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Setting Up Malaysia Representative Office in Malaysia

A Representative Office (“RO”) is an office of a foreign company/ organisation approved to collect relevant information on investment opportunities in the country especially in the manufacturing and services sector, enhance bilateral trade relations, promote the export of Malaysian goods and services and carry out research and development (R & D).

Please note that due to the preference of most of our clients on other type of business entities in Malaysia, we are no longer providing the services of setting up representative office to our clients. The followings are mainly for information purposes only.

Note that most small and midsized foreign companies register subsidiaries in Malaysia rather than setting up a branch office or representative office. To explore your other options, see foreign company setup options in Malaysia.


Activities Allowed

  • The approved RO is  established  to perform the following permissible activities for its head office or principal:
  • Gathering and analysis of important information or undertaking feasibility studies on investment and business opportunities in Malaysia and the region;
  • Planning or coordination of business activities;
  • Identifying sources of raw materials, components or other industrial products;
  • Undertake research & product development;
  • Act as a coordination centre for the corporation’s affiliates, subsidiaries and agents in the region; and
  • Other activities which will not result directly in actual commercial transactions


Activities Not Allowed

However, an approved RO is not allowed to carry out the following activities:

  • Be engaged in any trading (including import and export), business or any form of commercial activity
  • Lease warehousing facilities; any shipment / transhipment or storage of goods shall be handled by a local agent or distributor
  • Sign business contracts on behalf of the foreign corporation or provide services for a fee
  • Participate in the daily management of any of its subsidiaries, affiliates or branches in Malaysia


Eligibility Criteria

  • The proposed operational expenditure of the RE/RO must be at least RM300,000 per annum.
  • The RO should be financed by funds emanating from sources outside Malaysia.


Expatriate Posts

  • A Representative office/Regional office will be given expatriate post and the number allowed depends on the functions and activities of the Regional Office/Representative Office. Expatriates will only be considered for managerial and technical posts.
  • The proposed expatriate must be currently employed by the applicant company or its subsidiary or within the group. An expatriate working in a Representative Office is subject to normal income tax. However, an expatriate working in a Regional Office is taxed only on the portion of their chargeable income attributed to the number of days that they are in the country.


Document Required For Representative Office Registration & Employment Pass Application Filing*

  • Completed application form with information such as purpose of establishment, activities of proposed office, benefits to Malaysia from the establishment of RO, estimated cash flow and human resources arrangements for the proposed RO and etc.
  • Copy of the parent company’s certificate of incorporation
  • Parent company profile
  • Copy of the parent company’s latest annual report and audited accounts (2 years). You may choose to self-declare other supporting details such as company brochures, contracts, website, etc. in support of your application.
  • Copy of passport
  • 1 passport size recent photo
  • Copies of educational certificates (above high school)
  • Copy of resume
  • Copies of past employment testimonials, appointment letters, etc., if available
  • Tenancy agreement for business operations address in Malaysia
  • 1-2 page document that outlines a) detailed description of the duties to be performed by the applicant; and b) detailed description of activities and/or products of the company

*All documents must be certified true copy (CTC) by the notary public or commissioner for oaths. Foreign language documents need to be translated to English and certified accordingly. A photocopy of the academic qualification in the original language should also be submitted.


Malaysia Representative Office Setup