The beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur is a magnet for entrepreneurs and western investors. Every year, they flock to the Malaysian capital in search of friendly tax laws, talented workers, and product hungry consumers. There is a lot of reasons to recommend this part of the world, particularly if you’re a small business owner.
It helps that there is a diverse range of real estate options too. You can head to www.servcorp.com/my/ to check out some of the most flexible and affordable office rentals. Coworking spaces, in particular, are very useful for entrepreneurs who need a high-quality base while figuring out their first move or waiting for their company to be registered.
Keep reading to find out what this involves and how big of a challenge it is to become an official business in Malaysia.
Getting to Grips with the Options
There are some types of business that cannot be owned by foreign investors. So, if you are moving into the market from overseas, do be aware of the limitations. Sole proprietor, LLP, and enterprise structures are not permitted if you aren’t a native citizen.
This leaves the PLC (private limited company) and the LIC (Labuan international company). These two business models are open to everybody. However, in order to get permission for a PLC company, you usually have to show a willingness to invest in the local community.
This is simple enough in most cases and a fair request of foreign owners. The government just wants to know that your company is going to be a benefit to the country and not just yourself. The easiest way to fulfil this requirement is to commit to hiring from the local area.
It should be pointed out that some industries have stricter rules. All PLC businesses in the education, oil, gas, tourism, agriculture, and banking sectors must (with no exceptions) be at least half owned by Malaysian investors or shareholders. This does not apply to LIC structures.
Taking the First Step
To register a business in Kuala Lumpur, you need to complete a number of legal processes. You’ll need a secure address so that you can receive mail. Coworking facilities are a good choice, as you can have letters sent and sorted there. It costs RM5000 to register a business.
You must officially apply for a company name and complete and submit a Memorandum and an Article of Association. There is a three-month period in which to do this. The director must legally declare their financial suitability and complete a Declaration of Compliance.
Where to Go If You Need Assistance
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get help with the various aspects of registration. One of the best is your coworking facility or virtual office because these providers are a well of knowledge. They can’t fill the forms out for you, but they can talk you through the requirements.
If you’re yet to find a full-time base, they can also serve as a temporary workspace. There are no strict contracts, so it’s just a matter of paying for services until you no longer need them. Coworking is cheaper than renting an interim office while you search for the perfect home.