Setting up a Company in Malta

Malta as a jurisdiction of choice: Malta has emerged as a stable and efficient financial centre despite the island’s relatively small size.  The country’s sound banking system and favourable tax planning options have attracted the interest of a number of the world’s leading financial institutions and high-net worth individuals.  In addition, Malta offers a wide range of corporate vehicles such as companies, limited partnerships, SPVs, trusts and foundations.  These vehicles have been designed to provide asset planners with a certain level of security and the necessary structures for the setting up of even the most complex of business models. It is also possible to redomicile existing structures to Malta (see below).

Advantages: Setting up in Malta brings about a number of advantages such as tax benefits to shareholders and potential tax exemptions for holding companies. Furthermore, Maltese tax law does not charge any withholding taxes upon distribution of dividends. Exemption on stamp duty and capital gains may also apply in relation to share transfers depending, inter alia, on the resident status of the shareholder. Income may be expatriated without particular restrictions. This is coupled with the low formation and maintenance costs which the jurisdiction offers.

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In Malta there is one form of company - the limited liability company - this may be private or public.

The private limited liability company is the most commonly used legal structure in Malta and is required to have a minimum share capital of 1,165 Euros and at least one shareholders being either individuals, corporate entities or registered trustees.  At least 20 percent of the issued share capital must be paid up and must be remitted to a “Company formation” bank account. Furthermore, the company is required to have at least one director, a company secretary and a registered office located in Malta.

On the other hand, should the limited liability company be registered as a public company it will require a share capital of 46,600 Euros and two directors upon incorporation.

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Yes. Subject to specific requirements, a public limited liability company may also assume the form of a European company (societas europaea or SE).

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The approval of the Registrar of Companies is required prior to the setting up of a company. A limited liability company may be registered by the shareholders or their authorised agent. In this regard Mamo TCV Advocates may carry out all the necessary formalities.

The length of time to incorporate depends on the type of company and on whether all information and documentation is available and in order. However, generally, the process may take as little as 48 hours

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In general, the following information and documentation will be needed in order to incorporate the company: 

  • The reservation of the prospective company name with the Registrar of Companies
  • Details of the main business activity of the company must be provided in order to formulate the objects clause of the Memorandum of Association.
  • The minimum share capital requirement and remittance of same in a local bank account.
  • Due diligence documents relating to the shareholders and directors

A company registration fee would be payable to the Registry of Companies.

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Yes. Maltese law provides for the redomiciliation or relocation of corporate entities to Malta. Such a process (also referred to as ‘transfer of seat’) signifies that a company registered in a foreign jurisdiction may retain its already existing status as a body corporate in Malta. In effect, no new legal entity is created and this arrangement is intended to ensure that nothing prejudices or affects the continuity or continued operation of the company. That is to say, the company retains all its assets and liabilities and remains bound by all obligations incurred as from the date of its incorporation in the original jurisdiction. The said corporate entity must be a body corporate registered or incorporated in a country or jurisdiction which has been approved by the Registrar of Companies. Once registered, companies will be entitled to benefit from all the incentives available to Maltese- registered companies. 

Similarly, the Regulations allow for the continuation of Maltese companies in a foreign jurisdiction that permits such continuation, subject to consent being granted for the company to be continued overseas by the Registrar of Companies.

We have a wealth of experience in this field, and have advised and assisted international groups of companies on the redomiciliation and continuation of their corporate structures in Malta and the benefits thereof. 

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Mamo TCV offers a comprehensive range of corporate and commercial legal services and boasts an experienced and dedicated Corporate department. Besides the legal services we offer to clients, we are also in a position to provide a one-stop shop service through the close co-operation arrangements which we have established with a number of local services providers. Furthermore, we will be in a position to liaise with the Registrar of Companies during the company formation process and can offer company secretary and registered office services.

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