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How To Start an Online Business In Malaysia

Step 1: Prepare a Simple Business Plan

Like any business, you’ll need a plan. Prepare your Plan based on the “Components of a Business Plan: Step-By-Step Guidance” as discussed in the earlier part of this Chapter.

Step 2: Register your Business

To start a “legal and valid” online business in Malaysia, you will first need to register your business with SSM (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia).

"All online traders who carry out businesses via marketplace or e-commerce companies must register with SSM by end of December 2017. SSM will give a 30-day period for the traders to register after their businesses on the e-commerce platform become profitable. Traders who fail to register their businesses will be dropped from the online platform. Actions will be also taken under the Registration of Businesses Act 1956 on traders who did not register and if convicted, may face a two-year jail term or fine of RM50,000, or both."

YBhg. Datuk Zahrah Abd
Wahab Fenner
29 May 2017

Step 3: Decide on the ways to start selling online

There are 3 options:

(A) Sell on online marketplaces like Lazada, 11Street or Shopee
  • Online marketplaces are places where sellers can put their products or services up for sale. Decide on the ways to start selling online
  • You do not need to create your own e-commerce website or undertake marketing.
  • This is the best options for those with a limited budget.

(B) Create your own e-commerce website to sell your products
  • You can create your own e-commerce website but it can be an expensive option if you do not have an internal capacity.
  • You will also need to invest financially in marketing your brand.
(C) Create a social media account on Instagram or Facebook to sell your products
  • If you are low on budget and can’t build an e-commerce website or not interested in selling on marketplaces, you can look into the option of selling on social media.
  • The good news is that 33% of Malaysians buy on social media. This means that even if you do not have an e-commerce website, you can still make money by selling on Facebook or Instagram.
  • This process of selling through social media is known as social commerce.
The above is correct on 13th February 2018.

Source: StartMeUp - Business Toolkit for Startups

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