Starting your own business is one of the most satisfying and exciting things you can do for yourself.
That’s why, our experts put their heads together and came up with 25 business ideas of the best business in Malaysia that’ll boost your finances and make you feel safe and confident.
Here’s what we’re going to talk about: small business in Malaysia
- What kind of new businesses are trending right now
- A short introduction on each
- Pros and cons of getting started for each niche
And because time’s money, let’s crush this right away!
You may be interested in: The Importance of Operations Management To Your Business Strategy
25 Profitable & Best Business In Malaysia You Can Start Today!
Starting your own business is going to be one of the most thrilling yet significant things you can do for yourself.
And we have some good news about it too – statistics show that 45% of consumers said they were more likely to shop at a small business. 
Anyhow, you’ll have to understand right from the start that things won’t always be pink and fluffy for your business.
So, you’ll need to fall in love with the whole journey before anything else – even money.
When things are hard, you’ll have your passion and dedication that will keep you going. And choosing a niche that you’re good at and you enjoy working on is a good start!
So let’s see a complete list of SMEs in Malaysia, their niches, and what type of business in Malaysia is the right fit for you!
Sometimes, you can’t come with an original small business idea no matter how hard you try. And that’s ok. But here’s a crazy solution – instead of coming up with the next, amazing idea, you can help other businesses be stronger and more popular.
As a marketing expert, you’ll have to know (among other things) how to boost your customers’ visibility on social media or drive more traffic to certain websites.
|You get to choose your niche.||You have to learn constantly.|
|You gain influence.||You need to be patient – results don’t happen overnight.|
|You’re always up-to-date with the latest trends.|
If you decide that showing people incredible places and offering unforgettable experiences is something you’d enjoy doing, tourism is for you!
According to official government websites, tourism is the third-largest contributor to Malaysia’s GDP.  After all, Malaysia is a tourist country as one of the topmost visited countries in the world for scuba diving and snorkeling.
|You connect with a lot of local businesses.||You always have to be punctual, knowledgeable, and active.|
|You’ll know all the good, budget-friendly, and beautiful places.||There is not much activity during the off-season.|
|You can earn substantial rewards proportionally with customer satisfaction.|
E-commerce sales are expected to increase with 21% of all retail market. And one thing is sure – the Internet is always going to be around.
E-commerce is one of the brightest and best small business ideas in Malaysia. All you need is a license you can register to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
For more information, here’s a guide to start an e-commerce business.
|An Ecommerce store is cheaper than a physical shop.||Your customers can find cheaper options for your products easily on similar ecommerce store options.|
|An e-commerce website has in-built analytics that gives you accurate customer insights.||You need to invest in high security for your own website.|
|You can ship worldwide.|
Starting your smartphone and PC repairing small company might be the most profitable business in Malaysia. If you dedicate enough time to your career and improve your technical skills, you’ll make quite a lot of money online or offline!
Mobile phone accessories business is another popular but highly competitive business that you can consider. This one doesn’t require as much technical skills!
|You decide who you work with.||You need to be available constantly.|
|High rate of loyal customers.||You need to invest in high-quality equipment.|
|You’re in control of your workload.|
Another best business to do in Malaysia is the oil & gas trade. And the best part is that you need only a couple of thousand RM (Malaysian Ringgit) if you want to become a retailer for kerosene or natural gas.
|Oil is a reliable and cheap power source.||You’re dependent on other countries.|
|The extraction process is more straightforward than other natural resources.||Oil is a finite resource and that means it’ll run out one day.|
|Huge revenue with low investment leaves tremendous benefits.|
The truth is that people and corporates will always need business professionals. So no matter what you’re good at, it can become an online business opportunity in Malaysia.
For example, you can choose from:
- Software engineer
- SEM services
|It makes you feel empowered.||You don’t always get to choose who you’re working with.|
|You boost your confidence and skills.||The pressure to be the best in your field can be high.|
|High salary based on competencies.|
Another wonderful business opportunity in Malaysia is working in the line of real estate business. The government made buying houses easier than before so there are a lot of investment business opportunities in Malaysia.
Besides, investing in the real estate market is a good safety net against inflation.
|You choose your working hours.||You might end up working more than you wanted.|
|You can network easily.||Dealing with difficult clients might be stressful.|
|Your income is based on performance, so you can earn quite a lot of money.|
If you’re not ready to commit to a full-time work schedule, affiliate marketing is one of the best business opportunities in Malaysia. You get the chance to earn passive income while working at your regular job.
If you want to learn more about this topic, our specialists came up with 2 useful guides:
|It’s a low-cost and low-investment business idea.||Affiliate marketers have no control over your competition.|
|It’s flexible and convenient.||You’re paid for performance only.|
|It’s a good source of passive income.|
Another good small business idea in Malaysia is laundromat services and it has a 95% success rate. 
To maximize your chances of success, you can rent or buy a place near residential areas such as:
- Busy streets
- Student housing
- Business centers or malls
|No franchise fees.||You might deal with difficult clients that break your equipment.|
|You don’t need to hire many employers.||Bills can get higher (electricity, water, rent).|
|It’s a versatile business so you have chances of expansion quickly.|
Microfinance offers financial and business opportunities to poor members of society who don’t have access to traditional banking.
In Malaysia, you have 3 main microfinance institutions:
- Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM)
- Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (TEKUN)
- Yayasan Usaha Maju (YUM)
|You help other small businesses.||Some loans can have interest up to 30%.|
|You can offer better loan repayment rates.||Outreach costs can be quite high.|
|You help other people meet their financial needs.|
Another business in Malaysia that looks promising is construction. Just think about it – if someone needs a roof over their head, someone else has to build it. So there will always be something to build up – new residential apartments and houses, malls, offices, or buildings.
|You can turn down jobs that are not paying enough money.||Larger construction may be able to bid lower prices.|
|You have a positive impact on the community.||Building a strong reputation might take some time.|
|You create a safer environment for everyone.|
TikTok and Instagram Reels are a good, easy way to boost your social media posts engagement and gain new followers. Combine this with a customer-driven marketing strategy, and you’re already on the right track.
|You work with cool brands.||You don’t have too much privacy because you have to post daily.|
|It gives you a sense of independence.||Job stability is not guaranteed.|
|You receive a lot of gifts and freebies.|
Another top business in Malaysia is related to the FnB industry – the restaurant business. If you choose to open a new ethnic restaurant, you’ll have a lot of curious customers that will come to try your dishes.
If you open a coffee shop, opting for a minimalist style with a lot of plants can turn it into one of the most Instagrammable places in your area.
|You have access to a lot of delicacies.||Dealing with difficult and ungrateful customers is a regular part of the restaurant business.|
|You meet a lot of fun and interesting people.||You might not have a lot of free time.|
|You choose to work with people you want.|
Conventionally offline businesses are seeing themselves drawn and acclimating to a new digital world – the most prominent ones are the coaching and consulting lines of work!
Starting an online business as a coach is another way of starting a business in Malaysia that brings fulfillment and joy. You can make an account on Upwork, Fiverr, or join a Facebook group where you can promote your services.
|You make your work schedule.||Even if you happen to have bad moments, you can’t let your clients see that.|
|You help a lot of people achieve their dreams.||You need to come up with specific strategies for every person.|
|You can coach people from all over the world.|
Among other attractive business ideas in Malaysia, graphic design is another cool opportunity.
To be successful, a business needs:
- a nice and functioning website
- an attractive logo
- high-quality products and services.
And a graphic designer can do 2 out of 3 things listed here – that’s how useful this business idea opportunity is!
|You are up-to-date with the latest technologies.||You might have a lot of deadlines.|
|You can juggle more projects at the same time.||Some clients won’t give you enough room for creativity.|
|You can work remotely.|
A virtual assistant can be an office manager or an administrative assistant. Your business can skyrocket if you know social media, branding vs. marketing, content management, or blog post writing.
|Low start-up costs.||You’ll have to find clients constantly.|
|You have a flexible schedule.||Balancing work and personal life might be hard.|
|You can ditch bad clients if you don’t enjoy working with them.|
Another small business in Malaysia that can work wonders for your financial business purposes is photography.
You might think that this industry is oversaturated, but the truth is that not everyone can take good photos. People will always search for professionals that will capture those special moments in their life.
|You can get as creative as you want.||Investing in good equipment might be pricey.|
|You meet new people and hear interesting life stories.||You need to build a reputation so you can have a constant flow of clients.|
|You can find many travel business opportunities.|
Videos are more attractive and popular than photos, and that’s why many people are choosing YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram Reels to promote their content.
You don’t have business ideas for your videos? Associate with someone that makes the content while you edit it. Those intriguing and original editing details can make or break a viral video.
Other small business ideas: 34 TikTok Small Businesses Ideas & TikTok Compilations To Blow Up On TikTok
|You make brands look cool.||Editing can become a repetitive job.|
|Learning to edit is quite easy.||It’s more of a side hustle than a career.|
|You network with a lot of interesting people.|
Instead of leaving their kids alone, many parents choose to let their children in a safe environment at a daycare center. So, another interesting business plan Malaysia might offer is the opportunity of opening a child daycare center.
|You can form meaningful bonds with the children and families in your care.||High extra costs (staff salaries, rent, utilities, equipment, toys).|
|You can qualify for grants.||You need to clean a lot.|
|You can plan fun activities with the children.|
Building websites for brands to boost their visibility on the Internet might be another most profitable business in Malaysia.
While it’s relatively easy to do it, if you’re a beginner you might experience a lot of problems at first. If that’s your case, our digital marketing agency Malaysia experts can help in website development with any question you might have
|You don’t need coding skills.||You can end up working long hours developing new business ideas for clients.|
|You earn a competitive salary.||You need to find clients constantly.|
|You are not restricted to one specific industry.|
If you ever wondered “What business should I start in Malaysia” and the next thing you see a well-dressed person right in front of you – that might just be the sign for you to start a fashion business!
It doesn’t matter if you’re not a country’s local fashion connoisseur – just keep an eye on the international and local trends and you’ll know what to buy.
|If you fail in one season, you can recover your losses with the next collection.||People are bound to judge your product and service online.|
|Cash flow in a fashion business is easy to control.||High staff turnover rate.|
|You can use your clients’ posts to promote your local fashion products so marketing is easy.|
Life coaching is another best business in Malaysia you can try. Creating the best kind of life that you’re in love with needs a lot of patience and skill. Thus, people will always be happy to pay someone to teach them how to find life’s sweet spots.
|It’s easy to set up.||You need high integrity.|
|You are your own boss – you can decide to work from home.||Maintaining boundaries can be difficult.|
|You have high-income potential.|
Another simple, yet great idea to boost your finances is to become a beauty product agent. The best part is that you don’t need a lot of Chemistry knowledge or something similar to be successful.
This industry is all about how the product looks, smells, and how well it works on your customer’s skin!
|You get to test a lot of freebies.||You don’t have a steady income.|
|People will see you as a role model.||You need to build your reputation before making great sales.|
|You help people become more confident with themselves.|
Udemy, Skillshare, Domestika are just a few places where you can publish your online business courses. To boost your engagement rate on these online platforms, you can give your audience homework and encourage them to publish it in the comment section
|People will see you as a high-authority voice in your domain.||You need an audience first.|
|It’s a great source of passive income.||Other people might steal your work.|
|If you’re knowledgeable, selling your courses at a premium price is not completely out of question.|
If you decide to become a content writer, you’ll have to know a little bit of everything, but the good news is that you can make money with SEO.
Inexperienced but wanting to learn more? Our digital online marketing Malaysia experts have a few guides to help you out:
- What are the 6 types of SEO content writing
- How to write an attractive link bait
- How to write clear and engaging CTAs for Google display ads
|You set your rate.||Work is not always consistent.|
|You can specialize in more than one niche.||Work-life balance may suffer.|
|Market demand is relatively high and you can work remotely.|
Frequently Asked Questions on Best Business in Malaysia To Help You Get Started
Our digital marketing Malaysia experts prepared a list with useful and popular FAQs about opening or buying a business for sale in Malaysia. Check them out!
Malaysia as a business hub has skilled labor, good infrastructure, and one of the most vibrant economies in Southeast Asia. Malaysia top business combine these advantages with political stability and industrial growth, and almost any small business can thrive in these conditions.
This article talked about 25 different business ideas as well as the pros and cons of working in each industry. The truth is that if you’re skilled and passionate about what you’re doing, you can make it big in any of these fields.
First of all, you’ll need to do some market research. See what something useful is missing from your area, ask the locals, and do some competitor research. After that, check all the legal requirements, the taxes you need to pay, and all the certificates you need to acquire. Always check your information from credible sources and don’t try to outsmart the system.
4. Can a foreigner own a business in Malaysia?
If you decide to start a business in Malaysia, you should follow similar steps as in your county: do some competitor research, come up with a 5-year business plan, ask the locals and do some market research. However, keep in mind to double-check all the legal requirements from reliable sources.
Opening online businesses or a small business in Malaysia can be a great source of passive income. Who knows – it might just be the unexpected change you need in your life to make it more thrilling!
To gain better insights into what it means to be a marketer, you can check our website out or any other relevant post on our blog that suits your needs!
If you have any questions about any niche presented in the article, you can always reach out to us and talk about it. After all, we’re one of the leading agencies in Malaysia when it comes to:
- Professional services
- Graphic design
- Website Design & development
- Online business consulting (Free SEO consultation)
- Social media marketing
- Online & digital marketing
Here at One Search Pro, we’re a dedicated online marketing agency that’s ready to make your business stand out from the crowd. All you have to do is contact us and talk about your business – our experts will take care of the rest!