Of the many countries in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is one of the most attractive, especially as a retirement destination for Americans and Europeans, while many entrepreneurs are attracted to Malaysia as a place to set up a new business, or open a branch office of an existing company. Every country has its own laws and regulations regarding commerce and in Malaysia, you must have at least one Company Secretary.
What is the Role of the Company Secretary?
Indeed, a Company Secretary has numerous roles assigned to them;
- Ensuring the business complies with the many laws.
- Recording company minutes.
- Advising about general secretary activities.
- Preparing Resolutions for Board members.
- Attending meetings.
- Preparation of Annual Returns.
Companies Act 1965
This law lays out all the details to be followed by a Malaysian company and one role of the Company Secretary is to ensure compliance with these complex laws. Google is your best friend when it comes to sourcing a legal adviser to help set up a business in Malaysia and the law firm would be happy to have an informal Zoom call to discuss your needs. This would be followed by a proposal, recommending the most suitable type of business registration and should you be ready, the lawyer will inform you of the paperwork you need to prepare.
Opening Bank Accounts
Of course, you have to open bank accounts with approved banks and the lawyer will instruct you about this in good time, making sure that everything is in place when the paperwork is lodged with the government. It takes 4-6 weeks to complete the business registration, then you are ready to start trading or researching the Malaysian market.
Company Commission of Malaysia
This is the organisation that issues a Company Secretary their licence, which must be renewed when it expires. The Commission is the recipient of the Annual Returns document and they oversee every aspect of company law. Here are some candidate screening tips for the next time you are hiring.
Seek Out Expert Legal Advice
Prior to applying to register a business in Malaysia, you should engage the services of an experienced local law firm that has hands-on experience in setting up foreign owned companies. The lawyer can help in so many ways, aside from processing the business registration; if you need bookkeeping and accounting done, they have working associations with local companies and if you wish to lease office space and hire temporary workers, this can be arranged.
When you are looking for a Company Secretary to oversee your new business, you ideally want a professional person who is licenced by the Company Commission of Malaysia to act in this role, plus they can provide you with many other business services from third party local companies. Only the best candidates are used for such work and within a few weeks, your new Malaysian company will be ready for action.
Malaysia is a beautiful tropical paradise with a strong economy and once you have registered your new business, you can look forward to the next exciting chapter of your life.