The total capital of 28,618 companies registered in the online business registration system jumped to $8.4 billion as of Aug 27, compared to 20,693 companies with a total capital of $5.8 billion at the start of 2023.

The data showed that companies involved in business and construction represented the largest segment at 12.8 percent of registered entities with $1.08 billion capital in total, followed by hotels and restaurants with $942 million capital (11.2 percent), real estate with $924 million capital (11 percent), management consulting ($482 million; 5.7 percent) and garment manufacturing (excluding fur skins garments) with $436 million capital (5.2 percent).

Of that, 38 percent of the companies are owned by women, the system revealed.

In the meantime, 16,298 companies have applied to be fully registered while two were rejected.

Phase one of the system was launched in June 2020, which incorporated six ministries and state-owned General Department of Taxation (GDT) and Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

A year later in September, phase two of the platform integrated the Non-Bank Financial Services Authority’s Real Estate Business and Pawnshop Regulator, and three ministries, followed by phase three in June this year where additional ministries and institutions were incorporated.

Hong Vanak, an economist at the Institute of International Relations at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on August 30 that the rise in registered companies indicates a growing awareness of the legalisation of businesses among business owners.

It also shows that there is business growth in Cambodia which has enabled authorities to obtain information on business activities.

The registration not only helps the government to manage and collect tax revenue, it also makes it easier to formulate supportive policies, such as training courses, loan restructuring and incentives.

“The registration of business is a positive move by business owners as they can engage in transparent competition. The government can also know the exact number of businesses and by type, and collect tax accordingly,” he said.

He opined a recent update by the government on the online registration procedure which smoothens the process could be the reason for the surge in registrations since early this year.

“The private sector is always looking for procedures that are easy, speedy and cost effective,” Vanak said.

Earlier this month, Cambodia Digital Tech Association president Chhin Ken observed that the adoption of information technology in Cambodia has increased steadily, thanks to the advent of technology.

“I noticed that after the government announced the introduction of an information technology platform for company registration, the number of companies that applied for registration increased significantly.

“The growth of registered companies is now due to the fact that most business owners are aware of their obligations and know how to use technology to apply for registration,” he added.