How to start a real estate agency in Cambodia

Oct. 17, 2019, 11:23 p.m.

the view of phnom penh's fastest growing area
Many people come to Cambodia to start their own business. Likewise, the economy here is picking up quickly so many locals are trying to get started with a real estate company. But knowing about all the processes can be confusing.

Here is a’s guide, directing you on how to start a company and apply for a licence. Now anyone who wants to start a real estate company can get the basic information and start right now.

Key factors when starting a real estate agency in Cambodia

Operating a real estate agent company here, you’ll need to understand many things such as company registration, tax payment, licensing, office setup, recruitment, business plans, marketing plans, marketing and sales strategies, policy, administrative documents, and monthly work plans.

For general information on starting a business in Cambodia, refer to our guide to starting a business in Cambodia.

However, here we will explain the specific legal requirements for the real estate sector. We will also tell you how to apply for an agent licence.

There are three main steps:

Registering your real estate agency with the Ministry of Commerce

Business registration is required at the Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Every business in Cambodia must apply for a business licence.

The Registration must follow the following brief guidelines:

  • Shall define a company name to be approved by the Ministry of Commerce
  • Shall come up with the company’s terms and condition, 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 included free of charge.

Paying tax at the General Department of Taxation for your real estate agency

After having completed the registration with the Ministry of Commerce, the applicant must submit documents issued by the Ministry of Commerce including certificate of company registration, along with the terms and condition to the General Department of Taxation to pay for the company registration tax and annual patent tax for the first registration.

Patent Tax is applied on total annual gross profit and needs to pay in between January 1 and March 31 of every year.

For the new taxpayers whose business operated for the first six months of the year, they shall pay their tax in a full year, or pay in a half year tax if their business is operated within the last six months of the year.

Taxpayers who have multiple branches, warehouses, factories, offices for the same business in the same province do not have to pay different patent taxes. But if the taxpayer owns different businesses or in different areas, those are subjected to different patent taxes for each business and each province.

The taxpayer must display the patent at his or her principal place of business. At the time of paying taxes, it takes about one to two weeks to obtain this patent and the cost of paying this tax is 1,200,000 riels (US$290).

Applying for a licence at the Ministry of Economic and Finance

Of course, business registration and paying taxes are only the preparation steps. Legally, you can’t start doing business yet. You are required to first apply for a licence from the Ministry of Economy and Finance in order to start a business in this real estate sector.

In order to apply for a license, the applicant must prepare the following documents:

  • License application
  • 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 are the company’s terms and condition, certificate of company registration, and a copy of a letter of business registration and patent.
  • Letter of business location issued by the local authority, together with photos to the location
  • A three-year business plan

Applying for a licence at the Ministry of Economy and Finance takes about one month (according to the prakas of the Ministry of Economy and Finance) from the date of filing sufficiently and without error.

The fees for applying for a real estate agent's license are as follows:

  • Real estate agent licence is 500,000 riels plus an administration fee of 100,000 riels
  • Certificate of Professional real estate service is 200,000 riels plus an administration fee of 40,000 riels, totalling for 840,000 riels.

Take note: The above details only apply to one licence, the real estate services license; if another license is applied, the cost will be multiplied by two.

Once you have been issued a licence and professional certificate from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, you can legally operate your business in Cambodia.

Then in the next step, you can register to be a member of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association. Currently, CVEA has over 100 member companies, working as a strong and big team to promote real estate in Cambodia to the next level.

Want to find out more about the real estate business in Cambodia? Read our Investment Guide 2019


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