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Incorporating a Freight Forwarding Company


Incorporating a Freight Forwarding Company | Bestar
Incorporating a Freight Forwarding Company | Bestar

Why Malaysia


There are several reasons why you might want to incorporate a freight forwarding company in Malaysia. Here are a few of the most compelling reasons:

  • Malaysia is a strategic location for the international freight forwarding industry. Malaysia is located in the heart of Southeast Asia, making it a convenient hub for transporting goods to and from the region. The country also has a well-developed infrastructure, including a modern port system and a network of highways and railways.

  • The Malaysian government offers a number of incentives for foreign investors in the freight forwarding industry. These incentives include tax breaks, grants, and loans. The government also provides assistance with securing licenses and permits.

  • The cost of doing business in Malaysia is relatively low. This means that you can start and operate a freight forwarding business in Malaysia with a lower investment than you might need in other countries.

  • The Malaysian workforce is well-educated and skilled. This means that you can find qualified employees to help you run your freight forwarding business.

In addition to these factors, Malaysia is also a stable and politically-friendly country with a good track record of economic growth. This makes it an attractive destination for foreign investors in the freight forwarding industry.


Here are some specific examples of how Malaysia's strategic location and infrastructure can benefit freight forwarding businesses:

  • Malaysia's ports are among the busiest in Southeast Asia. This means that freight forwarding businesses can easily connect with shipping lines and carriers that serve the region.

  • Malaysia's highways and railways provide efficient transportation links between major cities and ports. This makes it easy to transport goods to and from Malaysia's borders.

  • Malaysia's air cargo network is well-developed. This means that freight forwarding businesses can easily ship goods by air to and from Malaysia.

Overall, Malaysia offers a number of advantages for freight forwarding businesses. If you are considering incorporating a freight forwarding company, Malaysia should be on your shortlist.


Incorporating a Freight Forwarding Company


Here are the steps on how to incorporate a freight forwarding company in Malaysia:

  1. Choose a company name. The company name must be unique and cannot be the same as any other existing company name in Malaysia.

  2. Decide on the company structure. The type of company structure in Malaysia: limited liability company (LLC). LLCs are the type of company structure for freight forwarding businesses.

  3. File the incorporation documents with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). The incorporation documents include the company's constitution, memorandum of association, and articles of association.

  4. Obtain a business registration number from the SSM. The business registration number is required for all businesses operating in Malaysia.

  5. Obtain a freight forwarding license from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department. The freight forwarding license is required for all businesses that provide freight forwarding services in Malaysia.

  6. Obtain insurance coverage. Freight forwarding businesses are required to have insurance coverage to protect themselves against liability claims.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when incorporating a freight forwarding company in Malaysia:

  • The minimum paid-up capital for an LLC is RM100,000.

  • The company must have at least one local director and one local shareholder.

  • The company must have a registered office in Malaysia.

  • The company must file annual returns with the SSM.

Investors intending to undertake freight forwarding services are required to incorporate a company under the Companies Act, 2016.


Equity Policy


100% Foreign Equity Ownership


Freight Forwarding Services Licensing and Registration


For a company to qualify for a Freight Forwarding Agents Licence, it must obtain

  1. an International Integrated Logistics Services (IILS) status from MIDA, and

  2. the Freight Forwarding Agent Licence from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department in accordance with Section 90 of the Customs Act, 1967.

The international integrated logistics services (IILS) status is granted to logistic companies that are capable of providing integrated and seamless logistics services (door-to-door) along the value chain as a single entity on a regional or global scale.


Eligible companies can apply for the IILS status and upon approval, companies will be issued the Freight Forwarding Agent/Customs Agent licence by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.


Paid-up Capital Requirement


The paid-up capital requirement for different categories of Freight Forwarding Agents are as follows:


​Paid-up Capital

​​Approval Period for New Application

​For companies registered under Companies Act 2016

Not less than RM100,000.00 (Ringgit Malaysia)

​1 year (renewable)

​For companies registered under Registration of Businesses Act 1956

​RM50,000.00 (Ringgit Malaysia)

​1 year (renewable)


Application for International Integrated Logistics Services (IILS) Status


An International Integrated Logistics Services (IILS) provider is a company that provides integrated and seamless logistics services (door-to-door) along the logistics supply chain as a single entity on a regional or global scale. The company will be eligible to apply for the IILS Status and will be issued the Customs Forwarding Agent approval by the Royal Customs Department. However, this status is not a guarantee for the consideration of the tax incentives under the Promotion of Investments Act, 1986.


New entrants or existing logistics service providers may apply.


IILS Qualifying Criteria


1. Must undertake the following three (3) principal activities:


  • Warehousing

  • Transportation

  • Freight forwarding (including customs clearance)


and at least one of the following activities:


  • Distribution

  • Supply chain management

  • Other related value-added logistics services/activities


2. Manage at least:


  • 20 units of commercial vehicles; and


Commercial vehicles including goods vehicles, means:

a. Any motor vehicle constructed or adapted for the purpose of carrying goods; or

b. Any motor vehicle that is not constructed or so adapted when used to carry merchandise exclusively or other than passengers


  • 5,000 sq. metres (m2) of warehouse space.


Warehouse services are activities carried out by warehouse operators to provide various facilities and services covering small dock-off depots to large scale warehouses and distribution centers.


3. Use Malaysia as a hub for logistics supply chain services in the region. Employ majority Malaysians.


4. Having good networks with logistics service providers abroad in order to provide seamless integrated logistics services for the regional market.


5. Substantial usage of ICT infrastructure throughout the logistics chain and value-added activities.


6. Compulsory attendance to the Customs Agent course conducted by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.


Procedure for Application


The application should be submitted using the IILS Form to:


Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)

(Attn.: Director, Oil and Gas, Maritime and Logistics Services Division)


The following documents (where applicable) should be submitted together with the application:


a. Certificate of Incorporation

b. Form 24 (return of Allotment of Shares)

c. Form 49 (Particulars of Directors)

d. Latest Annual Report of the company

e. Other relevant information that can support company’s application such as company profile as appendix in the application form.


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Bestar provides comprehensive support to your business as you consider the competitive and comparative advantages Malaysia has to offer for your investment. Explore our dedicated resources or consultation services to assist you in expanding your operations here. Get started.


For enquiries and clarification, please contact us.

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