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Why WRT License is an Important Expat Business Investment?

November 17, 2021 incorp 0 Comments

When it comes to starting a business in Malaysia, one can expect the numerous benefits that come along with it, especially if you’re an expatriate here, with cheap living expenses and accommodations, easy acquisition of local talents, and a large market pool to cater to being some of many.


However, like all things good, there’s a catch to it – The successful application for a WRT (Wholesale Retail Trade) License to operate your business in the country. 


Hence, this post is specially catered towards both advising and providing some insight into these permits. With that, let’s begin…



Purpose & Use of a WRT License

To understand the purpose and use of a WRT License, we must first understand what it is. WRT License is a permit offered by government authorities to both foreign investors and expatriates who wish to set-up business here in Malaysia, whereby companies whose shares of 50% or more that’s owned by a foreigner would be required to automatically be labelled as a foreign company.

In addition, for foreign business owners who own shares equal to or more than the stated percentage would be required to apply for a WRT license along with those wishing to procure either a: –

1.  Business Premise License or

2. Work Permit


As for its purpose(s), WRT License are meant to: –

– Supervise the regulation of foreign participation in Malaysia’s distributive trade sector.

– Ensure fair development in the relevant industry along with rise of local businesses.

– Encourage modernism and increase efficiency in trade distribution sectors.

– Act as a prerequisite before local businesses can issue license of business.


Types of WRT Licenses

Due to the variety of industries present here in Malaysia, WRT Licenses are segregated into four distinct types which are: –

i.   Retail, Trading (Import & Export), Distributive Trade

ii. Restaurant, Wholesale Retail Trade WRT License in Malaysia

iii. Franchise Business

iv. Services & Consultancy


Application & Registration of WRT License

If you’ve been reading up till now dear reader, we’ve finally arrived at the most important (and probably most exciting) part of our article, applying for one! It should be noted however that the process to secure a WRT license would usually take approximately a period of 3-6 months in conjunction with the Covid pandemic, which could be extended if inspection of office premise is required.

With a validity period of 2 years, WRT licenses ought to be renewed 3 months prior to its determined expiration date. Failure to comply would result in serious consequences such as having to pay a hefty fine of RM1million.

Following, prior to applying for the license, you would then need to comply with the following order of requirements: –

Upon doing so, the required prerequisites and filled application form would then be submitted to the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives, and Consumerism located in Putrajaya, Selangor for approval.

In terms of acquiring either the WRT application or checklist form(s), you may do so via Wholesale and Retail Distribution Trade (WRT) Application & Checklist Forms.

Alternatively, you’re able to localize your business via nominating a Malaysian Shareholder/Director hence, you won’t need to apply for the license nor require the minimum working capital of RM1million but that’s another topic which can be further perused through our Seeking Local Professional Advice post.


Alas, with large amounts of paperwork and licenses to go through, it may seem both tedious and daunting to even consider starting a business here in Malaysia. Fret not however as Incorp’s got your back on such heavy matters.

Equipped with 38 years of experience in the fields of corporate advisory and secretarial matters, our team of veterans and professionals are there to partner with you in sorting out those pesky tasks with “SSM” (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia or Company Commission of Malaysia) compliant and practical solutions, assuring you the peace of mind in starting that Malaysian dream business of yours!

Interested? Please kindly email us your queries via our email or WhatsApp located below and we’ll revert to you as soon as possible: –

Email: secretarial@elegant.com.my

WhatsApp: 017-2727118

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