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Malaysia Business Licenses

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Malaysia Business Licenses

2020-12-18T16:56:14+08:00April 20, 2015|58 Comments

Malaysia Business Incorporation is an easy process – Paul Hype Page & Co. can help you to know which Malaysia Business License you should apply for!


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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 complex, such 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 Act. Every 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 foreign-owned 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.  

Business license

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 partnerships are 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 involved. The 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.  

Thinking of incorporating in Malaysia? Let’s get started.

E A S I E R • F A S T E R • B E T T E R

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.  

Business License

The WRT license is also applicable to non-resident companies which are completely foreign-owned. Business which are involved in any of the following industries will be required to apply 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 paid-up 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

Are Business Licenses from Malaysia also valid in other Countries?2020-04-27T12:34:30+08:00

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. 

What is a DP10 Work Permit?2020-04-27T12:33:54+08:00

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.

What are the Primary purposes of SSM?2020-04-27T12:33:06+08:00

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.

Have a question or something to say? Join our PHP MY forum discussion!


  1. Zaila O. January 13, 2021 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    I registered a fashion business with SSM and I do it from home. My business address as registered is my home address. I specialise in printing t-shirts, name tag embroidery and sewing of fabric mask.

    What other business license do I need apart from my business registration certificate?

    Note that the business is registered here in Malaysia as an enterprise. Meanwhile, I’m Malay.

  2. Theva.v December 30, 2020 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    I were planned to open up a barber shop.
    Besides SSM, any other licensing needed?
    Thank you.

  3. Arthur November 15, 2020 at 11:10 am - Reply


    May I know whether I need to have an SDN BHD in order to get an import export licence?

    Thank you

    • Tiwi November 17, 2020 at 10:29 am

      Yes, to obtain an export import license, you will need to have an Sdn Bhd company first.

      Please contact us via Paul Hype Page to discuss further.

  4. Lizzie July 9, 2020 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Could you provide me more details about the criteria to apply Liquor License? Also what are the requirements and fees. Thanks

    • Tiwi July 17, 2020 at 10:42 am

      Hi Lizzie

      The type of license you require depends on your exact business plan and the needs you have. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact us via Paul Hype Page.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Warm regards

  5. Beth July 2, 2020 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Do I need to apply for any trade/business license to teach piano from home?

    Thank you

    • Tiwi July 15, 2020 at 9:32 am

      Hi Victor
      Yes, your business would require certain licenses in order to teach music. The licensing requirements vary depending on your specific business and your needs. To discuss further, please contact us at Paul Hype Page.
      Thank you for your comment.
      Warm regards

  6. Amanda June 25, 2020 at 10:55 am - Reply


    If I would like to start a business of connecting enterprisers with errand runners, and to provide marketing solutions to enterprise on an online platform. May I know what type of licenses are required? I am based in Malaysia.

    Thank you and very much appreciated.

    • Tiwi July 6, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Hi Amanda
      The licenses required depends on the nature of your business. If the errand runners are freelancers or employees to your firm, will affect the license requirements. If you would prefer, please contact us so we can better advise you.
      To facilitate further discussion, please contact us at Paul Hype Page.

      Thank you for your comment.
      Warm regards

  7. Shiva November 19, 2019 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Hello Paul,
    Hope all good at your end.
    Well i am running a registered callcenter in Pakistan and looking to have an office in malaysia for callcenter and online Digital web designing work.
    Kindly let me know the requirement

    Awaiting for your prompt response

    • Tiwiyah Kumaran November 25, 2019 at 9:53 am

      Hello Shiva,

      If you are interested in starting a business in Malaysia, you will have to incorporate the company according to the regulations which have been specified by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

      For further information on incorporation, please contact us at any time.
      Thank you.

  8. simon peek July 19, 2019 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    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?

    • Tiwiyah Kumaran July 22, 2019 at 11:56 am

      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.


  9. Ram April 8, 2019 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    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

  10. Zoma March 28, 2019 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    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 Hype Page & Co March 28, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      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,

  11. Kenny March 1, 2019 at 3:43 pm - Reply

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

  12. Karthigeyan S.Palanisamy December 20, 2018 at 11:44 am - Reply

    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 Hype Page February 21, 2019 at 10:45 am

      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

  13. `Mimi July 7, 2018 at 3:31 am - Reply

    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 July 13, 2018 at 11:17 am

      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,

  14. Sarah June 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    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 June 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      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,

  15. Leo May 30, 2018 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    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 June 5, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      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,

  16. Jaso May 15, 2018 at 4:52 am - Reply

    Give me a call.

    • Paul Hype Page May 16, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      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,

  17. Johann Lim March 1, 2018 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    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 March 23, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      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,

  18. peter December 31, 2017 at 6:11 pm - Reply


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

    • Paul Hype Page January 26, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      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,

  19. Syamsudin October 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    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 November 8, 2017 at 10:39 am

      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,

  20. Danny Kitto August 16, 2017 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    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 September 28, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      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,

  21. YAP August 3, 2017 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    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 September 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      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,

  22. JK June 3, 2017 at 5:04 pm - Reply

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

    • Paul Hype Page September 28, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      Dear JK,

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

      Best Regards,

  23. Ms Chan May 9, 2017 at 1:42 am - Reply

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

    • bing May 18, 2017 at 10:33 am

      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.


  24. DChong April 20, 2017 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    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 April 27, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      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.

  25. OYZ January 2, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    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 January 5, 2017 at 10:33 am

      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.


  26. Md Shameem Ahammed October 23, 2016 at 10:17 am - Reply

    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 November 29, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      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

  27. Chong Chia Li July 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    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 August 15, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Dear Chong,

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

  28. Lotus June 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm - Reply


    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 June 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      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.


  29. Kyna June 4, 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

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



    • Paul Hype Page June 6, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      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.


  30. franco April 7, 2016 at 9:12 am - Reply


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

    • Paul Hype Page May 31, 2016 at 10:51 am

      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

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