Upon incorporation, you’ll need to obtain specific business licenses from local and federal authorities before you can begin operating legally.
If you found incorporation time-consuming, business license application can feel never-ending.
New entrepreneurs face uncertain wait times, complicated rules, and government websites that look like they haven’t been updated since Malaysia achieved independence.
Introducing: License runners in Malaysia
This is when many entrepreneurs turn to business license runners: a third-party offering license application and submission services.
They are professionals who understand business license application processes from end-to end, allowing them to:
- advise entrepreneurs on all necessary licenses for a specific business
- help entrepreneurs understand / meet legal requirements to apply for a business license
- act as intermediaries between entrepreneurs and government agencies
Ultimately, a license runner removes the burden of red tape and obtains licenses for you as soon as possible.
That’s why it’s important to be careful when choosing your license runner service provider!
Not all license runner services are equal
Every service-based industry will have providers that are much less qualified than their peers.
Instead, these providers prey on the inexperience of newbies and attractive low rates.
Those who fall victim may find that the ‘experts’ they hired know less about business license application than them, defeating the very purpose of engaging a license runner service!
To avoid this, we must first convince you to choose a license agency over individual license runners.
Agencies vs individual license runners
A license agency is a business specialising in helping entrepreneurs with license application and submission.
An individual license runner offers the same service as an independent freelancer.
Between the two, we strongly recommend going with the agency.
Yes, you usually pay more, but the assurance of quality and accountability that comes with engaging a business is priceless.
A business has a reputation to protect and a clear internal workflow that prioritises your convenience.
Individual runners are often less organised and their lack of skin in the game means they could simply disappear at any time (and yes, we know business owners who have had this happen to them).
Don’t be penny-wise, pound foolish.
We’ll assume our extremely charming and insightful arguments have convinced you (how could they not).
Here are four factors to evaluate a license agency’s expertise.
1. Proven record as license runners
You want to see what former clients are saying about the agency. Be sure to check their Google reviews, testimonial page, and the comment section of their social media postings.
Pardon us for seizing this chance to flex our testimonials.
Since you’re dealing with an agency, they will likely have a corporate website and a Google business profile.
Additionally, they’ll have social media pages.
Every license agency says they deliver results.
Then again, cigarette companies used to say smoking won’t cause cancer.
Listen to clients – with so many license runners out there, find one people have demonstrated trust in.
2. Consultation without pressure
It’s standard practice for a license agency to provide a pre-application consultation to clients.
This is where they will ask you questions to fully understand your business needs and advise you accordingly on the various licenses you need and requirements that must be met.
Many agencies offer it for free while some charge a nominal fee to measure your commitment.
Either is fine, but you should NOT feel pressured to engage the agency just because they gave you a free consultation.
If they actively try to guilt you into choosing them, run in the opposite direction as fast as you can.
3. Experts on common business licenses
While some licenses are obscure and rarely applied for, some licenses are needed by practically every business in Malaysia, and many more are super common.
Here are some examples:
- Signboard license
- Premise license
- Composite license
- Wholesale and Retail Distribution Trade (WRT) License
- Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) License
- Liquor License
- Music License
- Malaysia Digital (MD) Status
- Labour (JTK) License
- Ministry of Education (MoE) License
An agency claiming to offer expert business license application services should have a thorough understanding of the requirements, processes, exceptions, and wait times surrounding these and other common licenses.
4. Ability to predict additional license needs
This one is a bit of a bonus and context-dependent; let’s think of a hypothetical situation.
Say your business has very profitable intellectual property and branding.
However, it hasn’t been protected by trademark because it just hasn’t occurred to you.
A truly knowledgeable licensing agency, through a experience and a comprehensive consultation process, may be able to highlight this gap.
Again, it’s a bonus, and not very fair to expect a firm specialising in licensing to understand other aspects of business.
That’s why we’ll finish with a final recommendation – choose a business consultant over license agencies!
Business consultants vs license agencies
A business consultant offers all the expertise and assurance of license agencies when it comes to your business license application and submission needs.
However, a business consultant provides expert guidance on every aspect of growing your business.
If you are planning to be in business for the long-term, it would be far more useful to partner with a consultant that can assist with all your business needs – just saying!
Let MISHU handle your business license needs
Consider engaging MISHU to do it on your behalf. With our expertise and experience across various industries, we will expedite the application process and save you valuable time and frustration.
Government officials melt at our smile – see above for a free preview!