay at the counter 5 there. Then we went to counter 2 to get the cedula, which is another fee for the barangay.

We took a look at the bill. They asked us for gross sales in 2019, then they add about 50% to it, and multiply it by a percentage. Apparently, the rate for Information Technology is 1.5%. 

We were told the business permit would be ready in 5 to 7 working days

Second Visit : Jan 20

We arrived at 9th floor of SM Aura office tower at around 2pm, on the last day of the business permit registration period. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of people who wanted to submit their renewal application before the deadline.

Upon arrival, we were given a number at the reception after we told the receptionist that we were there to collect our business permit. Knowing that our English may not be understood very well, I went up to the window for Fort Bonifacio business permit and asked where I could pick up the new business permit, instead of waiting for our number to be called, which probably was meant for people submitting the application, instead of picking up the new permit. We were told to go to window 32 to 34. There, we were told to bring a pile of paper to Window 11.

At Window 11, we were told to photocopy 2 pages and write contact name and number.

We lined up 2:26pm for photocopy. Fortunately, they already provided photocopying at the same office, and it was free of charge. Photocopying done at 2:36pm.

We brought the required copies to counter 11. The officer kept the copies and told me to go back to Counter 33. There, we waited for 5 min and got the permit. Magic!

We share our experience here so that people considering starting a business can have an idea what they need to do every year. But note that the process may change year to year, and may depend on the type of business that you plan to operate.

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Work Life

The place where I started working was my first experience of the real adult world, and while I do have a few irks about the outdated place, it’s still close to my heart. But I’ve always been fascinated with startups, especially those who have no offices to call their own yet. That’s why one fine Friday morning, I decided to book a desk in one of the newest co-working spaces in BGC, SquareOne.

Location is key

I love how  convenient Square One is. I told my Uber driver to just drop me off near Bonifacio Technology Center so that I could look at the stores and restos nearby. I felt delighted knowing that should I need to grab a bite, I could step out and there were a number of options to eat. Also, I spotted places where if I need to meet someone, I could just tell them the name of Starbucks and it’s a date! No need to hail a cab to look for a decent place to meet with a client.


It’s really clean and cozy. Upon entering, I saw that I was the first worker for today and it felt like I had the place to myself, except for the polite and helpful receptionist and some staff of course. The ambiance was really casual and creative, not too intimidating and the noise was set to a minimum. There’s music playing but not loud enough to distract me from the pile of emails waiting. Wi-fi was quick and easy to access and surprisingly really fast. Coffee and tea are readily available. Colorful couches are scattered around the room for anyone who wants to work comfortably and meeting rooms and private areas are also provided for teams who need privacy. Outlets for plugs were aplenty on walls. Basically, my only qualm was the common restroom. One has to go out of SquareOne to use the restroom.

How my day went down

I really found the place interesting since everything was new to me. The helpful lady at the receiving area points out the areas that I could use and explained how everything works.

I sat down in a blue-colored chair with a table, and immediately started working, I don’t know if it’s the change in the environment or the fast internet helped. Almost 30 minutes into working silently on my own, the regular workers of the area trickled in one by one. I was worried that they will notice the new blood and try to talk to me (after all, I’m used to working full-time in an office where I’ve been employed for three years, so I am bound to greet and make small talk every 15 minutes) but they carried on with what they were supposed to do in their own area.

After a long time slouching on my laptop, I felt uncomfortable with the seat and table. The design of the furniture forced me to type higher than what I’m used to and the back of the chair is too short for my back to lean on. Unlike office chairs, designed to take on stressed people leaning back from time to time, the furniture at SquareOne are designed to be aesthetic and give off creative vibes. Maybe that’s why there were couches scattered everywhere, but I passed on using them, I felt sleepy everytime I took a glance at them, so I stuck to my uncomfortable position. After sometime, I just decide to put my computer on my lap and leaned back to a much more comfortable position.


For someone used to having an area of her own, it felt new and adventurous to work in the SquareOne environment. I didn’t get to talk to anyone as they were all busy working, but it felt like new ideas were coming into my head. I don’t know if it’s the new environment of if the idea of working at co-working spaces really broadens your horizon, with you really thinking right out of the box.