THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to relax rules for the registration of new domestic corporations by allowing the submission of unnotarized documents.

The corporate regulator issued a draft memorandum circular on Monday allowing companies to register through the submission of articles of incorporation accompanied by a certificate of authentication.

Both documents don’t need to be notarized nor consularized as long as all incorporators sign the certificate of authentication that the SEC templated.

The initiative is in line with the SEC’s goal of “bolstering ease of doing business in the Philippines,” as it said improving the business climate in the country will benefit the economy.

While notarization is no longer required in the proposed rules, the SEC said corporations may still choose to acknowledge their articles of incorporation before a notary public.

If the articles of incorporation are executed abroad, these may be “apostilled,” or accompanied by a specialized certificate to be acknowledged by members of the Hague Apostille Convention as legitimate. Another option is to have these notarized or authenticated by a Philippine diplomatic or consular officer.

The SEC warned that if a corporation is found to have committed fraud or misrepresentation in its registration, its certificate of registration will be revoked. Those that assisted violators in the fraud will be fined P200,000 to P2 million. If the violation is found detrimental to the public, the fine would be P400,000 to P5 million.

“The SEC expects the proposed guidelines relaxing the registration requirements for domestic corporations to help improve the ease of doing business in the Philippines and subsequently bolster the economy,” it said in a statement.

The proposed rules are currently for review of the public, which may send their comments to the SEC until April 30. — Denise A. Valdez