Are Foreigners allowed to open Sdn Bhd and hold 100% share in Malaysia?

Fellow foreign investors, have you been wondering what industries in Malaysia are allowed for you to hold 100% equity? Allow us to answer that doubt for you in this article! 

On 22nd April 2009, The Malaysian government had made the decision to liberalise the services industry in an effort to boost the sector’s competitiveness, draw in more international investments, experts and technology. Also, the Government liberalised 27 service subsectors without any equity condition imposed due to the potential growth these service sectors exhibit. These sub-sectors include different areas ranging from health and social services, tourism services, transport services, business services and computer and related services.  

A National Committee for Approval of Investments in the Services Industry has been established under MIDA to make it easier for investments to enter the services sector. With the exception of investments in financial services, air travel, utilities, Economic Development Corridors, Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), Bionexus status companies, and distributive trade, this Committee serves as a focal point for the receipt and processing of applications for investments in the services sector. 

Below are the 8 broad sectors which consist of the mentioned 27 service sub-sectors liberalised by the government: 

Computer and Related Services  

  1. Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware;  
  1. Software implementation services – systems and software consulting services: systems analysis services; systems design services; programming services and systems maintenance services;  
  1. Data processing services – input preparation services: data processing and tabulation services; time sharing services and other data processing services;  
  1. Data base services;  
  1. Maintenance and Repair Services of Computers; and  
  1. Other services – data preparation services: training services; data recovery services; and development of creative content. 

Health and Social Services  

  1. All veterinary services;  
  1. Welfare services delivered through residential institutions to aged and the handicapped;  
  1. Welfare services delivered through residential institutions to children;  
  1. Child day-care services including day-care services for the handicapped; and 
  1. Vocational rehabilitation services for handicapped; 

Tourism Services  

  1. Theme Park;  
  1. Convention and Exhibition Centre (seating capacity of above 5,000);  
  1. Travel Agencies and Tour Operators Services (For inbound travel only);  
  1. Hotel and Restaurant services (for 4 and 5 star hotels only);  
  1. Food Serving Services (for services provided in 4 and 5 star hotels only);  
  1. Beverage Serving Services for consumption on the premises (for services provided in 4 and 5 star hotels only) 

Transport Services  

  1. Class C Freight Transportation (Private Carrier License – to transport own goods) 

Sporting and other recreational services  

  1. Sporting Services (Sports event promotion and organisation services) 

Business Services  

  1. Regional Distribution Centre  
  1. International Procurement Centre 
  1. Technical Testing and Analysis Services – composition and purity testing and analysis services, testing and analysis services of physical properties, testing and analysis services of integrated mechanical and electrical systems, and technical inspection services and  
  1. Management Consulting Services – general, financial (excluding business tax) marketing, human resources, production and public relations services. 

Rental/Leasing Services without Operators  

  1. Rental/Leasing services of ships that excludes cabotage and offshore trades  
  1. Rental of cargo vessels without crew (Bareboat Charter) for international shipping. 

Supporting and Auxiliary Transport Services  

  1. Maritime Agency services  
  1. Vessel salvage and refloating services 

As the Government will be gradually liberalise the other services subsectors, on the following 2011, the government continued their liberalisation to an extra of 7 broad sectors, including another 18 sub-sectors in 2011 that permits foreigners to hold 100% share in phases. These sub-sectors are shown in the following: 


  1. Telecommunication services (network service providers and network facilities providers licences) 
  1. Telecommunication Services (Application Service Providers licence) 


  1. Private hospital services 
  1. Medical specialist services 
  1. Dental specialist services 

Professional Services 

  1. Accounting and taxation 
  1. Architectural services 
  1. Engineering services 
  1. Legal services 
  1. Quantity surveying services 

Environmental Services 

  1. Incineration services 

Distributive Trade Services 

  1. Departmental stores and specialty stores 

Education Services 

  1. Private higher education with university status 
  1. International schools 
  1. Technical and vocational secondary education services 
  1. Technical and vocational secondary education services for students with special needs 
  1. Skills training centre 

Courier Services 

  1. Complementing the growth and development in the manufacturing sector, the Government is intensifying its efforts to promote and develop the services sector. The Government will be progressively undertaking liberalisation of the other services sub-sector on an on-going basis. 

***Kindly refer to MITI website for more information on liberalisation of services sector. 

Also, refer here for the list of countries “blacklisted”  by Bank Negara Malaysia, and are not allowed to run businesses in Malaysia:

You can read up more about it here:

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