What Business Can I Start in MY

Malaysia is a great place for an entrepreneur to begin a new venture. The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2018 ranked Malaysia as on of the top place on its list. This shows that Malaysia is not a difficult place to do business at all. The only thing is, it could be challenging without the proper guidance to help you through the process. Malaysia is a bustling and vibrant commercial hub in Asia. With no shortage of opportunities, a savvy entrepreneur can thrive with the right business. 


Are There Any Restrictions on Foreigners Setting Up a Business in Malaysia?

While foreigners have several possible options to consider in terms of businesses in Malaysia, the government does impose some restrictions on the types of industries a foreigner can be involved in. Before lodging your registration documents, it is a good idea to research and check the SSM’s website to see if your business activities are eligible. Paul Hype Page can assist you with this if we handle your company registration process.

Unlike many other countries, foreigners are allowed 100% ownership of the business in major industries in Malaysia. The only exclusions are the strategic sectors of national interest. A foreign investor could also consider a joint venture with a local Malaysian partner. A joint venture can help to lower the business entry requirements. This is if the local partner owns more than 51% of the shares.   

While foreigners are allowed 100% ownership of a business, there are some specific sector regulations to be observed. These regulations could potentially impose some restriction on the amount of equity a foreigner can own. These regulations may also require a higher paid-up capital, prior regulatory approval or specific approvals such as permits, registrations or licenses.  

Thinking of incorporating in Malaysia? Let’s get started.

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Liberalising Certain Services to Attract More Investment

The Malaysian government liberalised certain service sectors in April 2009. This was done with the aim of attracting more foreign investment into the country. The government recognised that there was potential for growth in these sectors, and targeted to strengthen competitiveness and bring in more technology. In 2009, the government instantly liberalised 27 service subsectors. The liberalised areas included business, computer related services, health, social services, tourism and transport. These sectors had no equity conditions imposed on them.  

In 2011, the government liberalised another 7 broad service sectors. These sectors consisted of 18 subsectors, all of which would allow 100% foreign equity participation by the foreign investor in phases. These subsectors included professional services (accounting, taxation legal, engineering, quantity surveying), telecommunications, healthcare, courier services, environmental services, education services and distributive trade services.  

Foreigners have the option of starting a small business too. Ultimately, no matter what business sector you choose, you need to ask yourself one question – is it viable? Is this business something you’re passionate enough about to make it a success? You also should associate yourself with Malaysia’s culture beforehand too. Malaysia is going to be unlike anything you’re used to, and taking the time to get to know the locals, explore and travel the country could open new possibilities. It may even help you decide which business sector would be the best fit for you.