The hotel industry in Malaysia is one of the country’s most thriving sectors, thanks to its reputation as one of the world’s leading tourism countries. With thousands of tourists flocking to its shores each year, the hospitality and tourism sector as benefitted immensely. Along with this development, the growth of the hotel sector too. For an entrepreneur to own and operate a hotel, you will need to apply for a Hotel License in Malaysia.
Acquiring a Hotel License in Malaysia
The regulating authority which is responsible for the implementation of provisions and enforcement in the tourism sector is the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. They ensure that the requirements of the Tourism Industry Act and Tourism Vehicles Licensing Act are adhered to.
If your dream is to become a hotelier in Malaysia, the process of acquiring your license is going to happen in 4 stages. All 4 stages are going to require approvals, which need to happen concurrently.
You will also be required to apply for at least a minimum of 12 approvals before your business can commence. This 12-approval requirement assumes that your hotel is already completed and ready for occupancy. The approvals will depend upon what kind of hotel rating you intend to have as your business.
You will, however, be able to apply for a maximum of 22 approvals. Again, this depends on how many business activities you intend to operate in your hotel. This can be a lengthy process, which is why we recommend you enlist our services to help you out. Paul Hype Page has plenty of experience helping foreigners get started with their hotel business in Malaysia, and we will guide you every step of the way.
Any entrepreneur who intends to operate a hotel establishment will be required by law to have their business registered and licensed. This must be done before operations can commence. The types of licensing that will be required include:
- Tourist Accommodation Premises License (issued by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture)
- Signboard and Premise License
- A Halal License
- License to sell alcoholic beverages in your hotel’s bars, restaurants and coffee shops
- License for the use of advertisement and commercials on the hotel’s premise
- License to create a swimming pool and parking lot on the hotel’s premise
- License for indoor facilities and entertainment
License to open a beauty salon within the hotel (if applicable)
Other Requirements to Start a Hotel Business in Malaysia
Aside from fulfilling the licensing requirements in Malaysia, there will be other requirements that need to be met to successful begin operating your business. Other requirements here include:
- Completing the company incorporation Malaysia process by registering your business with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). This is a requirement by the Companies Act. Ensure all your incorporation documents are for a smoother process.
- Reserving your company name and completing all the required documentation. This can be done after a quick company name search.
- Registering with the local tax authorities (Sales and Service Tax may be applicable).
- Ensuring all compliance requirements are met.
- You must be registered with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Malaysia as required by law
- You must register your employees for SOCSO (Social Security Organisation)
- Opening a corporate bank account for your business.
Your company registration process will be handled with the assistance of your Company Secretary. A hotel can be registered as a Private Limited Company (Sdn Bhd or Sendirian Berhad), and it is mandated that such companies have at least one Company Secretary in addition to the directors and shareholders. This includes boutique hotels which are incorporated as a Sdn Bhd company. Once you have received your certificate of incorporation from SSM, you will be able to open a hotel and start your business right away.