Opening a company in Malta has many advantages among which the taxation system, which provides up to 6/7 refunds to foreign shareholders, full tax exemptions for holding companies and no withholding taxes or stamp duties in case of profit repatriation. Also, when taking into account the low company formation and maintenance costs, foreign investors have many other reasons to open a company in Malta.
Foreign enterprisers setting up companies in Malta may choose between several types of business entities according to their needs. The Maltese Commercial Code allows the incorporation of the following structures:
private limited liability companies - the most employed business form in Malta,
public limited liability companies – which can be used by large businesses,
general partnerships – which are suitable for small and medium-sized businesses,
limited partnerships – they have the same characteristics and can be used for the same purpose as general partnerships,
sole proprietorships which are employed by persons carrying out business activities in their own name.
Foreign businesses also have several options, among which they can choose between subsidiaries, branches and liaison offices in Malta.
Structures employed by foreign companies in Malta
Foreign companies are also allowed to operate in Malta through one of the following business forms:
subsidiary companies which can be registered as limited liability companies;
liaison or representative offices.
The main differences between these structures reside in the degree of independence in relation to the parent company and the activities which can be undertaken on the local market. All three business forms are regulated by the Maltese Company Law.
The subsidiary company which can be set up as limited liability company offers the highest degree of independence and can also carry out activities which are not related to the parent company’s main object of activity. In comparison to this, the branch office depends on the foreign company completely and its activities are bound to the parent company’s main object of activity.
The liaison office is the simples business form a foreign company can establish in Malta, as it cannot perform any economic activity. It can only carry out marketing activities.
Our law firm in Malta can offer legal support to foreign companies interested in setting up any of these structures here, in accordance with their needs. We can also assist in EORI registration in Malta.
Buying a shelf company in Malta
Those who want to open a company in Malta also have the option of acquiring a ready-made or shelf company which can be customized based on the needs of the investor. The shelf company is an already registered company; however, its name, directors, legal address and object of activity can be changed in order to accommodate the requirements of the new owner.
Requirements for opening a company in Malta
When deciding to start a business in Malta, foreign enterprisers will consider the amount of money, also called a share capital they will have to invest in the company. From this point of view, the Commercial Code only requires private and public companies to deposit a specific amount of money.
In the case of a Maltese private company, the minimum amount accepted is 1,165 euros, while for the public company the minimum share capital is approximately 46,600 euros of which only 25% must be deposited prior to registration. Private limited companies with authorized share capital above the minimum threshold must deposit 20% of the amount of money.
Both types of companies must have at least two shareholders, even if the Company Law also allows a single shareholder to establish a company in Malta.
For additional information about the requirements for opening a company, you can rely on our lawyers in Malta.
You can also find out how to open a company in Malta from the scheme below:
I have had a long and fruitful collaboration with LawyersMalta.eu and I have been satisfied by the professionalism of the attorneys I worked with. My questions were duly answered and I can recommend them to foreign investors who need legal consultancy in Malta.
Mihai Cuc, Partner of Enescu&Cuc; Law Firm www.romanianlawoffice.com