Register a new company in Malaysia


As a potential investor, you should know that you have the options of registering basically three types of company in Malaysia. You can register a company limited by shares, or you can choose a company that is limited by guarantee and lastly a company defined as unlimited by law. Whichever type of company you intend to register, it will be authorized by the Companies Act 2016 in Malaysia.

Register a new company in Malaysia

Register a new company in Malaysia

Your company must contain the basic features as outlined by the Act. First and foremost, the company must have a name. It should be consisted of a single or multiple members. For a company limited by shares, it must have one or multiple number of shares. Lastly, company should feature one or more than one directors to operate lawfully in the country.

In Malaysia, you will find that there are two types of limited liability companies operating effectively. Firstly, you have a company limited by shares and secondly, a company limited by guarantee. The nominal value of the shares a person holds will define his or her personal liability in a company limited by shares. For a company limited by guarantee, the personal liability will not exceed the amount stipulated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association. The provisions of the Companies Act 1965 deal exclusively with the prerequisites for registering a company limited by shares in Malaysia. In a private limited liability company, the general public is not permitted to own the shares of the company.

When you intend to register a company limited by shares in Malaysia, you must remember that the business form must be up to the standards spelled out in the Companies Act 1965. Your company’s trading name must have the words “Sendirian Berhad” since you are applying for a private limited liability company.

The prerequisites of registering a company limited by shares state that: your company is obliged to have a minimum of two shareholders as specified in the Section 14 of the Companies Act. As per Section 122 of the Companies Act, you must appoint a minimum of two directors for your company. It is mandatory on your part to employ a company secretary and that person must be approved by the Companies Commission of Malaysia or SSM. A member of a professional body can also be your company secretary if only the body is approved by the Minister of Domestic Trade Cooperative and Consumerism.

The fundamental requirement for incorporating a private limited liability company under the Companies Act 2016 states that at least a single director and a promoter’s main place of residence must be in Malaysia and should generally live in the country.

The Incorporation process for a Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd) commences with the application for name search. This application will establish whether the proposed name of your company is available or not. When you apply for your Sdn Bhd’s name, remember to refer to the Government Gazette No. 716 published on 30 January 1997. You will also need to go through the Gazette (Amendment) of 11 October 2001 as well as the Guidelines for Naming A Company for your purpose. Lastly, the Guidelines For Application Of A Company name will come in handy when you register your company’s name.

The Form 13A CA must be filled up properly and submitted to the Commission. For every name you choose to apply, you are required to a charge of RM 30 only. Once your proposed company’s name is accepted by the Commission, it will be held in reserve for three months from the date of acceptance.

For the next procedure, you are required to submit the Incorporation Documents at the SSM not later than three months from the date of acceptance of your company’s name by the Commission. In case you fail to do so, you will have to file for a fresh application according to the process mentioned above.

The incorporation information you are required to submit to the SSM must contain the points outlined below:

  1. i) The proposed company name
    ii) The status of a private company
    iii) The proposed type of business
    iv) The address of registered office
    v) The business address
    vi) Complete details of directors(s) and promoter(s)
    vii) Declaration from directors(s) and promoter(s)
    viii) Declaration of compliance from individuals responsible for incorporation
    ix) Additional Documents (if any)

The complete package of Incorporation Documents you have to provide the SSM includes the Memorandum and Article of Association, Form 48A which is a legal proclamation by a director or promoter prior to appointment and Form 6 which is a declaration of compliance signed by the company secretary. There are three additional documents to need to submit, one of which is a original duplicate of Form 13A, a photocopy of the letter given by SSM when your company name was approved and a copy of the identity card of every director of your Sdn Bhd as well as your company secretary’s.

When you apply for the incorporation of your Sdn Bhd, you must pay the registration fees according to the authorized share capital you intend to invest. The complete breakdown of the registration fees is given below:

Authorized share capital (RM) Fees (RM)
Up to 400,000 1,000
400,001 – 500,000 3,000
500,001 – 1 million 5,000
1,000,001 – 5 million 8,000
5,000,001 – 10 million 10,000
10,000,001 – 25 million 20,000
25,000,001 – 50 million 40,000
50,000,001 – 100 million 50,000
100,000,001 and above 70,000

Once you have completed the incorporation process properly and submitted the incorporation documents according to their requirements, the SSM will issue you a Certificate of Incorporation.

Upon the completion of the incorporation process, it is essential for you to open a business bank account and register with the appropriate authorities in Malaysia. It is obligatory for you to file for registration of your employee’s retirement fund, human resource developing and training as well as social security. You will need to set up your company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) according to the type of company you have incorporated with the SSM. The annual return must be submitted not later than 30 days from the anniversary of the registration date of your company. For the purpose of filing tax returns, you will need to register your company with the Inland Revenue Board when your business is up and running.

In case you have to update your company’s information like a change of address or shares, you will need to follow the procedure stipulated by the SSM. For this purpose, you will be greatly aided by the range of services provided by MyCoID 2016. The updating of information can be carried out at the SSM headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, its state or branch offices around the country.

By definition, the main liability of the members of a company limited by guarantee (CLBG) is restricted by the constitution to the amount members agree to provide for the assets in case the company faces termination. As a public company, a CLBG needs a license from the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism to own land or property in Malaysia. You can register a company limited by guarantee with or without the word “Berhad” or “Bhd” according to the Companies Act 2016 (CA 2016).

In order to register a new company in Malaysia that’s limited by guarantee, you need to file an application with a constitution to the office of the Registrar under section 45 of the Companies Act 2016. The purpose of establishing a CLBG is clearly defined by the Act. As a result, the objective of your CLBG will be to promote science, or art, or religion, charity, commerce or industry, pension programs or any activity beneficial for the country in the context of health, education, environment, research, sports or society as a whole. The CLBG can also offer amusement or recreation and for clarification, the objectives mentioned above cannot be accomplished by any other type of company.

You can become a director or founder of a CLBG if you are deemed fit and appropriate by the Registrar and must be considered eligible under the Companies Act 2016. The Registrar holds the exclusive authority to judge whether your experience and aptitude are appropriate for the role you intend to fulfill. The Registrar would take in account your reputation in the society as well as your character. Finally, you will need to pass the security test conducted by the Register as well as the safety filter carried out by the Royal Malaysian Police or other organizations to be a founder or director of a CLBG. The Registrar will approve your application as a director only after it is satisfied that you are fit and suitable for the post and possess the necessary credentials.

The constitution of a company limited by guarantee must contain the points outlined below:

(a) The name of the company

(b) The purpose of the company

(c) The amount members agree to provide for the assets in case the company faces termination

(d) The full names, addresses and professions of the subscribers

(e) A statement that confirms that the subscribers are willing to establish a company to uphold the constitution

The constitution must be presented at the office of the Registrar to complete the process of registration. A CLBG also has the option to accept a model constitution arranged by the Registrar. The Registrar must give its approval before you can change any clause of the constitution.

You may be asked by the Registrar to provide segmental reporting in addition to the financial statements of your CLBG. Under the law, none of the directors or members of a CLBG are allowed to utilize the company’s finances for any illegal or political activities in Malaysia. The basic requirements state that you cannot set up new directors or pay remuneration or fixed allowances to the directors without securing prior approval of the Registrar. You are obliged to make use of the profits for the objectives in setting up the company. You are not permitted to ask for any type of donation from the public and collect money from them. You must act in accordance with the provision stated in the constitution constantly under all circumstances.

If a CLBG intends to remove the word “Berhad” or “Bhd” from its business name, an application must be sent to the Minister to attain a license for this purpose. The word “Berhad” or “Bhd” must be removed if the CLBG wants to have the words “Yayasan” or “Foundation” in its name. It is the Minister’s discretion to enforce any terms and conditions necessary while the application is approved. The license will be cancelled if the CLBG violates the terms and conditions imposed by the Minister.

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