You are probably here on this page because you are toying on the idea of venturing into the tech business. So in this article, you will be guided on what to do to start your journey into becoming a tech entrepreneur. By the time you finish reading this article, you would be able to decide whether you would create a product that would not only generate revenue but also change how we live or a tech service that creates products that provide solutions for other tech and non-tech businesses.
Just like any business, you would need to secure permits for your startup. The first thing you have to do is to register it. If you want it to be a Sole Proprietor Business, you may register your business name at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
If you plan to have your business entity as a corporation then you have to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We’ll discuss this further in another article. For now, you may follow this link: www.sec.gov.ph/forms-and-fees/schedule-of-fees/ to check the fees and charges.
The next four (4) most important permits you need to secure from your local government before starting a new business includes the Barangay Clearance, Mayor’s Permit, Tax Registration Number (or TIN), and Social Security (If you’re planning to hire people right away).
Here’s how to acquire them:
1. Barangay clearance
You can get this from the Barangay Hall for P100.00 – P500.00 (may vary for each municipality or city). To get this, you need to present a registration certificate from the DTI or SEC and valid/government-issued identification cards. You should also have fire safety and electrical inspection certificates and present a Lease of Contract of Site.
2. Mayor’s permit (also known as business permit)
This you can get from the municipal/city hall of the town or city where you will set-up your business. You acquire this after you have secured the Barangay clearance plus the registration certificate from DTI or SEC, valid IDs, and location map/sketch of your place of business. You will also need to secure a community tax certificate (cost also vary for each municipality or city).
3. Tax Registration Number (or TIN)
After getting the Mayor’s permit, you can now go to the nearest Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) office to secure a Tax Registration Number or TIN. The requirements for this include; accomplished BIR forms 1901 or 1903, valid IDs, a sketch of the location of the business, a copy of your mayor’s permit or municipal license, and registration certificate from the DTI or SEC. This will cost you P500.00 plus 1% of subscribed capital for the documentary stamp.
BIR provides a software for filing Electronic BIR Forms (eBIRForms) online which can be downloaded from their website through a portal and installed on the bookkeeper or proprietor’s laptop/pc.
Here’s the link: https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/eservices/ebirforms.html
Tip: You also have to find a receipt printing business, a ledger for tracking their expenses, (you can use google sheets instead of excel to setup your ledger and cash flow online, here’s the link: https://www.google.com/sheets/about/. There are also other apps you can use, we’ll tell you more about it in another article) and a good bookkeeper.
4. Social Security
If you are hiring employees, you are required to register them for Social Security protection. You just need to go to the Social Security System (SSS) office. Requirements include; accomplished SSS Form R-1 for employer registration, accomplished SSS Form R-1A that lists the names of your employees, and Articles of Partnership or Incorporation for partnerships or corporations.
You should also provide your employees with PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) and PAG-IBIG (home development mutual fund) memberships as mandated by the labor law.
Now that you’re all set on the paperwork, there are some of us who gets an awesome idea but then doubts come pouring in, yes, securing business permits can sound a bit tedious and the thought of failing can be disheartening, so the first question you ask to yourself is, “How can I become a tech entrepreneur when I’m not sure if I’ll be successful or not?”
Here are 10 key points that muster your courage and keep you on a good start:
1. Come up with a great idea
Obviously, you have got to have an idea for a first step. Learn more about the industry and use it to make up for your lack of technical know-how. We will be posting more articles about the tech industry to help you shape and implement your ideas. Follow us on Facebook to be updated.
2. Tell everyone about your “big idea”
You might think of keeping your “big idea” to yourself for fear that someone will steal it. Well, you shouldn’t. No one will take your idea for the same reason that only a few would pursue their own for fear of failure. You should share your idea with anyone who will listen. Who knows, you’ll meet people with the skills you need to help turn your dream into reality!
3. Get funding but make it personal
As much as possible, use your own money in starting your business to motivate yourself more. But you could also ask your parents, friends or relatives to back your big idea.
4. Embrace your strengths
If salesmanship happens to be one of your strengths then you could use that to earn respect from partners and peers. Market your big idea to potential investors and tech partners. Firsthand knowledge and expertise will surely make your sales pitch all the more genuine and convincing.
5. Hire (and keep) great talent
If you are not a tech person, you’re going to need talented tech experts, and it’s important that you find the right people. You need to build a smart, experienced and trustworthy team. And, since tech pays big, offer competitive salaries that your top picks can’t refuse.
If you don’t have enough funding yet, you may offer equity or share of stocks in the company. It will not only entice them to join the team, it would also motivate them to work hard, collaborate and move the company forward.
6. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room
Since Tech people are really smart, and you don’t have knowledge about tech there will be times when you have no idea what they’re talking about. But that’s okay, ask someone to be your “translator” to help you understand the tech talk. As time pass, you’ll pick up on the lingo.
7. Be an expert leader
Keep in mind that you can lead your company even without knowing the ins and outs of its technology. What you need to know is your marketplace, identify your vision, and listen to employees and customers. Remember that you don’t have to be an expert to be a leader; you just have to be an expert leader. As CEO, your job is recruiting and retaining top talent. If you can find and retain smart and passionate employees, then you’re an expert leader.
8. Be flexible
Just like any business, your billion-dollar idea might transform over time as the market changes. Constantly seek new billion-dollar ideas to have your original idea, and be ready to implement changes anytime. Always be ready to pivot.
9. Learn to code
Although you may not be a tech expert, you might want to learn how to code or even learn the basics of it to help you understand issues and concerns, because it can help you in terms of hiring the right technical talents, identify when your people are wasting time, etc.
It is never too late to learn new things. There is now a growing number of coding boot camps and online courses like Code.org and Udemy where you can develop a working proficiency within 3–6 months for free. Talastas will also feature tutorials about web development and coding in the future for FREE!
Remember, knowing to code isn’t a must. After all; knowing to code doesn’t guarantee success in tech.
10. Acknowledge that Failure is inevitable
There are thousands of startups who tried and failed. In fact, the success rate for startups is only 10%. But don’t be discouraged by other people’s failure because if you won’t try, you will never have a chance to succeed.
“If you’ve never tried, how will you ever know if there’s any chance?” – Jack Ma
You must also remember that a child falls a hundred times before learning to walk straight. If you fail at your first try, don’t give up on your “big idea” right away. You still have a chance as long as you keep trying.
Yes, securing business permits can be a bit tedious and the thought of failing can be disheartening but then again, you will never know if you never try.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs
On that note, we shall temporarily end this post, subscribe and follow Talastas to get updated with the latest in the tech industry. Next article will be about the successful startups here in the Philippines.
Now, are you ready to launch your big idea? Let me know in the comments below.
Written by: Lyza Sabornido and Kenneth Telmo (minor contribution)