Tag Archive | Doing business in Cambodia

Doing Business in Cambodia

Doing Business in Cambodia

Cambodia is a developing market economy that grew at an average rate of over 10 percent from 2004 to 2007, driven largely by an expansion in the garment sector, construction, agriculture, and tourism. The global economic crisis has adversely affected the economy’s key pillars and economic growth contracted by approximately 0.1 percent in 2009. Growth rebounded in 2010 and 2011 at approximately 6 to 7percent, and is forecast to increase to 6.5 percent in 2012.

Cambodia is one of the few Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to export over $2 billion. Since Cambodia became the first LDC to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2004, trade has steadily increased, and the U.S. has been Cambodia’s largest trading partner. Comparing to $2.3 billion of export to the U.S and $153 million of export to Cambodia in 2010, from January to October 2011, Cambodia’s exports to the U.S. were $2.29 billion and U.S. exports to Cambodia were $152.6 million.

Cambodia‘s rapidly expanding tourism industry is led by the spectacular cultural attraction of Angkor Wat. Tourism has increased more than eleven-fold since 1998 when Cambodia received a modest 187,000 tourists, with the number of foreign arrivals approximately 2.8 million in 2011 with an increase of 14% compared to 2010. It is estimated that the international arrival will reach 4.5 million by 2015 and 7 million by 2020. In 2011, Cambodian coastal areas were recognized by the Club of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays as its members.

Despite rapid growth in garments and tourism, Cambodia remains an agrarian society, with the agriculture sector employing approximately 80 percent of Cambodia‘s population. Donors have been a driving force behind the development efforts of Cambodia with financial support accounting for at least 50% of the government budget. The U.S. is one of Cambodia‘s largest donors and official U.S. assistance amounted to over $75 million in 2011, up from $36 million in 2002.

Foreign investment in Cambodia has increased significantly since 2004 led by Asian investors from countries such as Malaysia, China, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Approved investment proposals by the Council for the Development of Cambodia totaled around $500 million in 2011. The Cambodian government currently offers a generous package of incentives to foreign investors and imposes few restrictions on imports from abroad.

Trade Agreements

Cambodia joined the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1995 and is also a member of the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ). Cambodia ratified the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Mutual Recognition Arrangements. It has also signed numerous trade agreements, including the U.S.-Cambodia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in 2006, which facilitates and promotes greater trade and investment of the two countries and provides a forum to address bilateral trade and investment issues. Two successful meetings were held under the TIFA in 2007 in which the U.S. and Cambodian governments discussed WTO accession requirements, trade facilitation and economic development initiatives, and progress on intellectual property rights. In 2008, several bilateral working level meetings were held to advance the TIFA agenda. Additional information on trade agreements can be found at Bilateral Trade Department of Ministry of Commerce website.

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Starting a Business in Cambodia by the World Bank

Op-Ed: Doing Business in Cambodia

Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Cambodia. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy’s per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2013.

Compare Cambodia to 188 other economies.



  • Legal Form: Private Limited Liability Company
  • Paid in Minimum Capital Requirement: KHR 1,000,000
  • City: Phnom Penh
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Deposit the legally required initial capital in a bank and obtain deposit evidence

Initial capital of KHR 4 million must be paid in before registration at any authorized bank in Cambodia. The bank must provide a bank statement certifying the deposit. There is no time limit for the firm to pay the entire amount.

1 day no charge
2 Conduct an initial check for uniqueness of the company name at the Intellectual Property Department

The Intellectual Property Department has to do an initial name check for uniqueness.

2 days Included in Procedure 3
3 Check the uniqueness of the company name at the Business Registration Office

The uniqueness of the company name is researched at the Department of Business Registration of the Ministry of Commerce after the approval from the Intellectual Property Department.

5 days USD 10
4 Publication of an abstract of the company organization documents (bylaws, memorandum, and articles of association) in a Gazette

A director, a shareholder, or a proxy with mandate shall prepare an application for publication in a gazette, which includes the following:
• Company name (and abbreviation, if any)
• Company form
• Summary of business objectives
• Company term
• Total capital in cash
• Director(s) full name, occupation, nationality, and address
• Location of company to be registered

It takes 1 day to get confirmed approval of the gazette announcement. Companies need to show this approval and application document (at least three copies) for registration. Usually publication occurs within 7-10 working days, sometimes longer, maximum 1 month, depending on how long business registration at the MoC takes.

7 days USD 15
5 Incorporate the company with the Business Registration Department in Ministry of Commerce

The memorandum and articles of association shall be prepared based on the company form and consistent with applicable law, regulations, and the standards set for such documents by the Ministry of Commerce. These documents shall be submitted in triplicate with original copies, as required (one copy each filed at the Business Registration Department, Ministry of Commerce.

The memorandum and articles of association must include the following information:

• Company name
• Corporate form
• Business objectives
• Company duration
• Registered office
• Stated capital in Khmer currency and shareholding
• Name, address, and nationality of shareholders and director
• Transfer and shares transfer
• Accounts
• Dissolution of company
• Change of company legal form
• Announcement of company establishment

The following documents must be presented to the Ministry’s Registrar in the specified quantity:

• Registration forms for registration (model): three sets
• Copy of identity card or passport of each company member: three sets
• Photo (4” x 6”) of each company member: three sets
• Reference letter from a particular bank, clarifying the minimum capital KHR 4,000,000: one original
• Articles of incorporation: three sets
• Application for newspaper announcement: three sets
• Declaration of non-guilt of directors: three sets

In 2006 the Ministry streamlined registration application requirements by eliminating the need for a statement of conformity and local government approvals.

The Ministry publishes the company formation notice in the Official Gazette. During the transitional period in which the Kingdom has no Commercial Court, the organization and maintenance of the Commercial Register and the governance of the capacity to conduct commerce, as provided by law, is entrusted to the Ministry of Commerce. All commercial matters are under the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts and ministry officials.

The time for commercial registration may take 2-3 weeks.

2-3 weeks USD 400
6 Make a company seal

The Ministry of Commerce issues a seal to the company together with the registration certificate.

1 day USD 15
7 Have registration documents stamped and approved by Phnom Penh Tax Department

The documents need to be stamped are (1) Memorandum and Articles of Association, (2) Ministry of Commerce Letter of Approval and (3) Certificate of Incorporation. This is obtained at one of the tax department branch offices at the khan (district) level, of which there are 7 in the city.

3 days USD 250
* 8 Register the company for patent at the Tax office at the khan level 3-4 weeks (simultaneous with previous procedure) USD 285
* 9 Register the company for VAT at the General Tax Department

A tax registration form and related document must be completed with the assistance of the Real Regime Tax personnel, and copies of commercial registration documents must be provided.

It takes about 2 weeks to get the temporary Tax ID number, about 3-6 weeks for the definitive one.

2 weeks (simultaneous with previous procedure) USD 100
10 Notify the Ministry of Labor of the start of operations and hiring of employees

All businesses must submit a written declaration to Ministry of Labor before their actual opening. All employers must submit a written declaration to the Ministry of Labor when hiring or dismissing an employee, within 15 days of the date of hiring or termination at the latest. In addition, each enterprise with at least eight employees must have established internal regulations that adapt such general provisions of the labor code as conditions of hiring and calculation and payment of wages and perquisites, including in-kind benefits, work hours, health and safety measures, and personal leave, including holidays. The internal regulations must be filed within 3 months of firm opening. All establishments must maintain a payroll ledger, a declaration of personnel, a book of establishment, and labor regulations (in Khmer version). As required by law, local employees shall be provided with a “labor book” upon completing a physical examination at the Labor Health Center (KHR 10,000 for each employee, which is usually covered by the employer).

The procedure cost covers five processes (a) Announcing the opening of a new company and registering it with the Ministry of Labor; (b) declaring of staff (updated as necessary); (c) developing internal regulations; (d) obtaining the payroll ledger and book (record) of establishment; (e) electing staff delegates; (f) filing employment contracts; (g) obtaining employee handbooks and work permits for foreign employees; (h) registering with the National Social Security Fund (“NSSF”); (i) paying contributions for staff to the NSSF and obtaining occupational risk insurance cards.

30 days USD 250 (8-200 employees)
* 11 Receive inspection from Labor Inspector 1 day (simultaneous with procedure 10) Included in Procedure 10

* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

If you use this article for future reference, please refer to original source at: http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/cambodia/starting-a-business