How much you need to start a business in Malaysia?

Starting a business in Malaysia can be relatively affordable, but the exact amount you need depends on several factors such as the type of business, location, and scale of operations. Here’s a breakdown of the typical costs you might incur when starting a business in Malaysia:

1. Business Registration and Licensing Costs

  • Company Incorporation: Incorporating a Private Limited Company (Sdn. Bhd.) usually costs between RM 1,000 to RM 3,000, including government fees and professional services (e.g., company secretary fees).
  • Business Name Registration: The fee for name search and registration with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) is around RM 50 to RM 150.
  • Licenses and Permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need additional licenses or permits, which can cost anywhere from RM 200 to RM 5,000.

2. Office Space

  • Rental Costs: Office rental prices vary significantly based on location. In Kuala Lumpur, you might pay around RM 1,000 to RM 3,000 per month for a small office in a shared workspace or co-working space. Traditional office spaces in prime locations can cost RM 4,000 and above per month.
  • Home-Based Business: If you’re starting small, you might be able to work from home, reducing your overhead costs significantly.

3. Equipment and Supplies

  • Basic Office Equipment: Setting up an office with basic equipment (computers, printers, furniture) can cost around RM 5,000 to RM 20,000.
  • Industry-Specific Equipment: Costs will vary depending on your business needs. For example, a café might need to invest RM 50,000 to RM 100,000 in kitchen equipment and furnishings.

4. Staffing Costs

  • Salaries: The average monthly salary for entry-level employees ranges from RM 2,000 to RM 4,000. Highly skilled professionals may command higher salaries, starting from RM 5,000 upwards.
  • Other Employee Costs: Consider additional costs such as EPF (Employee Provident Fund), SOCSO (Social Security Organization), and other benefits, which typically add around 20% to 30% on top of the basic salary.

5. Marketing and Promotion

  • Initial Marketing Budget: A modest initial marketing budget for digital marketing, including website development, social media marketing, and online ads, can range from RM 5,000 to RM 20,000.
  • Traditional Marketing: Costs for traditional marketing methods like flyers, banners, and local advertising can vary widely but might start at RM 2,000 to RM 10,000.

6. Working Capital

  • Operational Expenses: It’s advisable to have enough working capital to cover at least 6 months of operational expenses. This includes rent, salaries, utilities, and other recurring costs. Depending on the scale of your business, this might range from RM 20,000 to RM 100,000.

Estimated Total Initial Cost

Based on the factors above, the estimated initial cost to start a small to medium-sized business in Malaysia might range from RM 50,000 to RM 150,000. Here’s a rough breakdown:

  • Company Incorporation and Licensing: RM 1,500 - RM 8,000
  • Office Space: RM 12,000 - RM 36,000 (for 12 months)
  • Equipment and Supplies: RM 5,000 - RM 50,000
  • Staffing Costs: RM 24,000 - RM 60,000 (for 6 months)
  • Marketing and Promotion: RM 5,000 - RM 20,000
  • Working Capital: RM 20,000 - RM 100,000


The cost to start a business in Malaysia can vary greatly depending on your business type, scale, and location. While it's possible to start a small business with as little as RM 50,000, having more capital can provide a buffer for unexpected expenses and facilitate smoother operations. Careful planning and budgeting are crucial to ensure you have adequate funds to cover initial and ongoing expenses.

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