Freelancing stability and security are important as freelancers start growing. We start thinking that we are an essential part of the community and live like normal “employees” even if we have the luxury of earning from home. We need to be established and secure not just for our families but to position ourselves for growth as freelancer-enterprenuers. Here’s a guide on how freelancers can register with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Social Security System (SSS), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
HOW TO REGISTER FOR PHILHEALTH AS A FREELANCER
How to Register for Voluntary Membership in a PhilHealth Office
- Go to the nearest Local Health Insurance Office or PhilHealth Express outlet.
- Fill out two PMRF copies.
- Submit your accomplished and signed forms.
- Wait for the PhilHealth Member Data Record (MDR) and ID card to be issued to you.
- Using your PhilHealth ID number (PIN), pay your premium contribution to the cashier.
- If you earn PHP 25,000 or below every month, you must pay the quarterly amount of PHP 600 (or PHP 200 monthly/PHP 2,400 annually).
- If your monthly income is over PHP 25,000, you’ll have to pay PHP 900 for the quarter (or PHP 300 monthly/PHP 3,600 annually).
How to Register for PhilHealth Voluntary Membership Online
- Go to the PhilHealth Electronic Registration System.
- Click “PROCEED.”
- Read the Terms and Conditions, tick the small box below, and click “Accept.”
- On the PhilHealth online registration form, enter the required information.
- Upload your document in jpeg, pdf, gif, or png format. This step is optional.
- Enter the provided Captcha code, tick the small box below, and click “Submit Registration.”
- You’ll receive instructions via email on how to complete your PhilHealth membership application. Copy the transaction number, which serves as a reference to your registration.
Five Things to Remember When Applying for PhilHealth Voluntary Membership
- Go to the PhilHealth office early. Although PhilHealth membership registration processing takes less than a day, expect long lines and early cutoff times in some branches.
- Read the instructions carefully on the second page of the PMRF before filling it out.
- If employed previously and already have a PIN, put a check next to “FOR UPDATING” under the PURPOSE section. You can have only one PIN in your lifetime.
- Declare your dependents to maximize your PhilHealth benefits. List down the names of your qualified PhilHealth dependents when filling out the PMRF. No need to pay extra premiums for their PhilHealth coverage. When you receive your MDR, make sure it has all the names to avoid inconvenience when claiming PhilHealth benefits
HOW TO REGISTER WITH DTI AND BIR AS A FREELANCER
There are 2 ways to register:
- As a Business / Business Owner (DTI, Business Bureau, BIR)
- As Self-Employed / Freelancer (BIR only)
AS A BUSINESS / BUSINESS OWNER:
Go to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the registration of your entity. Bring valid and primary ID. Prepare Php500 for the registration and Php30 for documentary stamp. They will issue the certificate right away.
Next is to process Mayor’s / Business Permit at the Business Bureau. Ask for an application for a new business, a sole proprietorship. Steps on the Issuance of a New Business Permit and List of Requirements are attached to the form.
CENRO Certificate will also be processed here.
- Application Form (notarized and completely filled up)
- Barangay Clearance (latest/original/purpose: for new business application with complete business address)
- Sketch (drawing with complete address and a contact number)
- Cedula (latest)
- Certified list of Employees OR Certificate of NO employees (notarized, bring original and photocopies)
- For your business property address
- If owned – Bring proof of ownership (Tax Declaration, Land Title, Deed of Sale)
- If rented – Bring Contract of Lease with Tax Declaration of Lessor (notarized, 1 photocopy)
- If without rental – Bring Letter of Consent from the Property Owner (notarized, 1 photocopy & any proof of ownership)
- DTI and CENRO Certificate
- Before going to the Business Bureau, secure your Barangay Clearance & Cedula first, so you won’t have to go back and forth from the Bureau to your Barangay then back to the Bureau.
- Make sure to prepare Barangay Clearance and NOT Barangay Certificate. Double-check also for any typo, especially on the name, business address, and the purpose – it should be for a new business application/permit (not a renewal of business permit).
- At the Atty. office, aside from notarization, they can also prepare the Certificate of NO employees & Letter of Consent from the Property Owner (additional pay of course). For the Affidavit of Consent, the Property Owner also needs to sign.
- Prepare business/regulatory fees from P3,000 to P5,000. That includes payment of Fire Inspection Fee and Notarization.
- They will issue you the claim slip with the date indicating when to pick up your Mayor’s permit and logo
- Purchase also your Books of Accounts:
- Ledger book
- Cash receipt book (6 or 8 columnar notebooks)
- Cash disbursement book (24 columnar notebooks)
- General journal
- Label them with your registered name, the name of the Books of Accounts as mentioned above, and date. Ask where is the area for stamp received for the Books of Accounts. This will be done after you have registered with the Business Bureau.
After you have claimed your Mayor’s Permit is the registration with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Bring all your papers from DTI, Mayor’s Permit, and BMBE Certificate. Bring original copies, but please prepare photocopies.
Locate the one issuing the Application forms for a new applicant. This will be for the issuance of the Certificate of Registration (COR). Inform them if you will be availing a tax exemption for BMBE as you will be filling up another form. Go to the Revenue District Office (RDO) you belong to.
Note: RDO will depend on the registered address you will be providing.
- Before filling up the forms, get your priority number first, because queuing time takes longer. Select to go to Counter 4 – Assistance Desk so you will be guided with the process.
- Prepare for payment – COR P500, Annual Registration Fee P500, Documentary Stamp P50. Bring extra money in case of any additional charges.
- Bring your TIN. They will be updating that from employee to a freelancer.
- You will be required to attend a BIR Seminar. Ask for the schedule. Bring the Claim Slip (date indicated as to when to claim your COR and Ask For Receipt Notice sticker). This should be signed by the person conducting the seminar.
- Make sure to attend the seminar. This is also the time that you can ask everything that you would like to know on how to compute your taxes and your responsibilities as a taxpayer.
- You can bring a flash drive. The one conducting the seminar might give you a soft copy of the PowerPoint presentation.
- As early as now, you can design your Official Receipt to be processed by your printing press or you may opt to follow the regular format provided by your printing press together with the Authority to Print (ATP) issued by BIR.
- Bring the set of Books of Accounts stamped by the Business Bureau when you have the COR for another stamp received by BIR.
AS SELF-EMPLOYED / FREELANCER:
- Before going to BIR, secure your Barangay Certificate & Cedula first, so you won’t have to go back and forth from BIR to your Barangay then back to BIR.
- Make sure to prepare Barangay Certificate and NOT Barangay Clearance. Your Brgy. The certificate should show your complete name, exact address, and the nature of your work (mine was as a Virtual Assistant engaged in Online Freelancing).
Go to BIR. Locate the one issuing the Application forms for a new applicant. Go to the Revenue District Office (RDO) you belong to. They will give you Form 1901 and Form 0605 to fill up. A list of requirements is attached to the form.
Note: RDO will depend on the registered address you will be providing. If you don’t know your RDO, you can tell them your area and they will guide you.
- BIR Form No. 1901
- Any identification issued by an authorized government body that shows the name, address, and birthdate for the applicant (Birth Certificate, Passport, Driver’s License, Cedula – bring photocopies.)
- If applicable – bring Marriage Certificate (just in case)
- Barangay Certificate (originally not included on the list)
- bring photocopies
Before filling up the forms, get your priority number first, because queuing time takes longer. Select to go to Counter 4 – Assistance Desk so you will be guided with the process. Also, get another priority number for Counter 3 at the same time.
At Counter 4 – Bring with you the filled up Form 1901 and Form 0605. Explain that you are registering as a Freelancer | Home Based | Virtual Assistant. Explain the nature of your work.
Ask if there are additional requirements. Barangay Certificate was not originally included on the list (above), but they required me one when I asked at Counter 4.
If you don’t have TIN yet or if you changed RDO you can also inquire at Counter 4.
Counter 3 – Bring with you the filled up Form 1901 and Form 0605.
Submit additional requirements: Photocopy of birth certificate. Photocopy for Barangay Certificate.
Pay P500 for the Certificate of Registration (COR).
After doing one step, ALWAYS ask what’s next. Based on my experience, they don’t give instructions on what to do next. Ask for the claim stub (when to get the COR) and ask about the seminar for new applicants. They forgot to give and tell me these things.
Join the SEMINAR. This is the perfect time where you can ASK everything you would like to know about how to compute your taxes and your responsibilities as a taxpayer.
The Book of Accounts is also mentioned during the seminar. If not, ask what kind of book is required for our line of business. Purchase also your Books of Accounts.
Once you claimed the COR, go to counter 7 and pay for documentary stamps, P30. Fill up Form 1905 and have your Books of Accounts stamped at Counter 5.
Print your Official Receipt.
At the Forms counter, ask for a list of an accredited printing press. Prepare a photocopy of the following: Form 1901, Form 0605, Receipt of Payment for COR from step 3, and COR. Go to your selected printing press, submit the photocopies.
Printing of Receipt Fee would range from P1200 to P1500.
- There are times that some agents from different printing press companies will wait outside, ready to accommodate you. You can ask the person in charge at the Forms counter.
- How to compute and pay your taxes, ITR, and the like as a freelancer will be discussed and explained well during the seminar.
HOW FREELANCERS CAN FILE FOR SSS
To update your membership status to voluntary, you don’t have to go to an SSS branch.
Just access your online account through https://portal.sss.gov.ph/member/ and choose “Voluntary’’ as your membership type when generating a PRN.
After paying the contribution, your membership status will automatically change to voluntary.
However, if you’ll pay contribution as a self-employed member, fill out the Member Data Change Request Form (Form E-4)
Note: An unemployed SSS member who has no previous SS record of coverage or contributions cannot just start paying contributions as a Voluntary Member for the sole purpose of qualifying for an SS ID Card or SSS benefits. Such contributions shall be deemed invalid and duly returned/refunded. Voluntary Membership is solely for previously employed/self-employed/OFW members.
Refer to the SSS contributions table for the full list of contribution rates for a voluntary member.
SSS Contributions Table was deemed effective last April 2019.