Investment Banking License - Labuan

About Labuan

Labuan has a solid reputation as an offshore financial centre, offering a wide range of financial services to both domestic and foreign clientele. To attract offshore enterprises, such as investment banks and financial institutions, it provides favourable tax advantages, business-friendly rules, and secrecy provisions.

Labuan enables firms with an Investment Banking licence to engage in a variety of investment banking operations. Corporate finance advisory, underwriting, securities trading, debt and equity capital markets, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), project finance, structured finance, and financial research are examples of these services. Depending on the extent of approval and legal constraints, the specific services permitted may vary.

Labuan is an offshore financial centre in Southeast Asia, located off the coast of the state of Sabah in East Malaysia. Labuan, in particular, is an island in the South China Sea, about 10 kilometres off the northwest coast of Borneo. Geographically, it is closer to Brunei, which is located to the north of Labuan.

The population of Labuan is 86,908, according to official population statistics and publicly available information sites.

Malay is the official language of Labuan. Malay is Malaysia’s national language, commonly known as Bahasa Malaysia, and is widely spoken and understood throughout the country, including Labuan. In Labuan, English is frequently used and understood, particularly in business and commercial situations. Many Labuan people are bilingual, speaking both Malay and English. This language diversity reflects Malaysia’s cosmopolitan society as well as the region’s historical influence from British colonisation.

A Labuan company is one that was formed under the 1990 Act, whereas a foreign Labuan company is one that was formed under Part VIII of the 1990 Act, has a place of business in Labuan, and is not registered under the Companies Act 2016.

  1. Low level of taxation
  2. Beneficial owner’s details are not part of public record
  3. Shareholder’s details are not part of public record
  4. Director’s details are not part of public records
  5. No mentioned need to maintain a full time employee in Labuan Office


License: Investment Banking License
Timeframe for Approval: 3 to 4 months
Regulator: Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA)

Company Structure

Local Director: Minimum of two directors (can be only natural persons)
Local Shareholder: Minimum of one shareholder (can be legal entities or natural persons, no nationality restrictions)
Local Registered Office: Required
Local Staff: Required
Compliance Officer: Required
AML/KYC: Required
Audit: Required
Economic Substance: Required
Corporate Tax Rate: 3% of audited net profits for trading activity and zero percent for non-trading activity
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
Minimum Paid-up Capital: No minimum capital requirement
Capital Requirement: Varies
Tax Structure: 0% Tax on Offshore Profits

The steps that follow will be taken in order to receive a Labuan Fund Management Licence.

  1. All necessary documentation and applications must be prepared.
  2. Application for Labuan FSA Approval
  3. Application for firm name reservation
  4. Application and document preparation and submission to the Registry
  5. The incorporation of the business
  6. Account opening at a local bank
  7. The licence application


  1. Corporate Finance Advisory
  2. Underwriting
  3. Securities Trading
  4. Debt Capital Markets
  5. Equity Capital Markets
  6. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
  7. Project Finance
  8. Financial Advisory
  9. Structured Finance
  10. Financial Research

Provide the following papers in order to receive a Fund Management Licence:

  • A certified copy of each Director and Shareholder of the company’s valid passport
  • A recent copy of evidence of address in English (for example, each Director and Shareholder’s utility bill)
  • Letter of Recommendation from a Bank (for each Director and Shareholder)
  • Curriculum Vitae (for each Director and Shareholder)
  • Passport images of the shareholders and directors that are certified accurate likenesses
  • Certified genuine copies of police reports (for each company Director and Shareholder)

If the shareholder is a corporation, the following information must be provided:

  • Registration certificate, certified authentic copy
  • Shareholders’ list
  • A copy of the most recent annual/financial return*
  1. Incorporation of Labuan or comparable offshore corporation
  2. Arrange for local registered officer and local directors, if required
  3. Draft corporate bylaws, minutes and owner share issuances
  4. Establishment of corporate bank account suitable for forex operations
  5. Establishment of merchant service account for accepting credit and debit cards
  6. Draft requisite business plan, financial statements and financial projections
  7. Draft requisite Anti-Money Laundering & Know-Your-Customer policies
  8. Arrange for requisite surety bond
  9. Prepare and process application for Labuan Investment Banking License
  10. Representation before licensing regulatory authority, banks and liquidity providers