Special licensing and permits for Maltese companies

Malta has probably one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and is one of the most targeted investment destinations from on a global scale. This is owed to its top-notch business facilities, a friendly tax system, and expedient business policies. 
Malta is a very offers a very friendly business environment but just like any other country it also has some regulations you should strictly follow in order to function legally in the country. Some business types are mandated to have special permits and licenses to run in Malta and these mostly apply to food and tourism companies. Licensing requirements also extend to foreigners intending to purchase properties in the country.
 
Available permits and licenses in Malta
It is imperative for applicants to take note of all the requisites needed to get licensed in Malta. There are numerous specific licenses offered by the Maltese government and their requirements differ depending upon the respective license. These licenses and permits are categorized and issued by specific organs of the government.
The list of businesses in need of special permits in Malta includes construction, tourism, gaming, digital currency, AIP and the financial and trading sectors. If your business entity is not mentioned above, you can reach out to SIGTAX and we will assist with more information with respect to that.
 
The Maltese trade permit
Manufacturing industries in Malta should meet explicit points before the TLD (Trade Licensing Directorate) can grant them a license. The companies are obliged to judiciously follow the guidelines in the field of safety and the environment. This means that they take full responsibility with respect to waste management as prescribed by the authorities. The responsible department, in this case, is called the MEPA (Malta Environment and Planning Authority). The prospective industries can never operate in the state upon failure to comply with the later’s requirements.
Apart from manufacturing industries, trading licenses are issued to companies that handle food products, run gyms or saloons e.tc. The accreditation of these companies depends heavily on the EHD (Environmental Health Directorate) endorsement. This department has to clear the applicant before they are eligible to get a trading license.
 
The documents to be issued to the TLD
Applicants are expected to produce all relevant documents to the TLD together one which includes a No Objection declaration from the EHD. Without this clearance, it is impossible to get licensed by the TLD. The other documents may include ID copies and the development class & building permit number from the MEPA. If the applicants are foreigners they are required to produce the Employment and Training Corporation permit. The waiting period from the day of submission of the required documentations to the issuing of the TLD license is only ten days. This designated waiting period is however not the same for Tourism special licenses. The accommodation and catering licenses in tourism are issued by the MTA (Malta Tourism Authority) and they take about twenty days to come out.
The MTA will only issue a license after an application has been made and submitted with a variety of other documents such as a police clearance, ID's, payment receipts, permits of properties acquired and lease contracts. A compliance certificate is given by the MTA after these submissions but there is one more process that should follow before operating a catering business, which is to acquire a Catering Establishment License. All documentation that includes the chef’s curriculum vitae, a fire certificate, and the MEPA and Public Health permits have to be produced to the LAD (licensing Administration Department) inside the MTA.
The catering business is also obliged to get a certificate from the EHD for the location to be used for business. Other factions of tourism that need to be licensed besides catering and accommodation are organizers, agents, and management companies. These organizations are expected to produce several documents to be issued with a permit to operate in the state. The relevant docs include registration receipts, permit by MEPA, ID's, police clearance, insurance and curriculum vitae of the applicant.
It is the duty of MTA to verify the papers and perform a physical inspection of the business site before the business becomes operational.
 
AIP (Acquisition of Immovable Property) permits
The AIP act dictates that foreigners who are interested in purchasing properties in the state have to apply for an AIP permit. The waiting period for the permit to be issued is 35 days under the terms that the asset is valued at a minimum of €102 000 for apartments and €170 000 for other properties. Upon purchase of these establishments, they can neither be rented, modified nor sold. They can only be used according to their intended purposes in the application.
A few things are needed for applicants to receive their AIP permits and these are two passport-sized images, receipts as proof of payment, a copy of pre-sale contract and passports.
 
Maltese construction special licenses
As mentioned before, all businesses should first be approved and licensed in order to operate in Malta and this extends to construction industries as well. The initial step is registration of the company with the Trade Register which is followed by an application for licenses to run the projects signed by the company, from start to their completion. These licenses are issued by local authorities (Municipality) which authorize all projects to be run in their districts. There are many other special licenses that Maltese enterprises are obliged to have inside the construction business. Some of these are parking, planning and environmental special permits. The environmental special license is very important and should be acquired regardless of the type of establishments under construction. All these permits mentioned are given by the local authority (municipality). 
The construction business has a wider scope of policies relative to other business sectors and hence it is wise to seek assistance from lawyers available in the country if one is considering starting a company in the state. 
 
Financial Services Permit
It is well known that Malta is impeccable in doing business regionally in Europe and with states around the world. This awareness drove the nation to become the most refined in the financial services sector comparative to their EU counterparts. Prospective companies wishing to engage in business with the financial services of Malta can do so by going through the licensing protocols available. Malta offers special licenses in that field which are insurance, investment management, and financial services licenses.
They also made it possible for a digital currency to be functional in their financial industry. Prospective clients in that field can apply for a license with the MDIA (Malta digital Innovation Authority). The license allows the applicant to run a digital currency business in the state and for detailed help on formation or incorporation of such a company, contact lawyers in the state. They will help through all the processes of registration and acquisition of the special license.
 
The gambling license in Malta
Above all other types of businesses mentioned, Malta has tremendous gambling establishments that are highly rated in the EU region. Clients who are interested in creating gambling enterprises only have to apply for the relevant license which comes with some special tax benefits. So far the available casinos that can be licensed are virtual reality, remote gaming, and the conventional casino & lottery businesses.
If anyone wishes to open a successful business, one of the best destinations you can choose is Malta. It is highly resourceful and has become more efficient and well-organized overtime in striking better deals with its prospective clients.
 
Gain more insight!
For an in-depth understanding of the requirements needed to go through the licensing procedures, get in touch with SIGTAX. Our expert team of lawyers, accountants, and consultants assists foreign investors step-by-step in registering companies and also in procuring special permits. SIGTAX experts will provide you with finer details on the legal aspects pertaining to company formation in Malta so that you don’t skip any necessary steps.

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