Buying a company in Malaysia - read in the blog of the company COREDO

Buying a company in Malaysia

Updated: 25.07.2020

The company acquisition process may imply the purchase of the whole business or only buying shares from the company.

The purchase of a full business in Malaysia can be performed really fast and trouble-free. Still, it is crucial to avoid the smallest errors that can cause unnecessary problems and to collect all the needed materials and documents professionally.

The acquisition procedure in Malaysia can be described as this step by step:

  • The parties prepare and sign all the preliminary documents that express clearly the mutual intention of both parties in the acquisition: a memorandum of understanding, a protocol of intent, a confidentiality agreement, and others;
  • The company is thoroughly inspected by the purchaser checking legal, financial and tax aspects of the business;
  • Parties agree on the final versions of agreements;
  • Parties draw up and sign the terminal transaction documents;
  • The deal is completed.

There are several factors that influence the time of ready-made business acquisition in Malaysia. They are the company’s size, the approval of local regulatory authorities, and the complexity of the transaction.

Buying company shares in Malaysia

It is traditional for many countries to divide the shares in the company by a 50/50 rule: a half can be owned by local investors and another half by foreign ones. In Malaysia, the division is different while organizing businesses. The Malaysian government is aiming at attracting the local interest in investing and raised the interest rate for foreign investors to 70%. If your business takes a person with a Bumiputra status into the company, they can have a 30% share. Word Bumiputra refers to people who have citizenship in Malaysia and profess Islam.

A clause on ownership is an important part of the asset purchase agreement in Malaysia. After the agreement is signed, the legal and beneficial ownership of the business assets is relocated to the new owner.

The confirmation of the buyer’s name must be in the register of title documents if the acquired assets include land. It is the only way of proving that Malaysian land truly belongs to its owner.

The Malaysian government allowed for expatriates to own 100% of shares in companies that belong to these industries:

  • Manufacturing
  • Deliveries of products
  • Research and development.

When it comes to partial ownership, expatriates in Malaysia can buy shares in these industries:

  • Oil and gas industries (max. 30% for foreign investors)
  • Logistics (max. 49%)
  • Big retail networks (max. 70%)
  • Insurance (max. 70%)
  • Tourism (foreign tourism businesses have to maintain a 100% stake).

If you are interested in buying shares or a ready-made company in Malaysia, contact our specialists in COREDO for professional legal advice. This step will help you avoid mistakes in the acquisition procedures as well as complying to the Malaysian legal framework.


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