Over 31,000 businesses, boasting a combined capital exceeding $8.9 billion, have successfully completed their registration through the Online Business Registration System (OBRS) via its IT Platform phase 1.

The initial phase of theportal, launched by government representatives on June 15, 2020, saw the integration of six ministries and state-run institutions. These comprised the Finance, Interior, Commerce and Labour Ministries, along with the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

The government rolled out phase II of the platform on September 15, 2021 and Phase III on June 22, 2023, incorporating additional ministries and institutions.

OBRS’s official social network reports that, as of midnight on November 5, the platform had successfully registered 31,027 companies with a total share capital amounting to $8.91 billion.

This indicates a rise from the beginning of the year when 20,693 companies with a total capital of over $5.81 billion had been listed with the service, marking an increase of 17,164 companies. So far, only two applications have been rejected, as per OBRS.

The current registered share capital is categorised by business activity, with building constructionclaiming the majority at $1.1 billion, or 12.35%.

This is followed by hotels and restaurants at $948 million (10.65%), real estate at $944 million (10.6%), accommodation services at $897 million, management consulting at $488 million (5.48%) and the manufacturing of wearing apparel (excluding fur) at $469 million (5.26%).

Classified as ‘Others’, the remainer constitutes $4.96 billion, or 55.67% of the total.

Women own 38% of these companies, while men own 62%.

Chhin Ken, president of the Cambodia Digital Tech Association, stated that the systemhas garnered considerable support from business owners. He noted that as the process simplifies, and as the public’s understanding of technological systems and legislation improves, the number of companies enrolling is expected to rise.

“I have observed a significant increase in the number of companies applying for filing following the introduction of the platform. This surge can be attributed to the fact that a majority of business owners are now well-versed in using technology to register their new companies,” he stated.

He noted the government is actively promoting technological usage to keep pace with global developments.

Hong Vanak, an economics researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, commented that the comprehensive business registration effort will greatly benefit both the government and the private sector.

He believes it will facilitate a clearer understanding of the variety and number of businesses in operation, enabling authorities to develop informed policies for tax determination, training coursesand supportive measures.

Hesaid that the uptick in registrations also reflects business owners’ growing awareness of their legal obligations to complete and submit the necessary documentation.

“Registration data will enhance transparency in competition, aided by the simplification of the registration procedure,” he added.