Starting A Business in Malaysia As An Overseas Investor

Ranked 12th in 2018 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business,

Malaysia is slowly but surely on its way to becoming one of the best countries for starting a business, not just in South East Asia but also worldwide. The country’s impressive economic prospects makes Malaysia an even more attractive investment destination to overseas investors. 

Starting a business or setting up a company in Malaysia can appear to be challenging for foreigners given the difficult and lengthy bureaucratic process. Let us do the hard work – we will answer your necessary questions by outlining the basics of starting a business in Malaysia for overseas investors in three parts as follows: 

What types of businesses can I set up as an overseas investor? 

Business entities in Malaysia are regulated by the Company Commission of Malaysia (SSM). Under the rules and regulations of SSM, overseas investors are allowed to register a company as one of the three types of business entities: 

  • Private Limited Company, or also known as Sendirian Berhad (Sdn. Bhd.) 
  • Labuan International Company
  • Representative or Regional Office

The SSM dictates that overseas investors are not allowed to register a company as the following types of business entities: 

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Enterprise
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)  

What are the basic requirements for setting up a company in Malaysia?

The route most frequently chosen by local and foreign investors starting a company in Malaysia is to set up a private limited company, also known as a Sendirian Berhad or Sdn. Bhd. company. The Companies Act 1965 states the basic requirement for setting up a Sendirian Berhad company as the following: 

  • A minimum of two directors, one of which should ordinarily reside in Malaysia by having a place of residence in Malaysia
  • A minimum of two shareholders
  • A company secretary who is ordinarily residing in Malaysia and is either of the following: (i) Licensed by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), or (ii) A member of any professional body prescribed by the Minister of Domestic Trade Cooperative and Consumerism

How do I register my company in Malaysia?

The registration process for overseas investors registering a company in Malaysia is governed by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). The process for incorporation of local companies is as follows: 

  1. Name Search and Application of Name
  2. Lodgement of Application 
  3. Incorporation Fee
  4. Verification of Incorporation
  5. Appointment of Company Secretary 

To find out more about each stage in detail, click here to determine information, form and fees required for the process of registration. 

We are proud of our 28 years of successes at incorporating companies in Malaysia. Quality Oracle strives to assist you in setting up your business in the most efficient and streamlined way possible. Get in touch with our corporate professionals today to begin your business journey in Malaysia today. 

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