How to open a franchise in Malaysia

How to open a franchise in Malaysia

Are you looking to kickstart your career in Malaysia? The home of the beloved Petronas Twin Towers has long been hailed as a popular choice for business owners new and old. Starting a new business for the dependent visa holder is always a daunting task, regardless of prior experience. Malaysia franchise is not a new business ideas. In fact, some might even turn away all together when confronted with the reality of starting a business from scratch. But all is not lost! If you aren’t completely keen on your own business startup, you have other options!

For example, you may look into opening a franchise business in Malaysia. But first, let us define what a franchise is. A franchise is essentially when one party buys part of a trademark from the party that owns it. Thus, allowing the former to sell goods and services using the trademark of the owner. A popular example of a franchise business would be McDonald’s.

Malaysia, having one of the most bustling economies of South East Asia is very prominent on the franchising scene. In fact, the country is reported to having 120+ companies listed under the official website for Malaysian Franchise Association. Moreover, you can sort it out depending on what type of business you want to go for.

Malaysia Franchise

Now that you’ve decided to embark on this journey, it is time to look at how the procedure is handled. In order to open a franchise in Malaysia, one should take note of all the formalities tied to it. The government body you will be going through is the Registrar of Franchises. There are many companies opened Malaysia franchise in plenty of outlets, for example KK shop, 7Eleven, 99 shops, McDonalds and many super shops.

The steps towards the process are detailed below:

First, you will need to talk to the franchisor of the business you are interested in. This requires diligence! After you’ve had your initial conversations regarding your proposal, don’t be hasty to sign your agreement. Research is key. Visit some of the existing franchises and speak to the managers there. This is a good way for you to get an idea of how the business is actually run.

After you’ve had a look at the franchise in person, it is time to look at the legal side of things. You may want to consult or hire a lawyer to see if you are getting a fair deal. In addition to hiring your own lawyer, you may also consult a franchise specific consultant. To add to all of these, the Malaysian Franchise Association (MFA), also provides consulting advice and classes for new business owners.

Now you can begin drafting your business plan. Diving in headfirst without planning is risky. In your business plan you may detail both predicted profit and marketing strategies.

Once you are satisfied with your preparation, you may move on the formal side of affairs.

Registering your franchise with the Malaysian registrar of franchises

First, collect the following documents. Once you have them all you may submit the application to the office of the Registrar of Franchises.

  • Form BAF1- this is the document of disclosure and needs to be duly completed by the franchisor and you, the franchisee.
  • Form BAF1- this is the form to construct a profile for the applicant (you)
  • The franchise’s completed manual of operation. This has to be presented in both English as well as in Bahasa Malaysia.
  • The franchise’s training manual for staff and employees.
  • Notarized copies of documents detailing intellectual property and trademarks the franchisee is allowed to use. These have to be notarized by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia.
  • A notarized copy of the company’s certificate of incorporation.
  • Three years’ worth of records for the companies audited accounts. Attached with this should be financial statements, profit and loss records and the company balance sheet.
  • A plan depicting the franchise’s financial forecast for the next five years.
  • A set of photographs OR an architectural model of the proposed outlet
  • Copies of the company’s annual reports.
  • Copies of any advertising leaflets for the franchise.

Once you’ve submitted your application, its just a matter of time before you’re a proud franchise owner in Malaysia. Until then, take a look at the franchises below. These have been deemed Malaysia’s most popular franchises and for good reason. Thus, adopting their business strategies may pay off for you in the long run! Some Malaysia franchise are very popular and available in most of the areas:

Secret Recipe

Long hailed as a family favorite amongst Malaysians. This family restaurant is famous for its cakes and other tea time items. This restaurant chain has 440(!) outlets across the country. A very impressive figure considering the chain is a mere 22 years old.

Oldtown White Coffee

White Coffee is made via a traditional Malaysian method of roasting coffee beans with margarine. As such, Oldtown White Coffee capitalized on this trend early on. This resulted in the company having 234 outlets scattered across Malaysia.

Teh Tarik Place

A staple drink in Malaysian culture, Teh Tarik translates to pulled tea in Malaysia. The Tarik Place, true to its name serves pulled tea along with other Malaysian dishes. As of now, the company is thriving with 23 outlets in the country.


Malaysia, like most of Asia has been struck with the boba craze. But what many don’t know is that Tealive was present even before the fancier bubble tea outlets popped up. With 250 outlets in the country, Tealive is widely regarded as the most affordable option for boba.

Focus Point

Not all popular franchises are food and beverage related. Focus Point is an optical store. Selling both lenses and frames, it now spans 190 outlets across the country. In addition to locally designed frames, Focus Point also stocks brands such as Burberry and Ray Bans.

Related article:

Business Opportunities in Malaysia

Cheapest franchising opportunities in Malaysia

Tips to be a successful entrepreneur in Malaysia


Company Registration Expert Since 2012