Doing business in Malta

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When starting a business, the first thing you will need to decide is the type of legal business structure that best suits your company’s operations. For a list of Maltese business structures, please click on the following link: Registration of Legal Form of Business. See also The Legal Format.

Generally, the procedure required to set-up your business will depend on the legal structure you select. This information is further discussed in the DIFME toolkit Module 4, which explores different types of business formats, emphasizing how each format may facilitate your needs.

Typically, in Malta, it takes around 20.5 days to register your business, and the minimum capital required is generally €233, however, this cost may vary depending on the different legal structure you opt for. For more information on the relative ease of doing business in Malta, please refer to the following link: The World Bank.

In addition to selecting a legal structure, you will need to reserve a unique company name which, in Malta, costs around €10 and takes one business day. Once you’ve selected your company’s legal structure, and reserved your unique company name, you will need to draft a memorandum and association of articles, which will cost between €500 to €1,000, and deposit the paid-in minimum capital charge at your bank. You will also need to choose a registered address, which refers to the official address of your company. This address will be used for tax filings, receiving important documents and correspondence from government agencies, and will be necessary to set-up a bank account. Once all these processes have been conducted, you may then register your organization and obtain a tax identification number.

In addition, you will also need to register your business for an Employer Identification Number, see also Labour Legislation, you may need to protect your business idea by applying for intellectual property (more info here), and you need to ensure that you comply with licence, permit and professional qualification requirements (more info here).

When establishing your business, it is imperative to consider the start-up capital you will need. Typically, this will vary according to your company’s legal status and anticipated expenses (e.g., rent for premises, employee wages, water and electricity, audited accounts etc.). For more information on start-up capital, please refer to the DIFME toolkit Module 2.

Prior to establishing your business, it may be advisable to seek professional assistance or consultation from a qualified accountant or corporate lawyer.

Maltese registered companies

In Malta, all organizations, regardless of their size, are legally bound to have audited accounts. There is also a fee structure to:

  1. register your company and
  2. prepare the annual return.

In Malta, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and General Accounting Principles for Small and Medium Sized Entities (GAPSME) are the financial reporting frameworks applied. In the case of small enterprises, since 1st January 2016, GAPSME was recognized as the official accounting framework for small and medium businesses. All accounts are subject to being audited.

  • Statement of financial position (Balance sheet)
  • Statement of profit or loss (Income statement)
  • Notes to the financial statements (inclusive of accounting policies), which support the above statements

Malta links and information