Malaysia Wholesale, Retail, and Trade License: A Simple Application Guide

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Malaysia Wholesale, Retail, and Trade License: A Simple Application Guide

November 17, 2021 incorp 2 Comments

Reading Time: 3 Minutes –

When starting a business in Malaysia, one can expect a number of benefits that come along with it, especially if you’re a foreigner here. This means cheap living expenses and accommodations, easy acquisition of local talents, and a large client and market pool to cater to.


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


Hence, this post is specially catered towards guiding you in procuring one, along with providing some insights into these permits.


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 as 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  foreign company.

In addition, 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

For it’s 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.

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

Applied Industries

Due to a variety of industries present in Malaysia, WRT Licenses are considered applicable for the following, 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 that the process in securing a WRT license usually takes between a period of 3-6 months. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this duration could be further extended if inspection of the office premise is required.

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

Following, before applying for the license, you will need to comply with the following order of requirements: –

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

For acquisition of either the WRT application or checklist form(s), you are able to obtain them via Wholesale and Retail Distribution Trade (WRT) Application & Checklist Forms.

Alternatively, a simpler approach would be to nominate a Malaysia Shareholder/Director to localize your business. Through this, you won’t need to apply for the license or require the minimum working capital of RM1million. More details on this topic can be found through our Seeking Local Professional Advice article.

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. But don’t just let your dream company get dashed away like that, for Incorp’s got your back!

With 38 years of experience in company secretary matters, Incorp is your trusted Malaysian company secretary firm for all your corporate needs! 

Consisting of a team of professionals who are always there with you every single step of the way, from sorting out important documents in a compliant fashion as required by “SSM” (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia or Company Commission of Malaysia), all the way to handling matters relating to company incorporation. We at Incorp can safely assure you not just an anxious-free mind that you deserve but also the risk-free startup foundation of your Malaysian dream company!

Need a hand? Feel free to connect with us via our email or WhatsApp located below and we’ll revert to you as soon as possible: –


WhatsApp: 017-2727118

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    March 2, 2022 REPLY

    We would like to know more about WRT application.

      March 2, 2022 REPLY

      Hi there Ms. Chang, thank you for the inquiry. As Company Secretaries (CoSecs), we do not provide such services. However, we do have associates who perform them and are able to liaise you with them should you be interested?

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