The following questions were frequently asked by our clients who are foreigners prior to the registration of their new companies in Malaysia:

1. I am foreigner and can I register company in Malaysia?
2. I was told I must have 2 local directors in Company if I want to register a company in Malaysia?
3. Do I need to have 2 Malaysians as directors or partners in my company? 

4. I need to give a away 30% shares to local Malaysian in my new company?
5. I can not be director if I do not have any visa or working permit.

List goes on…

Before we answer all the above questions, let’s look at the following basic requirements in order to form a company in Malaysia.
1. at least 2 directors with residential addresses in Malaysia
2. at least 2 shareholders

The rest are merely information/documents needed such as company name, business activities & IC or Passport.

To register a company in Malaysia:
1. You don’t need local directors
2. You don’t need Malaysian partners
3. You don’t need to give a away any shares to any person

Regardless of the nationality of that person, he/she can be a director to a company as long as he/she:

  1. is at least 18 years of age
  2. staying in Malaysia and owns a residential address

By referring to the Companies Act 1965, Section 122 (Directors), the following is stated:

(1) Every company shall have at least two directors, who each has his principal or only place of residence within Malaysia.

(For full details of the act, please visit Requirements for being a director in a company)


1.   If you are foreigner and do not have valid working visa/permit, you may not be able to be the cheque signatory of your company, or even not be able to open bank account with any bank.

Visit here for more detail: Foreigners to open company’s bank account in Malaysia

2.  If you do not have valid business or working visa and you may still manage to setup new company in Malaysia, you may be found offence in Migration Act. Please consult with Immigration Department before doing so.

3.  If you are not residing in Malaysia and you do not have at least 2 directors who are residing in Malaysia, you are not able to register company in Malaysia. Please read the above article for more details.


  1. Hi there, thanks for the sharing and information, I was told many times that I needed 2 local directors to form a company in Malaysia, or else I would not be able to so, and in fact I have managed to register a company with the help of my company secretary.

    It really give me a shock to know this is not true. Let me check with my secretary and see what he said about this.

    Really appreciate on the information, thank you.

  2. As a foreigner, do i need any paid up capital to register a company in Malaysia?

  3. Hi Naqib, every company is required to have at least RM2 paid up capital in its company.

    However, you can set your paid up capital at the time you register your company. You do not need to pay to any one for the paid up capital of your company.

  4. hi i am khalid from pakistan and i want to register my own business in Malaysia without Malaysian partners . what can i do ?

  5. Dear Mr Khalid, the only option for you is to register sdn bhd company (private limited company in Malaysia).

    If you are not residing in Malaysia with valid working permit/visa and you do not have Malaysian Partners, you will be unable to register a company in Malaysia.

  6. sir may name is adee hamid.i am from pakistan.i am a homoeopathic doctor i want settle in malaysia and start a clinic in maysia.can i do this and how.plz guide me what is the better way.thans

  7. Dear Adeel, please check with Ministry of Health whether you are allowed to practice as medical practitioner in Malaysia before registering a company in Malaysia.

    Good luck to you.

  8. hi sir my name is umar and im from pakistan and wanted to open a company in malaysia actually i wanted to start a business there as a private company i need info tht g]how can i open a private company there what should i do and i also need to know if i open company will i given a work visa to live there kindly reply as im very serious abt this kindly give details thanks ….

  9. Dear Sir,

    I am an Indonesian citizen, currently residing in Malaysia for the past two years and into my third year now. My daughter is studying in Penang with a ‘student visa’. As a mother and guardian, I am also having a ‘guardian visa’. Sir, I am now interested in operating a business with two other partners, both Malaysian citizens. My question is, am I allowed to operate a business and be extended a ‘business visa’ while I am having a ‘guardian visa’? If it is possible, can you please advise me on how to go about it? Thank you and “HAPPY NEW YEAR”.

  10. I am a UK citizen living in Malaysia with my family, working under an RP-T visa. My wife and I jointly own a property here. Would it be possible to set up a a “Sole Proprietor” company with my wife (also UK citizen) as the two directors?

    • Hi Dave, Sole proprietor is only open to Malaysian or Permanent Resident of Malaysia. Visa holder is not allowed to open this type company.

      The only option for you is Sdn Bhd.

  11. Hi,
    I am from India, presently having employment pass which will expire in march end, had couple of questions and it will be great if someone can address them.

    1. May i open my own company with all three directors foreigner including me.
    2. Will i get the visa of Malaysia ( if yes then for how many years) if i open my company with all directors foreigner.
    3. How much total capital investment will be involved.
    4. How much time does it take fr whole process.

    Vipin Kumar Singh

  12. I am a Singaporean and own a property in Malaysia currently travelling to and fro Malaysia, Singapore.

    (1) How can I open a business (small retail store) there wholly foreigned owned?
    (2) How much capital do I need and how long does the whole process take?

    Thank you.

  13. hello may i now can i install company with anodr visa like student visa… or any other visa not working visa?

  14. Hi I am in the same situation as Suzana. As I do not see any answers, can you post your answers to my email account.

    Also I intend to set up a company to deal in real estate agency. How can this be done? Thanks

  15. Hi , can a foreigner with professional Malaysian immigration permit buy and run small hair or beauty salon in Malaysia without the need for Local Malaysian partner. Appreciate your help in clarifying this matter

    • Hi Jose, yes, you can register a sdn bhd company to run the hair or beauty salon in Malaysia, without engaging local malaysian partners. We welcome to contact us for any further information of registering company with NBC Group.

  16. Hi, i have a resident permit , can i start a Sole proprietorship? i want to conduct tailoring shop and also teach tailoring … i do not want to do any thing which is illegal and gets me in trouble later on , do i need license to run such shop/classes … wats the right thing for me to do ? pls suggest im very confused!

  17. Hi iam roza from emirates iam in malaysia for the past 5 years holding a student visa .currently I was interested in opening a high end mens barber shop busines in kl I came back as a tourist visa, and did follow everystep of the law except I dont get why do u have to have a paid up capital ofone million ? And u cant have any sort of salon busines? So I thought instead my partners can hire me as a professional stylist . But even the working permit department was closed .please is there any advice u can help me with ?

  18. Hi, I’m a foreigner and have been living in Penang for over 3 years with student visa, As i’m going to graduate soon I am looking forward to have a tour and travel agency in Langkawi. Well, Let’s say I have to Malaysian friends of mine who are willing to be the directors, And as far as i know i still can hold the 100% share which means I own the whole company, but the question is that would I get working visa by just owning not to be director ?

    Because if i want to be director I have to have a residential address, Which i don’t, and I guess foreigners can’t just simply buy a house, It’s supposed to be valued over MYR 500.000.00. So By investing in a business like that, could I get the working visa ?

    Best regards

  19. You don’t need to have visa/working to be a director, so I understand to be a director and share holder you can have that on a social visa?

  20. can you please send me this answer by email
    so I understand to be a director and share holder you can have that on a social visa?
    thank you

  21. Hi I am a Singaporean and holding a M’sian My 2nd Home visa as a spouse. I have been living in KL almost 10 yrs and owns a property. I want to set a Company together with my 3 nieces. What are the requirements for me to do so and where should I go to register. Please advise. Thank you.

  22. Hi,
    I am working in malaysia since 13 years and I wish to open my own company. Is it possible to open own company having work permit under different company

  23. i am a sri lankan n hope to start a business in malyasia.i can invest RM 200k what is the procedier i have to follow? want i come to malaysia first as a visitor? if not can i get a different type of visa to go to malaysia.

    also i would like to say that i have work in malaysia with out permit in some times ago. pls give your kindly concern

  24. Hi, I am Jessica from Indonesia planning to start my retail business in Malaysia. Which of these procedure do I have to accomplish fist? Making a Sdn.Bhd or applying for working visa?

  25. hi, i have a friend who comes from nepal. He want to open a cafe in malaysia. Does he need any working partner, license,visa or permit??

  26. Hi my name is allan i am from Australia. I have my own business installing airconditioners and i would love to start looking to quote on tenders to get work in Malaysia how and can i do it.

  27. Hi! is beauty clinic business available for 100% foreign ownership in Malaysia?

    • Hi Tram Tran, technically, I am not sure on this. If you are talking about beauty spa, yes.

      If you are talking about medical clinic, you have to check with Ministry of Health.


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