Starting A Recruitment Company in Malaysia

Expanding a recruitment business overseas can be a great strategy for encouraging growth, demonstrating scalability and ultimately increasing the value of your business. Recruiters are quickly recognising that some of the greatest opportunities lie further afield and seeking new markets can help put your business ahead of the competition.

Malaysia’s job market experienced somewhat of a surge in during 2016 as multinational companies take advantage of the country’s geographical location, multi-lingual language capabilities and the availability of highly skilled workers.

Recruitment businesses are finding the depreciation of the local currency an attractive incentive, enabling them to establish low cost businesses. Malaysia’s digital sector is also maturing, offering excellent job opportunities for candidates with an IT background.

Why use to assist with setting up a recruitment business in Malaysia?

Understanding local employment legislation, accounting requirements, language barriers and red-tape can often deter businesses from the outset. At our team of professional experts have years of experience and are always available to help guide you through the entire process.

  • We provide expert help and advice in setting up your recruitment business in Malaysia from start to finish
  • We will guide you throughout the incorporation process
  • A unique one-stop solution for all your Malaysian company formation requirements that you can’t find anywhere else

Services we provide include:

  • Company formation
  • Accounting services and payroll
  • Registering for VAT
  • Recruitment license applications
  • Physical & Virtual Offices
  • Bank introductions
  • Immigration and visas

Requirements for setting up a recruitment business in Malaysia

Before starting a recruitment business you must first register the business and obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Malaysian law is highly regulated and stipulates that all foreign companies must either register in Malaysia, or incorporate a local company in order to trade within the country.

There are two options for setting up a private limited company. You can either purchase a shelf company, or incorporate a company directly.

Company Incorporation in Malaysia

The first step for direct incorporation of a private limited company starts with the search for a name with the Companies Commission of Malaysia, also known as Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM).

We would recommend the submission of three company names in case one or more are rejected. Once approved, the pre-incorporation documents will need to be prepared and lodged with the SSM.

Private limited companies in Malaysia are referred to as Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd). To form a private limited company you will need:

  • A minimum of two shareholders
  • A minimum of two directors
  • A company secretary who can be:
    • An individual who is a member of a professional body prescribes by the Minister of Domestic Trade Cooperative and Consumerism.
    • An individual licensed by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
  • Minimum paid up capital of RM500,000

Company Secretarial Services

We can also assist you co-ordinate the role of company secretary in order to comply with the Malaysian requirements for your licensing approval.


Foreign owned companies who set up a private limited company will need to apply for a Malaysian business licence. While there are various types across different industries, recruitment businesses will need to apply for the most common type of license, referred to as the Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) License for Trading that covers consulting services.

You may also need an HR licence depending on the type of recruitment you’re conducting.


What we require to open your recruitment company in Malaysia

In order to commence with the formation procedure, we will require:

  • The name of the two resident directors and the two shareholders. These can be two individuals, two corporations or an individual with a corporation. A resident director could be a Malaysian or foreigner who has a residential address in Malaysia
  • Your three preferred company names


The typical approval time for a business license is between 1 and 6 months.

SSM will usually require two weeks to approve and issue the Certificate of Incorporation (Form 9), upon which the company can immediately commence business.

Please contact us for more information or for a free consultation on how to expand your recruitment business to Malaysia.