Malaysia is a great destination for people who want to relocate for work. It’s also a great place for expats who wanted to start a business. Malaysia is very much open to business, and business from foreigners as well.

Still, there are some things that you should know before you jump head-first. There are some regulations you’ll have to abide by, and you’ll need to get familiar with the business climate and culture in the country before you go. Here are a few things to consider before starting a small business in Malaysia.

Find the Right Place to Stay

You first need to get stationed before you can start a business in Malaysia, so the first thing we would suggest you do is to look at a few areas in the country and find the ones that would be the best for you as an entrepreneur.

The Malaysian government is working hard to turn Malaysia into a destination for tech entrepreneurs, and if that’s your sector, we suggest you check out areas like Cyberjaya. The city aims to be the Silicon Valley of Malaysia and you’ll have the chance to find many like-minded entrepreneurs there as well as a great pool of talent.

If this piques your interest, you can check out a house for rent in Cyberjaya on a site like Property Guru. They have some of the best listings you can find for the area, and you’ll find all the information you need in one place. You can find the best units based on your budget, location, and size, so you should be able to find a perfect place for you there in no time.

Have a Business Plan

Having a business plan is essential for anyone starting a business, but especially in a foreign country. So, you will need to build a solid plan if you want to get a chance at financing and attracting investors.

You also have to check the state of your finances. You need to consider how you’re going to fund your business and have a budget. There are many costs associated with starting a business, but we would suggest that you start with a marketing budget first. Lenders are more likely to give you money for things like advertising and having a clear idea of what you’ll need will make things easier for you.

Knowing the Steps to Start a Business

There are many types of business entities you can choose from when starting a business in Malaysia. However, only a few of them can be used by foreigners.

For instance, you can’t start a business as a sole proprietor unless you’re a permanent resident. Foreigners will usually opt for a foreign-owned company or a locally incorporated company. In addition, you can also register your business as a Labuan company, a private limited company, or a representative office.

Next, you will have to find a good name for your business. We would suggest you consult with people who know the culture so you can find a name that will resonate with domestic clients. You will need to file a request of availability and pay a small fee of RM30.00 for each name registered.

If you incorporate, there are many documents that you’ll have to prepare, such as a declaration of compliance, the company name letter of approval, articles and memorandum of association/ constitution, and an identity card copy for every director in your company. Registration fees are RM1.000 and you’ll get your certification about an hour after your payment.

Understanding Malaysia Business Culture

It’s also essential that you get familiar with the business culture in the country. First of all, this is a very hierarchical society, and that applies to business as well. This can be seen in everything from the decision-making process to where people sit in meetings.

Decision-making is a very serious affair in Malaysia, and everyone present at a meeting will be asked for their opinion before a decision is made. You should also know that business people like to know people at a personal level before they do business with them. So, you have to take that into consideration during your first meetings. It’s all about honesty, loyalty, and building a genuine connection at that point, so you will need to work on your interpersonal skills and be more open if you tend to be reserved.

You should also know that there is a strong business card culture in the country. People will expect you to give your business card to them at the first meeting. It should be done with reverence as it will show your respect as a foreigner to your local counterparts.

These are all things you’ll need to prepare for if you decide to start a small business in Malaysia. This should help you with the basics and start to plan for your journey.