How to Start a Business in Sabah

How to start business in Sabah?

Setting up your own business is exciting, but can also be challenging if you're not prepared. This guide will take you through each step of starting a business and help you understand what's ahead.

General Process of Application

License Business License
Issuing Body District office
Documents -
License Trading License
Issuing Body City Hall,
Municipal Council
Documents Tenancy Agreement / Sales & Purchase Agreement,
Proof of Identity (IC),
Assessment Tax Receipt
Compulsory License / Permit / Certification

License Fire Safety Certificate
Issuing Body Local Fire Department
Documents Floor Plan / Renovation Plan
Sector License 

License Operating License
Issuing Body City Hall,
Municipal Council,
Town Hall
Documents Trading License,
Health Card for Workers,
Health Certificate for Food & Drink Handling,
Work Pass,
Floor Plan / Renovation Plan

List of Operating Licenses by Sector

Food & Beverage Sector
  • Coffee Shop License
  • Coffee House License
  • Canteen License
  • Coupling Dining Stall License
  • Bakery License
  • Pub / Bar Lounge License
Manufacturing & Processing Sector
Other Operating License / Permits
Hospitality and Entertainment Sector

Getting Started

A step-by-step guide to help you get started with your very own business in Sabah.

Make key decisions

The decisions you make early on can affect many areas of your business, including the licenses you need, how much tax you pay and the volume of paperwork required.

Plan your business

You've analysed your idea and yourself. Next you can plan your future and see how it all comes together.

Help for your business

Find resources to help you with your business, from general business advice to finance assistance and support for your mental health and wellbeing.

Register your business

To make it official, you'll need to register. This makes sure your business gets taxed at the right rate, avoids penalties and protects your brand and ideas.

Prepare your finances

It's essential to take charge of your business finances and know how to manage your cash flow. It could make or break your business. If you need help, consider speaking to a financial advisor.

Know the law

Finding out your business isn't entirely above board can cost you time and money. Start off strong by setting up and protecting your business legally. Consider speaking to a legal professional to help you along the way.

Protect your business

You invest too much time and money in your business to lose it. Protect your investment by planning ahead.

Prepare for tax

Getting on top of your taxes now can make things easier in the long run. It can help you avoid penalties and make sure your business is taxed at the correct rate.

Set up operations

Setting up your business operations properly will save you trouble in the long run, and give you more time to focus on running your business.

Market your business

Promote your business and brand to your target audience to grow your customer base.
Find out the documents in details and guide that you will need in the process of applying your business license.

Useful links

Contact Us

Digital Government Division
Sabah State Public Service Department
Block A, 13th Floor, Menara Kinabalu
Jalan Sulaman, Teluk Likas
88400 Kota Kinabalu
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