guide to describing nature of business in SSM superform with msic code and business description

Explaining Nature Of Business With Description And MSIC Codes

When incorporating a company with SSM, there is a section in the Superform that asks for the ‘general nature of business’ – essentially a summary of all business activities.

SSM superform section 14 showing msic code and business description

This is satisfied through two items:

  1. Up to three MSIC codes, and
  2. A long-form business description of up to 200 words

Here’s an example of MISHU’s own profile showing our MSIC codes and business description.

example of business description for ssm company registration

The MSIC codes and descriptors must be followed exactly, and are often sufficient to describe the nature of the business (and readers are welcome to check our full list of MSIC 2008 codes).

Meanwhile, the long-form description is left to business decision makers, and can be an incredibly useful tool in situations where

When MSIC Codes aren’t enough

MISHU occasionally advises clients whose business nature cannot be fully or accurately described with a combination of three MSIC codes alone.

This is perfectly fine, and we simple work with the business owner to:

  1. Select three MSIC codes that describe the business as accurately as possible.
  2. Fill in the gaps with a detailed business description.

Additionally, some businesses like private employment agencies have specific requirements for business descriptions that simplify the incorporation process.  

Reporting a change in the business nature

Changes in the business nature are common as companies grow or shrink.

SSM refers to this as a change in business particulars, and your Company Secretary must prepare a resolution to be approved by shareholders and inform SSM of the change within 14 days of it taking effect.

A note for foreigners looking to incorporate

If you’re a foreigner moving to Malaysia to run a company, note that delays in SSM approval of company incorporation likely means delays to your Employment Pass approval, which can then cause disruptions to other parts of your plans.

Think of the Superform as an exam paper where SSM officials are the markers.

MSIC codes are the objective section – your answer is either right or wrong.

A business description is the subjective part; the examiner has more discretion to give marks or not to, and as SSM officers are often under a high workload, the more well-written your description, the better your chances of a swift approval.

a very long business description that will frustrate SSM officials
Don’t be the guy who submits a novel.

We strongly recommend getting in touch with an experienced business consultant who will work with you write a business description that checks all the boxes SSM officials look for. 

And what a coincidence – that’s what we do!

Let MISHU help with your business description

If you could use some help with selecting the right combination of MSIC codes or writing a detailed business description, our team would love to be of assistance – get in touch today!

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