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How to Set-Up a Company in Malaysia

July 16, 2015 | Sharon Cheong

With Malaysia's newly industrialized market economy, the country has enjoyed a strong, stable record of performance for over 50 years. They are members of the ASEAN region and the third largest economy of this group with a Gross Domestic growth rate of 6.5% annually that has reached over $746 billion. This is one of Southeast Asia's best economic records and has attracted investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Large, well-known companies have offshore headquarters in Malaysia. 

Companies Commission of Malaysia 

This agency will have on hand at regional offices or on their website, all the documents necessary to file with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). The Companies Commission of Malaysia handles all types of businesses including commerce, trade, craftsmanship, professional, manufacturing and others. They do exclude a few business types and charitable organizations.  For a complete list, please visit their website. 

Two Main Business Types 

Though there are others, the two main business types that the SSM deals with are sole proprietorship and partnerships. In a sole proprietorship, the business is wholly owned by one single individual. In most cases, the business name and individual's name are the same. In a partnership, there are usually one or more partners with one of them owning the majority of the business holdings. 

Getting Registered 

The first step is of course to choose the business type that best meets your needs and file your corporate papers. This will almost always require an attorney or accountant to help put together the right documents. Once you have this accomplished, you can register your new business. This can be done at the e-lodgement services area of the website and also at the SSM counter in person. Registration must take place within 30 days from starting to do business. The website has a full list of the guidelines for registering your new business. Businesses can register for a period of one to five years. 

Choosing a Name 

If your company is a sole proprietorship, then you can simply use your own name but if you are running a partnership, you must choose a business name.  Trade names are registered using Form PNA.42. You should choose several back up names for the business just in case the name you've chosen is already in use. Refer to the Guidelines for Business Name Application for more info. 

The Registration Fees 

Fees vary based on how big the company is and what type of business it is. A sole proprietorship is less expensive than a partnership. Fees can range from RM30 per year to RM60 per year. If you need to register a new branch, the cost is currently RM5, but fees can change over time. Check the website for the most current info. Fees must be paid at the time of registration. 

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