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How To Register A Company In Malaysia | The Complete Guide

Ready to take on the world of business and need help navigating the process of registering a company? You’ve come to the perfect place. Read on!

There are three types of business entity registration: 

  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP),
  • Limited Liability Company (LC), 
  • Registration of Business (ROB) 

There are a total of eight company entities to choose from (though only relevant ones are included in this article), each of which is governed by a different set of laws.

Regardless, the first step is registering the business entity with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM), the regulatory body for all corporate and business affairs in Malaysia.

Key Takeaways on How to Register a Company in Malaysia

  • different organisation types offer different benefits – choose which best serves your business goals
  • there must be at least one director and stakeholder who is 18 years old (can be the same person)
  • private limited companies may have a maximum of 50 shareholders, beyond which they must register as a public limited company
  • a company name must be chosen, making sure to verify availability with SSM
  • it is mandatory to appoint a company secretary licensed by SSM or a member of a recognised professional institution to advise the business on matters of compliance
  • Opening a business bank account, discovering necessary business permits, registering in the provident fund (aka EPF), selecting auditors, and determining tax obligations should be done post registration.

Which Malaysian Business Entity is Best for Your Business? 

A crucial stage in the formation process is selecting a company entity from the available options in Malaysia. You must choose the type of organisation that is most appropriate for your business goals before formally establishing your business. 

Here is a comparison of the different Malaysian business entities available:

Business entityLegal statusParty responsible for debtBusiness ownerTaxable partyAnnual observanceCompany SecretaryType of business entity registration
Sole proprietorshipNo separate legal entityOwnerSingle ownerOwnerAnnual feen/a
Registration of Business (ROB)
PartnershipNo separate legal entityOwners2 – 20 equal partnersOwnersAnnual feen/a
Registration of Business (ROB)
Limited liability patnership (LLP)Separate legal entityCompanyMin 2 partnersCompanyAnnual declaration and solvency statementMandatoryLimited Liability of Partnership (LLP)
Prrivate limited company (Sdn Bhd)Separate legal entityCompany1-50 shareholdersCompanyAnnual return at end of calendar yearMandatoryRegistration of Company (ROC)
Public limited company (Bhd)Separate legal entityCompany>50 shareholdersCompanyAnnual return at end of calendar yearMandatoryRegistration of Company (ROC)

Step 1: Registration Preparation & Choosing a Business Entity

According to Section 2: Interpretation under the Business Registration Act 1956 and the Command of Business Registration of 1957, a few requirements must be fulfilled before registering a business

  • the business owner must be at least eighteen (18) years old and 
  • be a Malaysian citizen or lawful permanent resident. 

As you prepare for registration, here is a checklist of required actions:

  • choosing an appropriate business entity, 
  • choosing a company name,
  • appointing qualified officials, 
  • registering office requirements, and 
  • disclosing share capital structure

After determining the best business entity for your venture, the next step is choosing a company name. Possible names should be checked for availability with the Malaysian Companies Commission. Following approval, you can register the name and it will be reserved for your business following confirmation.

You will need to choose your company’s officers and share structure. There must be at least one director who is at least 18 years old. Secondly, there must be at least one shareholder who is at least 18 years old. The shareholder may be a natural person or a corporation. Except for private limited companies with a cap of 50 shareholders, all business entities have an unrestricted maximum number of shareholders.

Additionally, at least one company secretary must be licensed by SSM or a member of a recognised professional organisation. In order to receive official correspondence and papers from the government, it is necessary to have a registered office address. Postal boxes are not permitted. Then, there must be a minimum share capital of RM1.

Step 2: Registration

The SSM must have the company name registered. Upon approval, the name will be held for 30 days starting on the day of confirmation and can be extended for an additional 30 days for RM50.00.

Your firm might consider a constitution (optional), a declaration made by a director or promoter before their appointment, a declaration of compliance, and a copy of each director’s identification card to be incorporated.

Step 3: Post-registration

Opening a business bank account, discovering which business permits you will need, enrolling in the provident fund, selecting auditors, and figuring out your tax obligations are the key priorities of the post-registration phase.

Opening a Business Bank Account

To open a business bank account, the following papers are needed:

  • Introduction and recommendation letter from a bank client already in good standing (only some banks require this).
  • Rubber stamp of the incorporated company.
  • Bank application forms that have been completed.
  • Resolution from the board of directors to open an account, list of authorised signatories, and all company incorporation paperwork which are certified true copies by the company secretary.
  • Identification cards of the directors and authorised signatories, in photo.

Due to the fact that many banks offer various advantages and fees, we advise conducting research before choosing a bank.

Selecting Auditors

Each corporation must choose an auditor before the inaugural annual general meeting. The board of directors must name the first auditor for newly incorporated firms at least 30 days before the deadline for submitting the first set of financial accounts. Annual general meetings for private limited firms are not required.

Discovering Business Permits and Licences

There are three different kinds of company licences:

  • Licences that are activity-specific.
  • General licences.
  • Licences that are unique to a particular sector or industry.

In Malaysia, businesses must register for licences and permissions according to their line of work.

Licences that control particular activities and apply to several industries or sectors are known as activity-specific licences. This licence comes with the following:

  • Approving positions for foreigners
  • Fitness certification for approved machinery
  • Approval of the building plan
  • Installation, relocation, or modification of air pollution control equipment
  • Sales tax exemption

The required licences for starting a business in Malaysia include general licences consisting of:

  • Licences for commercial properties and signboards
  • Registering a company Human resources development fund
  • Income tax registration for the business and employees
  • Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF)
  • SOCSO (Social Security Organization)/PERKESO (Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial)

Sector/industry-specific licences are those required by the Malaysian government for a particular industry or sector. These would include the following:

  • Licences for the construction, banking, telecommunications, broadcasting, oil exploration, wholesale and retail trade, and manufacturing sectors.
  • Licences issued by the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia (DOSH) and Department BLESS, Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED)

Enrolling in Provident Fund

After an employee is hired, an employer has seven days to register with the EPF. The following documents are required for private sector employers:

  • form 49,
  • form KWSP 1,
  • a copy of the sole proprietor’s / partner’s / director’s identification (MyKad or passport), and
  • a copy of the certification of company/business registration from SSM

Alternatively, instead of a copy of the business registration from SSM, employers may provide:

  • Section 15 – Notice of Registration
  • Section 14 – Application For Registration Of A Company
  • Section 17 – Certificate Of Incorporation Of Private Company

Private sector employers include SSM-registered Sdn Bhd, SSM-registered businesses, government-linked companies or investment companies, and Bank Negara-approved banks.

The employer must complete employee registration before the first contribution. The four methods of employee registration are MyKad, i-Akaun, auto register, and form.

1. MyKad
Employees must appear in person at the EPF counter, exhibit their MyKad, and use the MyKad chip to complete registration.

2. i-Akaun
Employees can register their employees online if they have an i-Akaun account. The only individuals who may apply using this approach are Malaysian citizens and lawful permanent residents who possess 7- and 12-digit identification cards.

3. Auto register
You may also auto-register through the monthly contribution form (Form A). Employees will immediately be enrolled with the EPF once form A, which requires information like the MyKad number and employee’s name, is completed. Only citizens and permanent residents of Malaysia who have MyKad are affected by this.

4. Form
You will need your MyKad and the KWSP 3 form for permanent residents and Malaysian citizens. Non-Malaysian citizens must present their legitimate work visa/permit or passport, KWSP 3, and KWSP 16B forms.

Figuring Out Tax Obligations

Your tax responsibilities will vary depending on the extent of the charge, the exemptions, the deductions, and other factors. Both residents and non-residents of Malaysia are now subject to a 24% corporate tax rate. Personal income tax rates for residents are 28%, and non-residents are 30% if their taxable income exceeds RM1 million. Besides banks, insurance institutions, airlines, and shipping organisations, Malaysia does not impose taxes on overseas sales.

Cost of Company Registration In Malaysia

Name reservation for a firmRM50 for every 30 days, with a 180-day maximum
Application for foreign company name changeRM250
Application for any confirmation of information about the company from the RegistrarRM50
Application to change the name of the companyRM100
Obtaining a copy of a certificate on behalf of the businessRM20
Application for company-related information using electronic devices or utilising methods other than electronicRM20 ( electronic) 
RM 30 (non-electronic)

Let MISHU help register your new company

4 thoughts on “How To Register A Company In Malaysia | The Complete Guide

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,
    We want to register a company in Malaysia, we plan to import Indian snacks and sweets in Malaysia also we have some export inquiries. We are 2 directors looking for a 50/50% share in our Malaysia Company. One director holding employment pass in Singapore also 100% shareholder and director in Singapore Company, Second director is a Malaysia work permit holder and more than 10 years stay in Malaysia. He has address proof and current bank account in Malaysia. Can we start a company without giving shares to local Malaysians? We are looking at our warehouse in Johor. Please give me proper advice.
    Thanks & Regards
    Nazeer CM

    1. n reply to Nazeer CM.
      Hi Nazeer,

      Thank you for contacting us. Our editorial team is finding the right person to get you in touch with ASAP.

    1. Hi Amaan,

      You came to the right place, our client servicing team will be getting in touch shortly.

      All the best!

      The MISHU Editorial Team

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