Doing Business in Malta

Malta is the destination of choice for the setting up of business activity with interests in the European Union, the Middle East or North Africa. Malta has a resilient, mixed and sustainable economy complemented by a stable political environment. Malta is one of the few safe havens left in the European union with a pro-business government offering a number of business solutions both for startups and business relocating from other countries.

Geopolitical data

Malta is an archipelago of four islands located in the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 290 km north of Libya. Malta has an area of 316 sq km with a population of 410,000. Malta is a parliamentary democracy and a Republic and has been independent since 1964. The country is a member of the Commonwealth and since 2004 also a member state of the European Union. The national currency is the Euro since 2008.

Economic indicators

  • Gross Domestic Product – €8.5bn;
  • Government Debt is 73% of GDP – EU 91% and the EURO Area 96% (2014);
  • Inflation – 2.2%;
  • Budget Deficit – <3%;
  • Growth in 2014 – 2.3% of GDP;

A Business Community networked worldwide

Structure for doing business in Malta

The preferred corporate structure for doing business in Malta is the Limited Liability Company (LLC). The reason for this is that the LLC is considered to be a separate legal person from its members or share holders and for this reason its liabilities towards its creditors are limited to its own assets. In other words the personal wealth of the share holder/s is protected against claims from the creditors of the company.

An  LLC is formed by founder members who subscribe to a Memorandum & Articles of Association (M&A) which is submitted to the Registrar of Companies. The Registry staff review the M&A, in order to ensure its compliance with the relevant Acts, before registering it. Any changes to the structure of the company are filed with the Registry using theprescribed forms.

Five steps to setting up a company in Malta

  • Reserve a unique company name;
  • Draft the M&A;
  • Deposit the paid-in minimum capital with a bank;
  • Opening a bank account;
  • Send the M&A and other prescribed documentation to the Registry of Companies.

The Registry will take between 2 and 3 days to incorporate the company at which point the official memorandum and articles along with the certificate of registration bearing the registration number and registration date of the company are issued. These documents are then subsequently uploaded to the website of the Registry of Companies.

Starting your operation

  • Registering a company is the first step. In order to start operations however there are other matters to be considered.
  • A trade license needs to be obtained from the Trade Licensing Directorate. There are two types of Trading Licenses depending on whether the company will require commercial premises or not.
  • Of course you need to register for tax by obtaining a company Tax Identification Number from the Inland Revenue Department.
  • Registering for VAT is mandatory if a company is to conduct economic activity in Malta or the EU. Regular VAT returns are the required to be submitted to the VAT Department.
  • All employers should obtain a PE number (employer identification number) and are bound to register employees and movements in the workforce with the Employment & Training Corporation.
  • Employees must obtain a social security number and this is done by registering with the Department of Social Security.
  • Handling of employee and client information is a matter that is governed by the Data  Protection Act and a business is required to register with the Data Protection Commissioner.

Joining the business community

Once in Malta it is advantageous for businesses to register with The Malta Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise. The Chamber offers its members, among other benefits, entry in the Malta Trade Directory, a newsletter and bimonthly magazine, business education courses at special rates and the chance to have their views conveyed to decision makers.

Another must for employers is to join the Malta Employers Association. The MEA offers employers with advice on employment law and labour rules and is the lobby group in Malta making representations to governments on matters that are of relevance and importance to employers.

Incentives

Malta Enterprise Corporation offers assistance, support and advice to businesses established in Malta and those seeking to start a business in Malta through initiatives such asBusiness First. Malta Enterprise also offers a number of incentives for startups and for foreign enterprises bringing Foreign Direct Investment to Malta.

Personal

Establishing a business in Malta necessarily means that members of the management team and key personnel will also be relocating to Malta in order to transfer knowledge or to kick start the operation.  Malta is a family friendly, English speaking country that offers affordable housing together with a high standard of education and health care.

Portman International is your one-stop-shop for all corporate, operational, personal and property requirements. Please contact us in order to explore the opportunities and possibilities that Malta has to offer.