How to Register a Company in Malaysia
Thinking of registering a business in Malaysia? The country’s liberal government policies and strong economic outlook make it easy to see why Malaysia ranks twelfth on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business scale (2020). As a result, it is a desirable choice for investors.
Only a short 45-minute flight from Singapore, Malaysia offers lower start-up costs, greater tax incentives and more extensive government support. However, the process of setting up a new office in Malaysia can appear complex for foreign business owners.
This guide takes you step-by-step through how to open a company in Malaysia. And, most importantly, it shows you how to meet compliance requirements for a successful business venture.
Malaysian market profile
Malaysia is considered one of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic business environments. Its liberal market policies promote trade and economic development, while many government incentives encourage ongoing growth.
Some key characteristics of the Malaysian Market include:
- Average monthly office rental pricing: Grade A office space in Kuala Lumpur’s new central district averages RM 10.49 per square foot (2021)
- Average fixed broadband internet download speed: 103.28 megabits per second (August 2021)
- Average mobile internet download speed: 29.14 megabits per second (August 2021)
- Gross Domestic Product US$ bn: 336.664 (2020)
- Population: 32.6 million (2020)
- Official languages: Malay, English
The benefits of setting up a company in Malaysia
Malaysia’s multicultural, multilingual society provides a skilled workforce with relatively low wage costs, which appeals to many overseas companies. The transport and telecommunications infrastructures both also operate efficiently, while the growing economy and accessible location make Malaysia a preferred choice.
Other benefits to registering a company in Malaysia include:
- Low corporate tax: For resident companies in Malaysia with under RM50 million in sales, the tax rate is only 17% on your first RM600,000. Once you earn over this limit, the rate increases to 24% for non-resident companies. To check your estimated tax rates, speak to one of our Malaysian tax specialists.
- Skilled and educated workers: Malaysia has a highly skilled workforce, over 70% of whom speak English. Malaysian locals are friendly, hospitable and eager to learn, which increases both productivity levels and customer service.
- Liberal government policies: The Malaysian government’s approach to foreign investment is proactive, welcoming new trade with a variety of industry-specific incentives. The lack of restrictions on repatriating capital, royalties, dividends or profits also encourages many multinational companies to call Malaysia home.
- Effective infrastructure: With five international airports and two international shipping ports, Malaysia is one of Asia’s busiest international hubs. Over the next few years, the Malaysian government will also invest more money into upgrading ports and building new rail links. As a result, the country will provide an efficient, high-tech transport system that enables seamless business operations.
How to establish a company in Malaysia
How to successfully open a business in Malaysia
Registering your business in Malaysia may be easier than you think.
Our specialist BoardRoom team can provide expert advice and assistance whether you’re looking for information on:
- how to register an enterprise in Malaysia;
- how to meet compliance requirements;
- how to check whether a company is legal in Malaysia; or
- how to evaluate a company for acquisition.
Speak to one of our specialists today to find out how to register your business in Malaysia.
Note: if you’re interested in more business opportunities in Southeast Asia, we can help. Explore our guide on how to start a business in Singapore, learn about the benefits of incorporating online there, or learn how to start a business in Hong Kong.
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