Startups to be granted registration exemptions

STARTUPS may soon be exempted from some business registration processes as the government develops new programs to support new businesses.

Various government agencies including the Anti-Red Tape Authority are working on a memo that will exempt startups from some business permit requirements, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in an online event on Monday.

The government has also created a group that will implement its startup development program since the signing of the implementing rules and regulations of the Innovative Startup Act in November 2019.

Secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DoST), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Monday signed a joint administrative order creating the steering committee of the Innovative Startup Act or Republic Act 11337.

The law signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in April 2019 qualifies for incentives “any person or registered entity in the Philippines that aims to develop an innovative product, process, or business model.”

The committee will guide and oversee the implementation of the Philippine Startup Development Program, which would support programs and incentives for startups and startup enablers.

“DTI will serve as the inaugural chair of the steering committee, then succeeded by DoST and then by DICT thereafter,” Mr. Lopez said.

“We have been working together since the enactment of the startup law in 2019. Specifically, we have been aligning our respective programs for startups and implementing initiatives in pursuit of the objective of the law.” 

Mr. Lopez in 2019 said that the government was planning to create a one-stop shop for startups, which would offer end-to-end registration for the businesses.

The Startup Business One-Stop Shop (SBOSS), he said, will be on the government central business portal and will be made accessible through a startup website in development.

“This is about facilitating registration of businesses, especially the startup businesses. This is also envisioned to serve as a platform containing all information about regulations on opening, operating, closing, or exiting a startup,” he said.

The National Development Company (NDC) included a P250-million venture fund committed last year in the 2021 budget.

“Although we were affected by the pandemic and there was a bit of difficulty in completing the process, nevertheless, it is in our agenda for this year and hopefully we will be able to launch that venture fund to be managed by NDC,” Mr. Lopez said. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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