Setting up a business in Malta

How to start a business in Malta

Setting up a business in Malta

Opening a company in Malta can be quite easy as their business legislation and tax system are amongst the most favourable in Europe. However, there are things to know before doing business in this mediterranean country.

The advantage of setting up a business in Malta in that no special permit or licence is needed, except for the businesses in the medical, financial, insurance or pharmaceutical sectors. This means that as soon as you have finished your business plan and applied for your visa, you can begin the process to open your business in Malta.

Reserve a unique company name

This can be done online through the Registry of Companies , or in person at Business First .

Draft the Memorandum and Articles of Associations

Two constitutional documents, a Memorandum and Articles of Association, need to be registered with the Registry of Companies. These documents act as a contract between the shareholders representing the company.

Deposit the minimum share capital  

The minimum deposit depends on the type of company established and will be determined in your Memorandum and Articles of Association. A Maltese or international bank will open a company account where you will deposit the minimum share capital on approval of the following documents:

  • A completed Know your Client (KYC) form
  • A completed request to open an account stating the type of account, the currency and the preferred mode of tax payment
  • A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Associations
  • Confirmation of the permanent address of the directors through an identification statement confirmed by the Maltese Embassy in the country of residence or a Prime bank
  • A form filled out and signed by the Directors appointing the bankers, given by the bank.

Establish your business at the Trade Register and obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN)

After registering your company name, signing the Memorandum and Articles of Associations and confirming your deposit, your company can officially be registered. You just have to bring these documents to the Registry of Company. Once the registration is completed, you will be issued a registration certificate.

Any business that carries out activities in Malta requires a TIN. Register for a tax identification number with the Inland Revenue Department  (IRD) with your registration certificate.

Apply for a trade licence

There are two main types of business licences, depending on your business activity. If it involves food, beverage, beauty treatment or well-being activities, you will need a No Objection Declaration issued by the Environmental Health Directorate. For any other commercial activity, you can apply for a trading licence.

  You can either go through the Trade Licensing Unit Commerce Department or go through Business First to get your trade licence. The following documents will be needed:

  • Notification form  to exercise new commercial activity
  • Copy of passport or ID card
  • Declaration by the shareholders if applicable, declaring the applicant can act as a legal representative of a partnership or company
  • Development Class Number allocated by Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) and Building Permit Number issued by MEPA and date issued

 Keep in mind that this procedure takes ten days.

Register for your VAT

The value added tax (VAT) in Malta is applied on all imported goods. Your company needs to be registered for a VAT if the turnover exceeds the threshold of 35000€ for goods and 24,000€ for services. You can register online  or at the Business First office by bringing a legal identification number and a copy of your Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Registering can take up to ten days.

Employing staff

Before hiring employees, the employers must ensure that their company complies with Malta’s labour regulations . The entrepreneur must register and declare to the Employment Training Corporation (ETC) , which will offer the training required to learn the necessary skills, ranging from basic to technical courses, and Maltese regulations.

Compared to other European countries, opening a business is quite simple if you follow the correct procedure. However, some people do decide to get help from local lawyers, which makes those first steps even easier and help you

Further reading

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