Open a Hotel/Hostel in Malaysia

Updated on Monday 09th October 2017

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Tourism is one of Malaysia’s top sources of foreign income and the country is one of the most visited Asian countries. Tourist attractions include the beautiful islands and beaches but other types of tourism, such as medical tourism are popular here.

Entrepreneurs who open a hotel in Malaysia need to follow a few steps and observe the local laws and regulations for these types of establishments. In this guide, our lawyers in Malaysia walk you through the most important steps for investing in the accommodation and tourism business in the country.

How to start a hotel in Malaysia

Malaysia is a popular tourist destination and investments in the hotel industry, accommodation, and tourism, in general, are among the most significant in the country.

Opening a hotel or a hostel in Malaysia involves a few steps and foreign investors need to be prepared to become accustomed to running a business in Malaysia. Investors looking to start their own accommodation business should take some time to prepare a business plan and conduct a local market research in the area where they wish to set up their business. Peninsular Malaysia is a developed and diverse region, which also includes the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The East Coast is a tourist attraction because of its beaches and islands, although traditionally largely inhabited by the Muslim population. 

Hotels and hostels in Malaysia will provide services according to their size and type. Hotels receive their star rating based on how they meet minimum requirements for aesthetics, common areas, bedroom requirements, services, hygiene, safety standards and staff.

One of our attorneys in Malaysia can give you detailed information on these requirements as well as the special permits and licenses hotels and hostels must obtain if they provide other services apart from accommodation (restaurant, bar, entertainment, etc.). 

Company incorporation in Malaysia

Foreigners who start a hotel in Malaysia begin by incorporating a company. The subsequent procedures involve obtaining the special approvals and hiring employees in Malaysia.

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture issues the licenses for Tourist Accommodation Premises and other licenses relevant to the tourism industry. The Ministry also oversees the implementation of the Tourism Industry Act.

Investments in tourism in Malaysia may require special Government approval. We recommend that you talk to one of our attorneys in Malaysia for details on full foreign ownership in this business field.

You can contact our law firm in Malaysia for more information on how to open a business in the country. 



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