• ICT Licenses in Malaysia

Before incorporating a company in the ICT industry, here is some useful information for you to know!

Overview of Malaysia’s ICT Industry

In Malaysia, it is the National Information Technology Council (NITC) that acts as a main advisor to the government on all matters related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the country. NITC was established back in 1994. Ever since then, Malaysia has been heralded as a global ICT hub, thanks to the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) flagship project, along with other developments in the country such as:

  • The computerisation of ministries and agencies
  • Ongoing upgrades of the country’s telecommunications and IT infrastructure
  • The MSC Net Leap program which was introduced during the 9th Malaysia plan between 2006 to 2010, which boosted the growth of cyber cities and centres throughout the country.
Tips: Note that this is not to be confused with the MSC status offered by MDEC. We talk about the MSC status in Malaysia Business Licenses.

In the 11th Malaysia Plan, which is running from 2016 to 2020, the Malaysian government is focused on increasing its ICT contributions towards the country’s GDP. Malaysia aspires to become a developed nation come 2025, and it is the ICT sector that is projected to help make this happen.

There is already an impressive list of multinational companies established in Malaysia, including the likes of IBM, CISCO Systems, Accenture, CSC Malaysia, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, Oracle Corporation and more. Indeed, the ICT industry in Malaysia has plenty of opportunities, which makes it a good time to start thinking about incorporating an ICT company.

How to Apply for An ICT License in Malaysia

If you intend to setup a company in Malaysia which provides services and facilities in the ICT sector must lodge an application with the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Under the licensing provisions outline in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA), licences under the CMA are aimed at being both technology and service neutral. The CMA has classified four categories of licensing activities, which are:

  • Network Facilities Providers – This includes network facilities such as satellite earth stations, broadband fibre optic cables, telecommunications lines and exchanges, radio communications transmission equipment, mobile communications base stations and broadcasting transmission towers and equipment.

  • Network Service Providers – This includes basic connectivity and bandwidth to support a variety of applications.

  • Application Service Providers – This includes those who provide functions such as voice services, data services, content-based services and electronic commerce.

  • Content Application Service Providers – Involves a special subset of applications service providers including traditional broadcast services and newer services such as online publishing and information services.

Next, we will look at the types of licenses you will need, along with the license application procedure. Now, within these four activity categories, there are two types of licenses available:

  • Individual license – For close monitoring and control of activities

  • Class license – A “light-handed’ form of regulation which is designed to promote industry growth and development by removing unnecessary regulatory barriers.

ICT License Eligibility in Malaysia

To be eligible to apply for an Individual License, you must be classified as:

  • A foreign company as defined under the Companies Act 1965
  • An individual or a sole proprietorship
  • A partnership
  • Such other persons or classes of persons as may be decided by the Minister from time to time.

To be eligible to apply for a Class License, you must be classified as:

  • A foreign individual who is not a permanent resident
  • A foreign company as defined under the Companies Act 1965

Apply for ICT License Malaysia

To apply for an Individual License, you must submit the following documentation to the MCMC:

  • A duly completed Form A together with an application fee of RM10,000.00
  • Documentation details required on a checklist available at the MCMC’s website
  • Additional information or document as may be requested by MCMC

All recommendations shall be processed within 60 days of receiving the required information. A recommendation will then be made to the Minister. If accepted, the Minister will grant the license. If your application is rejected, you will be informed and a reason will be given in writing.

To apply for a Class License, you must submit the following documentation to the MCMC:

  • A duly completed Form D
  • A registration fee of RM2,500.00
  • Additional information or document as may be requested by MCMC

For more information related to the licensing requirements and how applications are evaluated by the MCMC, refer to their Licensing Guidebook.

Ready to start your ICT company in Malaysia? Reach out to us for a free consultation and we can assist you with your incorporation application and other corporate services from taxation to visa applications!

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