Sari Sari Store Business

How to start sari sari store business

A sari sari store business , or neighborhood variety store, is a convenience store found in the Philippines. The word sari-sari is Tagalog meaning “variety”. Such stores form an important economic and social location in a Filipino community. It is present in almost all neighborhoods, sometimes even on every street. Most sari-sari stores are family-run privately owned and are operated inside the owners house. Commodities are displayed in a large screen-covered or metal barred window in front of the house.  Candies in recycled jars, canned goods and cigarettes are often displayed while cooking oil, salt and  sugar are put behind. They also distribute prepaid mobile phone credits. The sari-sari store works with a small revolving fund,  and usually doesn’t have the means to refrigerate and store perishable goods. However, they may have refrigerators that can store other products such as soft drinks, beers and bottled water.

sari sari store business

Factors to Consider

  1. Location The goal is to reach more people than your home, a larger market than your neighborhood. Scout locations such as nearby busy streets, around town plazas, adjacent to schools, and similar areas with a lot of foot traffic.
  2. Cash / Capital The starting capital for a store is around 10,000 to 15,000, depending on your budget and the size of your store. It would be better to start with just the basic items, and then expand your products little by little.Why? Because from the start, you wouldn’t know your market, or what items are to be often bought by your customers.
  3. List of Items / goods
    1. Cigarettes
    2. Drinks / Beverages (soft drinks, bottled juice, liquors and beers)
    3. Shampoo, toothpaste, bath soap, dish-washing liquid, bar soap, detergents, bleach, etc.
    4. Canned Goods
    5. Noodles
    6. Cooking aid (frying oil, soy sauce, vinegar, powder mixes, MSG, egg, garlic, ketchup, tomato paste, sugar, salt, etc.)
    7. Powders in Sachet (Juice powders, coffee, milk, coffee mate, choco powder, etc.)
    8. Snacks or junky foods

e.g these are Boy BawangSugoChippyPiattos, Mang Juan, Clover, Mr. Chipz, Candies, chocolates, lollipops, milk powders, bubble gums and mints etc.

4. Store Design And Concept

a. Home Store This design has the lowest start-up cost in terms of physical structure, the easiest and most practical way for a sari-sari store business since there’s no need to rent or build a store. All you need is a table and a window which will serve as your store’s counter.

b. Store on Wheel All you need is a cart or a 3-wheeled bike and you’re good to go. Your store can go practically anywhere where there’s good food traffic without spending a lot.

c.Mini / Grocery If you have abundant funds, then this design is much better for you to supply small store and income is much higher compare to others

d.Long Counter store In this concept, easy inventory on your part and customer convenience due to organized goods

e.Portable Store All you need is a wooden cabinet where to place your goods, in this concept only the highest demand goods is being sold to customer and a limited stocks and income return.

5. Suppliers Establish a good relationship with your suppliers because they can provide the lowest costs for the items you sell. If you can go directly and avoid buying your merchandise in supermarkets, then that’s better. Also later on, you can negotiate better terms and prices from product distributors. You can ask for bulk order discounts, a credit line, and longer payment terms.


6.     Make it legal.

Sari sari store business registration

You have to operate your business legally. Like all businesses, there are also laws and local ordinances that you have to follow. For easier processing of business permit registration, here are the following documents that are commonly needed to process and submit:

  • Cedula, Barangay Clearance
  • Food Handler’s Seminar Certificate (if you will sell cooked food)
  • Police Clearance
  • Tax Identification Number
  • SSS Number, Philhealth, Pag-IBIG Fund
  • Business Name Registration
  • Business Permit from the Mayor or City Office

For faster business registration, visit your municipal/city hall first and ask if they have a one-stop-shop service. If not, then it helps to ask them for their list of requirements to register a sari-sari store business. That’s because there are variations on the requirements for every locality.

Minimum Income Earners are TAX EXEMPT, but BIR still requires filing for TIN and annual tax returns for tax exempt individuals. This is a government requirement that you we need to follow.


Registration Requirements in Sari Sari Store Business

a.Business name registration (
b. Mayor’s/Business Permit (check your local municipality/city)
c. BIR TIN (


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