The Maltese Trade Register, mainly known as the Registry of Companies, is part of the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA). The Trade Register is principally responsible for the registration of new companies and keeping the registry of companies up to date.
The Trade Register in Malta was first under the command of the Commerce Department that belonged to the government and it was introduced together with the Company Law in 1962. It became a department of the Malta Financial Services Authority in 1997, after the new Companies Act was enforced in 1995.
At that time, the Maltese Register of Companies underwent a modernization process and all the documents of existing companies were scanned and introduced in the new electronic database. In 2004, the database switched to a network-based system and, in 2006, the current electronic file system was enabled and, for the first time, the digital signature service was provided.
The main responsibilities the Maltese Registry of Companies has are the following:
- to register new commercial companies and partnerships;
- to register all the documents regarding the incorporation of new companies;
- to maintain up to date the companies’ and partnerships’ registers;
- to collect fees;
- to publish notices;
- to issue certificates;
- to reserve company names;
- to set and collect penalties;
- to conduct investigations on companies.
The documents required upon incorporation of a company in Malta are the memorandum and articles of association that must contain data about:
- the type of company,
- identification and addresses of the shareholders, directors and secretary,
- the name of the company and the business activity,
- the registered office and the share capital.
Together with the memorandum and articles of association, an application form, a receipt covering the registration fee and a bank account statement that the minimum share capital has been deposited must be submitted with the Trade Register.
The incorporation process will take up to three working days and once the incorporation has been made, the new company will receive a certificate of incorporation and a company registration number.