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Malaysia Business Licenses


Business incorporation in Malaysia is a fairly easy process. Growing economy and government incentives facilitate private company set-up by foreigners in the country. For foreign investors hoping to form a company in Malaysia, there are a few licensing requirements they need to know in order to apply for Malaysia Business License.

Malaysian government and the SSM (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia) allows 100% foreign owned companies to register as Private Limited Companies (Sdn Bhd) in the country. Such companies may be prohibited from carrying out certain businesses (which require Malaysian shareholding and directorship as an integral requirement). Paul Hype Page and Co offers a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to all foreigners for company incorporation in Malaysia. Our company incorporation and comprehensive after-incorporation services ensures 100% foreign shareholding in a highly lucrative business environment with maximum ROI.


Types of Licenses Offered

Malaysian government offers business licenses to foreigners, based on the nature of the business to be incorporated in the country.. The following chart might help:

Banking Central Bank License for Banking, Financing and Leasing
Construction Construction Industrial Development Board and Engineering License
Direct Selling Direct Selling License
Distributive Imports & Exports Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) License for Trading, Import & Export, Consultancy and Restaurant Business Management
Education Licenses for establishing Schools, Colleges, Universities, Tuition Centers and Language Centers
Factory/Manufacturing Manufacturing Licenses
Hotel For Budget Hotel License and Luxury Hotels
ICT Multi-Super Corridor (MSC) License
Manufacturing Manufacturing License
Media Publication License for Magazines and Books. Broadcasting License for Music, Singing, TV and Radio
Tourism Inbound, Outbound, Ticketing License
Transport Car Rental and Vehicle Leasing License.

Other Types of Licenses

Approval of licenses for business incorporation in Malaysia is subjective in nature. It is contingent on the degree of participation of Malaysian residents and nationals in the company at the Directorship, Shareholder or other paid-up capital contributors’ level.

One of the most common trade licenses required by foreigners in Malaysia is the Wholesale, Retail Trade (WRT) License. The license applies to non-resident companies with 100% foreign ownership seeking permission to engage in retail, restaurant, trading, franchise, import, and exporting and consultancy activities.

Other types of business licenses in Malaysia include those issued by the Malaysian Local Town Councils, e.g. the MPAJ, the DKBL and the Fire Brigade Departments. For foreigners looking to set up retail stores and restaurants in Malaysia, such local council licenses are required.

Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) business license in Malaysia

There are four types of WRT licenses,  renewable every 2 years. The categories eligible to apply for the following businesses to operate in Malaysia include:

1. Retail, Trading (Import and Export), Distributive Trades
2. Restaurant
3. Franchise Business
4. Services and Consultancy

The WRT license approval is required by all the above-mentioned sectors by foreigners before they can apply for their work visa (DP10) for any expatriates (directors or shareholders or employees) in the Immigration Department. The minimum company paid up capital requirement for all categories of WRT license application is RM1 million, with company full set-up with valid tenancy agreement and phone line. For newly set-up company, you maybe able to submit with business plan and investment plan in Malaysia prior setting the office.


To learn more about Malaysia Business License or which license is best suited for your business, the process to apply, and timeline for it, feel free to contact us!



franco says:


my company would like to get a media and publishing license to run magazine business .
kindly advice the package and requirement.

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Franco,

My consultant will contact you shortly with regards to the procedures to setting up a Sdn Bhd (private Limited Company) in Malaysia as well as the different types of business license.

Thank you

Kyna says:

I am thinking of setting up Sdn Bhd for a consultant and engineering business. Directorships Malaysian and foreigner.



Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Kyna,

It is great to be able to setup your own Sdn Bhd, our corporate specialist will be able to assist you with all the compliance required in order to register your company and start your business.

We will drop you an email shortly.


Lotus says:


We are setting up a mini cafe, our cafe serve tea, coffee, fruit juice, bake bread, bake chicken& fish, spaghetti, bake egg, cake and dessert. We also playing some music from online fm. please advice what type of license we shall apply?

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Lotus,

Depending on the place of business, you will need to obtain a license from the local town council to get a operating license and also license to play commercial music. Of course to start you will also need to register a company for a business license. If you are a foreigner, you will have to look at Wholesale Retail Trade WRT business license in Malaysia.

There are four types of WRT licenses, approval is renewable every 2 years and the category eligible to apply for the following businesses to operate in Malaysia:
1. Retail, Trading (Import and Export), Distributive Trades
2. Restaurant
3. Franchise Business
4. Services and Consultancy

Do drop us an email to give us more details in-order for us to assist you with the right solution.


My company is providing security system (Alarm,CCTV,Door Access ect) and smart home system for house,office and factory. May i know what licence i need to apply for? My office at Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park. Which local Authority i need to go for the business licence application?

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Chong,

I will need more information from you to better advice you. Do drop us an email at

Md Shameem Ahammed says:

I want to start business for Restorant & mobile laptop accessories selas & repair.
not sealing the laptop or mobile just repair.

I am a foreigner exact what kind of licanse I need.
I need also the director work permit.

before I going to process the set up of company I need to know what is the best way for me.

Best Regards
Md Shameem Ahammed

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Shameem,

Restaurants and electronic equipment sales and repair businesses are quite common in Malaysia.

It would be easier to set up such businesses in Malaysia if you have local partners. The companies incorporated to run these businesses must be a joint venture between local and foreign partners.

Setting up a purely foreign company to run these businesses require special licenses and business structures which we will advise you to arrange a consultation session with us. Director work permit will be discussed in the consultation session as well.

Kindly contact Mr. Neo our country manager at +6012-383 0252 or

OYZ says:

Hi there,

Happy New Year! I want to go into the education business, namely language centers. I am in midst of forming a Sdn. Bhd. company for that. May I know what kind of license and the procedures to take?


Paul Hype Page says:

Hi there, Thanks for enquiry. Company licenses are important for any business to be conducted in Malaysia. But whether your business/company is required to obtain such license, we need to have a discussion to run things through before we can give you the best suggestion.
Hence we would like to recommend you to set up an appointment with our country manager, Mr Neo ( and +6012-3830252). During the appointment, we will discuss your requirement and propose the best solution for you.


DChong says:

Hi, I am planning to publish a children educational workbook to be given away on purchase of an educational kit. The sale of the educational kit is ok as I have a registered sole proprietorship but I am wondering if I need a publishing licence to give out the workbook (for free) which is solely designed by me.
Thank you

Paul Hype Page says:

Yes, you would need a publishing permit even though the book alone is not for sale but to be given away together with the educational kit. We would encourage to arrange with our business consultant to understand the details and steps needed to apply for publishing permit. Thank you.

Ms Chan says:

Hello, I need advice on applying for business license to run educational learning services like courses, workshops etc in kl.

bing says:

Dear Ms Chan.

The type of business license require depends on the type of courses and workshops that you are running. As different type of courses/classes might fall under the control of different govt department. Also, if you are running your lessons from a permanent location. Then you need to consider the premise license as well. To fully understand this field, we would suggest for you to disclose more information to us or even schedule an appointment with us in order to discuss further.


JK says:

Hi, to setup a car leasing company, what special license required?

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear JK,

Thank you for getting in touch. My colleague will email you regarding your query.

Best Regards,

YAP says:

my company is a restaurant operate in Malaysia more than 10 years, recently need to apply an Restaurant Manager from Hong Kong, had been informed that the company need a WRT license since 100% owned by foreigner, your company provide service to assist on the WRT application ?

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Yap,

Yes, we would be happy to assist with your WRT application. My colleague will email you with the necessary details.

Please do not hesitate to email us at or if you have any more questions.

Best Regards,

Danny Kitto says:

Hi, I am considering to have a 100% foreign company in Malaysia.
Nature of business in repairing and maintenance of air conditioning systems for buildings and factories. Do I need WRT license to operate and apply visa for my directors?
Also what do I need to apply for my foreign directors and how much (cost) and how long?

Thank you.


Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Suteru,

Yes, a WRT is required for foreign owned companies in Malaysia. As for the foreign director, we need to know which country are they from and the duration of their stay in Malaysia. Only then we will be able advise you accordingly. My colleague will email you with more information, please feel free to drop us an email at or if you have any further questions.

Best Regards,

Syamsudin says:

Please help me.
My company have plan to start business in malaysia. Can you help me to get answer below?

1. For financial company or leasing business, Does foriegn company owen 100% share?
2. How many type of business license for financial institution in malaysia?
3. How to get that license?

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Syamsudin,

Thank you for getting in touch.

1. You cannot have 100% foreign ownership in this case.

2. In Malaysia, you will need a Bank Negara Malayska license and possibly Securities Commission license if there are securities involved.

3. To get the license, you will need to apply with Bank Negara MAlaysia and Securities Commission.

Hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with us.

Best Regards,

peter says:


We are setting up a car rental company. please advice what type of license we shall apply?

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Peter,

Thank you for getting in touch. Our Corporate Specialist will be advise you regarding the business setup process in Malaysia and the different types of business license. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Best Regards,

Johann Lim says:

Dear Paul,

I would like to ask if were to operate a data server factory in Selangor, what license do I need?
And, I believed it will be in the ICT/MSC category, any benefits (eg. tax exemption) that I can obtain from there?

Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

Johann Lim

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Johann,

Thank you for your enquiry.

To set up a data centre, you do not need any special license from the authority. However, you need a Private Limited Company (Sdn. Bhd.), premise license for your office and signage license (if there is any signage involved). Our Corporate Specialist has already gotten in touch with you with more details.

Best Regards,

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