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Guide to starting your own business in Malaysia

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

In order to start your own company, there are protocols and requirements that are needed for you to legally set up a company in Malaysia. In effort to assist in young entrepreneurs and startup companies, here are some of the things that you have to take note before you decides to register a company.

1. Get a place

This is the essential part of starting a business. This is because for a business to start, a business address is needed regardless of what kind of business you are operating (Besides simple freelance e-commerce).

In addition to that, for you to get business related document such as invoices, suppliers would require your company name, contact number, person in charge and your company address.

Getting a place for address is the first step of the journey of creating your business. Walk through the remaining of the article and you will know why.

2. get a secretary

Getting a secretary is mandatory or a must for a business to operate in the eyes of the Malaysian government. We often see in movies that big companies have their own secretary that could handle all the government related issues, this is possible if you have enough funding to hire a certified secretary all for yourself, which requires a high salary, since Malaysia require a secretary to have certified government license to carry out the work.

Which is why there are secretary service out in the market where they provide specialised service in handling government related documents.

To know why, secretary who handles government related documents would need to know the law in terms of business operation, such as Section 14 or Section 49. These documents are required for the rest of the business setup procedures.

3. Create a business bank account

To create a bank account for business, you would require documents such as Section 14 mentioned above, which is a document from the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) that approves the incorporation of companies.

Different banks have different requirements for the minimum starting balance for new business bank account (also must take into consideration of the type of incorporation), which means to setup a bank current account for businesses, you would need a certain required amount of money to be deposited into the account.

4. Register for business license

Business license is the license for you to operate your business. To obtain the license for your business, you would need to send in application to the city council (Majliis Bandaraya) to be approved before you can start the operation.

Side note: Starting a business is not an easy task so make sure you are familiar with the following:

1. Accounts

Even though you might not be handling this particular task, but it is always good to have an idea of how all the documents works and what’s their purpose, such as: Invoice, Delivery Order (DO), Purchase Order (PO), Payment Voucher (PV) and others.

2. Marketing

Marketing skills are important because it is how you bring in your customer. Be it social media posting or storefront and interior designs, those are all part of the marketing element that could increase your presentation and hence your sales.

3. Critical Thinking

When it comes to starting up a business, decision making is always one of the key aspect that could affect your business, especially when your business is just starting out.

4. Personal Soft skills

I believe everyone would be interested when an article shows “top 5 soft skills you must equip” or something similar. It is true because every skill you have, it would be beneficial in your business operation regardless of what industry are you in. Therefore, always be keen to improve your skills, such as sales, body language reading or language fluency.

5. Government Policy

Government bodies plays a big part in every business. It is important to understand all the policies that your country has, such as taxes, Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Social Security Organization (SOCSO/ PERKESO) and others.

Nonetheless, when a business is starting out, you should always be humble, keen to learn and never be too shy to ask, as the saying goes: "He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remain a fool forever."

Check out Quarters Coworking Space to see their offerings in helping SMEs and entrepreneurs to cut down their monthly overhead costs.

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