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‘E-business owners need permits’

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The Ministry of Commerce says e-business owners need to apply for permits and licences to do business in the Kingdom. Post staff

‘E-business owners need permits’

The Ministry of Commerce has called on e-business owners to apply for permits and licences to operate legally in Cambodia.

Cambodia’s e-commerce law came into force in November last year and aims to regulate electronic businesses based in the Kingdom and enable local small and medium-sized enterprises to integrate into value chains linked to domestic and international markets, the ministry said in a prakas.

Signed on October 9 by minister Pan Sorasak, the prakas outlines the documentation and procedures required to obtain e-commerce permits and business licences, as well as to renew, update and edit information in what it describes as a simple and transparent manner.

According to the prakas, any natural or legal person who wishes to conduct business, operate or engage in commercial activity through electronic means must apply for a permit at the Business Registration Department under the ministry’s Trade Support Services General-Directorate.

The Business Registration Department’s website can be seen at moc.gov.kh/en-us/contact/organisation/18.

According to the prakas, an e-commerce permit is not required for the advertising of goods or services that are not subject to a contract and booking services that do not require deposit or payment by customers or users.

Also exempt is the sale of goods or services of individual or sole proprietorship with a turnover not exceeding the limit of a “small taxpayer”.

Sales at family-owned or seasonal businesses, sales of one’s own artwork, private tutoring, training or education of the national religion, training by non-profit organisations and state institutions’ operations in the provision of public services are also on the list of exemptions.

E-commerce permits and licences are valid for two and three years, respectively, from the date of issuance, the prakas said.

Ministry officials will review submitted applications and will respond to the applicant within five working days, it said.

Ministry spokesman Seang Thay told The Post that the e-commerce law will help boost the Kingdom’s economic growth through tax revenue collection.

“We are making progress in Industry 4.0, so the law will enable us to effectively manage our electronic businesses in relation to trade disputes and tax collection from the sector,” he said.

Speaking at a workshop organised by e-Zone Trading Plc on March 8, Cambodian E-commerce Federation president Ley Sopheap highlighted the critical role of e-commerce in the local market as the government works to turn the Kingdom into a digital economy.

He said e-commerce opens a world of opportunities for local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

As the number of smartphone users grows and the Kingdom embraces the Fourth Industrial Revolution, more and more businesses are choosing to make their services available online, Sopheap said.

“E-commerce operators will profit more if they operate legally. The government is urging e-commerce firms to register,” he said.

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