The top seven challenges of doing business in Malaysia… and how to overcome them.

South East Asian gem, Malaysia, is fast becoming one of the standout business capitals of the world. With typical growth rates of over 4%, Malaysia outperforms many high-income countries with only 1-2% economic growth rates.

Malaysia is a financially competitive industrialising location, offering fantastic economic growth, modern infrastructure, technological innovativeness and brilliant opportunities for foreign investors looking to set up offshore and international operations. However, while Malaysia is a substantial economic and business choice, there are still many challenges associated with setting up and conducting business in this little corner of Southeast Asia.

If you are thinking about setting up a business in Malaysia, then continue reading to discover the top ten challenges you might run into in the process! Remember, overcoming these challenges will be much easier with the help and experience of experts in global expansion.

1. Setting up shop

Simply starting a business in Malaysia involves nine different procedures. Have no fear, however! It shouldn’t take more than around two weeks to complete all the necessary paperwork. First, an application to open a business should be sent to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM). Once this is processed, a bank account can be opened, which means that all other administration (including income tax, social security, PAYE etc.,) can be organised.

2. Construction

Although construction has become more accessible within Malaysia, getting a permit in the first instance can be difficult. There are at least 11 types of documents that must be sent to authorities, taking upwards of six weeks.

3. It’s electrifying!

You may think that you can just plug in and go, but this is not the case. First, you will need to get an electrical connection check conducted by the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). A site inspection must also be carried out before any external connection, or electricity meters can be installed.

4. Get lawyered up

You will require a lawyer to have your property registered and conduct the usual pre-sales searches. You will also need to make sure that the necessary documentation has been submitted to the Stamp Office for evaluation. Otherwise, bills may start to stack up in late fees.