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How To Register a Company in Malaysia (SSM Step-by-Step Guideline)

SSM Registration

Starting a business in Malaysia is easy and achievable. To legitimise your company, it’s best to complete the registration process with SSM – Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia. This body regulates all the registered businesses in Malaysia as well as oversee the validity of the company in the long run.

So, if you’re looking for information on how to get your business registered, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s we will take you through each step of the SSM registration process. In just a few steps, you can officially call yourself company-owner!


1. Name your business

You may already have a prime name marinating in the back of your head that you’re desperately waiting to release to the world- hold that thought. SSM procedures require at least three name options to get the process going.

We suggest keeping your company name as professional as possible- try to avoid names cutesy names that might limit your company growth.

Instead, choose a name that’s easy to remember, short and most importantly, something that reflects your business!

Take note that there’s a difference between business name and trade name when you fill out the form at SSM. A business name is typically associated with the name of the business owner while a trade name is used for adverting and sales purposes.

So, get to brainstorming and list down your top three names!

2. Check your trade name

We can’t tell you how many people have had to submit and then resubmit their registration forms at SSM because of this one simple mistake- they didn’t check if their proposed names were available on the SSM website.

Keeping in mind that your trade name has to reflect something about your business, be sure to list out possible names that are

  • grammatically correct, 
  • free of spelling errors (happens more times than you think),
  • contains zero profanities and is not hinting at any religious or political parties in Malaysia.

Once you’ve come up with your list, head on over to the SSM Website -which is free for public access by the way- cross-check your company’s possible names against the nation’s database.

The fewer results that come up, the more likely your company’s name is to be approved. So, remember that your names have to be as unique as possible!

3. Register your name online

Now that you’re done with the name check, it’s time to make your business legit! Head on over to the SSM website and sign up as a member. Once you’ve verified your account, click on the e-registration form and sign your company’s name up.

Fill out a few details- your name and IC number included- list out your company’s name and submit the form. It’s as simple as that! Just so you know, this e-form is free of charge as a part of the government’s initiative to promote local businesses.


4. Borang PNA 42

Now, its time to get down to the nitty-gritty. The PNA 42 form is a gatekeeper to the possibility of your business dream to become a reality- fill out this form with utmost care.

First, fill out your Business Name- as mentioned earlier- is the name of the owner of the company. You don’t need to write down the name as stated in your identity card. Next, fill out your possible trade name options. These names need to have been approved by SSM before filling out the borang PNA 42.

Then give a brief explanation of the nature of your business. Either if you’re in the food and beverage industry or the tech world, be succinct with your explanation.

There are a few rules you need to keep in mind when filling out the form to make sure you don’t get rejected immediately:

  • Do not include any words that may imply a connection to the royal family and patronage. Additionally, words like “royal” are highly discouraged.
  • Do not imply that you are affiliated to ANY government bodies in Malaysia, including constitutions and local authority.
  • Do not suggest that you are in any way related to any foreign government bodies like the United Nations, ASEAN or Commonwealth.
  • The word “Chartered” is disallowed and will be cause for immediate rejection.
  • Avoid labels like, “Union”, “Forces”, “Association” and any expressions with a similar meaning.

5. Borang A

This form is friendlier than the last where you need to fill out personal particulars and business-related details. Remember to submit this form with the Borang PNA42 and a copy of your IC when you’re ready to register your business.

Some aspects to expect from the form is a question asking when would you start running your business and the type of business you would run. Have a clear answer locked and loaded before filling out the form.


6. Head on over to SSM

Now that you have everything filled out and ready, it’s time to get your business registered!

Before you leave your house, make sure you have both the forms and a copy of your IC. We recommend you make a copy of the forms too, for personal reference. Remember that your business needs to be registered at least 30 days before you open your company.

Go to the Menara SSM@Sentral, KL and take a lift up to the 14th floor to meet an officer to help you out. Keep in mind that the office operates from 8:15 AM- 4:15 PM on weekdays. Dress appropriately and try to be the first person there.

This way, you can get your forms processed quicker and be done with your registration. It takes less than 2 hours to complete the SSM registration process. All newly registered businesses are valid for 1 year. After that, you may renew your registration for up to five years.

Take note that if you are the owner of the business, you need to be physically present at the office. SSM does not accept representatives unless they are your business partner.

The Malaysian government stipulates that business owners need to be at least 18 years or older with Malaysian citizenship. Once you have all your ducks in a row, it’s time to register! Finally, this step concludes the SSM registration process.

If you do not live within the vicinity of KL, check out this list of SSM branches around Malaysia for you to visit instead. The link includes the contact information of the on-duty officers as well! For more business and finance-related articles and guides, visit LokaPost.


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