Tips for Foreigners Opening Restaurant in Malaysia

Tips for Foreigners Opening Restaurant in Malaysia

Malaysia is a place where people love eating. Actually, it is same everywhere in the world, but still, what we can infer here is that food business has a lot of potential in Malaysia. And especially for foreigners, this is an opportunity to introduce something unique to the people, the food of their culture. Everybody would want you to put dishes in the menu that they have never tried before and every time someone has done this in Malaysia, it has turned a success. Let us face it, there are thousands of restaurants across the country, and most of them are owned by foreigners. And if you want to do the same, you have the right idea and to help it flourish, here are the tips for foreigners opening restaurant in Malaysia.
Steps to Open a Restaurant in Malaysia

Let us start with how you start your business. The first thing you need to do is register your food company.

How to Register a Business in Malaysia

First, you will need to select a business type. Being a foreigner opening restaurant in Malaysia, the only choice for you to go is with Sdn Bhd (Private limited company). A restaurant business is one of the few businesses for foreigners in Malaysia where 100% ownership is available, so there’s another reason for you to open a restaurant in the country.

The next thing you need to do is get all the licenses required to open a restaurant in Malaysia.

What license is needed to start a restaurant in Malaysia?

All of this depends on what you sell in your restaurant. Anyway, here are some of them.

  • Alcohol license: If you are selling liquor.
  • Halal Certification: If your restaurant is Halal friendly.
  • MACP and PPM: If you want to play music in your restaurant.
  • If your company is a 100% foreigner ownership, you will also need to acquire a Wholesale and retail trade license. For this, your business should be unique, and the premise should be at least 1,500sq ft in area.
  • Also, if you want to import ingredients, you will need import licenses. You could hire a local lawyer to help you with the licenses.

Tips for Foreigners Opening Restaurant in Malaysia


It would be convenient if you get a DP10-2 years’ work permit for both you and your family. Anyway, there are many other options available for you, so you could pick one which is good for you.

These were the steps for you to open restaurant in Malaysia, Now, let’s look at some tips for making your food business feasible.


This is the most important thing. Your restaurant should stand in a place where a lot of people could reach to you. Somewhere you could expect hungry stomachs to be and also a place where you could pay the rent.


The menu should be designed perfectly. I was not going to say this. Well, that is also a key, but you will need to make sure that you provide people with great food, unique options and specialities, which could be your selling price. First, this might not sound a good idea, but it is of utmost importance that you keeps the prices as low as possible.

Design Layout

People want to eat in a great environment. Cleanliness and design both of these things come together when you make your restaurant a place where people would love to be. Painting, comfortable chairs, friendliness, everything should be in balance.

Staff Hiring

Some people are just searching for a job while some people love what they do. Even if generalising could be wrong, go with the latter category, hire those who are dedicated and kind. Also, pay them good, your reputation is on the stakes.

Business Operation

You don’t just open restaurant in Malaysia, now you have a business which expects your dedication. You will need to have the right schedules and profile. Also, you will need to develop entrepreneurial skills such as reading the market, analyzing your competitors and making changes in the necessary time.

Well, this was all for opening restaurant in Malaysia. I hope this article will help you. Besides, you can learn more by reading about an expatriate guide on starting a business in Malaysia and starting a restaurant business in Malaysia.