With the advent of the Internet, entrepreneurship in Malaysia has been steadily on the rise – to the extent that some don’t even know, but they are already business owners! Take for instance, the onslaught of girls who sell clothes via their blogs, or those who blog and make money from ads or advertorials – are they not entrepreneurs?
Several weeks ago, I accompanied 3 friends who were starting their respective businesses (2 providing IT consulting services, and 1 who sells products via her blog and the lowyat.net forum) to the Registrar of Businesses. They wanted to formalize their business operations and register their respective enterprises. Initially, there were mixed reactions to the process as one of them had tried to do it online, but failed, due to the convoluted process. They also started off with a negative perception towards government departments and their lack of processes!
Anyhow, the three of us trooped over to KL Sentral, as the new headquarters for the Companies Commission of Malaysia (or better known in Malay as Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, SSM) is based there now. We were prepared to spend a few hours in queue, filling in forms, waiting and waiting some more.
Since witnessing it, I thought of sharing with you the step-by-step process on how to set up a sole proprietorship or partnership.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED.
Your identity card, money and a small bit of patience.
Head over to Menara SSM@Sentral (No. 7 Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50623 Kuala Lumpur) and go on up the escalator to the first floor. Other branches nationwide are listed here. It’s a fairly small area with not that many counters, but they are surely efficient!
Get a number, then ask for Form A from Counter 7 or 8. You can download a sample of this form here. Complete your form and wait for the number to be called.
Submit your form and make payment. The fees are RM30 if you are registering a sole proprietorship based on the name as per your Identity Card. If you’d like to register a sole proprietorship or partnership with a name you’ve spent days choosing, then the fees will be RM60. An additional RM10 is charged to get a print-out of the business registration.
* These fees are for registration for a year. Yearly renewal is RM30 and RM60 respectively.
* They seemingly accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards, but don’t count on it. It was not functional when were there.
Now, put that little bit of patience to good use. When they call your name, or new business, confirm that all details are accurate, then, you may leave.
Honestly, the process is amazingly quick. The promise is that the process will not take longer than 1 hour. We were out of there within 45 minutes! How cool is that, considering it’s a government-based operation.
FACTS TO NOTE.
A sole proprietorship is a business enterprise that lists a single person as the owner. You may apply for online banking (Maybank2U) at no extra fees.
A partnership is a business between 2 or more partners. You will have to pay a monthly fee to use online banking services.
Both sole proprietorships and partnerships do not limit your liability to the business alone – if you are sued, you may stand to lose your personal property and belongings. To limit it, a limited liability company is formed (Sdn Bhd) instead, but it comes with a lot more costs and paperwork.
Now that you’ve registered a business, what should you do next?
Well, you should have already checked for domain name availability beforehand. If you haven’t, you can head over to www.integricitytechnology.com to get it registered. Then, you can set up your email and website if necessary.
Learn about accounting and how to keep track of your income and expenses.
Look out for business tools to help you run your business better – interestingly, Microsoft has an entire website dedicated to small and medium business owners. It’s particularly relevant to find out what you can do, since most if not all would have Microsoft products running within our offices.
Here’s a little more about what I’ve found out within this Customer Business Centre portal.
There are many simple-to-understand videos made to help you understand business topics better. My top 3 favourite articles+videos from here are (Presenting Data in Charts, Using Microsoft Office Excel Templates to Manage Financials & Make a Flyer Fast with Microsoft Publisher). My favourite section in the whole portal is the business resources portion – there are lots of interesting and updated articles on practical issues such as, “5 Ways to Keep a Customer Happy”.
Finally, for those of you wanting to learn a bit more about what Microsoft has to offer, there are 2 things you can do – attend FREE informational sessions and evaluate their volume licensing schemes.
I hope this helps you to jump-start your new business and go much further. All the best in your new ventures!