Types of Malaysia Business Licenses for Foreigners


The Types of Malaysia Business Licenses for Foreigners

  Foreigners who intend to set up a Malaysia Private Limited Company (Sdn Bhd) need to know the various types of Malaysia Business Licenses to apply and qualify for their business activities. The 100% foreign owned company may not be allowed for certain trades which require local Malaysians' participation (in terms of shareholding and directorship). The requirement and process for the foreigners to to apply for Malaysia's local town council business license, the same procedures apply to  the local Malaysians.

Types of Malaysia's business licenses for foreigners from the Malaysia Governmental departments :

  1. Education - Universities, Colleges, Schools, Tuition Centre, Language Centre License
  2. Tourism - Inbound, Outbound and Ticketing License
  3. Transportation - Car Rental License
  4. Media - Publication License (For Magazine and Books), Broadcasting License (For TV, Radio, Singing and Music) 
  5. Distributive, Import / Exports - Wholesale Retail Trade(WRT) License for Trading, Import, Export, Restaurant and Consultancy
  6. Factory / Manufacturing - Manufacturing License
  7. Hotel - Luxury Hotel, Budget Hotel License
  8. Construction - Construction Industrial Development Board and Engineering License
  9. ICT - Multi-Super Corridor (MSC) License
  10. Direct Selling - Direct Selling License
  11. Manufacturing - Manufacturing License
  12. Bancking - Central Bank License for Banking, Financing and Leasing

  The condition of approval for the above licenses may subject to the degree of participation of local Malaysians in the company as Director and/or Shareholder and the paid-up capital.

The most common trade license needed by foreigners is Wholesale, Retail Trade WRT License in Malaysia. This license is applicable to the non-resident company (100% foreign ownership) permission to participate in retail, franchise, restaurant, trading, import, export and consultancy businesses. The WRT license approval only applicable for "unique" types of trade only.

Other categories of Malaysia's business licences issued by the Malaysian Local Town Councils (such as DBKL, MPAJ, etc) and Fire Brigade Departments may also apply to foreigners who intend to operate restaurants and retail stores. 

The approval processing time for business licenses application vary between 1 month to 6 months for each type of license. Most of the time, the relevant ministry will conduct an inspection of premise before final issue the approval of the license.

As a foreigner, before you start your business in Malaysia, it is advisable to have a complete understanding to the type of licenses required for your business. 

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