Obtain Special Permits and Licenses in Malaysia

Updated on Thursday 15th June 2017

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Companies established in Malaysia are required to obtain special permits and licenses, issued in accordance with the business fields in which the company is carrying out its operations. According to the local legislation, Malaysian authorities have to issue certain business permits to foreign investors with business activities set up here. Our law office in Malaysia can assist foreign entrepreneurs to apply and obtain various permits, as well as to register for other corporate requirements. 

Types of permits and licenses in Malaysia 

Foreigners who have set up a company in Malaysia are required to obtain special licenses, which are compulsory for all non-local citizens; our team of lawyers in Malaysia can provide you with a comprehensive presentation on the permits available for foreigners

The most common type of license is the Wholesale, Retail Trade License; the document is required for companies in which more than 50% of the company’s ownership is attributed to foreign citizens. 

The license provides the right to perform business activities in the following industries: retail, franchise, restaurant, trading or import/export activities. The rule is no longer applicable if more than 50% of the company’s shares are held by local citizens; as such, the company does not have to obtain such a license

An important business license, necessary for all types of companies, regardless of their ownership, is the Local Council License, issued by the closest local council where the company is situated. 
Import-export businesses must obtain an Import/Export License, issued by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation

We invite you to watch the following video for more information on obtaining special permits and licenses in Malaysia

Business domains which require permits and licenses for foreign investors 

The Malaysian legislation provides the business domains for which foreign investors with operations in Malaysia are required to receive special permits

•    education; 
•    tourism;
•    transportation;
•    media;
•    import and export activities;
•    manufacturing;
•    accommodation;
•    constructions;
•    banking.

 If you need further information on the special permits and licenses available in Malaysia, please contact our Malaysian law firm for legal assistance. 



April 7, 2016

I am a British investor interested in setting up a company in Malaysia. My business will be established in the field of tourism and, as I can see, I do need a business permit. I'd require the assistance of local specialists, who are more familiar with the local legislation.

Hello, you can send us your request via e-mail and one of our lawyers will answer you as soon as possible.

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