Malaysia is a thriving business hub within the ASEAN region. The religious and cultural diversity of Malaysia makes it an attractive country for businesses seeking to expand internationally. Malaysia’s easy company formation requirements have let it take advantage of worldwide trends and become a top country for business.
For businesses who are considering setting up their company in Malaysia, this blog will help you successfully register a company in Malaysia, no matter you are an ex-pat or a local. The Malaysian company registry is managed by the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM). All businesses must be registered with SSM in order to operate legally.
There are 3 parts to your registration process:
- Registration with SSM
Continue reading to know everything about company formation in Malaysia!
What you’ll learn:
What do you Need to Start a Company in Malaysia
These are the requirements for Malaysia company registration:
- Minimum of 1 director and must be at least 18 years old
- Minimum of 1 shareholder and must be at least 18 years old
- Minimum of RM1 in paid-up capital
- Appoint a local company secretary who is licensed by SSM or a member of any professional body
- A local registered address
After you have completed the preparation of fulling the above requirements, either register your company with SSM online or use a professional filing agent.
Step-by-Step Guide to Registering a Company in Malaysia
Registering a company in Malaysia is easy once you have all the information you need.
Step 1: Identify your business structure
There are several types of business entities that you can establish in Malaysia. Get to know them before you register your company.
Refer to the list below to pick the appropriate business structure for you:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Partnership
- Private Limited Company
- Public Limited Company (Berhad)
Each business structure has its own individual advantages and disadvantages. The most frequent business models are the sole proprietorship and the private company.
Step 2: Select a business name
If you’re unsure of how to go about choosing a name for your company, check out the article: 11 rules for naming your company (Sdn Bhd) in Malaysia. Always check the availability of your chosen company name with SSM.
Step 3: Register with SSM
Your company’s name will be reserved for 30 days from the date that SSM confirms it. After receiving the confirmation, you can begin your registration process online through the SSM website.
To register your company with SSM, you will need the following documents:
- Copy of identification card for each director
- Declarations of Compliance (Verifies that you agree to the terms and conditions)
- Declarations made by a director or promoter before the appointment
What’s Next after Registration?
After incorporating your business and receiving your incorporation certificate, you can start doing business legally if no additional licenses are required. A company is not officially registered until a few post-registration requirements have been completed.
1. Opening a business bank account
If you are not a Malaysian citizen and want to open a corporate bank account in Malaysia, the process may be more difficult than for locals. Here are some of the local banks to consider:
- CIMB Bank
- RHB Bank
- UOB Bank
- Hong Leong Bank Berhad
In order to open a corporate bank account, you will need the following documents:
- Application for registration of a company
- Certificate of Registration (issued by SSM)
- Certificate of Incorporation
- A registered address of your company
- Information of your directors
- Appointment of the first company secretary
- Information of your shareholders and shares
- NRIC / Passport
- Business plan
- Residential address proof
- Business Address Lease Agreement (if applicable)
2. Pay taxes and meet other annual legal requirements
All companies in Malaysia are required to pay taxes and follow the regulation set out in the Company Act 2016. Unless you are exempt, taxes in Malaysia must be filed yearly and the corporate tax rate is currently 24%.
3. Hire local or foreign employees
One of the most crucial steps is hiring employees for your business. According to Malaysian law, all employers must register with the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) at least 7 days before their employee’s start date.
Employers in the private sector need the following documents for EPF registration:
- Form KWSP 1
- Form 49
- SSM Certificate of Incorporation
- Director’s ID card
Employees that are not Malaysian citizens will need a work visa, and businesses owned by foreigners must apply for an employment pass.
4. Apply for the appropriate licenses (if needed)
There are 3 categories of business licenses in Malaysia:
- Licenses from local town councils
- Individualized business licenses from government departments according to your industry or sector
- Licenses that are specific to an activity
In general, business license approvals take place within 1-6 months.
How can FastLane help?
Founded in 2013, FastLane combines innovation and technology to provide professional services including company formation services, accounting services, audit services and company secretarial services. We provide the best-in-class services for businesses looking to operate in Hong Kong, China and ASEAN region. We currently support over 500 companies and are experiencing rapid growth with business partners and supporting networks.
To make your process of setting up your company in Malaysia easier and more efficient, we offer the following assistance to our clients:
- Assist with company name search and name reservation
- Submission of relevant documents to the Companies Commission of Malaysia
- Prepare resolutions for the first Board of Directors’ meeting
- Prepare a resolution to open the company’s bank account
- Prepare 2 sets of certified true copies of the incorporation documents
Contact us to know how our professional team of experts can help you with the process!