The application process with the Malta Financial Services Authority grouped into three (3) distinct phases:
- Preparatory stage;
- Pre-licensing stage; and
- Post-licensing/pre-commencement of business stage
The Preparatory Stage
The promoters of an application for an Investment Services Licence should hold a preliminary meeting with the MFSA to outline their proposal, together with their legal / regulatory advisors. This meeting should be held well in advance of submitting an application for a licence. Following this preliminary meeting, promoters usually submit a draft Licence Application Form, together with the relevant supporting documentation. The Application Form and all material submitted should be in English, or if in another language, such should be accompanied by an English translation.
The required timeframe is very dependent on the completeness of the documentation submitted and on the applicant’s efficiency.
The Pre-Licensing Stage
Once the draft application and supporting documentation have been reviewed and the draft licence conditions have been agreed to, the MFSA will issue its ‘in principle’ decision for the issue of a licence.
Upon receiving a positive decision, the applicant will then be required to finalise any outstanding matters, such as company incorporation, submission of signed copies of the final application form together with supporting documentation in their final format, as well as any other issues raised during the application process.
The Post-Licensing Stage
The applicant may also be required to satisfy a number of post-licensing matters prior to formal commencement of business. Such post-licencing requirements are typically specific to each applicant.