Many of you might have the notion that incorporating a company in Cambodia is difficult, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Ministry of Cambodia is developing a fine tuned system for company incorporation in Cambodia and, provided you follow the rules, you could soon be on your way to making your fortune in the land of Angkor.

The first thing to do when forming a company is to decide what sort of business you want to form. Depending on the type of business you set up, the licensing requirements and amount of capital required are different. For example, a tour company requires a tourism license and at least $5000 in capital. If you’re ambitious and want to form a bank, you’ll require a banking license and a mere two million in cash as capital.

We often recommend to our clients that you set up a basic import / export company first and then add the required licensing once the company has been incorporated. The reason for this is simple; while you are waiting for the licensing to be processed you may make preparations to start your business.

In order to form a company, you need to provide the Cambodian government with certain information, such as the names of directors and shareholders, company name, address, company bank account and lease agreement.

Government fees vary depending on who you work with and the speed that you want the incorporation processed. A general import / export company can be incorporated for under $1500, including taxes, patents and the registration for an office lease agreement. Of course, solicitor’s fees and licensing fees are additional to this. From start to finish, a company can be incorporated in as little as two months provided you have all the required documents and can provide the Ministry of Commerce with these.

If you are experienced in doing business in Cambodia, then it is possible to process the application yourself, especially if you can speak Khmer and have knowledge of how the Ministry works. If not, then it is highly recommended you go through an agent or attorney. Although the process for incorporating a company isn’t difficult, you may find that there are long delays or increased costs for your lack of knowledge.

Looking around Phnom Penh, the ideas for potential income earners seem endless; entertainment for families, specialist shops, restaurants, quality media, improved construction materials, the list continues. But the first step to making your fortunes is to incorporate your company.

For more information on setting up a company, see our Guide to Business in Cambodia.