Malta is one of the most prosperous countries in the EU and it is considered to be one of the countries with an advanced economy by the International Monetary Fund. Given all these premises, Malta has become one of the most attractive countries for foreign investors. After becoming part of the EU, Malta’s economy has undergone various changes in order to be as competitive as other EU countries. The Maltese economy is considered a solid one, because of the country’s strategic location, its taxation system and developed financial, IT and tourism industries.
Malta has excellent economic relationships with EU countries, but also with states outside of the EU, which is why it has such a great advantage when it comes to foreign investments. The Maltese Government has designed different programs and schemes in order to provide tax incentives or tax deductions for foreign investors. Some of these incentives are also part of the process of opening a company in Malta.
Types of companies in Malta
The main types of companies in Malta available for registration are limited liability companies, limited partnerships and general partnerships.
The private limited company is the most common form of business practiced in Malta. As regulated by the Maltese Company act, a private limited company must have a minimum share capital of 1,165 euros. However, if the minimum share capital does not exceed the minimum requirements, it must be fully subscribed upon incorporation. If it exceeds the minimum required share capital, at least 20% of the amount must be deposited. This type of company must have at least two shareholders, one director, one company secretary and a registered office in Malta. The legislation does not require for the company directors to be Maltese residents.
Limited liability companies may be registered as public companies. A public company must have at least two shareholders and a minimum share capital of 46,600 euros, of which at least 25% is paid upon the incorporation of the company. The public company must also have two directors and may trade its shares on the Maltese Stock Exchange.
Foreign companies have the possibility to open branch offices in Malta, while individuals who wish to work as self – employed may register a sole proprietorship.
How to register a company in Malta
Those who wish to open a company in Malta need to provide a memorandum and the Articles of Association. These must contain the following information:
- The type of company they wish to open;
- The name and residence of the shareholders;
- The name of the company;
- Address of the registered office in Malta;
- The object or objects of activity;
- The share capital;
- The number and names of the company directors;
- The name and the residence of the company secretary.
Other necessary documents are copies of the passports or identification papers of the directors and secretaries. These documents must be submitted with the Maltese Trade Register. Foreign citizens are not required to come to the country for the incorporation process. They have the possibility to appoint a representative with power of attorney for legal representation.
Other requirements to open a company in Malta
After the registration procedure is concluded, the company must apply for a business license and other necessary permits, depending on the company’s activity. The company must also apply for a tax identification number and register for VAT.
The last step of the process is to obtain an employer identification number and register the employees with the Employment Training Corporation.