A total of 25,871 companies, with cumulative “registered share capital” of $7.62 billion, were approved by the six first-phase government agencies and successfully registered on the Online Business Registration Platform – also known as the “Single Portal” – in its 1,086 days of existence as of June 5 at 3pm, according to the Online Business Registration Service (“OBRS”).

This marks a 25 per cent rise from the 20,693 firms, and a 31 per cent jump from the $5.81 billion in total registered share capital posted by the OBRS – a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance – for January 2 at 2pm, just 154 days earlier.

The government launched the platform on June 15, 2020 to streamline the registration process for companies. In its initial phase, just six ministries and state-run institutions were linked to the Single Portal: the finance, interior, commerce and labour ministries, and the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

As of June 5, a total of 15,155 companies had at some point successfully made reservations with the six first-phase agencies to complete the registration process at a later date. Although no registration applications had been rejected as of then, two reservation requests have been declined.

Breaking down the $7.62 billion June 5 figure for registered share capital by “business activities”, “building construction” accounted for the lion’s share at $1.06 billion, followed by “accommodation services” ($892M).

Next on the list were “real estate activities involving the use of one’s own, or leased properties” ($792M), “management consulting ($371M) and “manufacture of wearing apparel, except fur apparel” ($348M). “Others” represented $4.15 billion or 55 per cent of the total.

By contrast, the OBRS broke down the $7.42 billion in registered share capital logged as of April 24 at 2pm by “business activities” as follows: “building construction” ($1.05B), “real estate activities involving the use of one’s own, or leased properties” ($893M), “management consulting” ($751M), “manufacture of wearing apparel, except fur apparel” ($356M), “financial intermediation” ($331M) and “others” ($4.04B).

The OBRS reported that 38 per cent per cent of the companies on the Single Portal were women-owned as of June 5 at 3pm.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on June 7 that the number of businesses registered on the platform has been on a constant climb since its 2020 launch, thanks to its ease of use and low cost.

Mass registration not only promotes transparency and legal compliance in the business realm, but also makes it easier for the authorities to implement support measures when a specific sector is struggling, he explained.

“It’d be so much easier for the state to formulate support policies and incentives, and set tax rates should registrations be completed for all businesses,” he said, noting that prior to the Single Portal’s launch, the private sector had long advocated for such an inter-ministerial registration system with the potential to really save time and cut bureaucracy.

Speaking at the launch in June 2020, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth underscored that the Single Portal is part of the government’s “proactive” reform efforts, and was established on three principles: reducing unnecessary procedures, reducing costs, and reducing review times.

“I firmly believe that with the close cooperation of all relevant ministries and institutions, the IT Business Registration Platform – with digital tech at its core – will serve as a valuable basis for the provision of digital public services and opportunities for the national economy,” he said.

The Single Portal can be accessed at registrationservices.gov.kh.