Starting up a business in cambodia

Hi all i would like to know a few intakes in opening up a business in cambodia,

First what are the first steps to registering for a business name and company in Cambodia?
What are the rules and regulations?
Also are there any tips and pitfalls I can be advised on so I don't make the same mistake?

Any information will be helpful, I am also researching the requirements. I just want to know from a business owner perspective aswell.

Regards

I would love to know aswell.Best is to contact a reliable law firm up there .Wich i will look for in the futur.

Kind regards,

Carina

HI,

I'M USA EXPAT IN SIHANOUKVILLE FOR 5 MOS. YOU WILL NEED TO GET A BUSINESS VISA ($300 +) GOOD FOR 1 YR. NO OTHER RESTRICTIONS HERE, LIKE IN PPENH,TO OPEN BUSINESS.IN THAILAND YOU MUST HAVE THAI AS PART OWNER. 5 BEAUTIFUL  BEACHES .MANY EXPATS THAT HAVE LEFT THIALAND & VEITNAM HAVE  MOVED HERE. RENTAL PROPERTY IS VERY CHEAP. MY 3 RM ,BRAND NEW,APT IS $250 MO. BEST MATTRESS I'VE EVER SLEPT ON. (SONGVA KONG/NAME) THIS SHOULD HELP YOU. GOOD LUCK!
DAVE

We just switched emails and yes we are serious.

David, this is an old thread, but what are your thoughts about the original question now a year on?

Still easy, or has it got more difficult to for example rent a bar or hotel etc.

Dear Mr Cambodia,

Firstly, I have lived in Cambodia for 4 years and in that time I had my own company and professionally I work in real estate both for commercial and residential sales.

If you want to set up a company in Cambodia you can and it is relatively simple, first of all decide whether you want to set up a fully foreign owned company or a Cambodian Company, the latter is restricted from buying land or property in Cambodia, however, they can lease property or land.

A Cambodian registered company requires Cambodian partner(s), 51% share is Cambodian owned and 49% foreign owned, however, the way the company can be structured,is to allow the foreign party greater voting rights, therefore, remaining in control of the company with a lower share value. A Cambodian registered company can buy land and property under the company name, however, all documentation has to be signed by a Cambodian entity from the registered company.

Applications are made to the Ministry of Commerce, the process can take 3 months or longer depending on the type of business you wish to open and there is a lot of paperwork where every page of the documentation has to signed or initialed.

It is perfectly OK to start operations prior to obtaining your business licence, however, you will need a business address, i.e, an office, a virtual office or in the case of a bar/restaurant/hotel etc, this would be your business address. When it comes to bars/restaurants/hotels etc, you can have a name for the business e.g "Nice Bar" but the actual trading name could be "Asiabarscompany" this is quite normal, as changing a registered company name can be a lengthy process.

Also, you will have to register for tax and obtain your patent tax and VAT number, again a lot of paperwork. The tax is paid on a monthly and yearly basis, please be aware late payment of taxes result in fines and are not negotiable. The tax system was archaic however, in the last three years it has become more stringent.

If you are considering bars/restaurants/hotels you will need a licence from the Ministry of Tourism and also a liquor licence, in many cases if you are taking over a said establishment, it should already be in place from the previous owner and may require a transfer of names etc.

Compared to many countries in the region, Cambodia is by far the simplest but as my previous lawyer said to me, these are the fees for setting up the company which includes "disbursement" fees, this is basically what you pay the officer(s) handling your application for a smoother and hopefully, quicker application approval.

You will also have to register with the Labour Department and as a company owner you will automatically obtain a work permit valid for 1 year and has to be renewed yearly. If you are employing foreigners, you will have to initially apply for a quota of work permits for foreigners based on how many you have to employ, once this is approved, you can use the quota for that year. All Cambodian employees also have to be registered with the Labour Department. They will come and check you at least every three months to ensure your paperwork is in order and and you have not exceeded your quota etc, expect to make an offering to buy them lunch for their troubles, a little tip goes a long long way.

I trust this is helpful and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact me, I cannot pass on my email address etc, however, you can go to the business directory and find me under SEAPS.

Kind regards

Mr. Naim Khan-Turk

naimkhanturk :

Dear Mr Cambodia,

Firstly, I have lived in Cambodia for 4 years and in that time I had my own company and professionally I work in real estate both for commercial and residential sales.

If you want to set up a company in Cambodia you can and it is relatively simple, first of all decide whether you want to set up a fully foreign owned company or a Cambodian Company, the latter is restricted from buying land or property in Cambodia, however, they can lease property or land.

A Cambodian registered company requires Cambodian partner(s), 51% share is Cambodian owned and 49% foreign owned, however, the way the company can be structured,is to allow the foreign party greater voting rights, therefore, remaining in control of the company with a lower share value. A Cambodian registered company can buy land and property under the company name, however, all documentation has to be signed by a Cambodian entity from the registered company.

Applications are made to the Ministry of Commerce, the process can take 3 months or longer depending on the type of business you wish to open and there is a lot of paperwork where every page of the documentation has to signed or initialed.

It is perfectly OK to start operations prior to obtaining your business licence, however, you will need a business address, i.e, an office, a virtual office or in the case of a bar/restaurant/hotel etc, this would be your business address. When it comes to bars/restaurants/hotels etc, you can have a name for the business e.g "Nice Bar" but the actual trading name could be "Asiabarscompany" this is quite normal, as changing a registered company name can be a lengthy process.

Also, you will have to register for tax and obtain your patent tax and VAT number, again a lot of paperwork. The tax is paid on a monthly and yearly basis, please be aware late payment of taxes result in fines and are not negotiable. The tax system was archaic however, in the last three years it has become more stringent.

If you are considering bars/restaurants/hotels you will need a licence from the Ministry of Tourism and also a liquor licence, in many cases if you are taking over a said establishment, it should already be in place from the previous owner and may require a transfer of names etc.

Compared to many countries in the region, Cambodia is by far the simplest but as my previous lawyer said to me, these are the fees for setting up the company which includes "disbursement" fees, this is basically what you pay the officer(s) handling your application for a smoother and hopefully, quicker application approval.

You will also have to register with the Labour Department and as a company owner you will automatically obtain a work permit valid for 1 year and has to be renewed yearly. If you are employing foreigners, you will have to initially apply for a quota of work permits for foreigners based on how many you have to employ, once this is approved, you can use the quota for that year. All Cambodian employees also have to be registered with the Labour Department. They will come and check you at least every three months to ensure your paperwork is in order and and you have not exceeded your quota etc, expect to make an offering to buy them lunch for their troubles, a little tip goes a long long way.

I trust this is helpful and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact me, I cannot pass on my email address etc, however, you can go to the business directory and find me under SEAPS.

Kind regards

Mr. Naim Khan-Turk

Mr. Cambodia's post is 3.5 years old, and he has not visited this site for two years, so your answer will probably not reach him.

Joe

Oh well C'est la vie.Maybe someone on the thread may benefit from it.

Definitely Mr. naimkhanturk! Ive been looking forums about  how open a business in Cambodia..
Im planning to go soon check out, and also doing a lot of research. But I dont understand, in Cambodia we need or not a Cambodian as a partner? an also ive been seen that as a foreign i cant buy a land, but if theres something built o the land i can. Is that true?? Anyway, the ideia is to open a hostel, an I really appreciate any advice!
Thanks a lot!

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