Company in Malta

Malta is an EU Member State with
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Malta

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We specialize in Malta Company Formation and Malta Citizenship and Residency – Residence. We help you with Malta company formation, company set up and incorporation, management services, bank account opening, issue of passports and residence permits, taxation as well as Malta Residence and Citizenship Services in order to obtain Malta Company Tax and Malta Residence and Citizenship Advantages.

Malta provides unique advantages and constructive use of Malta state incentives can give you significant benefits. Tax, residency, safety and lifestyle advantages.

We are leading Company Formation and Citizenship professionals who are part of the FBS Kotsomitis Global Network. We will be your Partner in Malta for ALL your Malta Company Formation and Malta Citizenship Needs.

Malta General Information and Facts

Malta, a small island state in the heart of the Mediterranean, lies in a strategic position, a crossroad between North and South and a stepping stone between Europe and North Africa. With little natural resources, the importance of Malta, has always lied squarely with its geographic position and the island has a chequered history of foreign rulers from the Phoenicians, Romans, Normans, Arabs, Spanish, Knights of St. John, the French and lastly the British. The island was a fortress economy, with a 150-year reliance on the British armed forces. Post independence, in 1964, the island sold itself as a manufacturing hub, particularly in the textile and the electronics industry, and bolstering its nascent tourism industry. In the early 1990s, the island changed skin once again, with a drive to embrace EU membership, bolster its services industry and reduce the reliance on the tourism sector. This paved the route to a series of privatisations of many government enterprises and government-owned companies and tighter control on government expenditure. Malta became a member of the EU on 1 May 2004 and adopted the Euro on 1 January 2008. Pursuant to the accession to the EU, new knowledge-based activities were spawned such as financial services, remote gaming, information and communications technologies, aviation services increasing the clout of the island state. Well positioned after the international financial crisis, Malta seeks to retain its competitive edge and attract foreign investment with a blend of professional services, low costs, receptive and stable investment climate and fiscal advantages.

 

Malta EU Post Accession Era

Malta acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004 along with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The Accession to the European Union has further enhanced Malta’s political and economic stability. Malta has become a strong business and financial business centre within the EU, a powerhouse in Remote Gaming and significantly increasing its clout in Financial Services, particularly as an alternative Fund jurisdiction to Luxembourg and the Republic of Ireland.

Malta has the infrastructure, the know-how, the legal system, the professional services and the expertise to fulfill successfully its new strategic role as one of EU’s prime International Business and Financial Centre.

 

Investment Climate in Malta

Malta, a member of the European Union since 2004, has sought and has incentivised foreign direct investment to increase its rate of economic growth. Malta provides incentives to attract investments in manufacturing, transshipment and servicing industries especially generic pharmaceuticals manufacturing, information and computer technology (ICT) and financial services.

Foreign investment has played an integral part in the Government of Malta’s policies in the drive for reducing the role of the state in the economy and increase private sector activity in the drive for the adoption of the Euro as the currency of the country as of January 1, 2008.

Malta’s advantages for foreign investors include membership in the EU, competitive wage rates (compared to other EU states) a highly skilled English-speaking labour force, access to European and North African markets, a fair and just business environment, excellent telecommunications and transport connections as well as several financial and other investment incentives.

 

Professional Services in Malta

With some specialised I.T. schools and a reputable university spawning over 8,000 graduates in Malta every year a skilled, multi-lingual workforce consisting of auditors, accountants, secretaries, lawyers, translators etc are available in Malta.

The standards of the accountancy profession are very high, and are strictly adhered to International Accounting Standards and International Standards on Auditing.

 

Malta Banking System

The unit of currency of Malta is, as of 1 January 2008, the Euro.

The banking system in Malta, is well developed, highly organised, reputable and capable of providing fast and efficient service worldwide. The system is conservative, depending mostly on retail deposits rather than wholesale borrowing. Nevertheless, the banking landscape has developed swiftly in the past years, and as of March 2011, there are 25 licensed credit institutions. Although most of these credit institutions partake essentially back-office roles, over the years, most licence holders have branched out into more specialised areas of their group’s global operations, to include amongst others, wealth management, private banking, treasury options and syndicated loans.

In their effort to satisfy the diverse needs of the business community, the commercial banks are full members of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) and provide a wide range of facilities. FBS can assist non-residents to open bank account in Malta and other jurisdictions.

 

Malta Exchange Control

Exchange controls have been abolished since 19 April 2004. External transactions (i.e. capital and current transactions involving operations between resident and non-resident persons or other entities, whether in or outside Malta) are not subject to any restrictions under Maltese law.

However, in certain cases agents licensed to deal in foreign exchange in terms of article 24A of the Central Bank of Malta Act (Chapter 204 of the Laws of Malta) have to report external transactions effected on behalf of resident customers to the Central Bank of Malta for statistical purposes.

Accordingly, the island is an ideal location for the maintenance, transfer and conversion of funds, which is facilitated by excellent telecommunication and efficient international banking services.

 

Confidentiality in Malta

Confidentiality in Malta is ensured through a number of legal instruments such as:

  • The Professional Secrecy Act 1994 which imposes strict confidentiality rules on all professionals, officials and other individuals who recieve privileged information in the course of their duties; the sanctions are heavy fines and imprisonment;
  • Article 27 of the Criminal Code, Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta, which imposes far-reaching criminal sanctions pursuant to any violations of professional secrecy;
  • Article 1124A of the Civil Code, Chapter 16 of the Laws of Malta, which prescribes the statutory obligations which apply to any person carrying out the functions of a fiduciary.

Maltese Trust law establishes the confidentiality of trust documents and dealings and the actions of the trustee, and any legal proceedings or disclosures which may be ordered by a Court of Law are strictly made behind closed doors, accessible only to the Court and the interested parties.

 

Malta Telecommunications

Malta has one of the most highly developed and efficient telecommunication systems in the world, with one of the highest internet penetration rate per capita.

Evidence of this sophisticated network is the SmartCity project – a technology park currently under development in Kalkara, Malta. The plan is to transform the Ricasoli Industrial Estate into a state-of-the-art information technology and media city on the models of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City. The project was unveiled on 10 September 2007 by the Prime Minister of Malta, Lawrence Gonzi. The project will cost at least 275 million Euro. The whole development, which covers an area of 360,000 square metres, is to be fully completed in 2021, although the first offices have been operative since 2009.

There are a number of telecommunication service providers in Malta, and applications for telephone or internet services are available online. ADSL and broadband services are widely available. The telecommunication service infrastructure is robust and can adequately service the several Remote Gaming Companies which are licensed in Malta, and which are obliged, as a condition to their licence to host their gaming system in Malta.

There are a number of mobile phone networks providing good coverage across Malta, as well as good national and international postal services, operated by Maltapost and international courier service providers such as Fedex, TNT, UPS are available.

Malta has a range of daily and weekly Maltese and English language newspapers. Traditionally, many of these have had strong political affiliations. The main daily English language newspapers are The Times and The Malta Independent. Other English language newspapers include The Malta Business Weekly and the Sunday Times.

 

Malta International Transport

The transportation system in Malta is small, and the islands’ small domestic system of public transport is reliant on buses and taxis.

There are a few options for transport to help you get around in Malta. Buses with various routes can get you virtually everywhere on Malta and Gozo, and at a cheap fare. Other options are taxis and mini buses which are available for private booking, along with car hire which is widely available.

Malta has three large natural harbours on its main island; the Grand Harbour, the Marsamxett Harbour and the Marsaxlokk Harbour.

Malta International Airport is the only airport serving the Maltese Islands. All airlines that fly to Malta, including those offering cheap flights to Malta, have their own representative office at Malta International Airport.

 

Malta Economy – Facts

In its drive to modernise its economy, Malta has moved from an economy almost entirely dependant on tourism services to a service-based one, with financial services, banking and igaming enjoying steady and consistent growth. The most salient features of the Maltese economy may be summarised as follows:

Economy of Malta
Currency Euro since 1 January 2008
Statistics
GDP $9.65 billion (2009 est.)
GDP Growth 2.5% (2011 est.)
GDP per Capita $23,800 (2009 est.)
GDP by Sector agriculture: 1.4%; industry: 18%; services: 80.6% (2007 est.)
Natural resources Limestone, salt, arable land
Agriculture products Potatoes, cauliflower, grapes, wheat, barley, tomatoes, citrus, cut flowers, green peppers; pork, milk, poultry, eggs
Industries Tourism; electronics, ship building and repair, construction; food and beverages, textiles, footwear, clothing, tobacco
Main Industries Tourism, electronics, ship building and repair, construction, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, tobacco, aviation services, financial services, information technology services
External
Exports $2.459 billion (2009 est.)
Export Goods electrical machinery, mechanical appliances, fish and crustaceans, pharmaceutical products, printed material
Main Export Partners Germany 13.5%, Singapore 13%, France 12.2%, US 9.6%, UK 8.2%, Hong Kong 6.7%, Japan 6.4%, Italy 4.7% (2008)
Imports $3.94 billion (2009 est.)
Import Goods mineral fuels and oils, electrical machinery, non-electrical machinery, aircraft and other transport equipment, plastic and other semi-manufactured goods; food, drink, tobacco
Main Imports Partners Italy 28%, UK 13.5%, France 8.2%, Germany 7.4%, Singapore 6.4% (2008)
Gross External Debt $188.8 million (2005)

 

Malta Export Opportunities

The accession to the EU on 1 May 2004 liberalised the island’s trade regimes, allowing all goods to be traded between Malta and the EU with a zero tariff rate. Under the same agreement, Malta has adopted fully the EU’s Common Customs Tariff (CCT) for products from third (non – EU) countries.

Best prospects generally lie in services and high technology sectors, such as computer equipment and data processing services, financial services, environmental protection technology, medical and telecommunications equipment, and tourism development projects.

Finally, the island’s private sector has a growing appetite for office machines, computer software and data processing equipment.

 

Geography – Facts about Malta

Having virtually no natural resources, Malta has historically taken full advantage of its strategic position in the heart of the Mediterranean, first as a military base, and then as a financial service and igaming hub, with daily flight connections to continental Europe and Northern Africa.

Area 316 sq. km. (122 sq. mi.)
Location Southern Europe, islands in the Mediterranean Sea, east of Tunisia, south of Sicily
Cities Capital: Valletta Other Cities: Sliema, Mdina, Rabat
Terrain Coastal cliffs, rocky, low hills
Climate Mediterranean: subtropical summers, with mild, rainy winters

 

Malta People – Facts

Paying homage to cultural and historic ties, Malta has a rich and varied history. The Phoenicians were one of the first peoples to settle in Malta, followed by the Romans, the Arabs, the Normans, the Knights of the Order of St. John, the French and lastly the English. English is one of the official languages of Malta, with Italian, French and German widely spoken.

Nationality Noun & Adjective Maltese
Population (2009) 406,000
Annual Growth Rate 0.6%
Ethnic Groups Mixture of Arab, Sicilian, Norman, Spanish, Italian, English
Religions Roman Catholic (96%), Muslim (2%), Greek Orthodox (1%), Others (1%)
Languages Maltese (Official) English (Official) Italian
Education Years Compulsory- Until age 16 Attendance- 96% Literacy- 93%
Health Infant Mortality 3.75/1,000 Life Expectancy 77 yrs. males, 81 yrs. females

 

Malta Government – Facts

Malta is a politically stable parliamentary democracy on the Westminster model, based on the Constitution of 1964 (modified in 1974). The President is the Head of State, but executive power lies with the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Ministers are appointed from among elected MPs. Malta has declared itself neutral territory.

Type Republic
Independence September 21, 1964
Constitution September 1964; Revised 1974; Revised 1987
Branches Executive President (Chief of State) Prime Minister (Head of Government) Cabinet Legislative Unicameral House of Representatives Judicial Constitutional Court
Administrative Subdivisions 13 Electoral Districts
Political Parties Nationalist Party Malta Labour Party Alternattiva Demokratika
Suffrage Universal at age 18

 

Principal Government Officials
President George Abela
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tonio Borg
Minister of Finance Tonio Fenech
Minister of Infrastructure, Transport &Communication Austin Gatt
Minister of Justice & Home Affairs Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici
Ambassador to the United States Mark Miceli Farrugia
Ambassador to the United Nations Saviour Borg

Contact one of our officers to initiate the incorporation of a Maltese registered company and start reaping the full benefits of an onshore, low-tax, EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on enquiries@fbsmalta.com or by calling at +356 2338 1500

We are committed to providing you with a swift solution best suited to your needs.

Malta Judiciary and Law Overview

The legal system is based on civil (Roman) law, which eventually progressed to the Code de Rohan, Code Napoleon with Influences from Italian Civil and Penal Law. However, English Common Law is also a source of Malta Judiciary and Law, particularly in commercial, corporate and public Law, with the judiciary often making references to English Common Law judgments on matters of interpretation.

In 1987 Malta adopted the European Convention on Human Rights as part of its law. Since then, Maltese citizens have the right of access to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. This Court is composed of judges from the member States of the Council of Europe, including Malta.

As of 1995, in line with the country’s ambition to join the EU, Maltese Law has transposed EU Directives.

The Courts of Justice cater for all civil and criminal proceedings. There are also ten (10) Local Tribunals in Malta and Gozo which deal with depenalised offences.

The Maltese Courts include:

  • The Constitutional Court
  • The Court of Appeal
  • The Court of Criminal Appeal
  • The Criminal Court
  • The Civil Court
  • The Magistrates’ Court
  • The Gozo Courts
  • The Small Claims Tribunal
  • The European Small Claims Procedure
  • Local Tribunals
  • The Juvenile Court
  • The Administrative Review Tribunal
  • The pre-trial system
  • Reference to the Court of Justice of the European Communities

The Constitutional Court

The jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, composed of three (3) judges. It is appellate in cases involving alleged violations of human rights, the interpretation of the Constitution and invalidity of laws. It has original jurisdiction to decide questions as to membership of the House of Representatives and any reference made to it relating to voting for election of members of the House of Representatives.

The Court of appeal

This Court is composed of three judges when it hears appeals from the judgements of the Civil Court, and of one judge when it hears appeals from the Court of Magistrates in its civil jurisdiction. An appeal also lies to the Court of Appeal from decisions of a number of administrative tribunals, mostly on points of law.

The Court of Criminal Appeal

The Court consists of three (3) judges and hears appeals from persons convicted by the Criminal Court. A person convicted on indictment may appeal against his conviction in all cases or against the sentence passed on his conviction unless the sentence is one fixed by law. An appeal can never result in a sentence of greater severity. An accused person may also appeal against a verdict of not guilty on the ground of insanity. In certain cases the Court may also order a re-trial. The Attorney General, who is the prosecutor before the Criminal Court, cannot appeal from a verdict of acquittal or, in certain cases, against the sentence passed. The Court also hears appeals by the accused and by the Attorney General from decisions on preliminary pleas and from decisions of pleas regarding the admissibility of evidence.

This Court, when formed of one judge, hears appeals from judgements delivered by the Court of Magistrates in its criminal jurisdiction. In this case the person convicted can also appeal in all cases, whether against conviction or against the sentence passed. The Attorney General’s right of appeal from these judgements is limited in most cases to appeals on points of law, although increasingly, particular laws are giving a general right of appeal to the Attorney General in connection with some offences.

The Criminal Court

In this Court the judge sits with a jury of nine persons to try, on indictment, offences exceeding the competence of the Court of Magistrates as a Court of Criminal Judicature. This court may, in certain exceptional cases, sit without a jury.

The Civil Court

There shall be three sections in the Civil Court to which shall be assigned the category of cases. The sections of the Civil Court shall be the Family Section, the Voluntary Jurisdiction Section (previously known as the Second Hall) and the a general jurisdiction section to be styled the First Hall of the Civil Court. The First Hall takes cognisance of all causes of a civil and commercial nature exceeding the jurisdiction of the Courts of Magistrates.

To the Civil Court (Family Section) shall be assigned those cases falling within the competence of the Civil Court and which relate to matters regulated by Titles I, II and IV of Book First of the Civil Code; The Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Ordinance; The Maintenance Ordinance (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act; The Marriage Act and The Child Abduction and Child Custody Act.

To the Civil Court (Voluntary Jurisdiction Section) shall be assigned applications falling within the competence of the Civil Court and which relate to matters regulated by Titles III, V, VI and VII of the Book First of the Civil Code and Part II of Book Second of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure. These areas include authority to proceed the tutorship of minors, adoption, the interdiction and incapacitation of persons, the opening of successions and the confirmation of testamentary executors.

One Judge presides in all three Sections.

The Magistrates’ Courts

This Court, which is composed of one Magistrate, exercises both a civil and a criminal jurisdiction.

The Court of Magistrates, in civil matters, has an inferior jurisdiction of first instance, limited to claims exceeding €3,494.06 but not exceeding €23,323. In criminal matters, the Court has a two-fold jurisdiction, namely, as a court of criminal judicature for the trial of offences which fall within its jurisdiction, and as a court of inquiry in respect of offences which fall within the jurisdiction of a higher tribunal. In the second case, it conducts the preliminary inquiry in respect of indictable offences and transmits the relative record to the Attorney General. The Attorney General may send for trial by this court any person charged with a crime punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding six months but not exceeding ten years if there is no objection on the part of such person. The court asks the accused whether he objects to his case being dealt with summarily and if the accused does not object, the court becomes competent to try the accused and proceeds to give judgement.

The Gozo Courts

The Court of Magistrates for Gozo in civil matters, has a two-fold Jurisdiction – an inferior jurisdiction comparable to that exercised by its counterpart Court in Malta, and a superior jurisdiction, both civil and commercial, in respect of causes which in Malta are cognisable by the First Hall of the Civil Court. Within the limits of its territorial jurisdiction, this Court has also the powers of a Court of voluntary jurisdiction.


Small Claims Tribunal

The Small Claims Tribunal is presided by an adjudicator who decides cases on principles of equity according to law. Adjudicators are appointed from amongst advocates for a term of five years. Adjudicators decide cases brought before them without delay. The aim is to have claims not exceeding the sum of €3,494.06 decided summarily. Sittings of this Tribunal are held in Malta or Gozo. An appeal from the decision of the Tribunal lies to the Court of Appeal on specific cases listed in the Act establishing the Tribunal.


The European Small Claims Procedure

The European Small Claims Procedure Regulation – Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 established a European Small Claims Procedure. The provisions of this Regulation came into force on the 1st January 2009. The aim of this Regulation is to simplify and speed up the settlement of cross-border litigation on small claims. It applies to civil and commercial matters where the claim does not exceed € 2,000. This procedure is a written procedure. The claimant shall commence this procedure by filling in a standard claim Form A including a description of evidence supporting the claim. After receiving the properly filled claim form the court or tribunal shall fill in Part 1 of the standard answer Form C. A copy of the claim shall be served on the defendant and shall be dispatched within 14 days. The defendant shall submit his response within 30 days of service of the claim. The claim form shall be submitted in the language or one of the languages of the court or tribunal.

Local Tribunals

A number of minor infringements of the law such as minor traffic offences (parking violations, etc.), illegal disposal of litter, tenancy, etc., are penalised and are heard by Commissioners of Justice in Local Tribunals situated in various localities. The Commissioners are selected from among persons holding a law degree and given a three year appointment. As the offences have been depenalised the case may be decided even in the absence of the accused. Appeals are only possible on points of law.

The Juvenile Court

The Juvenile Court consists of a Magistrate, as Chairman, and two members. Sittings are held outside Valletta, namely in Sta. Venera. The Courts hears charges against, and holds other proceedings relating to minors under the age of 16 years, and may also issue Care Orders in their regard. Given the confidential nature of such sittings, attendance to hearings is restricted to persons mentioned in the law establishing the Court.

The Administrative Review Tribunal

On the 1st January 2009 (L.N. 345 of 2008) the provisions of Chapter 490 of the Laws of Malta, the Administrative Justice Act, came into force. The aim of this act is to provide for Administrative Justice in Malta. This act provides for the setting up of the Administrative Review Tribunal, its constitution, the Chairman, sections, panels of assistants, registry, procedure and appeals from decisions of the Administrative Review Tribunal. The Administrative Review Tribunal is an independent and impartial tribunal applying the principles of good administrative behaviour.
This Tribunal is set up for the purpose of reviewing administrative acts. It consists of a Chairperson appointed for a period of four years by the President of Malta acting on advice of the Prime Minister. The Tribunal is assisted by two assistants and holds sittings in Malta and Gozo.

Administrative acts include the issuing by the public administration i.e. the government of Malta including its Ministries and departments, local authorities and any body corporate established by law of any order, licence, permit, warrant, authorisation, concession, decision or refusal to any demand of a member of the public.

Any party to the proceedings before the Tribunal who feels aggrieved by a decision of the said Tribunal may appeal to the Court of Appeal sitting either in its superior or its inferior jurisdiction.

The pre-trial system

When a cause has been assigned to a Judge, he shall as soon as practicable give such orders as may be conducive to an expeditious conclusion of the written pleadings. After the written pleadings have been concluded, the judge may give such orders as may be conducive to the proper conduct of the pre-trial or trial hearing. Unless a cause is appointed for a trial hearing, it shall be appointed for a pre-trial hearing. A cause shall be appointed for a pre-trial hearing not later than two months after the conclusion of the written pleadings.

The purpose of the pre-trial hearing, which is presided by a Judge or a judicial assistant acting under the guidance and directives of the Judge, is among others to identify the factual and legal issues involved in the case, examine the possibility of an agreed settlement or application for conciliation and mediation process before proceeding further with the cause and to identify the witnesses and documents necessary for determining the cause. The pre-trial procedure does not apply to the Civil Court (Family Section), the Court of Magistrates (Malta) and to the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) in its inferior jurisdiction

Reference to the Court of Justice of the European Communities

Article 234 of the Treaty establishing the European Community states that the Court of Justice of the European Communities shall have jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings concerning the interpretation of the Treaty, the validity and interpretation of acts of the institutions of the Community and of the ECB and the interpretation of the statutes of bodies established by and act of the European Council. Where such a question is raised before any court or tribunal of a Member State, the court or tribunal may, if it considers that a decision in the question is necessary to enable it to give judgement, request the Court of Justice to give a ruling thereon. Where any such question is raised in a case pending before a court or tribunal of a Member State against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law, the Court or tribunal shall bring the matter before the Court of Justice. Legal Notice 279 of 2008 states that it shall be the responsibility of the court, not the parties to settle the terms of the reference to the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The reference shall identify the question to which the Maltese court seeks an answer. The referring court shall in a single document scheduled to the order identify the parties and summarise the nature and history of the proceedings, summarise the salient facts, indicating whether these are proved, admitted or assumed, make reference to the rules of national law (substantive and procedural) relevant to the dispute, summarise the contentions of the parties as far as relevant, explain why a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Communities is sought, identifying the provisions of Community law whose effect is in issue and formulate without avoidable complexity the questions to which an answer is requested.

Source – Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs

Contact one of our officers to initiate the incorporation of a Maltese registered company and start reaping the full benefits of an onshore, low-tax, EU jurisdiction. Simply fill in the contact box below or contact us by email on enquiries@fbsmalta.com or by calling at +356 2338 1500

We are committed to providing you with a swift solution best suited to your needs.

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