How to start a food business in Cambodia – 2022 Guide

One of the best things about living working and doing business in Cambodia is the ease of setting up a company and getting a visa. With this is mind how though would one go about starting a food business in Cambodia in 2022?

How do you get a Cambodian visa?

We won’t go into great details on this as it has largely been covered, BUT long story short you need what is called an E-Visa, which is like a work visa. With this you can not only legally work, but also set up a company, or yourself as a sole-trader – one of the most popular routes for those setting up a food business in Cambodia.

To read about how to get a Cambodian visa click here.

Cambodia is honestly one of the easiest countries to do business in as a foreigner, particularly for those looking at doing F&B.

What kind of company do you need to set up to start a food business in Cambodia?

There is no right answer to this, with it largely deepening on the kind of food company in Cambodia you want to set up. Essentially you have three choices here, go self-employed and live under the radar, go sole-proprietorship/ partnership or set up a limited company.

With these options anything less than a limited company leaves you potentially liable should things go tits up, and in Cambodia that is very much always a possibility. 

What kind of food business can you set up in Cambodia?

This is generally a very open ended question, with the answer being pretty much “almost anything”. This means that while your business visa allows you to almost do anything, certain things like being a tuk-tuk driver, or running a cheap street food stall are mostly not allowed, or at best frowned upon. 

To read about the best Street Food in Phnom Penh click here.

You are though very much free to open a franchise – although not McDonalds, or your restaurant themed around whatever it is that tickles your fancy. Franchise wise there are lot of big guns here like KFC and Burger King, but also many that have yet to reach these shores, so in theory lots of possibilities.

To read about why there is no McDonalds in Cambodia click here.

What is it like running a food business in Cambodia?

There really is no one size fits all to this question, with a amor factor here being size. Technically taxes are paid monthly in Cambodia, which is both for company and employees. In reality though if you are just a small fry affair you will largely exist under the radar.

And as for things like a liquor, or food license, these are also slightly grey areas, although you should in theory at least have a proper business license in your name that states if you are a bar/restaurant or whatever.

Can I buy a ready made business in Cambodia?

One of the best things about how business friendly the country is, is that it means businesses are constantly in flux, so for sale and being sold. There are too many Facebook groups to cunt covering this area, but less so much on the website side.

One place to look though is the classifieds section of Aquarii, While who recently had a hot-pot business for sale for example. And while not exactly packed to the rafters, also offer other business related information of relevance within the Kingdom.

And that is how you start a food business in Cambodia in 2022, not all that hard, but still a decent amount of work. 

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