Malta company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN MALTA IN 2018

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in Malta. Our services include i) Malta company registration ii) business licensing iii) Malta corporate bank account opening and overseas iv) visa options and staff recruitment and v) office space rental solutions.

Summary table of Malta company registration

SummaryLLCFree zone LLCPublic limited companyRepresentative officeBranch office
Also known asLtdLtdPLCRep OfficeBranch
Best use of company?All products and servicesManufacturing and export tradingTo secure public fundingMarketing & researchSpecific projects
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?3 weeks3 weeks5 weeks5 weeks5 weeks
How soon can you hire staff?3 weeks3 weeks5 weeks5 weeks5 weeks
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?8 weeks8 weeks10 weeks10 weeks10 weeks
How long to supply company registration / tax numbers?3 weeks3 weeks5 weeks5 weeks5 weeks
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?35%35%35%0%35%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesYesYesNoNo
Government approval required for foreign owners?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?NoNoNoYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?€1,165€1,165€46,588NoneNone
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesNoYes
Corporate bank account location?HSBCFCM BankMedbankAPS BankLombard Bank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesNoYes
VAT payable on sales to local customers?18%18%18%None18%
Average total business set up engagement costs?€11,675€11,725€13,125€12,275€12,275
Average total engagement period?9 weeks9 weeks11 weeks11 weeks11 weeks

Malta business setup summary

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Malta company registration

    business registration in Malta

    1. Registering a company in Malta is easy because:
      • A Malta LLC only requires two shareholders and one director, whom can be of any nationality and do not need to reside in the country;
      • The company can be registered with a minimum capital of €233;
      • Malta company formation only takes two weeks.
    2. If properly-structured, registering a company in Malta is an ideal, tax-efficient way to conduct international business, because:
      • Having a company in Malta allows entrepreneurs to register for EU VAT and gain access to a network of double taxation treaties with countries, some of which include Australia, France, Germany, Singapore, South Africa, US and UK;
      • A company registered in Malta can be a tax efficient entity when used as the headquarters of an international group. Learn more about Malta’s holding company regime on our Healy Consultants blog;
      • A Maltese Investment Services license can be used to provide investment services or to act as funds custodians in Malta or in all European Union countries as this license is transferable to EU without a permit needed in other member states;
      • A Maltese company is unlikely to be considered a tax-avoidance vehicle as it is required to submit annual audited accounts.
    3. Malta offers many advantages for international Clients, such as:
      • English is an official language in Malta. It is spoken by 88% of the population. Therefore, foreign investors will easily be able to communicate with employees, customers and suppliers;
      • Malta is located in the heart of the Mediterranean near mainland Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Moreover, Malta has an excellent port infrastructure that, together with its membership of the European Union, makes it an ideal location for businesses entrepreneurs interested in Malta business.
    4. Malta offers several tax advantages to its investors, including:
      • The nation has signed double taxation avoidance agreements with over 50 countries;
      • No thin capitalization rules;
      • No exit taxes, wealth taxes, taxes on trade or payroll.
    5. Malta offers its investors world-class advanced telecommunications network as well as a pool of highly skilled workers.

    Disadvantages of Malta company registration

    1. Local companies are required to comply with the following regulations:
    2. The country imposes high taxes on local companies, such as:
      • Corporate tax rate is high at 35% and personal income tax rates are progressive from 0%-35%;
      • In order for a Maltese company to receive an EU VAT number for company registration, the management and control of the company must be in Malta. The company is required to register for VAT if the total value of goods acquired in a calendar year from a VAT-registered EU company exceeds €10,000 (US$13,150). VAT rate is 18%.
    3. Malta does not perform highly in relation to the following:
      • The country is negatively ranked as the world’s 50th freest economy according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom, a measure of freedom enjoyed in business, trade, monetary, financial, investment and labor markets;
      • Malta is negatively ranked as the 47th least corrupt country in the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, a global measure of corruption amongst public officials and politicians.
    4. Malta is endowed with poor and non-significant quantum of natural resources of its own. As a result, it suffers from these problems:
      • Investors prefer to start businesses in manufacturing, tourism and financial services industries. As a result, there is not much growth of the other sectors of the economy;
      • Most of the raw materials and industrial supplies need to be imported into Malta, making many manufacturing and other related sectors heavily dependent on imports;
      • Due to its poor natural resource endowment coupled with the limited market size of the economy, many industries are not able to reap enough profits.
  • Best uses of a Malta company

    Malta companies are good options as holding companies, as they can benefit from the following:

    1. Exemption from payment of withholding tax in Malta on dividends distributed to foreign individuals or companies;
    2. Access to EU double tax treaties to reduce withholding tax;
    3. Can be exempted from paying dividend income and capital gains from participating holdings.

Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: Two weeks
  • Cost to set up: €11,675
  • Minimum capital: €1,160
  • Physical office required: No

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 2
  • Directors: 1
  • Company secretary: Yes
  • Resident director: No

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 35%
  • Corporate tax base: Worldwide
  • Shelf companies: No
  • Main company type: limited company

Select corporate structure
Business set up guide
Malta corporate bank account
Business set up strategy
Compare European free zones
Compare low tax EU companies
Corporate support services

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Kunal, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Kunal Fabiani, directly:
airmalta malta-government malta individual investor programme central bank of malta malta chamber of commerce, enterprise and industry malta ministry for finance