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Malaysia Business Licenses


A business in Malaysia cannot legally operate without a Malaysia business license. Now, initially, it might sound like it is going to be a complicated process to apply for a license, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that it is not.  

There’s a reason why Malaysia company incorporation continues to remain among the top destinations for starting a business. One of which being that the to register a business in Malaysia is a smooth, straightforward process.  

 It is also a good idea to consider using Singapore company as your Asian Holding company and understand the Singapore Incorporation requirements 

Why Do I Need a Malaysia Business License? 

Obtaining a business license in Malaysia is a mandatory requirement. You must comply with this Companies Act requirement.  All companies in Malaysia are regulated by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). 100% foreign ownership of certain business entities, such as the Private Limited Company (Sdn Bhd) entity. A 100% foreign owned company in Malaysia will still require some local Malaysian staff to be employed, such as a Company Secretary for example. 


How Long Will It Take to Approve My Business License? 

Application times will vary between 1 to 6 months. It would depend on the type of industry license you’re applying for (this includes small businesses and retail stores). The ministry that issues your Malaysia business license will inspect your business premise before they issue you with an approval for your licenses and permits.  


Types of Business Licenses Available in Malaysia 

Malaysia has two types of business license categories, which are the general license and industry specific license category. General licenses come into effect once you have decided that you want to register a business in Malaysia. Industry-specific licenses on the other hand, are licenses which are unique to certain industries as the name implies.  

Businesses, including Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd) companies, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Limited Partner business entities will be required to have a business license. If you’re operating an establishment which sells alcohol, you will require a liquor license too. 

Your business license options in Malaysia would depend on the industry and the types of business activities you will be involved in. Here’s an overview about the types of 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 & Exports Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) License for Trading, Import & Export, Consultancy and Restaurant Business Management 
Education Licenses for establishing Schools, Colleges, Universities, Tuition Centres and Language Centres 
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 Multi-Super Corridor (MSC) License 
Manufacturing Manufacturing License 


If you intend to operate in the retail industry, operate factories or restaurants as a foreigner in Malaysia, you will be required to apply for business licenses from the following Government Departments: 


  • SSM 
  • Local town councils in Malaysia (MPAJ, DBKL) 
  • Fire Brigade Department 


You will also need to apply for a Business Premise license. Especially if you own real estate for your business. The requirements of this license will vary, depending on the local authorities and state authorities. where you’re lodging your application. Applications may require additional processing time if the a premise inspection is 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 license which is required by foreigners. 

The WRT license is also applicable to non-resident companies which is 100% foreign owned. If your business is going to be involved in any of the following industries, you 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 2-years. There are four options available under this category, which are: 

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


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

To apply for 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 your company must be fully set up with a valid tenancy agreement. If yours is a newly incorporated company, you must submit your company’s business plan.  


Why Choose Paul Hype Page? 

At Paul Hype Page, we offer our clients a unique experience through our comprehensive, all-in-one incorporation packages and services. Our company incorporation and comprehensive after-incorporation services are designed specifically for your business and we cover all your business needs under one roof. For more information about company incorporation in Malaysia, visit our website or contact us today for more information.


Types of Licenses Offered

Malaysian government offers business licenses to foreigners, based on the nature of the business to be incorporated in the country.. The following chart might help:

BankingCentral Bank License for Banking, Financing and Leasing
ConstructionConstruction Industrial Development Board and Engineering License
Direct SellingDirect Selling License
Distributive Imports & ExportsWholesale Retail Trade (WRT) License for Trading, Import & Export, Consultancy and Restaurant Business Management
EducationLicenses for establishing Schools, Colleges, Universities, Tuition Centers and Language Centers
Factory/ManufacturingManufacturing Licenses
HotelFor Budget Hotel License and Luxury Hotels
ICTMulti-Super Corridor (MSC) License
ManufacturingManufacturing License
MediaPublication License for Magazines and Books. Broadcasting License for Music, Singing, TV and Radio
TourismInbound, Outbound, Ticketing License
TransportCar Rental and Vehicle Leasing License.

Other Types of Licenses

Approval of licenses for business incorporation in Malaysia is subjective in nature. It is contingent on the degree of participation of Malaysian residents and nationals in the company at the Directorship, Shareholder or other paid-up capital contributors’ level.

One of the most common trade licenses required by foreigners in Malaysia is the Wholesale, Retail Trade (WRT) License. The license applies to non-resident companies with 100% foreign ownership seeking permission to engage in retail, restaurant, trading, franchise, import, and exporting and consultancy activities.

Other types of business licenses in Malaysia include those issued by the Malaysian Local Town Councils, e.g. the MPAJ, the DKBL and the Fire Brigade Departments. For foreigners looking to set up retail stores and restaurants in Malaysia, such local council licenses are required.

Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) business license in Malaysia

There are four types of WRT licenses,  renewable every 2 years. The categories eligible to apply for the following businesses to operate in Malaysia include:

1. Retail, Trading (Import and Export), Distributive Trades
2. Restaurant
3. Franchise Business
4. Services and Consultancy

The WRT license approval is required by all the above-mentioned sectors by foreigners before they can apply for their work visa (DP10) for any expatriates (directors or shareholders or employees) in the Immigration Department. The minimum company paid up capital requirement for all categories of WRT license application is RM1 million, with company full set-up with valid tenancy agreement and phone line. For newly set-up company, you maybe able to submit with business plan and investment plan in Malaysia prior setting the office.


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.   […]

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