A Maltese company may be set up either as private or as a public company. The main difference is that in a private company there are restrictions on how and to whom shares can be transferred. A Maltese company can be incorporated for a vast range of purposes; the same company can be used for holding shares and assets and for carrying out trading activities.
In Malta, Companies are regulated by the Registry of Companies which forms part of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). Below is a brief outline of the characteristics of a company in Malta :
Any person of any nationality can act as a Company Director. Provided that the chosen person is not:
- Interdicted or incapacitated or is an undischarged bankrupt;
- He has been convicted of any of the crimes affecting public trust or of theft or of fraud or of knowingly receiving property obtained by theft or fraud;
- He is a minor who has not been emancipated.
Every Company registered in Malta has to have a secretary who will be responsible for keeping:
- The minute book of general meetings of the company;
- The minute book of meetings of the board of directors;
- The register of members;
- The register of debentures;
- Such other registers and records as the company secretary may be required to keep by the board of directors.
The company secretary shall:
- Ensure that proper notices are given of all meetings;
- Ensure that all returns and other documents of the company are prepared and delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act, 1995.
The Maltese Company can operate bank accounts worldwide, provided that the opening of such bank accounts is duly authorized by the board of Directors. The board of directors also has the powers to appoint any other person to act as bank signatory on any specific bank accounts.
Each Company registered in Malta must have a registered office in Malta where all the documents and accounting records of the Company are held.
Timeframe for setting up a Company in Malta
Following the signing of the proposed Memorandum and Articles, the deposit of the share capital in a local bank account and the provision of all documents; it should not take longer than four days to register the Company.
- English is one of the two primary languages, in fact, Maltese students start learning English at school form the age of four;
- Malta’s geographic position makes it the perfect logistics hub for trade links to Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean;
- Highly skilled workforce at a lower cost than in other European countries;
- Malta Freeport services 115 ports worldwide. A recent investment in further cranes at the Malta Freeport means that now the same Freeport can handle over 18,000 TEU vessels on 2 berths;
- The International Airport has 37 partner airlines capable of serving 86 destinations;
- Multi-fibre links are located in Malta, connected to various international carriers at Gigabit capacities such as Cable and Wireless, Telecom Italia and Interoute;
- The Maltese Government is pro-business and in fact, is always proposing incentives for attracting FDI;
- Reasonable rental rate for industrial premises;
- The legislative framework is in line with the main EU directives which makes it sufficiently flexible and easy to relate to different legal systems especially those within the EU;
- Malta is ranked 25th in technological readiness from 144 countries around the world according to the latest Global Information Technology Report index 2015;
- The Maltese Islands offer the Mediterranean climate combined with great history, culture and entertainment options;
- Relatively low costs of living when compared to other parts of the EU;
- High standards of healthcare and education.
Malta Corporate Tax
Malta operates a full imputation tax system which completely eliminates the economic double taxation of company profits. While the corporate tax rate stands at 35%, upon a distribution of dividends, the shareholders are entitled to a refund of the Malta tax charged (generally 6/7ths).
Double Taxation Treaties
Malta has over 60 double taxation agreements, of which Maltese companies can avail themselves of.
Income derived from patents
Malta recently introduced a tax emption applying to any income derived from patents. The exemption applies no matter where the patent was developed and no matter where it is registered; provided that it is registerable in Malta.
Malta does not have any transfer pricing regulations.
Thin capitalisation rules
Malta does not have any thin capitalisation rules
Malta does not have any controlled foreign corporate rules.
In certain instances, gains derived from the disposal of shares in a company might be tax exempt.
Malta operates an attractive participation exemption regime which applies both for gains and dividends derived by holding shares into a foreign subsidiary.
How can M. Meilak & Associates assist you?
M. Meilak & Associates provides various services in the company formation in Malta:
- Drafting of the memorandum & articles of association of the Company in accordance with Maltese law;
- Filing the relevant documents with the authorities to set up the company;
- Registration of the company both with the tax and VAT authorities;
- Assistance with opening a Company’s bank account in Malta;
- We provide advice in both direct and indirect tax;
- We assist our clients in dealing with issues relating to the employment of expatriate personnel, including direct tax and work permit applications;
- Provision of registered office and company secretary in Malta;
- We provide all necessary company compliance work to Maltese companies ranging from accounting, payroll, VAT returns preparation and submission to the audit of financial statements, submission of income tax returns as well as applications for tax refund.