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What is an Annual Return and How to File it?

After registering and incorporating your company in Malaysia, you will have to take care of several aspects of the business to ensure you are in complete compliance with the legal rules and regulations. One such requirement is filing annual returns, one of the most critical legal needs in Malaysia.

If you are not familiar with annual returns and how to file them, you have come to the right place. As in this article, you will get all of the essential information about it.

1. What is an Annual Return?

The Companies Commission of Malaysia makes it compulsory for every company in Malaysia to file an annual return. Generally, it is the responsibility of the company secretary to file an annual return. An annual return means the summary of your company’s profile that contains all of the important information about your business. Such information includes business address, office address, primary business activities, and general information about the directors and shareholders.


Malaysian law mandates organizations that offer various types of services to file their annual return. If the companies fail to file the annual return, they can face serious legal consequences, such as heavy penalties and even sanctions. Accounting firms in Malaysia help companies to file an annual return to ensure the smooth functioning of the business.


Hiring the services of a professional accounting firm in Malaysia has become necessary in most situations because an annual return is not a simple income tax return. In fact, it has different requirements and registration steps for various types of corporate entities. With the help of a competent and qualified company secretary and accounting firm, you will be able to streamline the process of filing the annual return.

2. When to File the Annual Return?

The Companies Act 2016 that has been enforced since January 2017, has separated the requirement of submitting financial statements from the submission of annual returns. Section 259 of the Companies Act 2016 makes it clear that the companies in Malaysia have to submit the financial statements and reports within 30 days from the anniversary of the incorporation date of the company.

On the other hand, section 68 of the Companies Act 2016 makes it mandatory for Malaysian companies to lodge their annual return with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) every year within a month from the anniversary of the incorporation date of the company. Therefore, the submission of the annual return is directly associated with the company’s incorporation date.

If you have hired a professional and competent company secretary, you should have no issue in following these deadlines because typically, it is the responsibility of the company secretary to file an annual return and make sure the company is in compliance with any other legal rules and regulations.
discussing about business reports

3. What is included in the Annual Return?

Under the Companies Act 2016, organizations in Malaysia have to submit the following things with their annual return:

  • Name, registration number, and registered office address of the company.
  • Type of company.
  • If the official records of the company are not kept at the registered address, then the other address must be provided.
  • Comprehensive details about all of the company directors, managers, shareholders, and secretaries.
  • Details about the shares held by particular company shareholders.
  • The entire process is digitalized, so companies can easily submit the forms and obtain a declaration from the MyCoID 2016 portal.

4. Penalties

Under section 340 of the Companies Act 2016, only public companies are required to hold the Annual General Meeting (AGM). On the other hand, it is no longer compulsory for Sdn Bhd to hold AGM each year. All of the company decisions can be made via circular resolutions without holding a physical meeting.

The Companies Act 2016 has greatly increased sanctions and penalties. If the company directors breach the Act, they can face up to 5 years of prison time or a fine of RM3 million or both.

5. Where to File an Annual Return?

Once all of the documents are prepared and the final annual return is ready, it has to be signed by a director or company secretary and submitted to the Companies Commission of Malaysia. The Companies Act 2016 states that the companies have to file annual returns within 30 days of the anniversary of the company incorporation date. The Registrar of Companies (ROC) will properly record and store these financial records of the companies in Malaysia.
looking annual performance from a smartphone

In a Nutshell

It is quite evident that filing an annual return is a critical responsibility of any company operating in Malaysia because not complying with this legal requirement can result in heavy penalties for the entire organization.

Therefore, it is highly important that you follow the procedures and deadlines discussed above to make sure you do not run into any kind of legal trouble and can run your business smoothly and efficiently.

For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.