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Starting a Business FAQ

If you need advice on how to set up a business in Malaysia, please contact us or request a quote from our friendly team of business advisors.

All companies operating in Malaysia will need to register their business with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), also known as the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM).

The purpose of SSM is to serve as an agency to incorporate companies and register businesses as well as to provide company and business information to the public.

There are 4 different types - Sole proprietor, Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Private Limited (Sdn. Bhd.). Here is a quick summary of how they differ but please note that this is only general advice and you should always speak to a professional business advisor like TJW before setting up your business.

There are many factors that decide which platform you should use to set up a business in Malaysia. Factors include whether you are a Malaysian or Foreigner, whether you are setting up the business as one person or with multiple people, costs, convenience and so on.

For example, there are differences between Malaysians and Foreigners who want to set up a business.

For Malaysians

  • Sole Proprietor
  • Partnership
  • LLP
  • Sdn. Bhd.

For Foreigners

  • LLP
  • Sdn. Bhd.

As your individual situation and business plan is unique and will be different from other people, it is best to speak to a professional business advisor like TJW to advise you on what business platform suits you best. TJW has more than 45 years of experience in helping and supporting entrepreneurs and business owners.

If you are not able to personally visit our office to seek advice, you may call, email, whatsapp or even make an appointment for a conference meeting with us. Please choose the method that best suits you and we’ll respond to you as soon as we can.

Sole Proprietor & Partnership FAQ

If you would like business advice or professional help regarding how to set up a sole proprietorship or partnership in Malaysia, please contact us or get a quote from our friendly team of business advisors.

Sole Proprietor: Business wholly owned by a single individual.

Partnership: Business owned by two or more people but not exceeding 20 people.

Basic requirements include:

  • Owner (sole proprietor) or partners (partnership) must be a Malaysian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Malaysia.
  • Owner (sole proprietor) or partners (partnership) must be aged 18 years and above.
  • Only the owner (sole proprietor) or partners (partnership) are allowed to submit an application.

Required documents and information may include:

  • Photocopy IC
  • Name of the intended company
  • Business nature of the intended company
  • Business address of the intended company
  • Mailing address of the intended company

SSM registration fees (subject to changes by SSM):

  • Trade Name – RM60 per year
  • Personal Name – RM30 per year
  • Branch – RM5 per year for each branch

Although registration can be done on your own at a SSM counter or online via Ezbiz Online Services, having professional help means less hassles and getting the right advice.

You can also appoint a business advisor like TJW to help you register your sole proprietorship or partnership on your behalf. Please contact us if you need help with registering your sole proprietorship or partnership.

Normally within one working day. This is an estimate only and it may take more or less time depending on your individual circumstances.

No. The sole proprietor and partnership shall be owned by a natural person who is a Malaysian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Malaysia.

Yes, the owner or all partners can apply for the change through:

  1. Physical visit at the SSM counter; OR
  2. Through SSM Ezbiz online.

No. If your business has a physical store, you shall apply for at least a business license and signboard license before you can start your business.

No. Changing or converting the business entity is not possible.

You have the option to register a new Sdn. Bhd. and run the business as a new company before terminating the existing sole proprietorship or partnership. However, such a “conversion” may have tax issues relating to capital allowances claim, and lead to a huge income tax implication. Hence, a discussion with us is highly recommended so you can be better informed about the benefits and consequences before making any decision.

Sole proprietor and partnership are different from a Sdn. Bhd. in various areas such as maintenance cost and administrative work. To find out whether it is suitable for you to set up a Sdn. Bhd., contact us for a 1-hour free consultation before choosing the right business model.

Sdn Bhd FAQ

If you are looking for professional advice and help with incorporating a Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia, please contact us or get a quote from our friendly team of business advisors.

Sdn. Bhd. company is a private company limited by shares.

One director who shall ordinarily reside in Malaysia by having a principal place of residence in Malaysia, and one shareholder who can be a natural person or a legal person, i.e.: LLP, Sdn. Bhd., or public company (Berhad).

Yes, provided there are no restrictions as contained in the constitution of the company. A single director may have disadvantages and if you are unsure about the disadvantages, please contact us for further information.

For director and shareholder

  • Photocopy IC for Malaysian or photocopy passport for foreigner
  • Residential address
  • Service address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

For the intended company

  • Name of the intended company
  • Nature business of the intended company

Please contact us if you need help incorporating a Sdn. Bhd. company.

Around 3 – 5 working days. This is an estimate only and it may take more or less time depending on your individual circumstances.

A minimum of RM1.00 needs to be injected into the company during the incorporation stage but please note that this is only a minimum requirement and you should always speak to a professional business advisor like TJW before you make the decision in order for a suitable amount shall be injected to the company.

No. Shareholder of Sdn. Bhd. shall be a natural person or a legal person, i.e.: LLP, Sdn. Bhd., or public company (Berhad).

Yes, but at least one of the directors shall ordinarily reside in Malaysia by having a principal place of residence in Malaysia.

No. If your business has a physical store, you shall apply for at least a business license and signboard license before you can start your business.

No, you cannot convert a Sdn. Bhd. into a sole proprietorship or a partnership because they are different in nature.

You can register a sole proprietor or partnership and run the business as a new company before terminating the existing Sdn. Bhd. However, such a “conversion” may have tax issues related to capital allowance, and lead to a huge impact on your tax amount. Hence, a discussion with us is highly recommended so you can be better informed about the benefits and consequences before making any decisions.

Maintenance cost for a Sdn. Bhd. is higher compared with sole proprietorship and partnership. To find out whether it is suitable for you to set up a Sdn. Bhd., contact us for a 1-hour free consultation before choosing the right business model.

Limited Liability Partnership FAQ

If you would like business advice or professional help regarding how to set up an limited liability partnership in Malaysia, please contact us or get a quote from our friendly team of business advisors.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is an alternative business vehicle which combines the characteristics of a company (Sdn. Bhd.) and a partnership.

The LLP shall be formed by at least 2 partners and a compliance officer who may also be one of the partners. Partners can be individuals (natural persons), corporate bodies or a combination of both.

Yes, this is the most common form of joint ventures.

There is a minimum of 2 partners and no limit for the maximum number of partners.

No, the requirement to be ordinarily residing in Malaysia is applicable only when a partner is also acting as the compliance officer of the LLP.

  • A compliance officer can be one of the partners or a person who is qualified to act as the secretary under the Companies Act 2016; and
  • At least 18 years old and a Malaysian citizen/permanent resident; and
  • Ordinarily resides in Malaysia.

A professional accounting firm like TJW can be appointed as your compliance officer. Please contact us for further discussion.

The main responsibilities of a compliance officer are:

  • registering any changes in registered particulars of the LLP;
  • keeping and maintaining registers and records of the LLP; and
  • ensuring publication of names of the LLP in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

A compliance officer is personally liable for all penalties including any administrative penalty imposed on the LLP unless they can prove otherwise.

  • Proposed name of the LLP
  • Nature of business
  • Address of registered office
  • Name and details of partner
  • Name and details of compliance officer
  • Letter of approval from professional body (if any)
  • Registration fee

Please contact us if you need help with registration of LLP.

  1. Professionals
  2. Small and medium business
  3. Joint Venture
  4. Venture Capital

Still not sure whether it is suitable for you to register an LLP? Feel free to contact us for further consultation.

Yes. In the case of a company, only a private company with at least 2 shareholders is allowed. In the case of a partnership, only firms which are registered under the Registration of Business Act 1956 or any firms carrying out professional practices are allowed. After a successful conversion, the status of the private company or partnership shall be deemed to have been dissolved.

A sole proprietorship cannot be converted into an LLP as it only has one member. The sole proprietor must find at least one more person to be a partner before they can register an LLP.

A converted LLP is required to ensure for a period of twelve months commencing fourteen days after the date of registration to state the following on every invoice or correspondence:

  • a statement that it was, as from the date of registration, converted from a partnership or private company, as the case may be, to a limited liability partnership; and
  • the name and registration number, if applicable, of the partnership or private company from which it was converted.

No, the LLP will have to be voluntarily wound up first before being incorporated as a new company.

The LLP Act 2012 states that all rights and liabilities are vested into the LLP upon conversion from a partnership or a private company. Partners of a partnership that has converted to an LLP shall continue to be liable, personally and jointly with the LLP, for the liabilities and obligations incurred prior to the conversion. Under the LLP legal framework, creditors of a private company are further protected as the company must get the agreement of the creditors for such conversion.

For further advice regarding your existing company, partnership or LLP, or registration of a new LLP, please contact us and our highly experienced team will be able to assist you.