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Starting a business

How to Name and Register a New Business in Malaysia

Choosing the right name for your new business can make all the difference in attracting customers to your products and services. The government of Malaysia imposes several restrictions on your name choice but makes it easy to register your business name and get your new enterprise off the ground.

Choosing the Right Business Name

When you’re choosing a name for your new business , you want something that your customers will be able to pronounce and spell easily. If they get frustrated trying to find you online because your name isn’t memorable or is difficult to spell, you could end up driving away business. A name that conveys what products you sell or how your products benefit your customers is a definite draw.

If you hope to grow your business to the national or even global level, take the time to do a trademark search on your final short list of names to make sure you can secure that name everywhere you might want it. Testing your name on Google AdWords also lets you know if you’re going to run into difficulties because your chosen name is already too popular.

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Restrictions on Malaysian Business Names

Malaysian business names must meet certain restrictions imposed by the government. Names must not be longer than 50 characters (including spaces), and no numbers or symbols may be used in a business name. The business name must be appropriate to the type of enterprise, and businesses using certain words related to education or children must seek approval from the government.

Other restrictions prevent you from using words considered blasphemous or offencive in any way in your business name. You may not use the name to make a misleading statement about the business, and you may not use any word that makes it sound as if your business is connected to the Malaysian royal family, the government of Malaysia, or any other Southeast Asian nation. In addition, various words are prohibited in business names, including:

  • Chartered
  • Association
  • Union
  • Foundation
  • Trust
  • Forces
  • Co-operative
  • International

Registering a Business Name in Malaysia

As a small business owner in Malaysia, you’re actually not required to have a business name to get your business registered with the government. You can register a sole proprietorship under your own name. In fact, that type of registration is actually less expensive than registering your business with a trade name, at RM30 rather than the RM60 required for the trade name.

You can register either a sole proprietorship or a partnership with a trade name. The Registrar of Business must approve the name, which must meet all the above requirements, before you can register your business. Registration also requires completion of the Business Registration Form as well as the required fee and attachment of any permits, licences, supporting letters, and approvals required for your specific type of business. The owner and all partners must be present at the registration counter at the time of registration.

Naming your business well is vital to your enterprise’s success. In Malaysia, make sure you choose a name that meets the government’s requirements before proceeding with registering your business.