Do you intend to start your business, no matter if it is physical business or online business? If you do, the first thing you need to do is to apply for a business license in Malaysia. A business license is a document that grants you the right to operate a business. License requirements vary depending on the types of business activities that you do. Do you want to know more about how to apply for a business license in Malaysia? Let’s check these out!

What is a Business License Malaysia?

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Business license Malaysia is administered by government agencies, local authorities or statutory bodies in Malaysia. The issuing authority for the license depends on your business, location of your business, nature of business activities and the type of license you need. 

How to Apply For a Business License in Malaysia

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How to apply for a business license in Malaysia might be the question that you keep asking if you want to set up a business in Malaysia. To apply for a business license you need to find the license that suits your business first. After you find the suitable license for your business, you have to fulfill all the requirements.

The main documents to apply a business license are:

  • Complete set of SSM documents.
  • Copy of your identity card or passport
  • Photograph 
  • A copy of your rental or tenancy agreement or sale and purchase agreement.
  • Photographs of your business premise
  • Photographs of the intended location for your company’s signboard and also your signboard’s color and design.
  • Copy of your office layout plan 
  • Copy of your certificate of Fitness for business premise
  • Copy of Fire Department’s support letter.
  • Quit Rent (Cukai Tanah) and Assessment Receipts (Cukai Taksiran)

The application for the business license is to be made to the relevant town council where your business is located. You need to provide a copy of an Assessment Receipt or known as Cukai Taksiran which is issued by the town council in respect of your business to determine which town council has an authority over your premises.

If your address may indicate that your premise in Kuala Lumpur,  Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) may not be necessary to regulate your business premise. But the other local authority is the one which is necessary to regulate your business license.

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Benefits of Having a Malaysian Business License 

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Having a Malaysia Business License will give you a lot of benefits if you set up a business in Malaysia. A business license helps to protect consumers and businesses. Business licenses help to protect the most important things in your business which is liability. With a license, you wouldn’t be personally liable.Business License helps hold business accountable. It will minimize your liability.

Another benefit is for administration and taxes. The government will use your business license to see how much money the business has earned and how much income tax you need to pay. Business license protects your business from any tax mix ups. Having a business license means that your business can be accredited by a trusted accrediting entity. Accreditation can help your business grow faster.

Types Of Malaysian Business Licenses

There are 3 types of business licenses in Malaysia:

Sole Proprietorship

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Sole proprietor registration is the common and simplest legal structure in Malaysia. A sole Proprietorship is a business which is owned by a single individual using a personal name as their identity card or trade name. Only the Malaysian citizen or permanent resident can own this license. Foreigners are not allowed to register sole proprietorship in Malaysia.

Sole proprietor business is very suitable for a small new business because it is easy for the registration, no corporate tax payments and less formal business requirements. Sole Proprietor businesses can transform their business into Private Limited (Sdn.Bhd) if their business is already stable and bigger.

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Partnership registration is a type of business entity for company incorporation in Malaysia. This registration is only available for Malaysian citizens or permanent residents. They must be at least 18 years and above to be eligible for this option. Partnership involves two or more individuals in the agreements.

Company Limited by Shares or Guarantee

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Company Limited or locally known as Sdn Bhd company is the most common type of business in Malaysia. Company Limited can be set up by Malaysian citizens and also foreigners. Foreigners are allowed to own 100% of a company registered in Malaysia with a minimum of RM500,000 paid up capital depending on the nature of business.

Requirements for Applying for the Different Types of Licenses Depending on the type of Company Being Set Up 

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The requirements for applying for a license may differ according to the category of license you are applying for. 

If you want to apply a sole proprietorship registration, you need to provide:

  • Copy of business owner identity card
  • Proposed business name
  • Proposed nature of business of the proposed business
  • Proposed business address
  • Letter of approval from agency if applicable

For the partnership registration, you need to complete the documents such as:

  • A copy of yours and your partners’ identity card
  • Copy of your permit, approval, license and another supporting documents
  • Details of your business name and activities 

Things you need to prepare to register Company Limited license

  • A company name
  • Name of the shareholders 
  • Resident director
  • A company secretary
  • Address in Malaysia
  • At least RM1,000 capital for locally owned and RM500,000 for foreigner ownership
  • A copy of yours and your partners’ identity card
  • Copy of your permit, approval, license and another supporting documents
  • Details of your business name and activities

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Steps to Apply for The Different Types of Licenses Based on the Type Desired

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To start or register a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership in Malaysia, your business must be registered in SSM or known as Companies Commission of Malaysia. You can register them directly at the SSM office near you or you can also register via online. But before you register them, make sure you have completed all the requirements.

For Company Limited, you also need to be in SSM. You have to bring all the requirements to the SSM near you or you can register it online. For companies limited to those owned by Malaysian citizens, they must have at least RM1,000 for the capital fund and RM 500,000 if owned by a foreigner. The license approval process will take one to six month. Before approving your business license, the ministry will conduct the business inspection.

Tips When Applying for a Malaysian Business License

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Applying for a business premise license in Malaysia is not that hard if you understand and complete all the requirements. You can apply them by yourself to the administration bodies in Malaysia. If you don’t have time to apply it yourself or you are a foreigner who is not familiar with the local laws and procedures in Malaysia, you can have help from a lawyer or another expert to help you with the business license and business registration in Malaysia.


Business license is a piece of paper that lets you operate a business in your city, state and country. It helps to protect your business and consumers. The business license in Malaysia varies. You must know what license you want to have that suits your business before you apply for them. Is it trade license malaysia, company limited license, partnership license and others. 

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