More than 30,000 businesses, with a total capital nearing $9 billion, have registered on the Online Business Registration Platform (OBRP) via its phase I component.

This marks a significant increase from early 2023 when only 20,693 companies with a capital exceeding $5.81 billion were listed, as reported by the Online Business Registration Service (OBRS).

Launched by the government on June 15, 2020, the integrated business registration platform initially brought together six ministries and state-run institutions: The Finance, Interior, Commerce and Labour ministries, along with the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

By September 15, 2021, Phase II was rolled out, integrating the Non-Bank Financial Services Authority’s (NFSA) Real Estate Business and Pawnshop Regulator, and the Industry, Tourism and Telecommunications ministries. Phase III, introduced on June 22, expanded the system by introducing 12 additional state institutions.

A total of 30,217 companies have been registered via OBRP, also known as the “Single Portal”, amounting to a registered share capital of $8.81 billion as of October 10, according to the OBRP’s official social media page. Data shows that 38% of these are women-owned businesses, with men owning the remaining 62%.

Breaking down the $8.81 billion in capital by business activity, building construction dominates with $1.1 billion (12.4%), followed by accommodation services and real estate activities, each accounting for $945 million (10.7%). Management consulting and the manufacture of wearing apparel (except fur), amounted to $485 million (5.5%) and $455 million (5.2%) respectively. The remaining 55.5% is classified under “others”.

Apart from the aforementioned companies, another 16,886 businesses have applied for registration, of which two were declined.

Hong Vanak, an economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on October 11 that comprehensive business registration would immensely benefit both the public and private sectors. It aids in understanding the spectrum of businesses operating, helping authorities frame tax, training and support policies.

“The rising registrations underscore business owners’ recognition of their legal obligations. The transparent competition and simplified registration process have been greatly beneficial,” he noted.

Prime Minister Hun Manet, speaking at the National Strategy for Informal Economic Development 2023-28 launch on October 10, highlighted entrepreneurs’ pivotal role in driving the national economy.

He urged all business proprietors to register, ensuring the government can promptly address any arising issues. Manet emphasised that the objective is to motivate businesses to register voluntarily.

According to Manet, questions like the cost of registering, potential penalties and outcomes have all been subjects of intensive inter-ministerial dialogues.

“The goal is to encourage greater participation in this shift, enabling the government to manage policies more effectively, particularly in challenging times,” he stated.

Manet pointed out that during this transitional period, registration will offer multiple advantages to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They can procure exemptions from penalties, benefit from tax incentives and access financial support and enterprise management training.