Business entities in Malta
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC efficiently assisted foreign investors interested in complete business setup solution in Malta. The country’s tax regime is particularly attractive for the relocation of import/export and financial companies from other parts of the European Union. There are however other reasons to register a company in Malta, and one of them is the country’s flexible business setup requirements.
Please refer to the page below for further details on the different type of companies available in Malta.
The Maltese Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- This structure, suitable for SMEs, requires i) at least two founders, contributing a minimum capital of only €233, ii) a company secretary and iii) one director, who all can be of any nationality, and can reside outside of Malta;
- LLCs are required to submit financial statements each year to the Inland Revenue Service, which do not need to be audited. While corporate income tax standard rate is 35%, multiple tax incentives offer multiple refund routes on both local and foreign sourced income, reducing the corporate tax burden to an effective rate up to 10%.
Best uses for a Malta limited liability company: Most SMEs are registered as Maltese LLCs. Due to convenient tax refund policies and low incorporation requirements, such entity constitutes a cost-efficient business start-up solution.
The Maltese Public Limited Company (PLC)
- PLCs in Malta are allowed to participate in extended share issuance for the purpose of public offering. These shares can be common and preference, both freely transferrable;
- This structure allows listing on the Maltese Borza (Stock Exchange) and several other EU-based stock exchange platforms;
- The minimal capital required for PLC formation amounts to €46,500.
Best uses for a Maltese PLC: Such structure is suitable for larger local and international projects. Because of the involvement of large investment pool, we recommend listing on the Maltese Stock Exchange.
The Malta free zone company (free industrial zone company)
- Investors interested in export oriented and logistics activities can form a wholly owned free zone company in the Maltese Free Port;
- With this structure, businesses gain access to: i) reduced corporate income tax and VAT, and ii) investment tax credits;
- The Malta free zone company requires the appointment of i) at least 1 director and 2 shareholders of any nationality, who can either be both individual or legal entities and ii) the appointment of one resident Maltese legal representative.
Best uses for a Malta free zone company: Due to the close proximity of a vital seaport and access to multiple tax advantages, the Maltese Free zone company is a perfect solution for cost-efficient manufacturing or logistics businesses.
The Malta branch office
- A branch office registered in Malta should operate only within the scope of activities defined by the foreign parent company;
- Furthermore, a branch office registered in Malta is required to legally appoint a branch representative residing in Malta;
- Positively, Malta does not impose branch remittance taxation.
Best uses for a Maltese branch office: This entity is preferred by financial companies and banks interested to consolidate their profits globally.
The Malta representative office
- Investors looking to preliminary explore the Maltese market, but do not want to i) register an operational subsidiary or ii) conduct any profit generating activities in Malta, prefer to register a non-trading representative office.
Best uses for a Maltese representative office: Representative offices are recommended for investors that wish to promote their product on the Maltese market or explore potential larger business expansion without the expense or risks associated with carrying any commercial activity in the country.
Table of comparison between entities in Malta
|Type of company||LLC||PLC||Free Zone LLC||Branch office||Representative office|
|Doing business in Malta permitted?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Considered a Malta tax resident company||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allowed to sign contracts with local Clients?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allowed to invoice local Clients?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Local office premises required before registration?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Virtual office suffices to meet the above requirement?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Allowed to import raw materials?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Resident director required?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Resident company secretary required||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||N/A|
|Malta registered address required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Virtual office address allowed?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Can be wholly foreign owned?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum authorized share capital?||€1,165||€46,588||€1,165||N/A||N/A|
|Minimum paid up capital||€233||€11,647||€233||N/A||N/A|
|Does our Client need to travel?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Minimum directors allowed?||1||2||1||N/A||N/A|
|Corporate shareholders allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|How long to set the company up?||2 weeks||3 weeks||3 weeks||3 weeks||3 weeks|
|How long to open company bank account?||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Accounting and tax|
|Access to double taxation treaties||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|File annual tax return?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Corporate bank account?||HSBC||Pilatus||FCM Bank||Medbank||Bank of Valetta|
|Corporate tax rate on Malta sales?||35%||35%||35%||35%||N/A|
|Annual financial statements required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to issue sales invoices in Malta?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allowed to sign contracts with Maltese entities?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Can rent an office in Malta?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can own equity in other Maltese companies?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Sample engagement fee invoice|