Three major additional functions have been added to the Online Business Registration Platform, also known as the “Single Portal”, which analysts feel will be particularly helpful to current business owners and individuals wishing to launch new ventures.

The first of these functions allows firms “that have been registered with [the] Ministry of Commerce but have not yet been registered for tax, or have been registered for tax but have not yet been registered with [the ministry], to complete the remaining registration procedure[s] on the system”.

This is according to a May 30 statement issued by the Online Business Registration Service (“OBRS”), a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The second function is the option to “request to transfer management rights of company/enterprise information from one CamDigiKey account to another”, said the statement.

“The first application will be free of charge. For [subsequent] applications, each application will be charged 160,000 riel [$40] to [the] Ministry of Commerce,” it noted.

The third function is the choice to “request to correct company/enterprise information for [a] submitted application that has been ‘returned’, by allowing to correct only information that does not affect the form of company/enterprise and the paid fees”, it said.

“In addition to these three functions, any application that has been ‘returned’ for users to correct information or documents and/or give clarification, but has not been taken any action in response to the ‘return’ within 21 days, the application will be ‘voided’,” it added.

CamDigiKey is an authentication solution used to access numerous government digital services and portals running through the finance ministry’s Cambodia Data Exchange (CamDX) platform – including the Single Portal.

CamDX is a decentralised but unified data-exchange layer between information systems that provides a standardised and secure way to produce and consume services, according to its website. The platform, reportedly modelled after Estonia’s X-Road, was rolled out on June 15, 2020, the same day as the Single Portal.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), the Kingdom’s apex trade body, told The Post on May 30 that the new data correction functionality will help to ensure that information on the Single Portal is accurate, and described it as “necessary” to stay current with business and other worldwide trends.

The platform streamlines the business registration process, saving owners and managers time and money, he said, suggesting that it becomes increasingly easier for authorities to address related issues as more firms are added.

He commented that the CCC has consistently lobbied government agencies to simplify paperwork, whether it relates to company registration or the import or export of goods.

‘Positive step’

Royal Academy of Cambodia economist Hong Vanak remarked that multiple agencies have been furnished with hi-tech systems in an effort to further the digital-government agenda.

Offering a concrete example of the Single Portal’s usefulness and appeal for investors, he said the platform provides a practical means for anyone, wherever, looking to register a company or get in touch with the proper authorities.

“Facilitating business registration and data correction procedures in Cambodia is a positive step for the country’s economy,” Vanak said.

According to the OBRS statement, as of May 29, a total of 25,612 companies with cumulative registered investment capital of $7.58 billion were listed on the Single Portal.

Oddly enough, a separate OBRS notice issued in the evening of May 29 put the number of companies at 25,621 and volume of “registered share capital” at $7.56 billion as of that day – specifically at 2pm.

Nonetheless, the May 30 statement also noted that a total of 593 sector-based licences, permits and certificates were approved as of May 29 by the platform’s four second-phase government agencies: the telecoms, tourism and industry ministries, as well as the Real Estate Business and Pawnshop Regulator (RPR).

The government launched the Single Portal to streamline the company registration process. Six agencies were incorporated into its Phase I component: the finance, interior, commerce and labour ministries, along with the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

On September 1, 2021, it deployed the platform’s Phase II component, integrating the aforementioned four additional agencies. Both components are running concurrently.