Business license in Malaysia

Business license Malaysia

In order to conduct your business legally in Malaysia, one would require some sort of permit or a license for their company. There are various forms of business license in Malaysia requirement and price that can be either general license, an industry license or even an activity based license.

Requirement of business license Malaysia

SOCSODSL (Shipping License)Halal
Export (
WRTIncome TaxESD

No matter the kind of license we are talking about, all of them are monitored by different governing bodies, agencies, statutory bodies and even local authorities. Business licenses are required by law or every company no matter what your operations are. The requirements for different licenses may vary depending on the industry, business activity or even the state you are working on.

In Malaysia, business license can be sorted out in three different groups;

  1. General License
  2. Sector or Industry Specific License
  3. Activity Specific License

General License

These are licenses that are required and are only applicable once the investor has gone on with his decision to conduct his business in Malaysia. The list o General Licenses are given below

  1. Company Registration
  2. Company Income Tax Registration
  3. Employee Tax Registration
  4. Social Security Organization
  5. Human Resources Development Fund
  6. Employees Provident Fund
  7. Signboard Licenses
  8. Business Premises Licenses

Industry or sector specific license

These kinds of licenses are given out to the specific industry. The government decides which sectors will fall under these licensing. It is done more or less to ensure that these certain industries in the country develop better.  Examples of such industry or sector include the following;

  1. Manufacturing Sector-Anyone getting into the manufacturing industry should obtain their manufacturing licenses. In order to do so, they should provide certain documents including their Memorandum and Articles of Associations, Certificate of Incorporation, and the Registered Address. Your company can be exempted from needing such a license only if the company’s paid up or shareholder’s fund does not exceed RM 2.5 million or if the company has a labor force of less than 75.
  2. Wholesale or retail trade- Arguably the most sought out type of license in Malaysia is the Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) License. It is very common among foreign-owned companies. The license is required by wholesalers, retailers, direct sellers, suppliers and even franchise practitioners. Commission agents and representatives of international trading companies looking to sell in the Malaysian market will also require the WRT license.
  3. Construction- Any company that will partake in the construction industry will have to apply for the Construction license from the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB). They are not legally cleared to take any sort of construction related projects before they obtain their construction permits.
  4. Banking Sector: If you wish to start a start your company in the banking sector, then you need a specific license for that as well. According to the Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1989, all sorts of banking related activities are controlled and looked after by the Malaysian Central Bank. They are also responsible for providing licenses to financial institutes which deal with activities such as banking, money brooking, provision of credit and finance, merchant banking, and other such businesses.

Activity Specific Licenses

Activity Specific Licenses are the types of licenses which are issued in order to monitor certain activities.  This can be applicable to the certain industry or just a specific sector of the economy. The basic purpose of issuing such licenses is to ensure that the investors are aware and duly comply with certain guidelines set by the government. This ensures that the rights of workers are maintained, the interests of citizens are protected, the safety of labor is ensured and the environment is not damaged.

Primes examples of Activity Specific Licenses are given below

  1. Approval for expatriate post
  2. Certificate of fitness for certified machinery.
  3. Sales Tax License
  4. Approval to install or alter Air Pollution Control Equipment
  5. Building Plan Approval

Different kinds of business require different types of licenses. All these are issued by the various departments of the government. Here are a few examples of the types of licenses and the departments of government that issues them.

Government DepartmentLicense
BankingCentral Bank License for Banking, Financing and Leasing
Construction(CIDBEL) Construction Industrial Development Board and Engineering License
Direct SellingDirect Selling License
For Imports & ExportsWholesale Retail Trade (WRT) License for Trading, any Import & Export, Consultancy and for Restaurant Business
EducationLicenses for establishing Schools, Colleges, Universities, Tuition Centers and Language Centers
HotelFor Budget Hotel License and Luxury Hotels
MediaPublication License for Magazines and Books. Broadcasting License for Music, Singing, TV and Radio
TransportCar Rental and Vehicle Leasing License.
Factory/ManufacturingManufacturing Licenses
ICTMulti-Super Corridor (MSC) License
TourismInbound, Outbound, Ticketing License

Business license Malaysia requirement steps

Business license Malaysia steps

Easy question, why business license is required whereas Sdn Bhd incorporation certificate and SSM copies in hand? At the first when travel in Malaysia to open new company might think wrongly that as company (Sdn Bhd) is done so all clear to start business now. It's not like that as other licenses are required along with SSM copies. Knowing information of application way and business license Malaysia requirement is smart job as foreign and local investors. I guess, you can get information from below discussion about signboard license so now have check requirement of EPF and SOCSO license.


This is one kind of license as required doing business in Malaysia. If employer fail to contribute EPF will be fined by KWSP department. Whereas employer will contribute 13 percent (basic salary) whereas employee will contribute 11 percent (basic salary) and freely might ask question what is the benefit? Yes, there are some benefits as well, like employee can visit doctor without fee and retirement benefit is logical word.


Corporate responsibilities comes in when run business and employer and employee are responsible to contribute same. Medical and insurance benefit enjoys company employees.


Wholesale and Retail Trade License is required for 4 types of businesses. To apply of WRT licenses foreign share holding companies have to show paid up capital of RM 1 million. Process of WRT license is required of time, might be 3-6 months.

Why Business License is required?

Well, to start a new business incorporation from SSM is one requirement and additionally all other licenses have to have to run business completely. Licenses are: -a) Signboard b) Premise c) Export d) Import e) WRT f) Halal g) Notification h) EPF i) SOCSO j) ESD (for visa and foreign manpower import purpose)

Signboard License Malaysia Price

Let discuss to know the requirement of signboard license Malaysia, process and price for all applicants. Can you run business without signboard license in Malaysia? Yes and No ! IF NO: If your business location is inside of building and license hanging from of gate is unnecessarily. Still, you might be questioned "where is your signboard license" by local council authority if you catch. Generally all entities have to have signboard license to do business in Malaysia.


  1. Submit required papers to DBKL, MPPJ, local council
  2. Wait for 1 day to be approve after checking all
  3. Fill up prescribe forms
  4. Pay government fees to bank or counter


  1. Tenancy agreement copy with owner and tenant (company)
  2. No sharing office agreement
  3. Take photos to office furniture
  4. Office layout plan copy
  5. Take picture and draw paper where signboard will be hang out
  6. Take signboard physical measurement to put in wall or outdoor


  1. Total cost of signboard license Malaysia might be inclusive of Ringgit 1500 or lesser.

Questions and answers:

SerialSignboard related QuestionsAnswers
No. 1Can anyone apply for signboard license?yes can, but assign professional or expert to get it done to avoid hassle.
No. 2Is it mandatory for all to get signboard?Yes, it is.
No. 3How long takes to obtain?1 day is sufficient unless any issue raises
No. 4How much is cost to get license?RM 1000-1500
No. 5Can S & F assist to manage it?Yes, can.
No. 6I have registered SDN BHD company, still I need signboard license?Yes, still you need signboard license

Company Registration Expert Since 2012