How To Apply Expatriate Professional Visa?
Applying Expatriate Professional Visa could be a tedious process and you might end up wasting a lots of time to do it. Hence, we have a list of Expatriate Professional DP10 Visa common asked questions (FAQs) for you to understand the basic knowledge. Here’s are some of the FAQs:
Can A Foreigner Set Up A Company In Malaysia?
Foreigners cannot set up sole proprietorships or partnerships unless in very specific professional industries like medical or engineering whereby there is also culpability for personal indemnities. Only foreigner with permanent residency can set up enterprises and sole proprietorship.
What Is The Difference Between A Shelf Company And A Newly Formed Company?
A shelf company is an existing company formed with a RM2.00 paid up share capital, 2 local directors and shareholders, and a RM100,000 authorised share capital (stamp duty paid). Upon purchase of a shelf company, the existing directors resign & transfer forms are delivered to transfer the share to the purchasers. Business can commence immediately upon purchase.
In order to form a new company, first we have to get approval from the register of companies to use this proposed name. This process can sometimes take a long time depending on the name chose. Upon approval of use of name, the company secretary then prepares the necessary documents for incorporation for filling.
This may take another 5-10 day from the date the entire relevant documents are signed. Business can only commence after the certificate of incorporation has been issued by the register of companies.
How Long Does It Take To Register A New Company In Malaysia?
From the submission of all necessary paperwork to the ROC it normally takes 5 days for the result to be available but as the ROC’s internal information technology systems do breakdown often, it may take up to 2 weeks for the Business Registration Certificate to be issued.
Can Foreigners Owned Shared & What is The Maximum Shareholding Allowed In A Local Private Company & The Minimum Share Capital In A Foreign Owned Company?
There is no restriction on maximum shareholding i.e. foreigners can own 100% of a company in Malaysia. There is no requirement to divest 30% shareholding to any locals unless the business or activities require government licencing and approvals. By law, all companies with foreign ownerships are required to apply for Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) approval.
Approval is normally given on condition that 30% shareholding is divested to ethnic local Malay within 2 years. Normally, small businesses will not apply for any FIC approval unless there is business with the government departments.
If the company intends to transact with government departments which will require licensing, the minimum local bumiputra (ethnic Malay and Sabah & Sarawak local ethnic) participation must be 30% and above. And the management structure of 50% or above is more favorable to get government contracts.
Are The Foreign Shareholders Allowed To Work In Malaysia? Is There A Way To Circumvent This Local Director Requirement?
Foreign investors are allowed to work if they hold a valid work permit. Shareholders can be locals or foreigners but for foreigners to become directors, they must have a valid work permit under the sponsorship of the company they are working for. A foreigner on a dependent’s visa or with the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Visa will qualify as a passive director but not a working director.
The alternative is to seek nominees or trustees. The cost of a nominee or trustee is between RM1,500 and RM2,500 per annum.
What If I Do Not Have The Requisite Amount To Be Banked Into The Company? Can the RM 500,000 Capital Put in Be Used And Taken Out Immediately?
Cash or assets can be pumped in as share capital. If you do not have the cash, assets will also qualify. The minimum share capital requirement for qualification purposes depends on the business activity and the percentage of local shareholding in a company.
Certain activities are encouraged and will require RM500K. Others like warehousing, retail & trade distribution require another approval called the WRT approval and this approval require a minimum of RM1 million if the company is 100% foreign owned. However, if there is local equity, then that amount is reduced depending on the percentage of the equity.
The company cannot loan money to its share holders to buy shares from the company i.e. share capital must be paid into the bank account in cash or into the company’s assets. However, there is no stopping the company withdrawing the same amount immediately after the bank in. The total amount paid into the bank does not have to remain in the account if it is need urgently elsewhere but directors who are also shareholders must not owe the company any monies at year end closing so the auditors would not question whether the shares were actually paid up or not.
How this is done will depend on how good your accountant is. It is recommended to seek advise from company secretary for professional opinions. If you need to look for company secretary, simply fill up the contact us form and we will recommend to you our panel company secretary.
I Understand That The Minimum Share Capital For Any Company To Employ An Expat Under A Work Permit Is RM250,000. What If I Do Not Have The Requisite Amount To Be Banked Into The Company? Can The RM250,000 Capital That Put In Be Used And Taken Out Immediately?
Starting from 1 Jan 2009 on, the new minimum equity structure for qualification of an expatriate post position is as such:-
- 100% local (Malaysian) owned RM 250,000.00
- Local + Foreign owned RM 500,000.00 or RM 1Mil depends on percentage of Foreign Shareholding. If WRT required, minimum paid up share capital is RM 1Mil.
- 100% Foreign owned RM 1Mil and above depending on whether WRT approval is required. If WRT approval is required, the minimum paid up is RM1 million. (See attached file for WRT guidelines)
What Is WRT And Why Is It Required?
Whole Retail Trade (WRT) is a business license applicable to foreign owned (non-resident) company with the total share ownership of the company more than 50% owned by foreigners. The share capital requirement for WRT approval is RM500K for a company with local partners & RM1 million for 100% foreign owned equity.
The purpose of WRT license in Malaysia issued by Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumerism is to:
- Supervise to regulate foreign participation in the distributive trade sector in Malaysia,
- Ensure development is fair in the industry and increase local business development,
- Encourage modernisms and increase efficiency in the distribution trade sector,
- This license is a requirement before the local authorities issue licenses of business.
There are four types of WRT licenses, approval is renewable every 2 years and the category eligible to apply for the following businesses to operate in Malaysia:
- Retail, Trading (Import and Export), Distributive Trades,
- Franchise Business,
- Services and Consultancy
The WRT license approval is required by all the above-mentioned sectors by foreigners before they can apply for their work visa (DP10) for any expatriates (directors or shareholders or employees) in the Immigration Department. The minimum company paid up capital requirement for all categories of WRT license application is RM1 million, with company full set-up with valid tenancy agreement and phone line.
For newly set-up company, you maybe able to submit with business plan and investment plan in Malaysia prior setting the office. The processing time for approval : 1-2 months, may take longer if inspection of office is required.
The WRT license in Malaysia can be tedious, as it may involves other governmental departments such as the local town council. WRT license approving authority is the Ministry of Trade and Consumerism of Malaysia. If you need to apply WRT license, please fill up the contact us form and we will contact you.
What If The Foreigner Is A Malaysian Spouse? Will The Minimum Capital Be RM250,000?
Any local company can sponsor the Malaysian spouse. No minimum share capital is required.
Can The Visa Applicants Go And Apply To The Immigration Department Instead Of Going Through An Agent? What Are The Advantages Of Using An Agent?
Absolutely possible for the applicant to go through the application process themselves. Just be prepared to make numerous trips, long waiting period each time and language barrier dealing with immigration officers at the counters.
If your time cost is very high, then the agents will go through the same application procedures on your behalf.
Beside that, we are able to advice and guide you through smoothly for entire process. Over here we guarantee our quality service with refund if work permit is not approved.
Is There Any Way To Get A Work Permit In A Company Without Having To Put Up RM250,000 Share Capital?
Yes, by setting up a representative office of a foreign company. If you have an existing foreign company, you can set up a branch office in KL . There are no capital requirements here but there are restrictions i.e. the company cannot do trading but it can perform marketing and research functions.
What If I Do Not Want A Representative Office Set Up And Do Not Have RM250,000 To Put Up?
There are several proposals that are temporary measures for the increase of paid up capital which have worked out for some people. The details of these proposals are sensitive and should be discussed on a more personal basis.
How Long Is The Professional EP valid For (a) Under A Private Limited Company and (b) A Representative Office?
Standard 2 years for both options. The EP under the private limited company shall be extendable for an unlimited time period provided it satisfies all the immigration criteria and if the applicant is a shareholder of the company.
The work permit for the representative office is normally extendable for another 3 year up to a maximum of 5 years without question but after the fifth year, you will have to justify why you have already set a local private company up after 5 long years of market research and development. Extensions of another 2 years are possible selectively.