How to register a partnership in Malaysia?

With the 3rd largest economy in South East Asia, Malaysia sees foreign investment flock to it on a daily basis. Currently, their GDP stands at a value of $354.348 billion, which reflects on their Human Development Index of 0.802. Which in turn, determines it as a country with a very high standard of living. As such, Malaysia has a GDP per capita value of $10,941. All these factors taken into account reflect on the country’s unemployment statistics. At only 3.4%, the unemployment rate of the country is quite low.

In fact, due to its large physical area and highly developed cities, Malaysia is very receptive to new businesses. Moreover, despite not having English as an official language, it is still widely spoken. Thus, making communication easy for business purposes.

When it comes to registering a new business in Malaysia, you will need to be aware of the different legal structures. The registration for each structure is largely the same, however IN terms of fees and licenses, the differ. The five available legal structures in Malaysia are as follows:

  • Sole proprietorship 
  • Partnership 
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Private Limited Company (Sdn Bhd)
  • Public Limited Company (Bhd)

However, this article will focus on the Partnership legal structure and all it entails for registration. A partnership business can be defined as a business that is owned by two or more individuals. As such, management and profit made is evenly split between the owning parties. Do note that in Malaysia, a partnership can only have up to 20 owners. Even as a foreign national, registration will not be a problem for you, once you obtain a permanent residence permit.

All registrations are done through the Companies Commission of Malaysia, or the SSM. The SSM is a statutory body that regulates all company and business-related happenings in Malaysia. Formed in 2002, the SSM does the combined duties of the Registrar of Companies and Registry of Business now. Ultimately, it can be stated that the SSM is the main enforcing body of the Companies Act of 2016.

As outlined by the companies act of 2016, these rules apply to partnerships in Malaysia:

  • Registration has to be done within 30 days of starting the business.
  • You must register your business to be concluded for a period of between one and five years.
  • The business’s name cannot be the same name as an owner’s name on their identity card.
  • Foreign who wish to start a partnership in Malaysia must ensure that they have a Permanent Residence permit in Malaysia.

Now that all the rules pertaining to registration have been covered, we may move on to the steps involved. Registration for a partnership in Malaysia can be done online or in person. If done online it must be done on the website for the SSM. And if done in person, it can be done at the closest SSM office. The steps to register your partnership company in Malaysia are simple and clear cut. They are outlined below.

Registering a partnership in Malaysia - A step by step guide

Step 1- Gather what is required before starting

You will need to have certain documents and fee payments prepared before you start the process. They are as follows:

  • Clear copies of the identity cards of the owners
  • The proposed name of your business
  • A document detailing your business activities
  • Relevant permits if needed (e.g. in the case of schools, you will need a teaching permit etc)
  • RM 100- business registration fee
  • RM 10 business information docket
  • RM 5 registration of branch offices (per branch)

Step 2- Registering your business name

For this, you will need to fill the form titled [Form PNA.42]

You will need to list three names for the SSM to choose from, in the order of priority.

Once you gain approval, you may submit the form along with the form needed in the next step.

Step 3- Registering your business

Now, you will need to complete the business registration form, i.e. Form A. This will require the following details:

  • The name of your business (attach certified Form PNA.42)
  • The date of commencement of your business
  • The principal location of business office
  • The addresses of any branch offices
  • Information of all owners
  • A copy of the Partnership Agreement
  • A document detailing proposed business activities

Once you’ve completed the form, all owners will have to sign it.

Now you may submit the completed form either online or in person.

Step 4- Receiving the certificate

Once the payment is made and all documents are vetted, you can receive your certificate within an hour.

This certificate is valid for a period of 1 year. And can be extended for up to 5 years.

Step 5- Grow your business

Now that your partnership has been officially registered, it is time for you to grow your business. There are several ways to grow your business:

  • Identify and cater to your market

By identifying who your target market is specifically, you can research their behaviors. As such, you can offer them a product truly catered to them. In turn, making your product more popular.

  • Practice good customer service and care

By practicing good customer service to new and existing customers, you will create loyalty. As such, your business will receive good reviews- meaning you will receive more customers.

  • Advertise well

Advertising well does not mean spending a lot of money. In fact, advertising can be low cost if you consider social media as well. By maintaining a good social media presence, you can interact with potential customers. Thus, leading them to your business.

  • Have profit goals

As a new partnership, having a profit goal is essential. This goal does not have to be kept too high; a simple realistic goal should suffice.

  • Encourage employees

Finally, after building your team of employees, as the owners you must ensure they are performing their best. A good business is sustained by its employees and by encouraging them to work hard for the business, you are also ensuring the longevity of your business.

Read also: Examples of Partnership Companies in Malaysia


Company Registration Expert Since 2012