Set up a Business for Selling Cosmetics in Malaysia

Updated on Tuesday 02nd July 2019

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Cosmetics and skincare products are in demand in Malaysia, as in many other Asian countries and in the rest of the world. Large and small cosmetics companies are present on the Malaysian market and customers have access to a wide range of products, from lip products to eye and skin makeup or dedicated, specialized skincare.
The beauty industry is a very developed and valuable one worldwide and investors who set up a business for selling cosmetics in Malaysia can provide clients in Kuala Lumpur and other cities throughout the country with dedicated and diverse products.
Registering new cosmetic products and obtaining the proper licenses to import and sell these types of items as well as proper marketing and advertising for the cosmetic brand are all issues that should be taken into consideration by entrepreneurs interested in entering the beauty industry.
Our team of company formation lawyers in Malaysia can provide investors with two distinct services: assistance for setting up a business for selling cosmetics in Malaysia and legal guidance for compliance with the ongoing regulations for the control of cosmetic products in Malaysia. 

Online beauty stores, as well as physical stores, need to comply with the ongoing regulations set forth by the Malaysian authorities, such as the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency. The experts at our law firm in Malaysia can help investors comply with the regulatory requirements.

How to start a company for selling cosmetic products in Malaysia

Cosmetics companies offer a wide array of products, according to use, like makeup or skincare, for different age groups or for clients with various particular needs. Some of the steps investors can follow in order to start a business for selling cosmetics include the following:
  1. Select a niche: it is recommended to select a niche, such as makeup or skincare, organic skincare or others.
  2. Be aware of the product: some cosmetic products are highly regulated and import permits will be needed for some categories; find out what are the requirements.
  3. Obtain licenses: investors will need to apply for special licenses even if their company is not the one manufacturing the cosmetic products; this step can be facilitated by our attorneys in Malaysia.
  4. Set up the business: register a new company, set up the online business or the physical store for selling the cosmetics. 
  5. Distribution: choose the distribution channels or arrange for shipping if you run an online business.
  6. Branding: this is an important step for the business, as the marketing strategy can determine the future of the company.
Our lawyers in Malaysia can provide entrepreneurs with complete information about the company formation process in the country, the types of legal entities and the minimum share capital requirements.

Regulations for cosmetic businesses in Malaysia

A cosmetic product is any substance or preparation that will be used in contact with external parts of the human body. The category includes products intended for cleaning, perfuming, changing the appearance or correcting the body odor as well as protecting the designated body part. The definition is a broad one and companies that are engaged in the sale of these products will typically commercialize a wider range of items.
In Malaysia, the cosmetic notification holder is the company that places the product on the market, irrespective of whether or not it is the actual manufacturer of the product. Companies that sell cosmetics in Malaysia are treated as cosmetic notification holders, need to comply with the ongoing regulations for being a locally incorporated company with a permanent address in Malaysia, and registered with the Companies Commission.  The registration regulations are common for all companies and more compliance information can be found by reaching out to our law firm in Malaysia.
Some of the issues that investors should know about cosmetic notifications include the following:
  • validity: the notification of a particular product is valid for two years.
  • possible changes: the particularities of the product can be changed, in one of two ways: simple amendments and new notifications; one of our lawyers in Malaysia can offer more details on how to make changes.
  • notification number: each cosmetic product that is notified receives a unique number with a certain format.
  • fees: each request for the notification of a product is subject to a fee which is not refundable should be product be rejected.
  • particulars: the language of the application is made in Malay or English; documents in other languages must be translated and authorized. 
The Control of Drugs and Cosmetic Regulations, under the Sale of Drugs Act, is the primary legal resource for the control of cosmetic products in Malaysia. According to law, cosmetic products can be commercialized in Malaysia only if they are notified. The team of experts from our law firm in Malaysia can give entrepreneurs complete details on cosmetic notification procedure.

The beauty industry in Malaysia is a developed one, as shown below:
  • the revenue for the first part of 2019 amounts to approximately 336 m US$.
  • this revenue is expected to have an annual growth rate of 14.5%.
  • the market volume by 2023 is expected to be 577 m US$.
  • the number of users in the personal care segment is expected to reach 8.8 m by 2023.
Investors who wish to know more about how to start a business in this sector can contact our law firm in Malaysia.