Things to Know When Starting a Small Business in Malaysia

Things to Know When Starting a Small Business in Malaysia

Strategic location, competitive market, and a lot of opportunities. These three words is how you sum up the business environment in Malaysia. Anyone thinking of starting a business in Malaysia has the right idea, and if you are thinking the same, you could be up for something special. As someone just starting, a small business is what you could take first, and then you could work your way up, to be one of the most successful companies in Malaysia. Anyway, your legs will need to have a good hold of the ground before you take off, and here, we talk about everything you need to know when starting a small business in Malaysia.

The Business Core

First, let us start with this. The business core. Before starting a business in a market like in Malaysia, you will need to have a great idea and review it as much as you can before moving any further. Well, yes, there are opportunities, but at the same time, the market remains somewhere an entity could easily fail without the right initiative. So, start a business in the field you belong to. Analyze the market, its needs and also your potential competitors and overtake them, providing a product or a service which helps solve people’s problem in a way unique from everything else. Also, take your time to devise the right business strategies and keep on checking the numbers frequently. And don’t forget to make necessary changes in your business to keep up with the changing market.

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Not to forget, always have aims, short-term goals and long-term. Whatever you do with your business, try to reach to them and keep on working hard.

A business is a lot more than you buying stuff for less and selling it for more; you will need to remember this before starting a small business in Malaysia.

Registering A Small business In Malaysia

Now that this was the business core, now let’s talk about registering a small business in Malaysia.

Business type

While registering a business in Malaysia, you have an option of three different categories. A Sole Proprietorship, a partnership or a Sendirian Berhad (Private Limited Company). As you are planning to start a small business, it would be more convenient for you to go for the first two options. However, if you are a foreigner planning to start a business in Malaysia, your only available choice is a private limited company.

Things to Know When Starting a Small Business in MalaysiaThings Needed

Let’s start the section with this table.

Business Type

Registration Fees Average Duration Maximum Owners


Sole Proprietor RM100+ 1 hour 1 A Malaysian Citizen or a Permanent Resident. Should be at least 18 years old.
Partnership RM100+ 1 hour 2 to 20 A Malaysian Citizen or a Permanent Resident. Should be at least 18 years old.
Private Limited RM1,160+ 1 day or more At least one shareholder and a Director A Malaysian Citizen or a Permanent Resident. Should be at least 18 years old.


Remember that only an owner is allowed to apply for registration. To validate the information, all you need is a photocopy of your business identification card.

Where to Apply

You register your business with the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM). Depending on the state that you are living, you might want to look for the nearest SSM branch. Or you could also register your business online through SSM e-info, but this option will have a longer waiting time.

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You will also need to fill a Business Name approval form and a registration form, and when done, you will be issued a company registration certificate.

Comply With the Law

Don’t forget this, you might be starting a small business in Malaysia, but it still needs to follow the rules as every big enterprise do. Start with this, register your business, otherwise you might be in for a fine up to RM 50,000 or even a jail time of maximum two years. It is apparent that you can’t be doing anything illegal with your business and don’t forget to get all the necessary licenses.

Well, this was it for starting a small business in Malaysia. I hope this article will help you.