Since the region developed as a main center for the domiciliation of offshore businesses, Labuan provides an attractive taxation system, alongside with a simpler incorporation procedure. We list some of these key advantages for Labuan company formation below:
The registration procedure can be completed in a period of two weeks and the investor is not required to be physically present in the country, as it would be the case for other types of companies available here. Although most of the companies operating on the Malaysian market require a business permit or license to conduct their activities, in the case of a Labuan offshore company, the investor will not need a permit for the following domains:
Please note that the four main advantages listed above are the general ones that apply in most cases. Investors may also be interested in other tax-related advantages such as the lack of withholding taxes and benefit from Malaysia’s double tax treaties (mentioned below).
Can I open a branch or a subsidiary in Labuan?
Yes, companies from abroad can decide on establishing branches or subsidiaries in Labuan in respect to the rules of the Companies Commission in Malaysia. In both cases, the documents of such entities need to contain information about the parent company and about the board of managers controlling the branch or the subsidiary in Labuan, Malaysia.
In general, some types of foreign legal entities will prefer the subsidiary over the branch because of one key difference between the two business forms: the branch is dependent on the parent company abroad and it is this foreign company that is liable for its branch’s debts and liabilities in Labuan. Conversely, the parent company is not liable for its subsidiary which will be incorporated as a Labuan resident company.
In practice, the fact that one has a legal personality (the subsidiary) and the other does not translates into different incorporation steps. One of our agents who specialize in Labuan company formation can help foreign investors open a branch or a subsidiary, whichever suits their business needs the most.
Can I set up a trust in Labuan?
Yes, investors from abroad can set up trusts in Labuan
, in respect to the Labuan Trusts Act 1996
and the following conditions:
• a legal entity or a natural person can represent a trust in Labuan;
• the assets of a trust can be handled by a representative in the name of a specific beneficiary;
• there is no need for a minimum share capital for setting up a trust in Labuan;
• the 3% tax rate is imposed for trusts with trading activities in Labuan.
Feel free to talk to our team of advisors for guidance in opening a trust in Labuan or for any other kind of business, including a Labuan offshore company.
What are the steps for Labuan company formation?
The general steps for opening a Labuan company are the following:
Choose the company name: it is advisable to propose at least three company names that will be checked for availability.
Determine the shareholder ownership: for those companies with more than one shareholder, the ownership proportion should be established during this early stage.
Register the company: the application for registration generally includes the Articles of Association for the company, the filled in forms as well as statutory declarations.
Apply for a Labuan business visa: this is a necessary step and investors can decide if they wish to include ant dependents on their visa application.
Open the bank account: a Labuan company is required to have a bank account in its name.
Certain limitations may apply to the currency of the corporate bank account (for example, it may not open a Malaysian Ringgit corporate account). One of our agents can provide more details on these requirements.
Investors should remember that there is a differentiation between companies in Labuan, as previously mentioned, based on the core business activities, divided into trading and non-trading. This means that businesses in some fields will need to maintain its minimum number of shareholders/directors as well as staff and handle the operating expenditure (which differ according to field).
Companies that do need to obtain a license for functioning, such as the financial license, will need to observe the regulations for renewal and will need to comply with the applicable fees.
Please feel free to reach out to one of our Labuan company formation experts for in-depth information about these issues as well as answers to any other incorporation questions you may have.
Shelf companies in Labuan
are at the disposal of entrepreneurs looking for a fast implementation of the businesses in Labuan
without having to wait for all the incorporation procedures involved. Therefore, a shelf company
can be a suitable option for foreigners who can benefit from a series of advantages like no liabilities as there are no activities in the firm. The identification documents plus the incorporation papers are mandatory for transferring the company ownership.
The shelf company will provide a professional business image due to the fact that it has longevity and no debts. For investors looking to do business with certain clients, it can be important to use this type of company.
Investors who wish to open a company in Labuan can rely on our shelf company services. We can provide complete assistance for purchasing a ready-made company as well as perform a comprehensive check of the future owned legal entity so as to rule out any possible business risks.
Virtual office services in Labuan
If you do not want to set up a traditional office connected to your activities, it is best to direct your attention to virtual office packages in Labuan
. Such services come with a prestigious business address in Labuan, a local phone number, a fax number and also a virtual assistant who can handle the faxes, the emails and the phone calls in the company, in accordance to the clients’ needs and business requirements.
We mention that virtual office packages are at a fraction of expenses compared to the ones for a traditional office in Labuan. If you are planning marketing strategies for your future operations, then a virtual office package in Labuan might be the appropriate solution. Also, complete communication between the business owner and potential clients or collaborators can be sustained by the virtual assistant.
The taxation on the profits of the company (registered as a trading company) is at a rate of 3%, while the paid-up capital is generally 1USD, however it can differ depending on the type of company as well as the activities of that company (for example, it will be larger for a Forex company).
Labuan is a jurisdiction that offers important business advantages, from a well-regulated business field to a wide range of business structures tailored to the needs of those who are interested in international business dealings. What’s more, a favorable geographic position makes this jurisdiction ideal for those interested in entering the Asian market.
Investors who open a company here benefit from a tax neutral environment and a modern legal framework. Also, entrepreneurs can also find options that are Shariah-compliant.
The figures below provide an image of the existing business environment, as per the year 2018:
- there are more than 14,000 companies incorporated in Labuan;
- more than 50 banks and more than 200 foundations operate here;
- there are approximately 400 leasing companies and more than 50 International Commodity Trading Companies;
- more than 2,000 students from the University of Malaysia, the Labuan Campus, will finish studies and will enter the market, providing a valuable resource for selecting valuable, talented workers.