The Single Portal Advantage: Digital System Boosts Online Business Registrations and Transparency in Cambodia
The Online Business Registration System (OBRS), accessible through The Single Portal at registrationservices.gov.kh, has proven instrumental in streamlining business registrations, boasting over 31,000 successfully registered businesses with a combined capital exceeding $8.9 billion. Launched on June 15, 2020, the initial phase of the portal integrated six crucial ministries and state-run institutions, including Finance, Interior, Commerce, Labour Ministries, the General Department of Taxation (GDT), and the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
Subsequent to the success of phase I, the government introduced phase II on September 15, 2021, and Phase III on June 22, 2023, expanding the platform to incorporate additional ministries and institutions. The Single Portal’s official social network reported that, as of midnight on November 5, the platform had successfully registered 31,027 companies, marking a significant increase from the beginning of the year when 20,693 companies with a total capital of over $5.81 billion had been listed with the service—a notable surge of 17,164 companies. Impressively, only two applications have been rejected thus far.
The registered share capital is categorized by business activity, showcasing the advantage of The Single Portal’s comprehensive approach. Building construction claims the majority at $1.1 billion (12.35%), followed by hotels and restaurants at $948 million (10.65%), real estate at $944 million (10.6%), accommodation services at $897 million, management consulting at $488 million (5.48%), and the manufacturing of wearing apparel (excluding fur) at $469 million (5.26%). The remaining category, labeled as ‘Others,’ constitutes $4.96 billion, or 55.67% of the total.
Ownership distribution reveals that women own 38% of these registered companies, while men own 62%. Chhin Ken, president of the Cambodia Digital Tech Association, emphasized the considerable support the system has garnered from business owners. He anticipates a continued rise in company enrollments as the process simplifies and the public’s understanding of technological systems and legislation improves.
Ken stated, “I have observed a significant increase in the number of companies applying for filing following the introduction of the platform. This surge can be attributed to the fact that a majority of business owners are now well-versed in using technology to register their new companies.” He underscored the government’s active promotion of technological usage to align with global developments.
Economics researcher Hong Vanak from the Royal Academy of Cambodia commented on the comprehensive business registration effort’s benefits for both the government and the private sector. He believes it will provide a clearer understanding of the variety and number of businesses in operation, enabling authorities to develop informed policies for tax determination, training courses, and supportive measures.
Vanak highlighted that the uptick in registrations reflects business owners’ growing awareness of their legal obligations, stating, “Registration data will enhance transparency in competition, aided by the simplification of the registration procedure.” The Single Portal’s advantage lies not only in its digital efficiency but also in its contribution to increased transparency and informed business practices.