Every digital commerce company will have to apply for digital business identification within the next 90 days.
Without digital business ID, companies will not be allowed to run their businesses on the digital platform, reads a digital business ID registration guideline issued by the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.
The guideline also says new digital business starters will have to create a website and social media page before commencing the business and apply with the web link for the registration.
Amid the disastrous aftermath of the Evaly scam in the e-commerce sector last year, the ministry of commerce initiated digital business ID registration this February to establish discipline in the sector as well as increase customers' faith.
There are around 1,707 e-commerce companies under the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB). However, the ministry of commerce document says that the number is above 2,500.
Muhammad Abdul Wahed Tomal, general secretary at e-CAB, told The Business Standard that the guideline will help the government get clear statistics on the e-commerce companies in the country.
"Being the association of the digital commerce company, we will encourage our members to be registered to cooperate with the initiative," he said.
The Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC) under the Ministry of Commerce is the authority to issue the registration.
For digital business ID registration, a company must have an active website or social media page with clear written terms and conditions of purchases and sales in Bangla language.
An applicant company will get a digital business ID card if it is a member of the SME Foundation, e-CAB, or other government-approved trade association.
A single digital business ID card will be issued even if the digital commerce firm has several branches, says the guideline.
The Central Digital Commerce Cell of the commerce ministry will look after the digital commerce companies.
Besides, digital security agencies, law-enforcement teams, the national telecommunication monitoring unit, and the payment system department of the Bangladesh Bank and BFIU will also look after relevant areas with them.
At an e-commerce policy dialogue held on Thursday, AKM Fahim Mashroor, chief executive officer of AjkerDeal said the digital business ID should be used as a substitute for a trade licence for applying for bank loans and the National Board of Revenue should relax the new requirement of the compulsory income tax return for all digital businesses.
Rezwanul Haque Jami, head of e-commerce at a2i – Aspire to Innovate – programme of the ICT Division, at the same programme said besides ensuring a discipline in the e-commerce sector, the digital business ID will help digital commerce companies have better access to the banking sector, especially for loans and funding.