F&B Startup: Your License & Document Checklist

Required License To Start an F&B Business

Before incorporating a company in Malaysia, there are several crucial steps and preparations to ensure that your business operates smoothly and in compliance with local regulations. Here's a summary of the licenses to prepare after incorporating your Food & Beverage (F&B) Business. 

Understanding The Licenses Related to the Food & Beverage Business

1. Company Incorporation 

Incorporating a company in Malaysia involves several steps, but with the right guidance and understanding of local regulations, it can be a straightforward process. 

Step 1: Pre-Incorporation Steps

1. Name Reservation:

  • Choose a unique and suitable name for your Sdn Bhd company.
  • Submit the name for approval with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
2. Minimum Requirements: Ensure your company meets the minimum requirements:
  • At least one shareholder (which can be an individual or corporate entity)
  • At least one director who resides in Malaysia.
  • A registered office address in Malaysia.
  • Minimum paid-up capital (as low as RM1)

Step 2: Preparation of Documents

3. Company Constitution:

  • Draft the company's constitution, which outlines its internal rules and regulations.

4. Consent to Act as Director:
  • Obtain written consent from the proposed director(s) to act in that capacity.
5. Statutory Declaration of Compliance:
  • Directors and the company secretary must declare compliance with the Companies Act.
Step 3: Incorporation with SSM

6. Submission of Documents:
Prepare and submit the required documents to the SSM. These include:

  • S14 (Superform)
  • Form 24 (Particulars of Directors)
  • Form 49 (Particulars of Shareholders)
  • Form 13 (Declaration of Compliance)
  • Form 44 (Notice of Situation of Registered Office and Office Hours)
  • Letter of Consent to Act as Director

7. Approval:
Await approval and the issuance of a Certificate of Incorporation. This typically takes 1 to 3 business days. Once successfully incorporated, you will receive:

  • Sec. 14 Superform
  • Sec. 15 Notice of Registration
  • Section 17: Certificate of Incorporation

Step 4: Post-Incorporation Steps

9. Opening a Bank Account:

  • Open a company bank account and deposit the minimum paid-up capital.

10. Licenses and Permits:

  • Depending on your business activities, apply for the necessary licenses and permits, such as business licenses and industry-specific permits.
11. Compliance:
  • Ensure compliance with statutory requirements, including annual returns and financial statement filing.
12. Tax Registration:
  • Register for tax with the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), covering income tax, Sales and Service Tax (SST), as applicable.

2. Business Premise License 

The Business Premises License is a fundamental requirement for any business operating within Malaysia. It is a legal document issued by the local municipal council, or PBT (Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan), that permits you to conduct your business activities at a specific location.

Here are some key points to understand about the business premises license:

  • Mandatory Requirement: All business premises, including F&B outlets, must obtain this license before commencing operations.
  • Local Authority: The license is issued by the local municipal council or PBT governing the area where your business is located.
  • Application Process: To obtain a business premise license, you'll typically need to submit an application form, pay the necessary fees, and provide any required supporting documents.

  • Renewal: Business premises licenses are valid for one year from the date of approval or renewal. This license must be renewed each year by paying the renewal fee.

  • Compliance: Compliance with local zoning regulations, health and safety standards, and other relevant regulations is essential for obtaining and maintaining this license.

i) Document Requirement to Register Business Premise License :

Here are the documents you need to apply for a business premise license:

  • MyKad, or passport, is proof of business ownership (e.g., Form D or Form 9).
  • Certificate of incorporation (Section 17)
  • A copy of the tenancy agreement or land title and building plans, if applicable.

Additional documents may be needed based on your business type and location, such as zoning clearance, health department approvals, and fire safety certificates. Ensuring you have all the necessary documents in order is essential for a smooth and successful registration process. For example, if you want to open a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, you need to register your business premise license with Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL). You can visit this DBKL official website for more information:  https://elesen.dbkl.gov.my/

3. Business Signboard License

i) Document Requirement to Register Business Premise License :

Obtaining a business signboard license in Malaysia necessitates fulfilling specific document requirements to ensure legal compliance. These documents usually include your identification documents, 

  • MyKad or passport 
  • A copy of your business premises license
  • A detailed description of the signboard's design
  • Exact location on your business premises

Additionally, you may need to provide building plans and approvals from the local council, depending on your business location and size. Adhering to these document requirements is crucial to secure your Business Signboard License swiftly and effectively.

The signboard license, as the name suggests, is the signage displayed outside your F&B establishment. It is necessary to ensure that your signage complies with local regulations and does not pose any hazards. Here's what you should know about the Signboard License:

  • Requirement: If your F&B business uses signage for advertising or identification purposes, you need a signboard license.
  • Approval Authority: This license is issued by the local municipal council or PBT (Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan) where your business is situated.
  • Types of Signage: Signboard licenses cover various types of signage, including wall signs, hanging signs, illuminated signs, and more.
  • Application Process: To obtain this license, you will need to submit an application to your local authority, which will review your signage plans for compliance with safety and aesthetic regulations.
  • Fees and Renewal: There are fees associated with the application, and the license may need to be renewed periodically, depending on your local authority's regulations.
  • Compliance: Ensuring that your signage complies with local guidelines is essential to avoid any legal issues or fines.

4. Halal License

A Halal license, also known as a Halal certification, is an official document issued by a recognized Halal certification body in Malaysia. It verifies that a product, service, or establishment complies with Islamic dietary laws and standards, making it suitable for Muslim consumers. Below are the important things you need to know about a halal license:

  • Application: The first step is to submit an application to a certified Halal certification body. In Malaysia, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) is one of the primary certifying authorities.
  • Compliance: The certification body reviews your application and inspects your premises, products, and processes to ensure compliance with Halal requirements.
  • Assessment: A team of auditors assesses your operations, ingredients, and production methods to ensure they align with Halal standards.
  • Training: If necessary, employees may need to undergo training in Halal principles and practices.

     Benefits of Halal Certification:

        Obtaining a Halal license offers several advantages to businesses in Malaysia:

  1. Access to a Larger Market: Halal certification opens doors to the lucrative global Halal market, which includes Muslim consumers worldwide.

  2. Consumer Trust: Halal certification builds trust among Muslim consumers, leading to increased sales and brand loyalty.

  3. Compliance: It ensures that your products or services meet religious and ethical standards.

  4. Export Opportunities: Many countries with significant Muslim populations require Halal certification for imported goods, providing export opportunities.

  5. Competitive Edge: Halal certification can give your business a competitive advantage in the F&B industry.

5. Food Handling Certificate

A Food Handling Certificate, often referred to as "Sijil Pengendali Makanan" in Malay, is an official document issued by the Malaysian Ministry of Health. It is a certification that confirms an individual's knowledge and competency in handling food safely and in compliance with food safety standards and regulations.

Food safety is a top priority in the food industry, and the Food Handling Certificate is vital for several reasons:

  • Legal Requirement: In Malaysia, it is a legal requirement for individuals working in the food industry to hold a valid Food Handling Certificate.
  • Public Health: It ensures that individuals handling food understand the principles of food safety, which is crucial for preventing foodborne illnesses and protecting public health.
  • Employment: Many employers in the food industry, such as restaurants, catering services, and food factories, require their employees to have a Food Handling Certificate as a condition of employment.

Who Needs a Food Handling Certificate?

Anyone involved in the preparation, handling, serving, or sale of food in Malaysia must obtain a Food Handling Certificate. This includes:

  • Restaurant and café staff
  • Catering service personnel
  • Food handlers in hotels
  • Food manufacturing employees
  • Market vendors and hawkers
  • Any person involved in food production or distribution
Steps to Obtain a Food Handling Certificate:

  1. Select an Accredited Training Provider: Look for an accredited training provider recognized by the Ministry of Health. The training provider should offer a Food Handling Certificate program that meets your specific requirements.

  2. Enroll in a Training Program: Contact the chosen training provider and enroll in a Food Handling Certificate training program. Make sure the program is suitable for your job role and location.

  3. Attend Training: Participate in the training program, which typically covers food safety principles, personal hygiene, food contamination, and sanitation practices.

  4. Take the Examination: At the end of the training program, you will be required to take an examination. Passing the exam is a crucial step in obtaining the certificate.

  5. Receive the Certificate: Once you pass the examination, you will receive your Food Handling Certificate. The certificate proves your competency in food safety and handling.

  6. Renew Your Certificate: Be aware of the expiration date on your Food Handling Certificate. Most certificates are valid for a certain period, usually one to five years. Renew your certificate as needed to remain compliant with regulations.

Checklist of Requirements to Start F&B Business in Malaysia

When establishing an F&B business in Malaysia, it's essential to follow the licensing and permit requirements. These requirements ensure the legality and safety of your operations. Here's a brief overview:

General Requirements: Most F&B licenses will typically necessitate a set of common documents and permits. These can include a Business License, Health & Hygiene Certificates, Fire Department Approvals, and Halal Certifications (if applicable). The specific documents may vary depending on the type of establishment and location.

Official Government Sources: For precise and up-to-date information on licensing requirements, it's recommended to refer to official government sources. These may include the websites of local municipal councils, the Ministry of Health, or the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) for Halal certification. Government websites offer comprehensive guidelines and downloadable forms to assist you in the application process.

Here is Our Checklist: To apply for the licenses and to ensure you don't miss any crucial steps, take advantage of our comprehensive checklist. This checklist consolidates all the necessary documents, permits, and steps required to obtain licenses for your F&B business. It's a convenient resource to help you navigate the licensing process efficiently.

By following the general requirements, consulting official government sources, and using our checklist, you can confidently work towards obtaining the essential licenses for your food and beverage business in Malaysia.

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