COUNTRY

Politically, Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy. 9 of the 13 Malaysian states have a hereditary ruler, and one of these is elected as King every 5 years. The current King is Abdul Halim of Kedah. The monarch’s role has been largely ceremonial since changes to the constitution in 1994, with Parliament having control of executive power. Najib Razak is the current Prime Minister.

According to the International Monetary Fund, as of 2013, Malaysia has the 59th highest GDP per capita in the world. It is ranked as 64th on the UN’s Human Development Index (a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living, and quality of life).

Since it became independent in 1957, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia. Since then, it has seen a shift from being reliant on mining and agriculture to having a more multi-sector economy. Malaysia hopes to attain developed country status in 2018, provided the country’s growth remains constant or increases.

Malaysia is located in South East Asia and occupies the lower third of the Malaysia peninsula, with Thailand to the north, and the northern section of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia. The population is just under 30m and the ethnic mix consists Malay (50%), Chinese (24%), indigenous (11%) and Indians (7%). Malaysian is the official language, but English and Chinese are widely spoken. Malaysia is classed as a middle-income country, and its economy relies heavily on low value, high volume manufacturing and natural resources such as rubber, palm oil, and petroleum. The currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), and in mid-2013 USD1 = MYR3.19. There are no capital controls. It is the Government’s aim to achieve “high income” status by 2020 and recalibrate the economy towards more high-value activities such as high-tech manufacturing and financial services. The current Government has taken steps to liberalize certain economic sectors, and foreign investment is welcome. There are attractive fiscal incentives in place for certain “promoted activities” and headquarter companies.

TAXATION

  • Headline tax rates: CIT 20%-25%, PIT 1%-28%, VAT 0%, WHT 0% (Devidend) – 10% (Royalties) – 20% (Interest)
  • Treaty Jurisdictions: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malta, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe
  • TIEA Jurisdictions: Bermuda

There are four tax options for a Labuan International Company to choose:

  1. Investment Holding Company: No taxes paid and no required audits.
  2. Trading, Exporting and Importing Company: Only a 3% tax on the net profits with a required audit report.
  3. Trading Company: Instead of the 3% tax on profits, this type of company can choose to pay a lump sum tax of 20,000 RM ($5,000 USD) with no required audit.
  4. Non-Trading Company: No taxes owed and no required audit for non-trading companies whose sole source of income is from outside of Malaysia.

In comparison, the normal Malaysian Sdn Bhd Company does not have these tax options.  An audit is required and corporate tax starts at 19% up to 24% as follows:

  • Up to 500,000 RM has a fixed tax rate of 19%; and
  • All profits over 500,000 RM pays a fixed tax rate of 24%.

The tax reductions also include foreigners earning fees, salaries, and bonuses in Malaysia.  Comparing these taxes as follows:

  • Malaysian Sdn Bhd Company: the income tax rate is 28% for all foreigners residing in Malaysia.
  • Labuan International Company: no income tax for all director’s fees and only 14% for all expatriate employee salaries.

However, U.S. taxpayers and everyone residing in countries who tax worldwide income must declare all income to their tax authority.

BUSINESS

  • Suitable for: Wealth Management, Treasury Management, Banking, Insurance, Fund Management, Shipping, Aviation, Yachting, Holding Companies, E-commerce, Property Ownership
  • Company Types: Limited liability companies, branches, trusts, sole proprietorships, joint ventures, general partnerships and limited partnerships
  • Formation Cost: 2500 – 5100 USD
  • Formation Time: 16 – 26 days
  • Maintenance cost: 700 – 1300 USD

INCORPORATION

Company

A.  Requirements/Restrictions

A company with share capital may be incorporated as a private company (‘Sendirian Berhad’ or ‘Sdn. Bhd.’) or a public company (‘Berhad’ or ‘Bhd’).

A company requires a minimum of two shareholders (‘subscribers to the shares of the company’) and a minimum of two directors, and a company secretary. The secretary must be an individual who either is a member of a professional body prescribed by the Minister of Domestic Trade Cooperative and Consumerism or licensed by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). At least one director and the company secretary must be residents of Malaysia. An article comparing Singapore to Malaysia notes that foreign investors in Malaysia are required to apply for foreign investment committee approval when taking more than 30% shareholding in a Malaysian company.

Every company must have a registered office in Malaysia to which all communications and notices may be addressed. A Company must have the office within 14 days after the date of company registration. It seems that it is acceptable to use a ‘virtual office’, e.g. leasing an office address service from another company that will receive mail for the company, solely for the purpose of meeting this requirement.

B.  Advantages / Disadvantages

Like most private company structures, the shareholders liability is limited to the amount of capital they invested into the business. The company will also be its own legal entity, meaning its debts and liabilities will not directly affect any foreign parent company.

Naturally a full company requires a larger investment to register and must needs to engage Company Secretary, Auditors, Tax Agent & Accounting Clerk to meet the yearly submission requirements.

C.  Registration Steps

Application of Name Search

A name search must be conducted to determine whether the proposed name of the company is available. To do so you must submit Form 13A CA (Request For Availability Of Name), according to the SSM. If there are no conflicts or problems, the proposed name shall be reserved for three months.

It may be a good idea to do a preliminary name search online directly first, which can be done at www.ssm-einfo.my.

Time: 1-2 days

Cost: MYR 30.00

Lodge Incorporation Documents

Incorporation Documents must be submitted to the SSM within 3 months from the date of approval of the company’s name. As stated by the SSM, the following documents are required:

  • Memorandum and Article of Association:Listing the directors, secretaries and subscribers to the company’s shares, who must all sign the Memorandum and Articles of Association in front of a witness.For a private company, the articles of association must also contain the following stipulations:
    • (i) Restriction on the right to transfer the company’s shares;
    • (ii) Limitation on the number of members to not exceed fifty;
    • (iii) Prohibition to any invitation to the public to subscribe the shares/debentures of the company; and
    • (iv) Prohibition on public invitation to deposit money with the company.
  • Statutory Declaration By Directors and Shareholders (Form 48A): The director or promoter declares under oath that he/She is not a bankrupt; and has not been convicted and imprisoned for any prescribed offences.
  • Declaration of Compliance (Form 6): This states that all the requirements of the CA have been complied with. It must be signed by the company secretary who handles the registration and is named in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Original copy of Form 13A.
  • A copy of the letter from SSM approving the name of the company.
  • A copy of the Malaysian identity card or passport of each director and company secretary.
  • Residential address of all directors & shareholders

The original copies of the Memorandum and Article of association must be stamped at the SSM (note: according to the Doing Business Project, the stamps had to be done at the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) up until April 01, 2010, but since then the SSM has taken over the duty. Some online sources still reference the IRB however).

Although some sources suggest that a registration can be started and completed within a few days, others suggest that companies founded by foreigners can take about one week to process and then on approval the SSM will issue the Certificate of Incorporation (Form 9) within 1 working day.

Time: 8 days

Cost: Stamp costs 200RM (RM100 for Memorandum and RM100 for Articles), a second set can be stamped at RM10 each.

Register an Office

Every company must have a registered office in Malaysia to which all communications and notices may be addressed. A company must have its registered office situated in Malaysia within 14 days from the date of company registration.

The company secretary’s office can be nominated as a registered office so long as the secretary is present at the registered office during business hours.

It is also possible to use the services of a virtual office as your registered office.

Time: n/a (no registration process)

Cost: n/a

Open Commercial Bank Account

There are a variety of commercial banks in Malaysia as well as foreign banks such as Barclays, HSBC or Deutsche Bank).

Generally the process is said to be relatively straightforward. Both residents and non-residents of Malaysia are able to open bank accounts, and customers will be required to provide proof of identity and some company documentation. The Expat Forums mentioned that a letter of reference from a current bank could also be helpful in the application process (though this may be more the case for individuals).

The exact procedure will depend on the commercial bank. However, an example provided by HSBC provides a guideline, with the following documents required for subsidiary companies incorporated in Malaysia:

  • Form 24 (Allotment of shares);
  • Form 49 (List of directorship);
  • Form 8 or 9 (Certificate of incorporation of public or private company)
  • Memorandum and articles of association;
  • Form 23 (Certificate of commencement of business) – only for public company/trading license for companies in East Malaysia;
  • Board resolution (BR) for account of a limited company
  • Identity documents of the directors and signatories of the company;
  • Identity documents of the principal shareholders/ultimate beneficial owners of the company.

Time: 1 day/instant

Cost: 1000-5000 (initial deposit requirement)

Register for Goods and Service Tax (GST) with the tax department

GST registration (formerly the sales tax, until April 2015) is mandatory if the annual company turnover exceeds MYR500,000  (approximately U.S. $173,000). NBC reports that GST generally stands at 6%. Foreign businesses that make a taxable supply over the threshold in Malaysia are required to register for the GST. However, exports of goods and services are not subject to GST, according to international tax site, GST.com.

To register you have to complete registration form GST-01. The application can be lodged electronically at www.gst.customs.gov.my and then click “Register for GST”, or in person at a Customs office registration kiosk, or by post to:

  • GST Processing Center
  • Royal Malaysian Customs Department
  • 22, Jalan SS 6/3
  • Kelana Jaya
  • 47301 Petaling Jaya
  • Selangor

According to the Malaysian customs website, documents required include:

  • identification number (usually business registration number as provided by SSM)
  • industry code according to the Malaysia Standard Industrial Classifications (MSIC) 2008 code
  • bank account number (for refunds) and a copy of bank statement
  • percentage on the value of all your supply according to Taxable supply, Local zero rated supply, Export, and Exempt supply.
  • date when company has or will exceed the threshold

Foreign businesses that register for the GST must also nominate who their a local agent is that will deal with all tax related matters

Other company documents are only required upon specific request by Customs.

Upon successful application, you will receive an approval letter which includes a GST registration number and official date of registration.

Strangely, official and many other sources do not mention any processing time. It is implied that the process is either instant or very fast.

Time: 1-3 days (estimation)

Cost: No charges

Register for Payroll Tax

An employer is required to notify the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to register for payroll tax. According to a Malaysian Business guide by KMPG via Form CP22 of the commencement of employment of its employees in Malaysia within one month of the date of commencement of employment, and declare the total remuneration paid to employees for employment performed in Malaysia.

The registration can be completed in person or online at: http://ekl.hasil.gov.my

Generally a copy of the Incorporation Certificate, Register of Directors, Managers and Secretaries, Memorandum and Articles of Association will be required.

Time: 4-5 days

Cost: no charge

Register with Social Security Office (SOCSO)

Employers must be registered with the social security office (SOCSO). Registration of the employer requires submission of Form 1 which can be done online using the MyCoID system (http://www.ssm-mycoid.com.my/web2/), or done in person at SOCSO directly. Whenever they employ an employee who is eligible for social security, they must register the employee with SOCSO each time.

Form 1 (Employers’ Registration Form) may be downloaded at the following link: http://www.perkeso.gov.my

Form 2 (Registration Form for Employees) may be downloaded at http://www.perkeso.gov.my

Registration in person can be done by the employer or employer’s representative – an authorization letter (Surat Akuan Majikan) from the employer is needed if registration is done by the employer’s representative. A sample of an authorization letter can be found at: http://www.perkeso.gov.my/images/dokumen/contoh_surat_akuan_majikan.pdf

Time: 1 day (estimate – no official processing/registration time is reported by SOCSO)

Cost: No known charges

Branch

A foreign company may establish a branch office in Malaysia by registering with the SSM. A branch office requires a resident agent. The process for establishing a branch office is similar to a subsidiary company.

A.  Requirements/Restrictions

Upon registration of a branch, evidence has to be provided of the legal existence of the parent. The branch must have the same name as the parent company.

While the government generally allows branch offices, PwC’s Malaysian business guide says that apparently wholesale and retail trade branch offices are not allowed.

B.  Advantages/Disadvantages

PwC’s business guide also reports that the repatriation of capital and profits is generally more freely transferred back to the home country, and the winding up of a branch office is more straightforward than a subsidiary company.

However, the parent company is fully liable for the liabilities of the branch, and representatives may be held jointly and severally liable for tax debts. The financial statements of the parent must be lodged at the Companies Registry. The branches obligations are the same as the parent, including filing VAT returns, employee returns and corporation tax returns, so there are few savings in administering a branch. Another disadvantage of setting up a branch office is the higher cost of registration – because the fees are based on the full share capital of the foreign parent company overseas, in foreign currency converted to MYR.

Banks and clients may also prefer dealing with a Malaysian subsidiary company rather than a foreign branch.

A branch may therefore be adequate for low cost projects, but not beneficial for substantial projects.

C.  Registration steps

Appoint Resident Agent

A branch of a non-resident company must appoint a resident individual or a company to represent it in its dealings with the tax authorities. The representatives may be held jointly and severally liable for the tax debts of the permanent establishments of non-resident entities, which they represent.

Time: n/a

Cost: n/a

Register Branch at the SSM

According to a report on branch formation by Euro-Firma, evidence has to be provided of the existence of the parent, certified copies of the Articles, the names of the directors, the share capital, the registered office, and the names of the representatives who will act for the company.

Documents will need to be translated to Malay.  The following documents are required:

  • Memorandum and Article of Association:Listing the directors, secretaries and subscribers to the company’s shares, who must all sign the Memorandum and Articles of Association in front of a witness.For a private company, the articles of association must also contain the following stipulations:
    • (i) Restriction on the right  to transfer the company’s shares;
    • (ii) Limitation on the number of members to not exceed fifty;
    • (iii) Prohibition to any invitation to the public to subscribe the shares/debentures of the company; and
    • (iv) Prohibition on public invitation to deposit money with the company.
  • Statutory Declaration By Directors and Shareholders (Form 48A):The director or promoter declares under oath that he/She is not a bankrupt; and has not been convicted and imprisoned for any prescribed offences.
  • Declaration of Compliance (Form 6):This states that all the requirements of the CA have been complied with. It must be signed by the company secretary who handles the registration and is named in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Original copy of Form 13A.
  • A copy of the letter from SSM approving the name of the company.
  • A copy of the Malaysian identity card or passport of each director and company secretary.
  • Residential address of all directors & shareholders

The original copy of the Memorandum and Article of association must be stamped at the SSM (note: the stamps had to be done at the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) up until April 01, 2010, but since then the SSM has taken over the duty. Some online sources still reference the IRB however).

Although some sources suggest that a registration can be started and completed within a few days, others suggest that companies founded by foreigners can take about one week to process and then on approval the SSM will issue the Certificate of Incorporation (Form 9) within 1 working day.

Time: 8 days

Cost: Stamp costs 200RM (RM100 for Memorandum and RM100 for Articles), a second set can be stamped at RM10 each.

Register an Office

Every company must have a registered office in Malaysia to which all communications and notices may be addressed. A company must have its registered office situated in Malaysia within 14 days from the date of company registration.

The company secretary’s office can be nominated as a registered office so long as the secretary is present at the registered office during business hours.

It is also possible to use the services of a virtual office as your registered office.

Time: n/a (no registration process)

Cost: n/a

Open Commercial Bank Account

There are a variety of commercial banks in Malaysia as well as foreign banks such as Barclays or Deutsche Bank).

Generally the process is said to be relatively straightforward. Both residents and non-residents of Malaysia are able to open bank accounts, and customers will be required to provide proof of identity and some company documentation. The Expat Forums mentioned that a letter of reference from a current bank could also be helpful in the application process (though this may be more the case for individuals).

The exact procedure will depend on the commercial bank. However, an example provided by HSBC provides a guideline, with the following documents required for subsidiary companies incorporated in Malaysia:

  • Form 24 (Allotment of shares);
  • Form 49 (List of directorship);
  • Form 8 or 9 (Certificate of incorporation of public or private company)
  • Memorandum and articles of association;
  • Board resolution (BR) for account of a limited company

Generally all the documents must be notarized by a notary public and thereafter confirmed by the Malaysian Consulate.

Time: instant/1 day

Cost: 1000-5000MYR (initial deposit requirement), plus notarization fees

Register for Sales and Service Tax with the tax department

GST registration (formerly the sales tax, until April 2015) is mandatory if the annual company turnover exceeds MYR500,000  (approximately U.S. $173,000). GST generally stands at 6%. Foreign businesses that make a taxable supply over the threshold in Malaysia are required to register for the GST. However, exports of goods and services are not subject to GST.

To register you have to complete registration form GST-01. The application can be lodged electronically at www.gst.customs.gov.my and then click “Register for GST”, or in person at a Customs office registration kiosk, or by post to:

GST Processing Center, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, No. 22, Jalan SS 6/3, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Documents required include:

  • identification number (usually business registration number as provided by SSM)
  • industry code according to the Malaysia Standard Industrial Classifications (MSIC) 2008 code
  • bank account number (for refunds) and a copy of bank statement
  • percentage on the value of all your supply according to Taxable supply, Local zero rated supply, Export, and Exempt supply.
  • date when company has or will exceed the threshold
  • Foreign businesses that register for the GST must also nominate who their a local agent is that will deal with all tax related matters

Other company documents are only required upon specific request by Customs.

Upon successful application, you will receive an approval letter, which includes a GST registration number and official date of registration.

Strangely, official and many other sources do not mention any processing time. It is implied that the process is either instant or very fast.

Time: Instant (online)

Cost: no charges

An employer is required to notify the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to register for payroll tax. According to a Malaysian Business guide by KMPG via Form CP22 of the commencement of employment of its employees in Malaysia within one month of the date of commencement of employment, and declare the total remuneration paid to employees for employment performed in Malaysia.

The registration can be completed in person, or online at: http://ekl.hasil.gov.my

Generally a copy of the Incorporation Certificate, Register of Directors, Managers and Secretaries, Memorandum and Articles of Association will be required. If it is certificates from a foreign parent company, then it will also need to be notarized copies.

Time: n/a

Cost: no charges

Register with Social Security Office (SOCSO)

Employers must be registered with the social security office (SOCSO). Registration of the employer requires submission of Form 1 which can be done online using the MyCoID system (http://www.ssm-mycoid.com.my/web2/), or done in person at SOCSO directly.

Whenever they employ an employee who is eligible for social security, they must register the employee with SOCSO each time.

Registration in person can be done by the employer or employer’s representative but an authorization letter (Surat Akuan Majikan) from the employer is needed if registration is done by the employer’s representative. A sample of an authorization letter can be found at: http://www.perkeso.gov.my/images/dokumen/contoh_surat_akuan_majikan.pdf

Time: 1 day (estimate – no official processing/registration time is reported by SOCSO)

Cost: No known charges

Representative Office / Regional Office

A foreign company that only wishes to represent its head office, usually by authorizing a local principal agent to undertake certain activities, but not engage in any commercial activities may opt to register as a representative or regional office.

A representative office is an office approved to collected information on investment opportunities, trade relations, promote Malaysian exports or perform research and development in Malaysia. Meanwhile, a regional office is authorized as the parent company’s coordinator of any of its agents in the Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific area, under the direction of its parent.

A.  Requirements / Restrictions

The representative office may not engage in commercial activities, and any Malaysian operations shall be completely funded by the parent company.

While a representative/regional office doesn’t not need to be incorporated, it does need approval from a relevant authority body. It is also required to appoint a Chief Representative to manage the representative office on a full time basis. Staffing is possible but should be kept to a minimum. In particular, each representative office is allowed to employ only one expatriate staff at any point of time, although this number may vary depending upon the type of office and industry.

Generally, an approved representative/regional office is allowed to:

  • Planning or coordination of business activities
  • Gathering and analysis of information or undertaking feasibility studies on investment and business opportunities in Malaysia and the region
  • Identifying sources of raw materials, components or other industrial products
  • Undertake research and product development
  • Act as a coordination center for the corporation’s affiliates, subsidiaries and agents in the region
  • Undertake other activities which will not result directly in actual commercial transactions

Activities not allowed include:

  • Be engaged in any trading (including import and export), business or any form of commercial activity
  • Leasing warehousing facilities; any shipment / transshipment or storage of goods shall be handled by a local agent or distributor
  • Sign business contracts on behalf of the foreign corporation or provide services for a fee
  • Participate in the daily management of any of its subsidiaries, affiliates or branches in Malaysia

B.  Advantages/Disadvantages

Generally, this kind of structure is used as an easier method to explore business opportunities in Malaysia.

Naturally, due to the inherent restrictions, it is not useful for any other options and any business wishing to take the next step will still need to proceed with a branch office or subsidiary at some point.

C.  Registration Steps

Appoint a Chief Representative

A representative office is required to appoint a Chief Representative to manage the representative office on a full time basis. This doesn’t need to be formally registered but should be decided upon before registering the representative/regional office.

Time: n/a

Cost: n/a

Application to Trade Authority

A foreign institution applying to set up a representative/regional office in Malaysia is required to complete and submit an application to the appropriate authority based on its industry. For example, for manufacturing, it is the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Manufacturing Services Division)

(http://www.mida.gov.my/), banking and financial services, Bank Negara Malaysia (http://www.bnm.gov.my/) and for tourism services, contact the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia (http://www.tourism.gov.my/de-de/de). This must generally be done together with the following documents:

  • A copy of the memorandum and articles of association or other constituent documents under which the applicant is established, duly verified by a statutory declaration made by a director of the applicant;
  • A copy of the latest audited balance sheet of the applicant;
  • A letter of approval from the home supervisory authority of the applicant on its proposed establishment of a representative office in Malaysia

The authority may require additional documents or information as deemed necessary to facilitate the application.

Time: 60 days

Cost: 5000MYR

Register an Office

Every company must have a registered office in Malaysia to which all communications and notices may be addressed. Generally, the registered office must be reported within 14 days from the date of company registration. For a representative office, a letter must be sent to the appropriate trade authority confirming the address of the office.  It should also be possible to use the services of a virtual office as your registered office.

Time: 3 days – 1 week (estimate)

Cost: no charges

Open Commercial Bank Account

There are a variety of commercial banks in Malaysia as well as foreign banks such as Barclays, HSBC or Deutsche Bank).

Generally the process is said to be relatively straightforward. Both residents and non-residents of Malaysia are able to open bank accounts, and customers will be required to provide proof of identity and some company documentation. The Expat Forums mentioned that a letter of reference from a current bank could also be helpful in the application process (though this may be more the case for individuals).

The exact procedure will depend on the commercial bank. However, an example provided by HSBC provides a guideline, with the following documents required for subsidiary companies incorporated in Malaysia:

  • Form 24 (Allotment of shares);
  • Form 49 (List of directorship);
  • Form 8 or 9 (Certificate of incorporation of public or private company)
  • Memorandum and articles of association;
  • Form 23 (Certificate of commencement of business) – only for public company/trading license for companies in East Malaysia.

Generally all of these documents must be notarised by a notary public and thereafter confirmed by the Malaysian Consulate.

In addition:

  • Original copy of the approval letter from the trade authority (e.g. Malaysia’s Ministry of Trade & Industry;
  • copy of the letter from the company addressed to the trade office confirming the registered address of the representative office.

Time: 1 day/instant

Cost: 1000-5000MYR (minimum deposit requirement)

Register for Payroll Tax

If employing people, it is required to then notify the Inland Revenue Board (MIRB) via Form CP22 of the commencement of employment of its employees in Malaysia within one month of the date of commencement of employment, and declare the total remuneration paid to employees for employment performed in Malaysia.

The registration can be completed in person or online at: http://ekl.hasil.gov.my

Generally a copy of the Incorporation Certificate, Register of Directors, Managers and Secretaries, Memorandum and Articles of Association will be required.

Time: n/a

Cost: no charge

Application for Expatriate Post

If sending/employing an expatriate for the purposes of the representative/regional office, you must submit an application and documents to the appropriate authority based on its industry. For example, for manufacturing, it is the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Manufacturing Services Division) (http://www.mida.gov.my/), banking and financial services, Bank Negara Malaysia (http://www.bnm.gov.my/) and for tourism services, contact the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia (http://www.tourism.gov.my/de-de/de).

As a general guide, the following documents should be submitted together with the application:

  • Certified true copy of passport containing particulars of the expatriate;
  • Curriculum Vitae of the expatriate to be employed; and
  • Certified Academic Qualification of the expatriate.

The authority may require additional documents or information as deemed necessary to facilitate the application.

Official sites (such as Malaysian Industrial Development Authority) provide guidelines for registering an expatriate post, but do not mention any fees or timeframes. At this point in time it is inferred there is no charge, and the processing time varies.

Time: 1-2 weeks (estimate)

Cost: no known charge

Register with Social Security Office (SOCSO)

Employers must be registered with the social security office (SOCSO). Registration of the employer requires submission of Form 1, which can be done online using the MyCoID system (http://www.ssm-mycoid.com.my/web2/), or done in person at SOCSO direclty.

Whenever they employ an employee who is eligible for social security, they must register the employee with SOCSO each time.

Registration in person can be done by the employer or employer’s representative but an authorization letter (Surat Akuan Majikan) from the employer is needed if registration is done by the employer’s representative. A sample of an authorization letter can be found at: http://www.perkeso.gov.my/images/dokumen/contoh_surat_akuan_majikan.pdf

Time: 1 day (estimate – no officail processing/registration time is reported by SOCSO)

Cost: No known charges