A general overview to the Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) License along with a checklist of the documents you will need for WRT license application.
WHAT IS A WRT LICENSE?
A Wholesale Retail Trade (WRT) license a business license applicable to foreign-owned company intending to engage in distributive trade services in Malaysia. A foreign-owned company is a company with more than 50% of its total shares owned by non-Malaysians.
Approval for the WRT license is awarded by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) or the Kementrian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna (KPDNHEP).
Distributive trade comprises of all linkage activities that channel goods and services down the supply chain to intermediaries for resale or to final buyers. These linkages may be real physical processes, in person or electronic transactions, either direct or indirect within the supply chain. In short, it covers a pretty wide scope of trade.
WRT licenses are generally awarded to 4 main categories of distributive trades in Malaysia, namely:
- Retail, Trading (Import and Export), Distributive Trade;
- Franchise; and
- Services and Consultancy.
PURPOSE OF WRT LICENSES
The WRT license issuance is purposed to:
- Ensure an orderly and fair development of the industry, while ensuring the growth of local businesses;
- Encourage the modernization and increase the efficiency of the industry and its continued contribution to the growth of the economy; and
- Regulate foreign participation in the distributive trade sector in Malaysia.
STANDARD REQUIREMENTS FOR WRT LICENSES
As with all licenses, some standard requirements apply to applicants. The applicant company is required to have been set up in accordance to the Companies Act 2016 and have a minimum paid up capital of RM1 million.
The additional requirements below are applicable to applicants intending to operate a restaurant:
- Restaurant size must be at least 1000 to 1500 square feet;
- Restaurant must be air-conditioned;
- The menu must be unique and specialized;
- Decor for the restaurant must be in line with menu items;
- Restaurant must be clean and tidy;
- Location of the restaurant will be taken into consideration.
GENERAL DOCUMENT CHECKLIST FOR WRT LICENSE APPLICATION
- A completed Form WRT 1 application form;
- Company Profile or Business Plan;
- A copy of Section 58 form, i.e. a form for the notification of change in the register of directors, managers and secretaries;
- A stamped copy of Section 32A form, if there is any change in directors or a transfer of shares;
- A copy of registration confirmation letter from the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB)/Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN).
Non-Mandatory Documents (unless applicable):
- A copy of relevant and valid license(s) issued by the local authority;
- A stamped copy of the tenancy agreement or sale and purchase agreement of the business premise;
- Copies of audited financial statements for the latest five (5) consecutive years;
- A copy of license(s) or approval letter(s) issued by any ministry, agency or department related to the business;
- A copy of custom clearance document, bill of lading, airway bill, delivery orders, purchase orders or sales invoices for the latest 3 months.
Additional Documents – Restaurants
- A copy of the restaurant menu;
- A copy of document certifying:
- the chef’s or employee’s academic or professional qualification;
- the chef’s or employee’s experience in the food and beverage industry (minimum of 3 years); or
- That the company has previously operated a restaurant in its country of origin or other countries.
- Photos documenting the business premise(s) and the restaurant’s products.
Foreign distributive traders are required to have an approved WRT license prior to the application for a Malaysian work visa and the application for a local authority license to operate any relevant businesses.