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Applying Business Licence in Malaysia

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

It is very important to get a business license because it will clarify your reputation as a trader (online or offline) after registration.


Obtaining a valid business license is important to start a business in Malaysia. This includes licensing, registration, permits and approvals. Business licenses can be applied from the licensing authority Pihak Berkuasa Melesen (PBM) related to the location and business activities.


Before a company can legally start a business, it must comply with some form of licensing. This can be a general license, an industry / sector-specific license, or an activity-specific license. Business licenses are regulated by law and are governed by various government agencies, statutory bodies and local authorities. Business licenses include registrations, approvals, licenses, and permits. Compliance requirements vary by industry, business activity, and location.


Business licenses can be divided into three different logical groups:


1. General licenses

2. Industry sector-specific licenses

3. Activity-specific licenses

1. General Licenses


General licenses include required and applicable licenses when investors decide to start a business in Malaysia.


List of general licenses that apply to all businesses include:

  1. Company registration

  2. Income tax registration for companies and employees

  3. Employees Provident Fund (EPF)

  4. Social Security Organisation (SOCSO)

  5. Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF)

  6. Business Premise Licenses and Signboard Licenses

Malaysian companies are required to apply for business premise licenses and signboard licenses from their state authorities.


2. Industry / Sector-Specific Licenses


A special industry / sector license is a license for a particular industry or sector set by the government. This includes the policies that govern the development of a particular industry or sector in accordance with the development of government policy.


Examples of Industrial / Sector Special License are:


- Licenses related to the Manufacturing Sector


- Licenses and Permission related to the Distributive Trade


Foreign participation (foreign equity 51% or more) in the Malaysian distribution trade sector, including wholesalers, retailers, franchisors, direct sellers, suppliers selling goods to the domestic market, commission agents or other representatives including international trading companies need to be licensed by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.


- Licenses related to the Telecommunication Sector


- Licenses related to the Broadcasting Sector


- Licenses related to the Oil Exploration Sector


- Licenses related to the Construction Sector


- Licenses related to the Banking Sector


- License under Department BLESS, Ministry Of Entrepreneur Development (MED)


The BLESS system is a one-stop online service or online service center (BLESS portal) for information and application for licenses / permits / permission (BLESS applications) related to business in Malaysia.


- License under the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia (DOSH)


- License under the National Water Services Commission (SPAN)

3. Activity - Specific Licenses


An activity-specific license is a license that regulates a particular activity and may apply to one or more industries. The license requires investors to follow a set of specific guidelines designed to protect the interests of citizens, employment, employee safety, the environment and the public interest.


Here are examples of an activity-specific license:

  1. Certificate of fitness for certificated machinery

  2. Approval for expatriate posts

  3. Approval to install / resite / alter air pollution control equipment (bag filter and chimney)

  4. Building plan approval

  5. Sales tax

The above information is a general guide for potential investors and business owners to make the first steps, decisions, and plans for their business.


You can also search for Business License on the malaysiabiz or find on bless2 for a new business license. Search on the smeinfo for information and guidelines on business licenses.


Business premises license foreigner cannot apply


Foreign nationals cannot apply for a business premises license for activities as in List:


LIST OF ACTIVITIES NOT PERMITTED FOR NON-CITIZEN OWNERSHIP


1. Supermarket / Mini Market ( less than 3000 square meter)

2. Convenience Store / 24-Hour Convenience Store

3. Permanent Wet Market

4. Petrol Station (With or Without Convenience Store)

5. Permanent Sidewalk Shop/Kiosk

6. Textiles / Clothing / Footwear (Except International or Exclusive Brands)

7. Business Bag (Except International or Exclusive Brands)

8. Restaurant / Bistro / Cafe (Except International or Exclusive Brands)

9. Jewelry Store

10. Herbal / Health Business Products (Ministry of Health (MOH) approved)

11. Traditional Chinese Medicine Store

12. Workshop (Car / Motorcycle / Glass / Aluminum (Except International or Exclusive Brands)

13. Computer and Accessories (Retail)

14. Teak wood furniture and General Furniture

15. Barber Shop / Hair Salon

16. Cyber Center / Cyber Cafe

17. Food Stalls / Kiosk

18. Telecommunication Equipment Store / Prepaid Pad Card Store / Telephone Card / Telephone Accessories

19. Laundry

20. Spa industry


Example of Trade, Business and Industrial Licences


Snooker Centre Licence

Billard Saloon Licence

Video Machine Saloon Licence

Music Hall Licence

Family Entertainment / Bowling Centre Licence

Disco Licence

Cinema Licence

Used Car Display Licence

Storing Old / Used Things Licence

Sawmill Licence

Furniture Factory Licence

Plastic Factory Licence

Fish Fertiliser Factory Licence

Electrical / Electronic Factory Licence

Iron / Metal Factory Licence

Washing Powder / Detergent Factory Licence

Livestock Feed Factory Licence

Zinc / Chloride Producing Factory Licence

Agricultural Fertiliser Factory Licence

Chemical Factory Licence

Sewing Factory Licence

Fibreglass Products Factory Licence

Cement / Stone Products Factory Licence

Rubber Products Factory Licence

Coal / Charcoal Processing Factory Licence

Biodiesel Factory Licence

Animal / Fish Fertiliser Manufacturing / Processing Licence

Children Toys Factory Licence

Rattan Factory Licence

Battery Factory Licence

Spare Parts / Accessories Factory Licence

Fish / Prawns Freezing Factory Licence

Aluminium / Glass Factory Licence

Carpet / Fabric Product Factory Licence

Cosmetic / Toiletries Factory Licence

Rope (Ship) Factory Licence

Coal / Attap Processing / Manufacture Licence

Workshop Licence

Engineering Workshop Licence

Boat Display Licence

Boat Engine Repair Licence

Boat Making Licence

Selling Boat Engine Licence

Unloading Cargo at Ship Licence

Heavy Vehicle Display (Open Space) Licence

Roller-Skates Court Licence

Mini Car Track Licence

Ironsmith Licence

Tinker Licence

Glass / Aluminium Maker Licence

Carpenter Licence

Electrician / Pipe Maker Licence

Car / Lorry / Bus Repair Licence

Motorcycle Repair Licence

Air-Conditioner / Electric Repair Licence

Exhaust Repair Licence

Car Air-Conditioner Installation / Repair Licence

Welding Licence

Electrical / Electronic Equipment Repair Licence

Cushion Repair Licence

Advertisement / Sign Board Maker Licence

Servicing and Supplying Fire Extinguisher Licence

Vehicle Electronic Shop Licence

Selling / Installing Spare Parts & Accessories Licence

Battery / Vehicle Wiring Shop Licence

Car Painting Licence

Bricks-Maker Licence

Printing Licence

Rubber Storage Licence

Construction Materials Storage Licence

Fertiliser Storage Licence

Latex / Copra Storage Licence

Stone / Clay Products Storage Licence

Food / Drinks Storage Warehouse Licence

Quarry Licence

Batik / Fabric Processing (Dyeing / Printing) Licence

Cigar Making / Tobacco Storage Licence

Prayer Items Making Licence

Prayer Items Selling Licence

Electronic Items Processing Licence

Shoe Repair Licence

Repairing and Selling Machine / Equipment Licence

Repairing Machine / Heavy Vehicle Licence

Skid Tank Storage Licence

Dangerous Oil Storage Licence

Electrical Shop Licence

Nursery / Potted Plants Shop Licence

Goods Distributor Licence

Cosmetic Items Selling Licence

Furniture Shop Licence

Sewing Items Licence

Bicycle Shop Licence

New Cars Display Licence

Kindergarten (Business Building) Licence

Service Station Licence

Pet Shop Licence

Pesticide Shop Licence

Plastic Ware Selling Licence

Rubber Shop Licence

Glass Cutting / Framing Shop Licence

Hardware Shop Licence

Tyre Shop Licence

Aquarium Shop Licence

Construction Material Selling Licence

Goldsmith Shop Licence

House Furnishing Selling Licence

Livestock Feed / Medicines Licence

Motorcycle Display Licence

Paints Storage Licence

Tobacco Produce Selling / Storage Licence

Warehouse Licence

Nursery Licence

Rubber Smoking House Licence

Chemical / Fertilise Shop Licence

Bicycle Storage / Selling Licence

Pet Food Licence

Music / Dancing School Licence

Private School Licence

Physical Exercise Centre Licence

Tailor Licence

Laundrette / Dry Cleaning Shop Licence

General Business Licence

Carpet / Fabric Products Selling Licence

Carpet / Fabric Products Storage Licence

Cement Storage Licence

Cement Selling Licence

Hardware Storage Licence

Fabric / Linen Selling / Wholesaling Licence

Fabic / Linen Storage Licence

Cement Products Storage Licence

Prawn Breeding (Wholesale / Selling) Licence

Horse Paddock Licence

Charcoal / Coal Selling / Wholesale Licence

Charcoal / Coal Storage Licence

Gas Storage Licence

Electric Cable Workshop Licence

Fibreglass Display Licence

Heavy Vehicles Storage (Open Area) Licence

Heavy Vehicles Storage (In Building) Licence

Aluminium / Glass Products Storage Licence

Wood / Rattan / Bamboo Products Storage Licence

Silver Wholesale / Sale / Goldsmith Licence

Gold Wholesale / Sale / Goldsmith Licence

Selling / Wholesaling Animal / Fish Fertiliser Licence

Glue Processing Licence

Cosmetic / Toiletries Selling / Wholsaling Licence

Coal / Attap Storage Licence

Refrigerator Repair Licence

Lorry Body Making Licence

Cyber / Cyber Cafe Centre Licence

Swiflets Nest Industry Licence

Selling Three / Four Numers / TOTO Ticket Licence

Coffin Shop Licence


Example of Controlling and Monitoring Food Premise Licences


Beer House Licence

Dining Hall Licence

Pub / Bar / Lounge Licence

Toddy Shop Licence

Liquor Wholesale / Storing / Selling Licence

Private Abattoir Licence

Cooking Oil Factory Licence

Chicken Processing Factory Licence

Vermicelli Factory Licence

Soy Sauce Factory Licence

Sauces Factory Licence

Ice Factory Licence

Flour Factory Licence

Palm Cooking Oil Factory Licence

Sea Produce Factory Licence

Spices Factory Licence

Rice Processing / Factory Licence

Private Stall Licence

Beer Warehouse / Distributor Licence

Selling (Retail) Liquor Licence

Flour Mill Licence

Sea Produce Storage / Selling Licence

Chicken Slaughter / Processing Licence

Breeding Cow / Ox / Horse Licence

Cocoa / Palm Storage Licence

Coffee Processing Licence

Bean Curd Processing Licence

Ice-Cream Making / Distributing Licence

Salted Fish Making Licence

Food and Drink Distributor / Storage Licence

Refrigerated Food Storage Licence

Nuts / Coconuts Processing Licence

Salted Eggs Making Licence

Animal Skin Processing Licence

Noodles (Mee) Processing Licence

Sea Produce Snack Food Processing Licence

Fish Satay Making Licence

Food Colouring / Favouring and Preservative Making / Selling Licence

Cooking Oil Canning Licence

Drinking Water Processing Licence

Restaurant (Air-Conditioned / Non-Air-Conditioned) Licence

Food Provider Licence

Pastry Shop Licence

Bakery Shop Licence

Grocery Shop Licence

Fruit Shop Licence

Vegetable Shop Licence

Sweets / ice-Cream / Snacks Selling Licence

Medicine Shop Licence

Pharmacy Licence

Cofee Shop Lience

School Canteen / Canteen Licence

Beef / Mutton / Chicken Shop Licence

Pork Shop Licence

Tapioca Drying Licence

In-Premise Stall Licence

Food Packing Licence

Soft Drinks Distributor Licence

Preparing / Making Fruit Pickles Licence

Rotten Fish Storage Licence


Example of other Business Licences


Lodging House Licences

Lodging House Licence


Massage Parlour Licences

Massage Parlour Licence

Massage Parlour (Reflexology) Licence

Massage Parlour (Spa) Licence

Sauna Licence

Temporary Building-Related Licence

Violation of Conditions Business Building Licence


Advertisement Licences

Sign Board (Billboard) Licence

Signboards Licence

Notice Board Licence


Hawker Licences

Private Market Licence

Supermarket Licence

Mini Market Licence


Swimming Pool Control and Supervision Licences

Swimming Pool Licence


Private Parking Licences

Parking Licence


Roadside Shall Licence

Roadside Stall / Market Table (council-owned only) Licence


Barber and Hair Saloon Licences

Barbershop Licence

Hair Saloon Licence

Makeup Saloon Licence


Public Market Licences

Public Market Licence


Group of Licences According to Category of Business


Entertainment | List of Technical Licences

- Snooker Centre Licence

- Billiard Saloon Licence

- Video Machine Saloon Licence

- Music Hall Licence

- Family Entertainment / Bowling Centre Licence

- Disco Licence

- Karaoke Licence

- Cinema Licence


Liquor / Beer | List of Technical Licences

- Beer House Licence

- Dining Hall Licence

- Pub / Bar / Lounge Licence

- Toddy Shop Licence

- Liquor Wholesale / Storing / Selling Licence


Liquor / Beer | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immeidate)

- Beer Warehouse / Distributor Licence

- Selling (Retail) Liquor Licence

Health Therapy | List of Techinical Licences

- Massage Parlour Licence

- Massage Parlour (Reflexology) Licence

- Massage Palour (Spa) Licence

- Sauna Licence

Business Building (Construction) | List of Technical Licences

- Temporary Building-Related Licence

- Violation of Conditions Business Building Licence


Factory | List of Technical Licences

- Coal / Attap Processing / Manufacturing Licence

Factory | List of Non-Technical Licences

- Sawmill Licence

- Furniture Factory Licence

- Plastic Factory Licence

- Fish Fertiliser Factory Licence

- Electrical / Electronic Factory Licence

- Iron / Metal Factory Licence

- Washing Powder / Detergent Factory Licence

- Livestock Feed Factory Licence

- Zinc / Chloride Producing Factory Licence

- Agricultural Fertiliser Factory Licence

- Chemical Factory Licence

- Cooking Oil Factory Licence

- Chicken Processing Factory Licence

- Vermicelli Factory Licence

- Soy Sauce Factory Licence

- Sauces Factory Licence

- Bakery Factory Licence

- Ice Factory Licence

- Flour Factory Licence

- Palm Cooking Oil Factory Licence

- Spices Factory Licence

- Rice Processing / Factory Licence

- Sugar Processing / Factory Licence

- Sewing Factory Licence

- Fibreglass Products Factory Licence

- Cement / Sttone Products Factory Licence

- Rubber Products Factory Licence

- Coal / Charcoal Processing Factory Licence

- Biodisel Factory Licence

- Children Toys Factory Licence

- Rattan Factory Licence

- Battery Factory Licence

- Spare Parts / Accessories Factory Licence

- Fish / Prawns Freezing Factory Licence

- Aluminium / Glass Factory Licence

- Carpet / Fabric Product Factory Licence

- Cosmetic / Toiletries Factory Licence

- Rope (Ship) Factory Licence

- Glass / Aluminium Maker Licence

- Flour Mill Licencee

- Bricks-Maker Licence

- Lorry Body Making Licence


Advertisement | List of Technical Licences

- Sign Board (Billboard) Licence


Advertisement | List of Non-Technical Licences

- Signboards Licence

- Notice Board Licence


Stall / Hawkers | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Private Stall Licence

- Hawkers Centre Licence

- Hawker Licence (Night Market Only) Licence

- Roadside Stall / Market Table (MPM-Owned Only) Licence

- In-Premise Stall Licence

- Mobile / Static / Tricycle Bicycle / Pushcart / Hawker Vehicle / Hawker Van / Tricycle Bike Hawker Licence


General Businss | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- General Business Licence

Market | List of Non_Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Private Market Licence

- Mini Market Licence

- Public Market Licence

- Supermarket Licence


Workshop | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Workshop Licence

- Engineering Workshop Licence

- Car Painting Licence


Boat | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Boat Display Licence

- Boat Engine Repair Licence

- Boat Making Licence

- Selling Boat Engine Licence

Repair Services | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Electrician / Pipe Maker Licence

- Car / Lorry / Bus Repair Licence

- Motorcycle Repair Licence

- Air-Conditioner / Electric Repair Licence

- Exhaust Repari Licence

- Car Air-Conditioner Installation / Repair Licence

- Welding Licence

- Electrical / Electronic Equipment Repair Licence

- Cushion Repair Licence

- Refrigerator Repair Licence

- Shoe Repari Licence


Storage | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Rubber Storage Licence

- Constructioon Materials Storage Licence

- Wood and Planks Storage Licence

- Fertiliser Storage Licence

- Latex / Copra Storage Licence

- Sea Produce Storage / Selling Licence

- Stone / Clay Products Storage Licence

- Liquid Gas Petroleum Stoage Licence

- Skid Tank Storage Licence

- Dangerous Oil Storage Licence

- Paints Storage Licence

- Warehouse Licence

- Carpet / Fabric Products Stoage Licence

- Cement Storage Licence

- Hardware Storage Licence

- Fabric / Linen Storage Licence

- Cement Products Storage Licence

- Charcoal / Coal Storage Licence

- Gas Storage Licence

- Rotten Fish Storage Licence

- Heavy Vehicles Storage (Open Area) Licence

- Heavy Vehicles Storage (In Building) Licence

- Aluminium / Glass Products Storage Licence

- Wood / Rattan / Bamboo Products Storage Licence

- Coal / Attap Storage Licence

- Old / Used Things Storage Licenc

- Food / Drinks Storage Warehouse Licence

- Cocoa / Palm Storage Licence

- Refrigerated Food Storage Licence

- Food and Drink Distributor / Storage Licence


Slaughterhouse | List of Technical Licences

- Private Abattoir Licence

Slaughterhouse | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Chicken Slaughter / Processing Licence

Food | List of Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Coffee Processing Licence

- Bean Curd Processing Licence

- Ice-Cream Making / Distributing Licence

- Salted Fish Making Licence

- Food and Drink Distributor / Storage Licence

- Nuts / Coconuts Processing Licence

- Salted Eggs Making Licence

- Animal Skin Processing Licence

- Sea Produce Snack Food Processing Licence


Food | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Nuts / Coconuts Processing Licence

- Oil Processing Licence

- Sea Produce Snack Food Processing Licence

- Fish Satay Making Licence

- Food Colouring / Flavouring and Preservative Making / Selling Licence

- Tapioca Drying Licence

- Food Provider Licence

- Beef / Mutton / Chicken Shop Licence

- Pork Shop Licence

- Food Packing Licence

- Fruit Pickles Preparing / Making Licence


Cigarette | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Cigar Making / Tobacco Storage Licence

- Tobacco Produce Selling / Storage Licence

Prayer's Item | List of Non-Technical Licences (Immediate)

- Prayer's Items Making Licence

- Prayer's Items Selling Licence