Looking out my window here in BGC, I don’t see any movement. This enhanced community quarantine has turned this hustling and bustling place into a quiet and somewhat eerie neighborhood. Weirdly so, I miss seeing people and cars.
This got me thinking about the Auto Industry. How are businesses in this industry doing. Fortunately, Automart.ph, one of the startups in this environment is the hero of my feature today. Here is my interview with the founder of Automart.ph, Poch Ceballos.
Ginger: Hi Poch! Can you tell readers more about Automart.ph?
Poch: We sell used and repossessed cars at prices far cheaper than what you can get from most dealers and marketplaces. We follow a strict “no patong” or no premium over what the suppliers sell the units for, so you’re assured that you get the lowest rates possible always.
While buying a brand new car is always a nice goal – and the brand new smell can be intoxicating – it’s simply not a practical choice especially with a global recession looming. Automart.Ph has a lot of almost-new and very high quality cars, at around 30-50% lower prices vs brand new cars. That’s the practical way to go about it. We have branches and car lots in QC, Paranaque, Cebu and Davao.
Ginger: I agree with that during this time, it may be wise to really think about purchases and having this option from Automart.ph for buying cars is great. So tell us, why did you start your business? And what is your mission?
Poch: Our mission is to provide Assets for All. We provide practical, low-cost options for Filipinos nationwide, especially for items that are normally very expensive, like cars.
Ginger: To give people insights on different business models out there, can you describe your business model?
Poch: We work with suppliers who need to sell cars and place their inventory on our site. In return, we get a small commission for every sale.
Ginger: So, Poch, everyone’s talking about the Pandemic. Can you share how was Automart.ph and you as a founder impacted by this pandemic both or either positively or negatively? Were you also impacted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine?
Poch: Our folks are doing study-from-home, and we’re upskilling them so that once we’re ready to go back to work, they’ll have more and better skills.
Ginger: I love companies who give high regard for their employees. How about your company? How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for?
Poch: I’d love to encourage and ask them to buy used and repossessed cars from us, instead of brand new. It’s cheaper, kinder to the environment since nothing new is produced.
Ginger: Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business?
Poch: We might be trading down – selling even lower-priced cars than before. We’ll also be working with more partners who need help disposing of their added inventory.
Ginger: To end this interview, Poch, what are the business lessons that you have learned from this?
Poch: You must be able to weather sudden downturns – have enough reserves if possible, and be kind to your employees. If you can have them work from home or study from home, do so.
Ginger: Thank you so much and more power to Automart.ph.
During situations like this, I’ve noticed that a lot of people flock to get news and information on Viber and other chat-based channels. Johanson Dy Cheng, the founder of www.entrepnegosyo.com and www.emarket.com.ph, is using his community to help others in this time of crisis.
Johan founded these websites to help share general and specific information regarding business and commerce needed by up-and-coming young entrepreneurs. These avenues for learning is not only a simple and necessary networking tool, it also serves as a communication link for already well established and successful businessmen and tycoons, whether local or international.
About the Founder
Johan graduated from Jubilee Christian Academy in 1996 and from De La Salle University- College of Saint Benilde in 2000, with a Bachelor of Science degree, major in Industrial Design.
He is no stranger to hard work as values like this were passed on to him from parents and family that handles various business endeavors. He was an academically gifted student, and was chosen as one of the select industrial design delegates sent by his school to the Industrial Design Forum held in Sydney, Australia from 1999 to 2000 under the umbrella of the Biennial Congress of International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. When he graduated in 2000, he was conferred as one of the Ten Most Outstanding Student Leaders of all school organizations with the COPS Bahaghari Award of De La Salle University.
While in college at the De La Salle University, he was cited and included five times in the Dean’s List.
His professional career spans both the private and volunteer sectors. His work in the private sector began immediately after his graduation from college, when he joined the family-owned House of Accessories, where he assisted in handling inquiries and purchasing of products from different Asian countries. During this time, he was working simultaneously as a bank trainee with China Banking Corporation in the year 2000, focusing on the analysis of financial statements of companies obtaining loans.
For the next 13 years, he worked for the banking industry’s giants. Among them were Standard Chartered Bank from 2000-2005. He was pirated from by Citibank from 2005 to 2010, where he rose from the ranks of trainee to Customer Relationship Manager. All the experiences he accumulated during his days in banking prepared him for entrepreneurship.
In 2005, Johanson started EntrepNegosyo, an information gateway intended for the Philippine business community. It provided business news, bulletins, research and technology advancements that helped promote entrepreneurship literacy. His aim was to create global impact by empowering young Filipino entrepreneurs to be leaders, and taking the initiative in finding community solutions.
A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he envisioned EntrepNegosyo to be a universal portal where start-up companies could utilize shared resources from partners across the globe. To date, EntrepNegosyo has more than 5,000 start-up subscribers as well as Small and Medium Industries (SMEs) taking advantage of its easy-to-use portal.
On his EntrepNegosyo Facebook site, Johan has created a dynamic meeting ground that allows its voluminous membership to expand their businesses while networking with one another, through active social media interaction. Relevant and valuable daily business advice and bulletins are part of the EntrepNepsyo’s regular menu, as well as inspirational talks from featured speakers. His work today allows young Filipino entrepreneurs the information and support to start, to grow, to network and to succeed in their chosen business endeavors through direct exposure to the working opportunities offered in his two social media sites.
By pioneering this online Philippine business community page for Filipino entrepreneurs, Cheng was able to pursue his passion for web and industrial design. Johan considers it a rare opportunity to work at something that he is very passionate for. Apart from this, Johanson has also involved himself in several other ventures: As social media and business development head of Philip Leonard Furniture; as Vice-President for Business Information Technology at Real Estate HUB, LLC; and as Sales Representative at AutoKid Group of Companies. Johan’s career in the volunteer sector began in 2000, when he joined Junior Chamber International (JCI) Manila. Here he further honed his leadership abilities, becoming chairman for different standing committees. He was soon an invaluable, eager member, driven by his innate desire to be of assistance to everyone.
Johan’s Working Dream
It was during his years as a member of JCI Manila that he found his second calling —that of spending much of his time in humanitarian aid and development, onsite rescue and relief operations. He also found himself in resource mobilization for healthcare delivery. He assisted also in bolstering capacities of existing outposts for basic services.
He was drawn most to caring for children with disabilities, having realized that it was the most marginalized and ignored groups of children today, most especially those afflicted with cerebral palsy. It was then that he decided to pursue a lifelong mission of uplifting the lives of children with disabilities in the Philippines by creating awareness, educating stakeholders and providing appropriate opportunities for development and a better life.
He started his spiritual ministry at a very early age, actively serving as a volunteer for the Christian Bible Church of the Philippines in his local community at Talayan Village, in Quezon City. A devout Christian, he has since worked closely with various parishes and charitable institutions, including continuing support for the Christ Commission Fellowship composed by lay men and women who share God’s love and the Gospel.
Today, much of his ministry has been devoted to children with disabilities. He has made this his life’s work, going to hospitals to visit and pray with patients daily after work. He will usually take with him his friends from church and colleagues from JCI Manila to provide comfort and hope to the seriously ill.
Johan is like the “energizer bunny,” never running out of energy to do whatever he can in a day which seems to be lacking in hours for this workaholic who detests holidays. Johan seems to have mastered time management to perfection. He sleeps only three to four hours daily as he always is on the go whenever he is called. He spends a lot of his time meeting with his “Golden Heart” team in looking for ways to further reach out to more children.
Can you describe your business model? How can you earn?
Johan earns through domain reselling and through the e-commerce platform.
How were you impacted by this pandemic? How were you impacted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine?
At this time, Johan says that there is no chance to do social networking and business networking. He would like to get the word out that SMEs can use the platforms that he has to promote their businesses.
How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for?
He wishes that people can share his websites to all business owners: www.entrepnegosyo.com and www.emarket.com.ph
Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business?
He plans to add an online payment gateway so that people can pay online.
What are the business lessons that you have learned from this?
Johan says that we need to educate people and businesses on having a contingency plan on how to earn online.
Spread the word about these two sites that can help local businesses:
It’s that time of the year once again when we have to deal with thick bundles of paper. Yes, I’m talking about our business documents.
I have a sole proprietorship established here in the Philippines. Most of the businesses here (99%+) are micro-small-medium enterprises or MSMEs. And to add to that, most of them are also Sole Proprietors like me.
So I would assume that most of the people reading this post are sole proprietors. I decided to focus on this segment also so as not to make the post long.
What do I need to do every January of the Calendar Year?
First of, check that your DTI permit is still valid. The Department of Trade and Industry is the government agency that we deal with when we want to create a Sole Proprietorship. The DTI approves the “trade name” that we want to use. In my case, Manila Workshops’ trade name is GPA Events Management Services.
So if it’s already expired, fret not since you can actually renew your DTI certificate from the comfort of your own home. Just go to this site: https://bnrs.dti.gov.ph/renewal and renew your certificate online. I did it last 2018, and I think (I don’t remember) I used GCASH to pay for the fee.
Baranggay and Business PermitLetter of Intent to Renew your Business (3 originally signed copies)
Next, you will need to gather all these documents before going to the Municipal Hall and office of the Baranggay (usually each one is in the same building or at lease close by).
DTI Certificate (for sole proprietors)
Letter of Intent to Renew your Business (3 originally signed copies)
Original and photocopy of previous year’s barangay permit and official receipt
Previous year’s Mayor’s Permit/Business Permit and Official Receipt, original and photocopy
Community Tax Certificate (CTC) / Cedula from previous year
Contract of Lease or Certificate of Occupancy to use Premises (what I do in lieu of this is I photocopy the Real Property Tax Receipts, which are under my name. That’s the one I present)
Previous year’s Sanitary Permit to Operate
Certification list of employees as of December 2019 signed by President or HRD (if you don’t have employees, create a certification that you don’t have any employees)
Quarterly VAT Returns (if you are a VAT entity) or Percentage Tax Returns (if you are non-VAT) for the previous year with BIR Confirmation
Quarterly Income Tax Returns (1st, 2nd and 3rd Quarter); these are your 1701Q forms
Certificate of Gross Sales for previous year (just add up your gross sales for the entire year)
Previous stamped financial statements, audited or unaudited (if applicable); note that for those with Php 3 Million and below gross sales, you don’t need an audited financial statement. BTW, this is for the year before last year.
Comprehensive General Liability Policy Insurance (CGLP) / Local Insurance and official receipt from previous year; note that some Municipal Halls don’t require this. The CGLP fees are computed also based on the square meters of your registered address.
Authorization Letter (3 originally signed copies) and Special Power of Attorney (3 originally signed copies) — if you are making someone else process it for you
Once you have collated all of these, you can now go to the Municipal Hall. For the fees, it really differs from one City Hall to another.
They can still accommodate a few clients so please don’t mind the deadlines. Oh, Taxumo can also help you with Business Registration just in case you haven’t registered your business yet.
So we’re done with two agencies for Business Renewal for Sole Proprietorships. For BIR, it’s actually so easy. I just log in to my Taxumo account, and make sure that I have highlighted the tax types i’m supposed to pay for (check your Certificate of Registration or Form 2303 to be sure) in the settings page.
Go to the Tax Dues tab and click on file now for 0605. Please make sure that it’s for 2020! 🙂 For first time users, you can attend an online onboarding session by clicking on this link: https://calendly.com/consultnow/onboarding
If you need information to be changed in your COR, you will need to go to the RDO to do that using 1905. Else, if nothing needs to be changed, you only need to file this 0605 form via Taxumo. No need to go to the RDO of the BIR.
I love that everything is easy! 🙂 If you have other questions on renewing your business permit and registrations and certificates, leave your questions in the comment section below!
Start the year right! I hope this somehow give you an idea of how to go through Business Renewal for Sole Proprietorships. Fix all of these and don’t wait for the last moment to avoid penalties!
I completely understand. We’ve been receiving thousands of inquiries via our chat button in Taxumo’s site this April asking a lot of things about the 8% Income Tax Rate option. So, I thought writing about it would be a good idea (and note that this is based on my understanding). Full disclosure! I am not a tax expert. I am just relaying what I have heard from our BIR contacts. And if you read opinions on this post, this is MY own personal opinions and not the opinion of Taxumo. Got it? 🙂
What is this 8% Income Tax Option and who can avail of this?
Because of the TRAIN Law (aka R.A. 10963), a lot of changes have been happening and a lot of people don’t know what to do. For sole proprietors, like yours truly, I just take in and digest parts of the TRAIN LAW that is applicable to me. One of the things that is an option now is the opportunity to avail of a simpler 8% Income Tax Rate Option.
The BIR released Revenue Regulation or RR 8-2018 which details how the income tax changes as per TRAIN will be applied. Although it explains a lot of things, there are still things that are not explained thoroughly. According to the regulation, the 8% Income Tax Rate on Gross Sales/Receipts can only be availed by any self-employed individual whose gross sales/receipts for the year does not exceed P3,000,000 (aka the VAT Threshold).
Check out this video from Taxumo:
So should I choose the 8% Income Tax Rate Option?
Choosing the 8% tax rate option is simple because it’s a flat rate! No hassle, no computations 🙂
But for me, I actually did not choose this. But I have my own reasons, and these are:
The Regulations said one thing but when I called my RDO, it seems they were not following what was on the RR. Case in point: RR No 08-2018 says: “If the taxpayer is unable to timely update the required registration, s/he shall continue to file the percentage tax return reflecting a zero amount of tax with a notation that s/he is availing of the 8% income tax rate option for the taxable year.” BUT, when I called my RDO, they said that for them (whatever that means), they don’t accept these forms filled out according to what the RR said.
So two (2), I personally called BIR and asked what the process is to opt for 8% and the gave me the process (as seen below) BUT I personally don’t have time to do that (hahaha! again, it’s just me and my laziness!)
And three (3), as an events coordinator, we have a lot of expenses. So, based on this calculator, I think the 3% plus income tax is still a better option for me.
So how do you tell the BIR that you’re opting for the 8% Income Tax Rate Option?
Step one: Go to your BIR RDO and bring your Certificate of Registration (COR) and a Letter of Intent. They will ask you if you haven’t gone beyond the threshold of Php 3 Million (They will also check your records and see if there are open cases, etc.)
Step two: Wait for them to release the new COR. It will not include “percentage tax” anymore. It will only show you that you need to pay for Income Tax and your yearly renewal. When do you get the new COR? Well, it really depends on how fast your Revenue District Office can release it.
It’s not that bad really and it’s very simple. I’m just lazy (haha!). After you receive your new COR, you can use Taxumo for filing taxes all throughout the year at just Php 250 per form. We just don’t have the rate yet for the 8% filing and the annual income tax filing, but we’re really affordable so you don’t have to worry about that part.
Please don’t forget to still file the first quarter Percentage Tax form for this year and just indicate zero filing. This is what the BIR Officers in different RDOs told me.
For opting in for the 8%, you need to update your COR before April 30, 2018.
What else did I miss?
Oh, for the Quarter 1 Income Tax Return filing due in May, don’t forget to indicate that you’re “opting in” to avail of the 8%. If you miss indicating this in the form, you will have to file your Income Tax Returns using the Graduated Income Tax Table AND also file quarterly percentage tax returns. I’m not sure if you need to change your COR back again to indicate that you’ll pay percentage tax though, but it’s most likely that you will.
So that’s it! These are the things that I know about the 8% Income Tax Rate Option.
One of the things in my life list that I would want to cross out this year is to start my own Sole Proprietorship business (That’s #37 in my Life List). Aside from just simply crossing it out, I wanted to experience how it really was in opening a business. I had a partnership opened before (a partnership with my friend, Sharon), and most of the paper work was actually outsourced to a messenger. We, of course had to pay for them to process our papers.
I wanted to find out how hard (or how easy it was) to open a business. So what I did was I really went to DTI to go through the process. I went to the DTI Area 2 Office for (Makati, Pasig, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Pateros) which was at the 2/F Atrium of Makati Bldg., Makati Ave. cor. Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. They are open from Monday to Friday from 8am-5pm (tel. No. 501-5135). For those applying with a business address in QC, this is where you should go instead: DTI Area 3 Office(Mandaluyong, Marikina, QC and San Juan) at G/F Highway 54 Plaza, EDSA, (Across SM Megamall) Mandaluyong City which is also open on Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm (Tel. No. 706-1767). Shout out to my sister-in-law, Neva!
When I got there, I didn’t have to get the form from the guard because I already filled up a form that I got online. So to save you time, just download this form, fill it out and create two copies.
The guard got it and stamped a number. This will be your number while you wait in line. I got there at 1:30 pm and some of the DTI officers were still on their lunch break. I think it would be better to go in the morning instead. I think the line would be faster. When I got there, there was only 1 person receiving the application forms. Around 2:00 pm, three people arrived to help out, so the processing time was faster.
DTI in Makati
When I was called, I handed over my form. The first thing she said was that I had to change the name. I applied for Manila Workshops or Manila Workshop or ManilaWorkshop.com. Apparently, you cannot use any name of a place in your business name. That’s one tip I have for you. I had to change it to GPA Events Management Services.
Another tip is that you cannot be vague. That is the reason why my business name is long. It has to contain words that really tell of your service. The good thing about processing your own papers is that you can decide quickly. If you have someone else process it for you, that person will have to call you and ask for the name that you would like to use to replace what you wrote. Then he/she will have to ask the DTI processor again and then get back to you. That process would be tedious.
DTI Cashier Window
After we agreed on the name, the DTI processor asked for my ID. I gave my passport. It took her some time before she could finally type everything into her computer. Finally, she gave the document back and I went to the cashier’s window to pay for my fee. The fee that you have to pay depends on the scope of your business. Fees are:
Barangay: Php 200
City/Municipality: Php 500
Regional: Php 1000
National: Php 2000
You also have to pay Php 15 for the documentary stamp tax. After paying, you give your application form and the receipt to another processor. She will be the one to release your DTI Certificate of Registration.
DTI window for release of Certificate of Registration
When she calls out your name, be sure to check the spelling of your name, your business name and the address. This is very important! Don’t just leave. I found 3 errors, which I asked them to change.
After they retype it, you are done with the DTI process! 🙂 Congratulations, you have managed to pass through the first step in setting up a Sole Proprietorship Business.
The next step would be the application for Mayor’s Permit in the Municipal Hall of your place of business and then with the Bureau of Internal Revenue.