MSC Malaysia for Startups allows companies to open offices anywhere

MSC GETS FLEXIBLE: MDeC wants to expand the MSC Malaysia benefits to as many companies as possible.

The whole country has effectively become a “cyber centre” in the eyes of the MSC Malaysia. Companies applying for MSC status under the MSC Malaysia for Startups programme will no longer be required to operate in the 39 designated cyber cities and cyber centres.

The initiative will speed up local startups obtaining MSC Malaysia status, said Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) chief executive officer.

However, under the programme the tax exception has been reduced from 100% to 70%, which the companies will enjoy for five years. This policy change only applies to companies that attain MSC Malaysia status from this year onward.

Also, to make it easier to hire, companies will be allowed to employ up to 20 foreign knowledge workers in key positions.

“MSC Malaysia status companies will also benefit from the MSC Malaysia Community ecosystem,” said Yasmin.

“Benefits include networking opportunities to further business objectives and partnerships, capability building programmes to enhance competitive edge, and market access programmes to assist companies to compete globally."

The effort is supported by the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), the government agency entrusted to develop Malaysia’s startup ecosystem.

“When MaGIC had its first entrepreneur’s dialogue in 2014, the MSC status location requirement was one of the issues raised by startups. This latest development and the additional benefits it offers will definitely boost and increase the number of MSC Malaysia status startups and help drive the setup of foreign companies here in Malaysia,” said Cheryl Yeoh, MaGIC chief executive officer.

Ng Wan Peng, chief operating officer of MDeC said, “ We want to expand the MSC Malaysia benefits to as many companies as possible.”

MSC Malaysia designated several areas as cyber cities and cyber centres in 1996, including Cyberjaya, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Technology Park Malaysia, KL Tower, and Universiti Putra Malaysia-Malaysian Technology Development Corporation.

In 2005, MSC Malaysia expanded its footprint to other states like Penang, Kedah, Melaka, Johor, Perak and Pahang.

There are currently 2,700 active MSC Malaysia companies with annual revenues ranging from RM1mil to RM100mil.

The MSC Malaysia for Startups was also realised with the support of other startups ecosystem players such as, the New Entrepreneurship Foundation (MyNEF), Cradle, Cyberview, National Incubator Network Association (NINA), 500 Startups, Technopreneur Association of Malaysia (TeAM) and Founder Institute (FI).
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