The Simple Guide to Sdn. Bhd. Company Registration for Foreigners in Malaysia

According to Best Country Rankings, Malaysia is the 12th most business-friendly country in the world. With a unique positioning in Southeast Asia and a welcoming business environment, it's no surprise that Malaysia attracts opportunists who want to take advantage of the business opportunities here.

If you are one of the hungry business owners looking to build your next business empire in Malaysia, registering your company will be the next logical step.

Luckily for you, it's a fairly simple process here in Malaysia. With the right understanding of what's available and what you'll need to do, you'll most likely be able to get your business up and running in a few weeks.

Excited already? Let's jump right into it:

What the Law Says

All company formations and registrations in Malaysia is governed by the Companies Act 2016 (Act 777). Based on this Act:

1. Foreigners can be the 100% or sole owner of a Sdn Bhd - but with one condition

One of the biggest benefits of starting a Sdn Bhd in Malaysia is that foreigners can have 100% ownership of their companies. This sounds great, but there is one condition you need to follow: to be the 100% owner, you have to live here. If you don't live here, you'll need a local nominee director.

2. You have to be at least 18 to be a company director

In Malaysia, you'll need to be at least 18 to be a director of a company.

3. You can't be a bankrupt, a criminal, or anything else listed under Section 198

You need to have a pretty clean record if you want to set up a company in Malaysia. If you're a bankrupt, have been a convicted criminal or fraud, you won't be able to be a director of a company in Malaysia. For more details, check out Section 198 from Companies Act 2016:

taken from companies act 2016 section 198

The Company Application Process

If you fulfil the above requirements, you're ready to start your Sdn Bhd application process. Here's what you need to do:

Step 1: Company Name Check & Registration

The first step is to check your company name availability. If it is available, you can proceed with the registration.

Step 2: Lodge Incorporation Documents

Once the company name is approved, you can now lodge your application to incorporate the company. The information required are:

(a) Applicant's complete information

(b) Declaration of compliance, and

(c) Additional document(s)

For details on the above, check out this legal framework document.

How much will it cost you?

A Sdn Bhd incorporation in Malaysia will set you back RM1,010 (inclusive of SST), paid to the SSM.

Other than that, you'll also need to appoint a company secretary within 30 days of incorporation. Once appointed, you'll need to pay a monthly fee to your company secretary.

What's Next: Options for Sdn Bhd Company Registration in Malaysia

You want to get your company up and running ASAP. Here are some options you can consider:

1) Do-it-Yourself

While not impossible, trying to register a company in Malaysia by yourself can be challenging. Unless you've done this many times before, you might find yourself going back and forth just to make sure 

If you do manage to wrangle your way around and successfully register your company, congrats! You'd have saved yourself some money.

2) Get affordable help

If you don't have the time to look into the process of registering your company in Malaysia, the next best option is to get professional help.

Luckily, these days you can register your company online through sites like Foundingbird.

It's an all-online process that guides you through the registration process and documents needed for your application.

All you need to do is create an account with Foundingbird and submit the necessary information through their webform:

Once you have submitted all the necessary information, you can make payment online, and Foundingbird's team will be in touch with you for the next steps.

Fees start at RM1,699 (RM1010 SSM fee, RM489 registration fee and RM200 company secretary fee which renews monthly).

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