SHAH ALAM: Many do it everyday, selling their clothes, handbags, accessories, homemade pastries, even cut fruits via the Internet.
But what many do not realise is, such transactions are against the law if they are not registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
As online selling has become popular in recent years, many are still not aware of the necessity to register their businesses and the severe consequences if they fail to do so.
SSM chairman Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad said many online entrepreneurs have not registered their businesses, with only 30,000 having done so between 2012 and Sunday.
“Any sort of business that generates income must be registered. There is no exception.
“Those who fail to register can be fined a maximum of RM50,000 or jailed up to two years or both upon conviction under the Registration of Businesses Act,” he said after closing a three-day Online Networking Entrepreneurs Carnival here yesterday.
Alias, who is also the secretary-general of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry, said the low number of registered online businesses was in huge contrast with the rapidly growing number of online traders.
Apart from websites and blogs, online entrepreneurs nowadays also utilise various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to sell their products and services.
SSM has been firm with non-registered online businesses by bringing the business owners to book.
“We have taken legal action against 478 online individual businesses and online companies last year,” he said.
“We noticed an increase of online business registrations throughout the years, but the awareness level is still rather low.”
Alias noted that online entrepreneurs and consumers lose out in terms of protection of interest in light of complaints received by the ministry about cheating cases.
He said it cost only RM30 to register a business under an individual or RM60 for enterprises.
On another matter, Alias said companies whose financial year ended on June 30, have until early next month to submit their annual and financial statements to the SSM.