Open Advertising and Marketing Company in Malaysia

Updated on Wednesday 16th October 2019

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One of the ways to open a company in Malaysia is by entering the advertising and marketing industries. Companies providing advertising services in Malaysia will have to choose the code 74300 from the Malaysia Standard Industrial Classification, which refers to three main categories of advertising services. Our team of consultants in company formation in Malaysia can provide in-depth information on the procedures that have to be followed when entering this business sector. 

What are the basic advertising activities carried out in Malaysia? 

As per the classification provided under the code 74300 of the Malaysia Standard Industrial Classification, advertising activities can refer to one of the following: creating advertisements for newspapers, periodicals, television, radio and outdoor advertising; this code also takes into consideration outdoor advertising, which refers to a wide range of advertisements placed in locations such as billboards, window dressing, showroom designs, advertisements placed in buses or cars and others. 
In the case of those who want to open a company in Malaysia as a marketing company, the following codes can apply: 74130 – market research or the code 74992 – direct mailing activities; our team of consultants in company formation in Malaysia can assist with more information regarding the codes that are applicable to marketing activities in this country. 

What is the main legislation regulating advertising activities in Malaysia? 

When developing advertising activities in Malaysia, the investors should observe the regulations deriving from the Malaysian Code of Advertising Practice; the main institution which ensures that such regulations are respected as requested is the Advertising Standards Authority Malaysia. It is necessary to know that with regards to the television advertising, the institution regulates only the commercials that are placed on various TV channels and which are paid by the advertisers
Provided that the commercials will be placed on the country’s national television and radio, the advertising company should comply with other requirements deriving from the Advertising Code, which is regulated by the Ministry of Information; please note that advertisements in Malaysia (placed on mass-media) have to respect specific national identity elements. 

What are the regulations for foreign advertisers in Malaysia? 

Local companies have to comply with a set of rules regarding the manner in which an advertising should be presented to the general public. In the case of foreign investors who want to open a company in Malaysia operating in the advertising or the marketing industries, additional requirements have to be met. 
For example, foreigners providing advertising services in this country can do so under the regulations of the General Agreement on Trade in Services. This legal framework stipulates that foreigners can start a business here as a joint-venture comprised of the foreign investors and Malaysian investors (natural persons or other companies). 
The foreign ownership in this case is limited at 30%; our team of consultants in company registration in Malaysia can provide more details on the manner in which a joint-venture can be set up here. Foreign businessmen must also know that the following are applicable when investing in the advertising sector in Malaysia
  • advertisements through electronic media must have 80% local content;
  • a foreign ownership of 51% is available for advertising companies from the ASEAN region;
  • advertising companies can employ foreign employees on a 2 years work permit (which can be renewed);
  • the above mentioned regulation is available if the employee has a salary of RM 5,000;
  • for these to be applicable, the company must have a paid-up capital of minimum RM 35,000;
  • companies can hire foreign employees for important positions in the company if the legal entity has a capital of RM 500,000.

What are the trends on digital advertising in Malaysia? 

Digital advertising is nowadays one of the most employed advertising strategy, as the number of internet users is constantly increasing. Besides this, there are a number of ways through which brands can reach their potential clients and the most important branches in digital advertising are represented by social media advertising, video advertising or banner advertising
This year, the spending on digital advertising is estimated at $512 million and the largest segment is represented by search advertising, which, at the level of 2019, is estimated to have a total market value of $156 million. For more details on the main procedures for opening an advertising and marketing business in this country, we invite you to contact our team of specialists in company registration in Malaysia.