Only 1 in 10 small businesses are properly registered in Cambodia due to unclear information about what’s required of them, Industry Minister Cham Prasidh said last week at the opening of the “Business Information Center,” a website outlining requirements for new businesses.
Of about 500,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country, only about 50,000 are registered, Mr. Prasidh said.
“Many are still operating outside the system because of unclear information, firstly due to their fear and hesitation, [and] secondly they don’t know the benefits of registering,” he said.
Organized by the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia, Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association, Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and the Mekong Business Initiative, the website aims to fill the information gap.
Dominic Mellor, head of the Mekong Business Initiative, said in a news release accompanying the website’s unveiling that entrepreneurs “would otherwise face days of burdensome research spanning multiple ministries and departments” to figure out the rules they have to comply with.
Gordon Peters, a partner at consultancy Mekong Strategic Partners, said finding registration information for specific types of businesses had been a barrier for new entrepreneurs in Cambodia.
“Many ministries oversee registration work related to businesses and sometimes it is very hard to know what we need to do in what ministry,” added entrepreneur Ear Uy, who runs game development studio Sabay Osja.