Due to its favorable investment climate, Cambodia is attracting a large number of foreign businesses. As a result, local entrepreneurs have put their money where their money is to start real estate businesses to meet the needs of both Cambodians and foreigners. However, forming a real estate firm is harder than it sounds. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps for establishing a real estate company in Cambodia, including the requisite paperwork and licenses. When starting a real estate business in Cambodia, significant considerations for investors require understanding clearly about company registration, tax obligations, real estate licenses, office setups, recruiting, and business plans.
1. Registration with the Ministry of Commerce
The Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia needs business registration. A certificate of registration is granted to all registered businesses in the Kingdom.
The following Ministry of Commerce criteria must be met by the company:
- Shall define a company name to be approved by the Ministry of Commerce
- Shall come up with the company’s terms and conditions, documents to prove where the company is located, identity card of the company owner, certificate of bank deposit (at least $1,000), company stamp, appointment letter, and business registration application.
- The registration period at the Ministry of Commerce takes about two weeks and costs around $370. There are services rendered free of charge.
2. Paying taxes at the General Department of Taxation
After registering with the Ministry of Commerce, the applicant must take the certificate of registration and other supporting documents to the General Department of Taxation to pay the registration tax and annual patent tax.
Patent Tax is calculated based on the company owner’s taxpayer classification under the Self-Assessment Regime of Taxation and is due between January 1 and March 31 of each year. We recommend speaking with a lawyer about how to better assess the taxation regime before starting a company in Cambodia. New taxpayers who started their company within the first six months of the year will pay the whole year’s tax. Those who start their company within the last six months of the year will only be responsible for half their annual tax. The patent must be shown at the place of business by the holders. These patents will cost 1,200,000 riels (US$290) and will take 1 to 2 weeks to receive.
3. Obtaining a license from the Ministry of Economy and Finance
The Ministry of Economy and Finance must issue a license as the final general move. The following documents must be prepared to apply for a license:
- Completed application license form
- Photo of the license owner and certificate of professional real estate service
- Background of shareholder or company owner
- Letter from the Ministry of Justice of Cambodia
- Photocopy of a national identity card and residence book
- Documents issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Taxation, the company’s certificate of registration, and a copy of a letter of business registration and patent.
- Letter of business location issued by the local authority, together with photos of the business location.
- A 3-year business plan.
It takes about one month to apply for a license at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, from the time you submit all of the required paperwork without errors. The required fees for a real estate agent license are as follows:
- Real estate agent license is 500,000 riels (US$ 120) plus an administration fee of 100,000 riels (US$ 25)
- The certificate of professional real estate service is 200,000 riels (US$ 50) plus an administration fee of 40,000 riels (US$ 10), totaling 840,000 riels (US$ 210).
You can legally operate your company in Cambodia once you have received a license and professional certificate from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.