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What is the cost of running a company in Malaysia?

Starting a company is easy but maintaining it requires adequate resources. Here's typically the cost to maintain a Sdn. Bhd. or Private Limited Company in Malaysia

Before you make the decision to incorporate a company (Sdn. Bhd.) or Private Limited Company in Malaysia, planning out a concise budget for its yearly maintenance is a crucial first move. Especially more so if you are a startup – knowing if you can even breakeven or make enough to pay for what is the basic compliance cost is important.

Who are you paying to?

For a company, there are typically 4 professionals that will assist in helping you meet the compliance requirements.

Company Secretary

A company secretary’s role for your company is to take charge of your company’s secretarial matters in compliance with Companies Act 2016 with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM). For this you will need a qualified licensed company secretary to act one of the officers of the company.

Normally, an SME would not hire their own company secretary as it is not cost effective. Therefore, one would outsource this to service providers such as MISHU to provide a cost effective solution.

Typically the cost of a company secretary in Malaysia is RM60-RM100 per month or RM720-RM1,200 per year. Some maybe be slightly less or more, so be sure to check what is included and what is not.

Annually, a company secretary will assist in performing the Annual Return of the company. Annual Return is a return stating yearly up to date information of a company as at anniversary date. Pursuant to Section 68 of the Companies Act 2016, all private limited companies are required to lodge its Annual Return with the SSM within thirty (30) days from its anniversary of incorporation date each calendar year. Typically the cost fee of performing an annual return is RM300-RM800 depending whether the fee to SSM is included or not.

Another task that the company secretary needs to do is to lodge the company financial statement to SSM. Private companies must lodge the audited financial statements within 30 days after it has been circulated to members. Typically the cost fee of the lodgement of audited financial statement to SSM is RM150-RM500 depending whether the fee to SSM is included or otherwise.

Tax Agent

It is not advisable for business owners to file their own company taxes as they are complex and may miss opportunities where they can be optimized. Business owners are best to focus at running their business and let tax agents perform the tax computation and filing with the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB).

Upon company incorporation, it is advisable to fix your financial year end and to appoint a tax agent so that he or she can monitor your tax compliance deadlines.

Below is a table provided for your reference.

Typically a startup company would incur between RM1,000-RM1,500 as the tax fee.

Auditor

All companies incorporated in Malaysia must have their accounts audited by an approved and qualified auditor as mandated by the Companies Act of 2016.

In general, professional fees are charged depending on the size of the company i.e: revenue / assets / expenses. Malaysia Institute of Accountant (MIA) has recommended Practice Guide (RPG) 7 for Tax Audit Fee Charge (New Audit Fee) by Audit Firm for providing statutory auditing services in Malaysia with effect from 1 March 2010.

The general method of determining audit fees is based on either Turnover or Total Assets. Methods used are according to nature of business. Example, for a trading company will use Turnover as audit fees, whereas an asset based company will use the Total Assets method.

(i) Gross Turnover or Total Assets Basis

Gross Assets or Turnover (RM)Cumulative Amounts (RM)Rate (%)Fees (RM)Cumulative Fees (RM)
The first 100,000100,0001.000%1,0001,000
The next 150,000250,0000.438%6571,657
The next 250,000500,0000.313%7832,440
The next 500,0001,000,0000.188%9403,380
The next 1,500,0002,500,0000.125%1,8755,255
The next 2,500,0005,000,0000.100%2,5007,755
The next 5,000,00010,000,0000.094%4,70012,455
10,000,000 to 20,000,0001,000 for every RM1,000,000 increase of a fraction thereof up to RM20,000,000
Above 20,000,000Negotiable (but should not be less than RM20,000 per assignment)

In cases where the above methods are not practical to be used, the method below will be applied instead. An example where a company has Turnover of RM10 million, Total Assets of only RM5,000, and operating expenses of RM2 million.

(ii) Total Operating Expenditure Basis

Total Operating Expenditure (RM)CumulativeRinggit (RM)Rate (%)Fees (RM)Cumulative Fees (RM)
The first 50,00050,0002.500%1,2501,250
The next 150,000200,0001.250%1,8753,125
The next 800,0001,000,0000.625%5,0008,125
The next 1,000,0002,000,0000.250%2,50010,625
Above 2,000,0000.125%

Typically a startup company audit fee for the first year would be between RM1,500 – RM2,500. After auditor prepares the audited financial statement, and approved by the board, it will be lodged to the SSM within 30 days after the circulation by the company secretary.

Accountant

Financial statements are usually prepared by the accountants before being audited by an auditor. Some companies may have their own accountant and in this regards, there is no outsourcing fee. However, companies can also choose to outsource this service to a freelancer, or service providers like MISHU due to cost savings and efficiencies factors.

Typically there are several packages available based on your volume of transactions and needs. For example, if you have many transactions per month and you need a monthly report on your P&L, cashflow, or balance sheet, then a monthly accounting package is suitable. If you have a low transaction volume and your bank statement is enough for you to monitor your company financial health, then a quarterly or even yearly accounting service is adequate.

Depending on your needs, your accounting fee would cost between RM500 up to RM7,000 a year. Typically a startup company would spend around RM5,000 a year on an outsourced accounting services.

Summary of the yearly cost of running a newly set up company in Malaysia

ProfessionalsFees
Company secretaryRM1,200 – RM2,500
AccountantsRM500 – RM5,000
Tax AgentsRM1,000 – RM1,500
AuditorsRM1,500 – RM2,500
Total YearlyRM4,200 – RM11,500

Thinking of it, paying all these 4 professionals to meet the yearly compliance requirement is similar to a month’s pay of an executive or a manager. Too much too little? I guess it’s up to you to decide. If you think your business can make that much to cover it, why not try go ahead and start it. When you area ready, contact us to begin.

If you have any questions about the cost of starting and running a business, drop us an email at [email protected] or reach out to us at +6011-5352 9492

The view expressed in this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute professional legal advice. You are advised to seek proper legal advice for your specific situation.

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