How to Register a Company as a Foreigner: Setup Guide in 2023

It’s exciting to start on something new, yet as a foreigner, you may find the process a complicated web with lots of barriers to face. Here, we’ll walk you through the process of registering a business as an outsider, explaining each step along the way.

See, our company secretarial service in Malaysia is your wonderful light to guide foreigners through the maze of company registration. You are making progress in the correct direction. Let’s work together to simplify this procedure, and change it from overwhelming to useful.

Setup company for foreigner in malaysia

Why Setup or Register a Company in Malaysia?

The Advantages of Company Registration

Before we discuss why and how to setup and register a company for a foreigner, let us glance at the advantages real quick. These are the original motive of your decision best justified. So you can take that into your board meeting and justify why tapping into a foreign local market is a good thing.

  • Limited Liability: 

You can protect yourself from personal liability by forming a corporation to run your company. This ensures that in the event that the firm experiences any financial or legal difficulties, your private wealth will not be at risk.

  • Tax Benefits: 

Registering a company in Malaysia provides access to various tax incentives and benefits offered by the government. These incentives can help reduce your overall tax burden and contribute to your business’s financial growth.

  • Elevated Business Credibility: 

Customers, vendors, and investors have more faith in a legitimate, legally established business. It’s an important step in building relationships of trust, which in turn can open doors to new commercial possibilities and associations.

  • Streamlined Legal Process: 

Registration requires some paperwork, but it guarantees that your company is doing what it must do. You may rest easy knowing that your company is protected legally after you register it, freeing up your time and energy to concentrate on expanding your business.

  • Tax Efficiency: 

While it’s true that a corporation may owe taxes, there are ways to minimize those costs by organizing your firm properly. Tax preparation and assistance can help you better manage your tax responsibilities and possibly lower your tax bill.

  • Flexibility for Restructuring: 

When you register a company in Malaysia, you have the option to restructure your business if necessary. As a result, you’ll have a simpler time responding to shifts in demand, growing your organization, and investigating new options.

Reason to Setup a Company in Malaysia

For Local Malaysians

Company registration provides many advantages to local Malaysians, such as limited obligation in case a business is in debt. You wouldn’t end up in bankruptcy or legal issues.

A shield for individual to cling on and not to forget government initiative on potential tax savings.

For Foreigners

Company registration allows foreigners to tap into the local market, promote their businesses, and build trust with consumers. Taking away the business perspective, exposure to culture, nature, and living advantages may be a plus. Malaysia is one of the top commercial hubs in Southeast Asia lists for our infrastructure and development.

“According to the Company Act 2016, a foreigner with a valid residential address in Malaysia can form certain types of corporations.”

Understand the Types of Businesses

It’s essential to Understand the Types of Businesses before starting the registration process. It’s like deciding if to embark on an adventure at sea in a boat or a fast boat. Both will get you there, but which one is best for you depends on your own conditions and goals.

The main types in Malaysia are

  • Limited Liability Partnership(LLP)

  • Sendirian Berhad – Sdn. Bhd.

  • Partnership

  • Sole Proprietorship

While there are benefits and distinctions to each, the flexibility and legal protection offered by an LLC frequently makes it the most enticing to non-native shareholders. In Malaysia, foreigners only allowed to set up Limited Liability Company (LLC) by the Company Act 2016.

Choosing the Right Business Entity

The next stage, after settling on a ship, is choosing a legal structure for your firm. Like finding the perfect key for a difficult lock, this is an essential step. You’ll want to fit perfectly.

Things to think about when making a decision include:

  • What your company does 
  • How much money you expect to make a year 
  • How big you intend to grow and expand

To make the best decision possible for your company, do seek advice from an accountant or tax advisor. have just that to guide you out.

How to Get Through Registration Process

On how to get through the Company registration process, The steps generally include:


Learning the local regulations and settling on a business structure are the first two steps in setup and company registration.

Company Registration Process

Understanding Foreign Investment Laws

For company incorporations, you will be best learning the local regulations about foreign investments scheme.

Gathering Required Documents

The following step is to compile the necessary paperwork. 

  1. Typical forms of identification, 
  2. addresses, and;
  3. company information is required.

Filling Out the Application

Once you have all the required documents, you can proceed to fill out the business registration application.

Submitting the Application

After filling out the application, the next step is to submit it to the appropriate government agency.


Obtaining Business Licenses

After your company is registered, you may need to obtain specific business licenses depending on the nature of your business.

Setting Up Operations

With all the legalities sorted, you can now focus on setting up operations and growing your business.

Appoint a local director and company secretary

You will need to appoint a certified accounting board member as a company secretary within 30 days. If that’s a hassle, let smoothen for you.

Possible Challenges in Company Registration

Understanding Legal Requirements

Due to language and jurisdictional disparities, foreign investors may have difficulty dealing with local regulations.

Language Barriers

Further complicating issues, the company registration process may not be available in the foreigner’s native language. As the major documentation may be dealt in Native Bahasa Malaysia; Malay language.

You are best appointing a local accounting firm near you.

Cultural Differences

Foreigners may also find it hard to acquire knowledge about and adjust to cultural differences. However, deciding to make a market entrance should have prepared you from the start. This should not stop you from advancing.


It’s possible to register a company as a foreigner with the help of local experts and advanced planning. This manual is meant to serve as a place to start to gain information about the way things work.

Although it is a brief and surface scratch, you are best guided in advance by the company secretary and  advisory firm in Malaysia. will be glad to serve. We are in with you for the long term. Connect with us today.

If your company’s cash flow isn’t at its peak, one solution is to acquire seasoned employees to work as contract-based. Carefully weigh your options in light of the information at hand. now provide and industry analysis for existing businesses with free accounting assistance.

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FAQs about Foreigner Setup Company Incorporation in Malaysia

Yes, indeed! You’ll need a local address to act as your registered company address. We can help on this matter.

Like woodwork, it usually takes around 1-2 weeks. Good and long-lasting services come to those who wait!

There are three primary sorts of enterprises that a foreigner can establish in Malaysia. A Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, or a Private Limited Company which also called Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd) are all business structures in Malaysia. However, the only recognized for a foreigner to become a legalized shareholder (Director) is PLC. The other types are not allowed, but you can deal with a local director as a shadow investor/director without paper proof.

The most important details for registering a company in Malaysia as a foreigner include 

  • a copy of your passport, 
  • proof of your overseas residence, 
  • a business plan, 
  • and company details such as proposed company name, business activities, registered address, share capital, and directors and shareholders. 
  • A valid passport copy and proof of overseas residence are necessary for identification and verification.

Company secretary firms, Accounting firms in Malaysia, Advisory firms, Business consultancy firms, translation services, and bilingual lawyers can help with language barriers during the registration process in Malaysia. Business consultancy firms can guide you through the process, while translation services can assist in translating documents and communication. Bilingual lawyers ensure you understand the legal aspects of setting up a company in Malaysia.

Hire a local lawyer or consultancy firm to explain and guide you through Malaysia’s foreign investment laws. Consult with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) for information and advisory services on business-related legislation. Continuous learning and understanding of local regulations and laws is essential for successful business operation.

Yes, you can register a company in Malaysia remotely. Most processes, including company registration, can be done online through the Malaysian Company Commission’s (SSM) online portal, MyCoID. However, you may need to be in the country for certain processes like opening a bank account, or if your physical presence is required by any local laws or regulations.


  1. Company registration can be done remotely through the Company Commission of Malaysia (SSM) online portal, MyCoID.
  2. Certain processes like bank account opening might require your physical presence in Malaysia.
  3. Always check with local laws or regulations if your physical presence is required for any specific procedures.

For self-education purposes, try Guidebook: Incorporation of Companies. Otherwise, to save you through the finding and crawling, get in touch with those who work this as a service. have the talents you need to handle the matter professionally. Save yourself from the financial tasks for months and years.