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Waves of Success – Set Up a Yacht Charter Business in Malaysia

Starting a Yacht Charter Business in MalaysiaTurn your passion for sailing into profits with 3E Accounting’s 101 on how to set up a yacht charter business in Malaysia.

Malaysia is known as a yachting paradise amongst sailing enthusiasts, and it is a well-earned accolade. Its surrounding natural beauty, miles of coastline and pristine islands make Malaysia an irresistible cruising venue. In fact, Malaysia has a Shipping Master Plan for the period of 2017 – 2022. Fully supported by the Malaysian government, this plan is aimed at actively boosting the maritime industry. It’s not too late to capitalise on this positive development and set up a yacht charter business in Malaysia.


High Tides of Success

Global charter statistics show that the yacht charter segment will dominate the market by 2027. While this sector, as with most others, was severely hit by the global pandemic, it is showing good signs of recovery. Yacht charter is one of the safest marine holidays available as it has limited public exposure.

To set up a yacht charter business in Malaysia, you will need to incorporate your company. Registration is done online via the Company Commission of Malaysia (CCM) or Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) portal. Malaysian company legal structures include:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Private or Public Limited Company (Sdn. Bhd. Or Berhad)
  • Companies limited by guarantee

For the purpose of a yacht charter business, the most viable option may be an Sdn. Bhd. or a Berhad. These structures have a separate legal identity and as such, offer limited liability protection towards shareholders.

Your company will need a Malaysian business address as well as a corporate bank account. Tax registration can be done online via the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia’s (LHDN) portal.

Vessel registration falls under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Marine Department or Jabatan Laut Malaysia. Generally, all vessels need to be registered. However, if your vessel does not exceed 15 tonnes or is a licensed boat, then there is no requirement for registration. You are also exempt from needing a licence if your vessel is foreign-owned.

The Marine Department does stipulate that Malaysian vessels will require a licence if:

  • The owner is a Malaysian citizen.
  • The owner is a permanent resident, or
  • If the boat belongs to a Malaysian-registered business.

All vessels in Malaysia need to be registered with the Registrar of Ships for a minimum of six months. Some of the approvals required may include:

  • General Vessel Certification
  • Vessel Ownership Certification
  • Builder’s Certificate
  • Ship’s Safety Assessment Report
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Ship Radio Station Certificate


Full Speed Ahead

There are favourable winds ahead for the discerning entrepreneur ready to set up a yacht charter business in Malaysia. A smart move would be to engage consultants such as 3E Accounting to handle the paperwork. With their all-encompassing industry experience. 3E Accounting ensures professional handling of business start-ups at every stage.


Starting a Yacht Charter Business in Malaysia

Contact 3E Accounting today to speak to our team of skilled consultants for your every business need.