Malaysia Company Formation for Foreigners & Work Permit

WRT License Malaysia for Foreigners

WRT License or  Local Council License are the most important licenses which are required to apply Malaysian Work Permit. If you wish to start Trading, Sales, Shop, Manufacturing, Import Export business, below is the important information related to the business licenses in Malaysia for Foreigners or local companies.

Types of  Malaysia Business Licenses for Foreigners

When you register your company in Malaysia, you have to be careful in adding the activities. Because, later on when you wish to applying work permit, Immigration department will require to have the license from concerned Department according to the activity of your company. That is reason, we always urge the Foreigners to register your company in Malaysia through such “Company Secretary” who understands Immigration procedures more than the company registration procedures.

Foreigners who intend to set up a Malaysia Private Limited Company (Sdn Bhd) will need to know the various types of Malaysia Business Licenses for foreigners which has to apply and qualify to their business activities. The 100% foreign owned company in Malaysia may not be allowed in certain trade license as these licenses may require local Malaysia participation in the application.The requirement and process for the foreigners to apply for the types of Malaysia business licenses for foreigners in Malaysia apply same as the local Malaysians.

Before registration of company in Malaysia, you should be very specific about the activity of your proposed company. For example; if you want to do consultancy business, you should add ONLY “Consultants” activity. Most of the Foreigner add many activities (e.g;Consultancy, Trading, Import, Export, Garments, Textile, Restaurant etc..) in their company’s Memorandum. If you add such types of activities then you MUST be prepared to face Immigration problems as you cannot apply work permit without getting the licenses according to the activity of your company. So, be very specific about adding activity.

Adding/Removing Business Activity 

Even after company registration, you can “Add” or “Remove” the activity from your company’s Memorandum any time when needed. You just need to inform us regarding such issue and we will prepare “Resolution” to alter your company’s Memorandum and after getting signatures from Board of Directors (you and your partners), the resolution will be submitted to Companies Commission of Malaysia. And within one week, your Memorandum will be updated accordingly which does not cost more than 1 or 2 hundred Ringgit.

WRT License Malaysia

The most common trade license needed by foreigners is Wholesale,Retail Trade WRT License in Malaysia . This license is for company with more than 50% foreign ownership to participate in retail,franchise, restaurant, trading, import and export businesses. It means, if you add any activity related to sales, import, export, trading, manufacturing then you will be required to apply WRT license before applying your work permit. Click Here to get the WRT License checklist directly from KPDNKK (Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism). The important point is; you must have physical office/space according to your company’s activity, business plan and exact (to the point) business activity. If your company’s Memorandum is having “to the point” business activity, in other words “very clear to understand” business activity, then WRT license is not a problem at all. You must equip your premise before applying WRT license and get ready your ‘Business Plan’, contact person detail, product detail (brochure, leaflet etc.) and be ready for presentation. We advise to apply WRT License directly without involving any ‘agent’ as the process is straight forward if you approach KPDNKK personally.   

Exemption from WRT License

If 50% or higher shares of a Sdn Bhd company are owned by local Malaysian citizen, then such company can be exempted to apply WRT license. It means, if you add any local Malaysian citizen in your company with at least 50% shares, your company can be exempted from WRT license.

Local Council licence is mandatory license for all companies regardless of ownership whether owned by Malaysians or Foreigners.

This is the MOST simple and easiest license to get. This license is also called PBT license or Local Council License. You can get this license from the local council where your office/shop will be located. Some times general public refers this license “Sign Board License” as well.

If the activities of your company are simple and do not require any other license, then only this PBT License (local council license) is enough to apply Work Permit. 

Import/Export License Malaysia

Import/Export License in Malaysia is very simple. Normally Import/Export in Malaysia is very simple and you can hire “Clearing Agent”to facilitate your import/export in Malaysia. MATRADE is a government department which facilitates the Malaysian Exporters and it’s membership is available ONLINE. The further information is available HERE.

Free Trade Agreements of Malaysia

Malaysia has signed free trade agreements with many countries. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are generally aimed at providing the means to achieve quicker and higher levels of liberalisation that would create effective market access between the participants of the FTA. Traditionally confined to trade in goods, with the establishment of the WTO, trade in services has been included in many FTAs.  Malaysia has signed FTAs with; Pakistan, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and ASEAN countries. The further information regarding Malaysia Free Trade Agreements is available HERE.

Other Licenses according to the Activity if any of activities mentioned below have been entered in your company’s Memorandum, you will be required to apply for the business license from the concerned Malaysian Governmental Departments :

EDUCATION – Universities, Colleges, Schools, Tuition Centres, Language Centres License

TOURISM      –  Ticketing/Reservation, Tour Operator

TRANSPORTATION  - Car Rental License

WRT License & IMPORT/EXPORTS – Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) License for Trading, Import, Export, Restaurant

MANUFACTURING – Manufacturing License

HOTEL / Restaurant– Hotel License, restaurant License

CONSTRUCTION – Construction Industrial Development Board and Engineering License.

Click Here for more information regarding Starting a Construction business or getting CIDB License Malaysia.

I.T / ICT - Multi-Super Corridor (MSC) License OR registration with MDeC (Multimedia Development Corporation). 

Any type of Trading/Sales - Direct Selling License (WRT)

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

To know more about Local Council License ( MPAJ License, DBKL License, MPSJ License) for Foreigners, please CLICK HERE