In today’s edition of #ECxFAQ, I will answer one of the most commonly asked questions about starting an online business in Malaysia:

“Do I need to have an e-commerce license?”

The short answer is yes, you do.

As long as you make money with your business – whether online or offline – you will need to register it with SSM. 

If you don’t, your business is considered illegal and you may face a hefty fine. There are no exceptions.

This applies whether you are running an e-commerce business, selling services online, or running a dropship business, you will need to register your business.

Find out more about starting an online business and its legal requirements in my online business guide.

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About the author 

Lu Wee Tang

Lu Wee is the founder and writer of Entrepreneur Campfire. She started her journey in e-commerce and SEO after leaving her engineering career behind. Now, she consults small and medium businesses in Malaysia and Singapore on how to digitise and grow their business.

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  2. Hi, I would like to get some advice from you. I am a 18 years old student, I want to make money through online and I found drop shipping, my questions are:
    1. what does it need to start drop shipping?
    2. Do I need credit card to start a online business like drop shipping?
    3. Do you recommend students like me to start online business? If so, where should I start?

    Hope to hear from you very soon!Thanks

  3. Hi, I would like to know whether do I need to get any e-commerce food license for selling health food online? If so, which authority department in charge?

    Hope to receive your reply soon. Thank you.

    1. Hey Sheriling,

      There is no special e-commerce license for now in Malaysia. Just look at your business like a conventional business – so whether you sell online or offline, you first need to register your business. I’m not sure what kind of health food you are selling, but usually it will be under KKM.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      – Lu Wee

  4. Hello Lu Wee Tang,
    I am a 18 year old in Sabah, I plan to sell on a online platform Shopee and Etsy. Do I need a online business license? How much will it cost? I dont know much about the validity and legal stuff when opening a online shop. If can please reply me yyon500@gmail.com

    1. Hi Yonie,

      Legally, you’ll want to at least set up a sole prop. This usually costs RM60. But you’ll need to have a business address. I think you have virtual addresses in Sabah too? These can start as low as RM99/year.

      Hope this helps!

  5. Hi Ms. Lu,

    Let say i wanted to sell things using my car. Like driving around to sell things and keep the item stock in my car. Do i need any permit / license for that?

    1. Hi Grace,

      Is this something you see yourself doing long-term? E.g. today sell using your car… next time, have a shop etc? If so, I’d recommend registering your business with SSM. If it’s just a hobby, no need.

  6. Hi,

    Hope you can assist me.

    I am currently started to sell women accessories online through Facebook and IG and also website.

    Wonder beside register SSM do I need to apply any license with the local council ? Such as mbpp.

    Thank you in advance hear from you soon.

    Regards,
    lim

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