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Malaysia Business Licenses


Malaysia Business Licenses PHP

Malaysia is one of the world’s leading destinations for starting a business. This is because of the relative ease of registering a company in Malaysia. Indeed, the process of registering a company in Malaysia is a smooth and straightforward process.  

A business in Malaysia cannot legally operate without a business license which is valid in Malaysia. Although some may assume that the process of applying for a license is complexsuch is certainly not the case.   


Why Malaysian Companies Need a Business License  

Obtaining a business license in Malaysia is a requirement as specified by the Companies ActEvery company in Malaysia is to abide by this requirement.  All companies in Malaysia are regulated by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). Complete foreign ownership of certain business entities, such as the private limited company (Sdn Bhd), is legally permitted. However, a completely foreignowned company in Malaysia will nevertheless require some local Malaysian staff members to be employed. 


Duration of Business License Approval

The total application time may be anywhere between one month and six months. The duration depends on the type of industry license for which the business owner is applying. (this includes small businesses and retail stores). The ministry that issues the business license will inspect the business premises before doing so.   


Types of Business Licenses Available in Malaysia

Malaysia has two business license categories. All business licenses in Malaysia are either general licenses or industry-specific licenses. General licenses are for anyone who plans to register a business in Malaysia. Industry-specific licenses, on the other hand, are licenses which are unique to certain industries. 

Businesses, including Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd) companies, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and limited partnershipsare required to have a business license. Similarly, establishments which sell alcohol will require a liquor license.  

The business licenses in Malaysia which one is required to obtain depend on the industry and the type of business activities involvedThe following table lists the available licenses offered by the Malaysian government.  


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


Those who intend to operate in the retail industry or be in charge of factories or restaurants as a foreigner in Malaysia, will be required to apply for business licenses from the following government departments:  

  • SSM  
  • Local town councils in Malaysia 
  • Fire Brigade Department  

Foreigners will also need to apply for a business premise license, especially those who own real estate for the business. The requirements of this license will vary; they depend on the local authorities and state authorities in the location where the application is to be lodged. Applications may require additional processing time if a premise inspection is to be conducted. 


Other Trade Licenses 

Foreigners in Malaysia may require other trade licenses to operate their business. The Wholesale, Retail and Trade (WRT) License is among the most common trade licenses required by foreigners.  

The WRT license is also applicable to non-resident companies which are completely foreignowned. Business which are involved in any of the following industries will be required to apply for a WRT license:  

  • Retail (franchise, goods, and services)  
  • Import  
  • Export  
  • Consultancy activities  
  • Trading  
  • Franchise  

A WRT license is renewable every two years. There are four options available under this category, which are as follows:  

  • Services and Consultancy  
  • Franchise Business  
  • Restaurant  
  • Retail, Trading (Import and Export), Distributive Trades  

Foreigners must obtain a WRT license approval for the categories mentioned before they can apply for their DP10 work permit with the Immigration Department of Malaysia.  

To apply for a WRT license, the minimum paidup capital which is needed for the license application is RM1 million. This includes all categories for this license, and the company must be fully set up with a valid tenancy agreement. If the company is a newly incorporated company, the company owner is to submit the company’s business plan. 


How Paul Hype Page & Co Will Be of Service 

At Paul Hype Page & Co, we offer our clients a unique experience through our comprehensive, all-in-one incorporation packages and services. Our company incorporation and comprehensive post-incorporation services can be tailored specifically for your business; thus, we can cover all your business needs. For more information about company incorporation in Malaysia, visit our website or contact us today for more information. 



Malaysia Business Licenses FAQs

What are the primary purposes of SSM?

SSM was established in 2002. It is a statutory body that functions under the auspices of the Malaysian government. Its primary purposes are those of assisting in company incorporation and business registration as well as providing information about companies and businesses in Malaysia to the public.

What is a DP10 Work Permit?

In Malaysia, a DP10 work permit is also known as a Professional Work Permit Visa. It is valid for two years but can have its validity extended by up to 10 years. It is meant for foreigners deemed to be skilled workers.

Are Business Licenses from Malaysia also valid in other countries?

Business licenses issued in Malaysia only pertain to businesses which have been set up there. Therefore, such licenses are not valid in countries other than Malaysia. 


Paul Hype Page & Co – SSM service provider and Asean Chartered Accountant.

Paul Hype Page & Co. have 3 physical offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia

Our Firm Goal is to assist Foreigner and Foreign Companies to set up business in Asean.


How we can help you:

We will call you back, please click below link and make appointment with our Sales consultant:



Step 1- Listen to your Business plan and Relocation needs.

Step 2- Analysis your Malaysia Tax Planning

Step 3- Recommend the most suited type of Company Incorporation, Open Bank account and Work Visa

Step 4- Arrange for your Spouse and Children Visa

Step 5- Assist as your company to hire staffs and handle all HR matters

Step 6- Every financial year end, we assist you with your yearly SSM Finanical and Tax Compliance

Step 7- Assist you to expand business to Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Get in Touch with Us Today.


Paul Hype Page




franco says:


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

Paul 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 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 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 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 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 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 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,

Jaso says:

Give me a call.

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Jaso,

Thank you for contacting us. Please drop us an email at if you haven’t already done so, and our Corporate Specialist will get back to you as soon as possible.

Best Regards,

Leo says:

Hi there, I intend to provide stock/financial trading courses and business consultancy in Malaysia, do I require any specific license regarding on that?

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Leo,

Thank you for contacting us. Please drop us an email at (if you haven’t already done so), and our Corporate Specialist will get back to you as soon as possible.

Best Regards,

Sarah says:

Hi, We just registered our company in Malaysia but was temporarily closed for a while. We are looking for someone who could manage it initially such as a Company Director and Secretary. This company is 100% fully owned by a foreigner, a Sdh Bhd. Thus, I’m looking for cost-effective service fees and charges. Can you give me details, please.

Thank you.

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for getting in touch. Please drop us an email at and our Corporate Specialist will get back to you as soon as possible with any details you require.

Best Regards,

`Mimi says:

Hye there,

During sign off to get the sdn bhd license, all the share partners must be at Malaysia or one (Director) is enuf?
– 51% share belong to a malaysian
– the rest belong to foreigners.

Paul Hype Page says:

Dear Mimi,

Thank you for contacting us. Generally, a Sdn Bhd requires 1 Director minimum. The Director can be individual or corporate but must have at least 1 local Malaysian.

Also, it must be decided if the ownership will be joint venture with Malaysians or 100% foreign owned, as this will affect the paid up capital needed for different purpose of incorporation. Should you require more assistance and advice, please do drop us an email at and our Corporate Specialist will get back to you.

Best Regards,

Karthigeyan S.Palanisamy says:

Good Day

I would like to open a Barber shop and Cash Wash Business, However i am new to this. What would be the process like, How would i register my business and do i need (SSM) ?

Any guidance will be much appreciated.

Paul says:

Dear Palanisamy,

Yes all company requires a corporate Secretary to setup and incorporate and also to follow up on the business annual compliance reports.
Do contact us for a full set of incorporation services all under one roof. Email

Kenny says:

Good day,
I would like to open an act show gallery. Does it require to apply license in Malaysia?

Zoma says:

Hi, I would like to register a Sdn bhd company which main Activity is organizing business events, trade shows and exhibitions. What type of business license will I need? Thanks

Paul says:

Hi Zoma,
First and foremost, thank you for choosing Paul Hype Page as your preferred corporate service specialist.

Now, please allow me to answer your question.
1. Foreign companies conducting services (which could include events) is required to obtain a WRT licence from the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism.

2. However, further licensing might be required, depending on the venue of your events, the type of event that is going to be taking place, the number of pax that is expected, outdoor or indoor, and etc. There will have some other required licensing, depending on the criteria stated.

3. We could perhaps assist you further if you provide us with more details of the event.

Best Regards,

Ram says:

Good day
Hai i would like to start gold business with my partner from afirica he is the owner for goods and he would like to bring his goods from afirica and storage in our bank and my part to sell it .i have consultant ssm , what are the other license or procedure i need follow .my partner have his trade license and export license from his country .can you give me any guidelines tq

[…] from fulfilling the licensing requirements in Malaysia, there will be other requirements that need to be met to successful begin operating your business. […]

[…] Business licenses in Malaysia are administered by either government agencies, local authorities or statutory bodies. Again, the issuing authority for the license that you require depends on the type of license that you need. The compliance requirements that you would need to meet before you can obtain these licenses would also depend on the industry, location of your business and the nature of your business activities.   […]

simon peek says:

Good days, I am planning to start an online business selling liquor products, do I need to apply any type of license in order to legally operate without hassle?

Paul says:

Hi Simon:

To start an online business which sells alcoholic beverages in Malaysia, you may require a liquor license. The exact type of license will depend on the nature of your business and where the beverages are to be consumed.
You will have to incorporate your company first before applying the license. Our company startup experts will be able to help you from the start. Contact us today for a quotation.


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