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Business Ideas in Malaysia to Start in 2024

Business Ideas in Malaysia to Start in 2024

  • 15 February 2024
  • By OCBC Business Banking
  • 10 mins read

Malaysia's business landscape reveals promising progress and growth in 2024. There are plenty of prospects for astute entrepreneurs in this vibrant sector. Whether you are new to entrepreneurship or a seasoned expert in an online-based company, we will explore business ideas in Malaysia that are expected to be big in the upcoming year in this article.

Why Start a Business in Malaysia

Malaysia has become an ideal destination for investors and individuals looking to start their own businesses. With Malaysia's population of 33.5 million people, it offers great opportunities for startup businesses beyond its financial advantages. This promising domestic market is characterised by growth potential due to Malaysia's strategic location and cultural diversity. Beyond just providing tax breaks, Malaysia offers SMEs an attractive corporate tax rate of 17%.

Other factors that make Malaysia ideal for startup businesses are affordable living expenses, and diversified workforce. Looking at the range of skill levels from semi-skilled to professionals, it further adds to the country's appeal and grants business owners’ access to a large talent pool.

Reasons to Start a Business in Malaysia

  • Quality of Life

    For businesses, Malaysia's quality of life plus affordable cost of living attracts both local and international talent to a skilled and diverse workforce, fostering a healthy, productive and innovative work environment.

  • Cultural Tapestry

    Embracing Malaysia's rich and diverse culture encourages a near limitless spectrum of concepts, ideas, and approaches, as well as creates a promising business landscape. This cultural tapestry fosters a thriving business environment.

  • Thriving Economy

    The dynamic economy of Malaysia unleashes business potential and offers businesses of all sizes to grow. This economic dynamism encourages a welcoming environment for businesses to expand exponentially.

  • Strategic Location

    Strategically positioned at the heart of Southeast Asia, Malaysia serves as a gateway to neighbouring countries, bridging regional markets. This vast network offers the potential for international trade, making it an ideal hub for businesses that seek to expand regionally or even globally.

  • Government Support

    The Malaysian government empowers entrepreneurs through initiatives that are specially designed to nurture entrepreneurship, creating an ideal environment for business owners to prosper. The Malaysian government's unwavering support to fostering a conducive business climate further strengthens the appeal of starting and growing a business in the country.

Business Ideas to Start in Malaysia

Now that we've covered the aspects of establishing a business in Malaysia, let's dive into ten promising business ideas in Malaysia for 2024.

Business Idea #1: Consultancy Services

Imagine being the go-to expert businesses turn to for strategic guidance. Offer your knowledge in management, finance, marketing, or legal matters by helping companies navigate complex decisions.

Business Idea #2: Food and Beverage Entrepreneurship

Be the reason behind people's delightful culinary experiences and adding vibrancy to Malaysia's food scene. You can bring this vision to life by managing a warm and cosy cafe, a trendy restaurant, or even an innovative food-related business. Position yourself as an essential part of the diverse and thriving food and beverage industry.

Business Idea #3: Franchise Opportunities

See yourself as the proud owner of a well-known brand. It could be a globally recognised name or a local brand. Start your journey with a business model that has a track record of success and comes with built-in support to make your entrepreneurial journey smoother.

Business Idea #4: Creative and Design Services

Think of yourself as a driving force for business success. Offer visually appealing designs and provide the best solutions to your clients. Whether it’s graphic design, advertising, animation, or multimedia production, let your creative juices flow and create something new that will blow people’s mind.

Business Idea #5: Import-Export Ventures

Connect businesses across borders as an import-export entrepreneur. Whether it is establishing your trading company or facilitating international transactions, be at the front line of global trade, assisting connections worldwide.

Business Idea #6: Event Planning

Channel your organisational skill into a business venture. With a talent for planning great events, you can launch an event planning business catering to Malaysians seeking assistance with weddings, parties, workshops, baby showers and more. The best part? You can even begin with minimal capital that allows you to grow organically as you build your portfolio and client base.

Business Idea #7: Laundry Services

Doing laundry services in Malaysia can be a profitable business, as to meet the needs of the busy population. Handling their clothes and delivering them directly to their homes, there could be a better solution to it. And you can be the first to explore and experience the satisfaction.

Business Idea #8: Real Estate Business

The real estate industry in Malaysia provides exceptional business opportunities within Malaysia’s dynamic. The government’s initiative towards house purchases adds an extra layer of appeal to this option. The bonus point is that you get to plan your working hours while navigating a field with huge profit potential.

Business Idea #9: e-Commerce Store

Navigate the ever-evolving landscape of e-Commerce, a realm profoundly impacted by the accelerated shift to online shopping during the pandemic. Consider the expansive market landscape in Malaysia, where consumers are increasingly opting for the convenience provided by e-Commerce stores.

Business Idea #10: Cleaning Services

Lead a cleaning business, offering a service that is a fundamental necessity in people's daily lives, whether at home or in the workplace. Now, think about taking on more significant contracts and agreements. It is a clever strategy that positions your business to tackle substantial cleaning projects for commercial spaces.

Most Profitable Business in Malaysia

Starting a business in Malaysia requires finding an approach that truly resonates with the local market. Service-oriented businesses, particularly those centred on technology and advice, are thriving. Another great option is to generate income through e-Commerce. Given the growth of online shopping among Malaysians, e-Commerce is a profitable business online idea. If you are interested in promoting eco-friendliness, renewable energy and sustainability-based businesses can be a great option. No matter what your interest or passion may be, there are many opportunities in Malaysia to start your own business. From running a hotel to creating innovative products or exploring small business ideas from home.

Ready to Start Your First Business in Malaysia?

As you contemplate starting a small business like the ideas mentioned above, it's crucial to take practical steps towards turning your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

Find the Right Entity for Your Business:

Before you begin, it's crucial to determine the business structure of your venture. Regardless of whether you choose to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or private limited company, understanding the differences among these options will be essential to your business's success. All businesses are different, which means there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all choice. Take your time and evaluate your business type, ownership structure, and finances to make the best decision that would be suitable with what you need.

Open a Business Account

Selecting the right bank is a critical decision for any business. OCBC Business Banking Malaysia offers tailored solutions to meet your business's financial needs. Explore the advantages of establishing a business account with OCBC, ensuring not just transactions but a seamless and efficient approach to financial management. For SMEs seeking an all-in-one solution, consider the OCBC eBiz Account. With a low initial deposit requirement and a 100% online application process, this account offers the convenience and flexibility that SMEs require. Plus, complimentary digital tools that empower your business to thrive in the modern, fast-paced financial landscape. In addition, OCBC eBiz Account offers a range of valueadded business banking tools and solutions designed to support your business’ financial management needs. These include business internet banking, business debit card and OCBC FX Online.

Contact OCBC Team to Consult with an Expert

Starting a business can be overwhelming, that is why having the guidance you need could be vital for you. Get in touch with us so we can connect you with professionals who are ready to provide insights, advice and support tailored to your specific business goals.

In conclusion, as you consider the diverse and promising business landscape in Malaysia for 2024, OCBC Business Banking stands ready to support your entrepreneurial journey. Whether you're exploring business ideas, setting up the right entity, or securing your finances, OCBC is your trusted partner for success in the dynamic Malaysian market.


The information provided herein is intended for general circulation and/or discussion purposes only. Before making any decision, please seek independent advice from professional advisors. No representation or warranty whatsoever in respect of any information provided herein is given by OCBC Bank and it should not be relied upon as such. OCBC Bank does not undertake any obligation to update the information or to correct any inaccuracy that may become apparent at a later time. All information presented is subject to change without notice. OCBC Bank shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising directly or indirectly howsoever in connection with or as a result of any person acting on any information provided herein. Any reference to any specific company, financial product or asset class in whatever way is used for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation on the same.