Setting up a new company in Malta is relatively easy and hassle-free, thanks to the island’s favourable business legislation and tax system. Nevertheless, there are few things to tick off your checklist before you can start operating your business on the smallest EU nation.
Probably the biggest advantage of setting up a business in Malta is that, with the exception of the medical, financial, pharmaceutical and insurance industries, firms don’t require any special permit to do so. Hence, many start-ups find this to be an attractive incentive. After having completed your business plan and submitted your visa application, you’re pretty much good to go.
Reserve Your Company Name
For starters, you’ll need to reserve a unique name for your business. You can do this online through the Registry of Companies, a public registry which forms part of the Malta Financial Services Authority.
The Memorandum and Articles of Associations
The Registry of Companies requires all firms to draft and register both documents, the MOA and AOA, which serve as an agreement between the companies’ shareholders. The Memorandum is probably the most important document as it should contain all primary information about the company, including name, status, registered offices, details about the firm’s shareholders, directors, secretary and legal representatives, share capital and the number and value of shares.
Depositing the Minimum Share Capital
A local or foreign bank account for your company will be opened where you will be required to deposit the minimum share capital for your business. This amount depends on the nature of the company being established and will be outlined in the Memorandum and Articles of Association. This step can only be completed once you have secured several completed documents namely a KYC form, a copy of the MOA and AOA, a request to open the account, proof of the directors’ permanent address, and a signed form appointing the bankers.
Now that you’ve completed the first 3 steps in the process, your company will officially be registered in Malta and you will be issued with a certificate of incorporation by the Trade Register after bringing in all necessary documents to the Registry of Companies.
Obtaining a Tax Identification Number (TIN)
All business activity in Malta necessitates a tax identification number which can be obtained by registering at the Inland Revenue Department on showing your registration certificate.
Applying for a trade licence
If your business activity falls under the catering, beauty, or wellness sectors, you’ll require a No Objection Declaration from the Environmental Health Directorate. All other types of commercial operations must apply for a trade licence through the Trade Licensing Unit.
Registering for VAT
If your business turnover is more than 35000€ for imported goods and €24,000 for services, you will be liable to pay value added tax (VAT). A VAT number can easily be acquired by registering online with your ID number as well as a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
Hiring your Staff
All company owners should ensure that their firm is in compliance with the island’s employment laws before taking the step to start recruiting employees. Companies must sign up at the Employment and Training Corporation, which organises courses and training to equip job seekers with the skills in demand.
While the process of opening a company in Malta is quite straightforward compared to bigger European countries, some business owners do seek out the assistance of lawyers to help make the process even swifter.