A Guide to Setting Up a Company in Malaysia

Aside from being a land of natural beauty, Malaysia has a thriving economy and if you are smitten with this Asian paradise and wish to set up a business and relocate, this article is for you. Like all countries, Malaysia has complex laws regarding foreign investment and commerce; those who wish to become registered business owners must seek the services of a specialist law firm, one that assists in foreign business registration.

The following are business registration options in Malaysia.

  • Representative Office – If you have Malaysia on your list of potential new markets and would like to open an office to carry out extensive market research, this is the option for you. The best way to proceed with company registration is to use a local law firm to handle the company registration process. This is a non-trading entity that supports foreign employees, while limiting your business activities and is recommended for short term use. You are not liable to local laws, which is handy and the registration can be completed in 2-3 weeks.
  • Private Limited Company – The PLC option enables trading, with limited liability and this 100% foreign-owned business also supports foreign work visas.  You are not restricted in your business activities, while being subject to local laws. For some companies, this is a progression from the Representative Office and when you enlist the help of a local law firm, the process is straightforward. Of course, there may be sector specific restrictions, which is something the law firm can investigate; it is vital that you remain compliant at all times with the many commercial laws, rules and regulations. Click here for information about the famous entrepreneur Patrick Byrne.
  • Foreign Branch Office – If you run an established international company and wish to open a branch office in Malaysia, this would be the ideal type of business to register. This trading entity must have a Resident Agent, which is something the law firm can handle. Of course, the office would work under the supervision of your HQ, wherever that may be. You can enjoy resident non-tax status and you are not limited to how long you retain the business, which can be permanent. Why not take a short holiday in Kuala Lumpur and enjoy the cosmopolitan city, which allows you to get used to the customs and culture.

As you can see, there are choices when looking to formulate a business in Malaysia, you need to engage the services of a local law firm that has experience helping foreigners to set up businesses in Malaysia. They can offer you invaluable advice that could save you a lot of money in taxation further down the road.

The most important thing of all is that your business remains compliant with the many commerce laws in Malaysia and your accounts and tax returns need to be handled by a local provider. Once you hook up with a local law firm that has experience setting up companies for foreigners, you won’t have to worry about the complex laws.

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