THERE were 14,920 business names registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu in 2015, the highest since 2001.

This is 7.71 percent up from the 13,770 business names registered in 2014. This has also exceeded the 2015 target of 14,817 business name registrations.

Total capitalization, meanwhile, dropped last year from P5.4 billion in 2014 to P2.28 billion in 2015.

DTI-Cebu Consumer Welfare Division Chief Zaide Bation said most of the businesses registered with the agency in 2015 had smaller capitalizations, were new, and mostly were into small-scale retail trade activities like food and printing.

Employment generated last year also dropped to 25,428 from 29,221 in 2014. Bation explained that the registered businesses in 2015 were not as labor-intensive as those registered in 2014.

The DTI records are only limited to single proprietorship, Bation noted, since corporations are no longer required to register their business names with DTI, but with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In 2015, the month of October saw the highest number of business names registered at 1,693 while it was lowest in July at 982.

This year, DTI Cebu expects the number of business name registrations to go up.

With DTI's BN (Business Name) Mobile travelling to different towns and cities from Danao in the north to San Fernando in the south, Bation said they can encourage more businesses, regardless of size, to register with the agency.

DTI-Cebu Director Nelia Navarro, in previous interviews, emphasized the importance of registering with the agency so they may be included in DTI's database and may be assisted when the government implements programs to uplift the specific sectors they belong to.

Unlike last year when the BN Mobile starting running only by the middle of 2015, Bation said DTI-Cebu will deploy this as early as this month.

"We need to do this in order to capture as many businesses," said Bation, noting a possible 10 percent increase in business name registration target this 2016.