In Malaysia, there are vast opportunities to establish a business due to its robust economy and government initiative to promote entrepreneurship, competition and innovation in the workforce. Not only limited to locals, but foreigners are also allowed to set up a company here. 

Set Up a Company in Malaysia

The Different Business Entities in Malaysia

Broadly, there are few different types of business entities in Malaysia, namely:

  1. Sole proprietorship
  2. Partnership
  3. Limited Liability Partnership
  4. Private Limited / Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd)
  5. Labuan International Company (LIC)
  6. Representative/Regional office

Although there are various types of business entities, if you are a foreigner you will need to identify which are the business types permitted for foreigners to set up in Malaysia.

Under the Company Commission of Malaysia (SSM), all foreigners are only allowed to register a company as either one of these 3 types of business entity:

  1. Private Limited Company / Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd)
  2. Labuan International Company
  3. Representative/Regional Office

Foreigners are not permitted to set up a company as sole proprietorship, partnership, enterprise, or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) companies in Malaysia as these entities are meant for Malaysians only.

Want to Start business in Singapore
Want to Start business in Singapore

Steps to Incorporate a Company

Below are the basic steps and timeline to incorporate a company in Malaysia.

Name Search and Application 

Once you have decided on the type of business entity you want to register, next thing you need is a company name. There are rules and regulations on the types of names that can and cannot be registered as a company name. Hence, you will need to come up with a valid company name and conduct a name search to ensure the availability and registrability. To this end, form 13A together with a fee of RM30 will need to be submitted to the Companies Commission of Malaysia or also known as Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM).

Once you have submitted the documents, you will need to wait for the approval of the company name from SSM. This approval might take 1 working day upon the submission of the company name.

Preparing Incorporation Documents 

There are 2 documents that need to be prepared, one is the Memorandum of Association and another one known as the Articles of Association. Along with this, the form 48A which is a statutory declaration by a director before appointment is required as well as the Form 6 which is a declaration of compliance which will be made by the Company Secretary.

Other documents required are the original version of Form 13A, a copy of the letter from SSM stating the approval of company name, and a copy of both the director’s and company secretary’s Identity Card must be compiled for submission. Together, these are referred to as the Incorporation Documents.

Filling and lodging the Incorporation Documents 

The incorporation documents must be submitted to SSM within 3 months from the date of approval of the company’s name. Or else, a fresh application for a name search must be done.

As for the fees, each application to incorporate a company must be submitted together with the prescribed fee. This fee will be predetermined based on the authorised share capital of the company. This process will usually take 3 to 5 working days upon submission for the authorities to undertake a review.

Issuance of Certificate of Incorporation by SSM

A certificate of issuance will be issued by SSM upon compliance with the incorporation procedures and submission of the duly completed Incorporation Documents. Once you have received the certificate, the next process is filling of the statutory forms with SMM and you are required to convene the First Board of Directors meeting and this will take around 1 to 2 working days.

The entire incorporation process will take approximately 5-10 working days from the date that the shareholders and directors sign the incorporation documents. With that in mind, do note that the timeline for company incorporation is very dependent on the accuracy and completeness of documents and information, and is subject to the availability and stability of the MyCoID online system of SSM.