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Setting Up a Laundry Business

The Laundry Industry in General

The laundry industry is an interesting and multifaceted one, offering a mix of challenges and opportunities. Here's a deeper dive into its general aspects:

Market dynamics:

  • Steady growth: The global laundry industry is expected to reach USD 5559.48 million by 2028, experiencing a consistent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 4.4%. This is driven by several factors like busy lifestyles, increasing disposable incomes, and growing urbanization.

  • Market segments: The industry can be broadly categorized into:

  • Self-service laundromats: These cater to individual customers who wash and dry their laundry using coin-operated machines.

  • On-demand laundry services: These companies pick up laundry from customers' homes or offices, wash and fold it, and then deliver it back.

  • Commercial laundry services: These cater to businesses like hotels, restaurants, and hospitals, providing bulk laundry cleaning and ironing services.

  • Emerging trends: Technology is playing a significant role in the laundry industry, with innovations like smart washing machines, mobile apps for booking and delivery, and automation solutions increasing efficiency and convenience. Sustainability is also becoming a focus, with customers and businesses opting for eco-friendly laundry practices.

Challenges and opportunities:

  • Competition: The laundry industry is becoming increasingly competitive, with both established players and new entrants vying for market share. It's crucial to differentiate your business and offer unique value propositions to stand out.

  • Labor costs: Rising labor costs can be a challenge for laundry businesses, particularly for those relying heavily on manual labor. Investing in technology and automation can help optimize operations and reduce costs.

  • Volatile commodity prices: Fluctuations in water and energy prices can impact operational costs. Implementing energy-efficient solutions and hedging against price volatility can mitigate these risks.


  • Growing demand: The increasing demand for laundry services, particularly in urban areas, presents immense growth potential for businesses.

  • Technological advancements: Embracing technology can automate tasks, improve efficiency, and offer new service options, giving your business a competitive edge.

  • Niche markets: Catering to specific niche markets like allergen-free cleaning, delicate fabric care, or express laundry services can attract loyal customers and increase profitability.

Overall, the laundry industry offers a promising prospect for entrepreneurs and investors. By understanding the market dynamics, addressing challenges strategically, and capitalizing on opportunities, you can build a successful and sustainable laundry business.

Setting Up a Laundry Business

Starting a laundry business in Malaysia can be a rewarding venture, with the industry experiencing steady growth due to busy lifestyles and increasing disposable incomes. To ensure success, careful planning and execution are crucial. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

1. Craft a Comprehensive Business Plan:

  • Define your target market: Identify your ideal customers, whether working professionals, students, families, or residents of specific neighborhoods. This will guide your location choice, service offerings, and pricing strategy.

  • Outline your business concept: Decide on the type of laundry service you'll provide. Will it be a self-service laundromat, a door-to-door pick-up and delivery service, or a combination of both? Consider the investment required, operational complexities, and potential profit margins for each option.

  • Project your finances: Create a detailed budget that factors in startup costs (equipment, rental space, renovation, licensing), operational expenses (utilities, supplies, staff salaries), and marketing budget. Include projected revenue and timeline for achieving profitability.

  • Develop your competitive edge: What will make your laundry business stand out? Consider offering value-added services like dry cleaning, ironing, stain removal, garment alterations, or laundry locker rentals. You could also focus on eco-friendly practices or cater to specific needs like allergen-free cleaning or delicate fabric care.

2. Secure Funding and Legalities:

  • Determine your funding needs: Based on your business plan, assess how much capital you require. Explore financing options like personal savings, bank loans, crowdfunding, or angel investors.

  • Register your business: Obtain necessary licenses and permits from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) and your local municipal council. Depending on your service type, you might need additional permits for handling hazardous materials or operating machinery.

  • Comply with regulations: Familiarize yourself with relevant regulations like the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 and ensure your business adheres to consumer protection laws and environmental regulations.

3. Find the Perfect Location:

  • High foot traffic: Choose a location with good visibility and convenient access for your target market. Consider areas near residential complexes, office buildings, student accommodations, or busy commercial districts.

  • Accessibility and space: Ensure your chosen space is easily accessible and has enough space to accommodate your equipment, storage area, and customer waiting area. Factor in parking availability and potential for future expansion.

  • Rental costs and lease terms: Negotiate a favorable lease agreement with competitive rental rates and flexible terms that suit your budget and business needs.

4. Invest in Quality Equipment:

  • Washing machines and dryers: Choose reliable and energy-efficient machines with suitable capacities for your expected customer volume. Consider offering different machine sizes to cater to various laundry needs.

  • Additional equipment: Depending on your services, you might need ironing boards, garment steamers, stain removal tools, and laundry carts.

  • Point-of-sale system: Implement a user-friendly POS system for cashless transactions, loyalty programs, and inventory management.

5. Build a Strong Brand and Market Your Business:

  • Develop a unique brand identity: Create a memorable name, logo, and tagline that reflect your business values and resonate with your target audience.

  • Implement a marketing strategy: Utilize online and offline marketing channels to reach potential customers. Consider social media marketing, local listings, flyers, promotional offers, and partnerships with nearby businesses.

  • Provide excellent customer service: prioritize customer satisfaction by offering friendly service, clear communication, and prompt turnaround times. Gather feedback and adapt your offerings to exceed customer expectations.

Bonus Tips:

  • Utilize technology: Consider incorporating laundry locker systems or mobile apps for convenient booking and service tracking.

  • Offer value-added services: Partner with dry cleaners, tailors, or delivery services to expand your offerings and attract new customers.

  • Stay competitive: Monitor market trends, competitor pricing, and customer preferences to adapt your business strategy and maintain a competitive edge.

Franchise Opportunities:

Several laundry franchises in Malaysia offer established business models, brand recognition, and operational support. Franchises like dobiQueen, Laundry Hub, and Wash Studio Laundry can be a good option for entrepreneurs seeking a head start.

Remember, success in the laundry business requires dedication, hard work, and continuous adaptation. By following these steps, conducting thorough research, and tailoring your approach to the local market, you can increase your chances of establishing a thriving laundry business in Malaysia.

Obtaining a Laundromat License for Your Business

Obtaining a laundromat license in Malaysia involves navigating different agencies and regulations depending on your location and specific business setup. Here's a breakdown of the key steps:

1. Company Registration:

  • Register your business with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) as either a sole proprietorship or a company.

  • Obtain a Business Registration Certificate (BRC) and a Business Registration Number (BRN).

2. Local Authority Licenses:

  • Contact your local municipal council, like DBKL for Kuala Lumpur or MBPJ for Petaling Jaya, to inquire about specific licensing requirements for laundromats.

  • Generally, you'll need a Business Premise License and a Signboard License.

  • Additional licenses might be required for handling hazardous materials like cleaning chemicals, or operating machinery like high-capacity dryers.

3. Relevant Permits:

  • Apply for a Gas License from Suruhanjaya Tenaga for using gas-powered dryers. This involves a pressure test every two years.

  • If you provide dry cleaning services, you might need a permit from the Department of Environment (DOE) for handling hazardous substances.

4. Tax Registration:

  • Register for Sales and Service Tax (SST) with the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB) if your annual turnover exceeds RM500,000.

  • Register for Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), and Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) if you have employees.

5. Compliance with Regulations:

  • Ensure your laundromat adheres to safety regulations, labor laws, and environmental regulations.

  • Maintain proper waste disposal and hygiene practices.

  • Display relevant licenses and permits for customer view.

Additional Tips:

  • Begin the licensing process early, as it can take several weeks to obtain all necessary permits.

  • Keep copies of all licenses and permits for your records.

  • Stay updated on changes in regulations and renew licenses on time.

Remember, specific requirements might differ based on your location and business activities. Contacting your local municipal council and the relevant government agencies is crucial for accurate information and smooth application processing.

With careful planning and attention to detail, obtaining your laundromat license in Malaysia can be a streamlined process and pave the way for a successful business venture.

How Much does It Cost to Open a Laundromat in Malaysia

The cost of opening a laundromat in Malaysia can vary significantly depending on several factors, but here's a general guideline:

Range: Expect to spend between RM150,000 and RM500,000 to initially set up your laundromat.

Key Cost Factors:

  • Location: Rent in prime locations will drive up your costs, while cheaper rental spaces might have less foot traffic.

  • Size of your laundromat: A larger space will require more machines and furniture, increasing costs.

  • Number and type of machines: Washing machines and dryers come in various sizes and brands, with higher capacity and premium brands being more expensive.

  • Renovation needs: Any necessary plumbing, electrical work, or interior design changes will add to the cost.

  • Permits and licenses: Obtaining the necessary business licenses and permits will incur fees.

  • Marketing and branding: Launching a successful marketing campaign to attract customers requires budget allocation.

Breakdown of Potential Costs:

  • Machines: RM35,000 - RM105,500 (depending on quantity and size)

  • Rental deposit and first month's rent: Varies based on location and size

  • Renovations: RM10,000 - RM50,000 (estimation)

  • Licenses and permits: RM1,000 - RM5,000 (estimation)

  • Furniture and equipment: RM5,000 - RM15,000 (estimation)

  • Marketing and branding: RM5,000 - RM20,000 (estimation)

Additional Tips:

  • Consider franchising: Joining a laundry franchise may provide initial setup support, brand recognition, and operational guidance, although it would likely involve franchise fees and royalties.

  • Look for used equipment: Buying used machines in good condition can significantly reduce your costs.

  • Negotiate deals and discounts: Get quotes from multiple suppliers and negotiate for better prices on equipment and services.

  • Create a detailed budget: Plan your expenses carefully and track your budget throughout the setup process.

Remember, these are just estimated ranges, and the actual cost of your laundromat will depend on your specific choices and circumstances. It's crucial to conduct thorough research, compare options, and create a detailed budget before investing your capital.

How Bestar can Help

Bestar, being an accounting firm, can support you in setting up your laundry business in Malaysia through various financial and administrative tasks. Here's how:

1. Business Plan and Financial Projections

  • Assisting in developing a comprehensive business plan, including market research, competitor analysis, and financial projections.

  • Helping you create realistic financial forecasts, including startup costs, operational expenses, and revenue estimations.

  • Advising on funding options, such as bank loans, grants, or angel investors, and preparing necessary financial documents for loan applications.

2. Company Registration and Legal Compliance

  • Guiding you through the process of registering your laundry business with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) and obtaining necessary licenses and permits.

  • Ensuring compliance with relevant tax regulations, including registering for Sales and Service Tax (SST) and filing tax returns.

  • Advising on employment laws and payroll management to ensure compliance with labor regulations.

3. Bookkeeping and Accounting

  • Setting up and maintaining a proper accounting system to track your income, expenses, and assets.

  • Providing bookkeeping services, including recording daily transactions, reconciling bank statements, and preparing financial reports.

  • Analyzing financial data to identify areas for cost reduction and improve profitability.

4. Tax Planning and Optimization

  • Advising on tax-efficient business structures and strategies to minimize your tax burden.

  • Claiming eligible tax deductions and credits to reduce your tax liability.

  • Liaising with the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB) on your behalf for tax matters.

5. Business Advisory and Support

  • Providing ongoing business advice and support on various financial and operational aspects.

  • Helping you develop budgets, monitor cash flow, and make informed financial decisions.

  • Assisting with financial modeling and scenario planning to prepare for future challenges and opportunities.

Additionally, Bestar may offer specialized services tailored to the laundry industry, such as:

  • Cost analysis for laundry operations to identify areas for cost savings.

  • Benchmarking your laundry business against industry standards to identify areas for improvement.

  • Developing pricing strategies based on market analysis and competitor pricing.

By partnering with Bestar, you can gain valuable financial expertise and administrative support to navigate the complexities of setting up and running a laundry business in Malaysia. Our understanding of local regulations and industry practices can help you make informed decisions, optimize your finances, and achieve long-term success.

Consult with Bestar to discuss your specific business needs and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

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