Act XLVIII of 2016, entitled the Family Business Act (the "Act"),  creates a legal framework for the registration of family businesses "established in Malta".  The system of registration contained in the Act allows Maltese authorities to supervise the grant offinancial "benefits"  to those businesses that meet any of the criteria set out in Article 3 of the Act, and which have been duly registered with "the Regulator". Indeed, Article 7 of the Act provides that a business shall be a registered family business once it has been accepted for registration by the Regulator in terms of Article 28 of the Act.
As a result, prior registration is necessary for a family business to qualify for any of the benefits conferred by the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act, the Malta Enterprise Act and the Business Promotion Act.
Act XXXVII of 2018, entitled The Family Business (Amendment) Act (the "Amending Act"), envisages a few changes to the Act, which are summarized as follows:
By virtue of Legal Notice 17 of 2019 all amendments shall apply from the 31st January 2019.
 Cap. 565 of the Laws of Malta
 The term "established in Malta" means the head office, agency, or branch or part of a business and shall include a permanent presence of that business carried out in Malta" – Article 2 of the Act
 The term "benefits" means any assistance or relief granted to a registered family business in terms of the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act, Malta Enterprise Act, Business Promotion Act and in terms of any other law or scheme as the Minister may prescribe by regulations;
 The term "Regulator" means a person who is appointed to manage, supervise and administer the Register of Family Businesses according to this Act and appointed by virtue of article 17 – Article 2 of the Act