Set Up a Restaurant in Malaysia

Updated on Friday 17th February 2023

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The tourism and hospitality industry is one of the most prolific in Malaysia and has seen a rise in recent years, due to investments both from foreign and local entrepreneurs.

Investors who set up a restaurant in Malaysia have access to a wide range of clients, tourists, and locals alike. This type of business is a lucrative one, nevertheless, investors need to pay attention to the design, location, and menu of their new restaurant.

One of our lawyers in Malaysia can offer you a complete guide on how to open a restaurant in Malaysia.

Restaurant businesses in Malaysia

Malaysia is a multiethnic country and this particularity is well-reflected in its cuisine. Traditional coffee shops and restaurants, as well as modern and international cuisine restaurants, coexist in Kuala Lumpur and other cities.

Restaurant owners will typically focus on one culinary style, for example, traditional Malay, Chinese, or Indian. The country’s dominant religion, Islam, also has an influence on the restaurant business, as most restaurants will comply with halal standards. 

The culinary style is just one aspect to be taken into consideration by investors who want to open a restaurant in Malaysia. Other issues include the business plan and financing options, the location of the restaurant, and hiring skilled staff.

We suggest you get in touch with our corporate lawyers in Malaysia and discover the legal services you need. If you are involved in commercial disputes, I can represent you as soon as the case comes to our attention. In addition, if you are interested in a legal review in commercial transactions or risk management for companies, you can contact us with confidence. We are here to help you from a legal point of view in all your endeavors.

Requirements for restaurants in Malaysia

The first step when deciding to open a restaurant in Malaysia is to incorporate a company. The private limited liability company is a popular business form that can also be incorporated by foreign investors. Certain investment and company ownership conditions do apply to foreign entrepreneurs and one of our lawyers in Malaysia can help you with information about these requirements.

Restaurant owners in Malaysia are required to comply with the various requirements for special permits and licenses. This will differ from one restaurant to another and will depend on the type of food served and the additional services and entertainment options provided by the establishment. Restaurants in Malaysia need to comply with health and safety requirements, have to obtain liquor licenses and, in some cases, a license for playing music in the restaurant. 

Our team of lawyers in Malaysia can help you understand the legal requirements for opening a restaurant. With our help, you can handle all the steps of the process in due time and avoid postponing the opening date because of missing permits or licenses. 

You can contact our law firm in Malaysia if you have questions on how to set up a restaurant and the requirements for local and foreign investors.