Starting a Business in Malta

Starting a Business in Malta

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An increasing number of foreign investors (established and start-ups) are choosing to set up or relocate their businesses to Malta due to a number of fiscal and social benefits including the highly advantageous corporate tax system offered by the Maltese Jurisdiction. The distinctive lifestyle that the island can offer, its location in central Europe, the climate, English as an official language and other factors also play an important role in attracting a number of such investors. Our professionals at CSB Group provide expert advice and ongoing guidance to assist clients in building their businesses on solid foundations that ensures success and long-term return on investment.

Relocating your Business to Malta

Malta is considered as a highly attractive jurisdiction by foreign investors who wish to relocate a business to the island. Such advantages include tax, investment immigration opportunities, fiscal and social benefits, distinctive lifestyle and a stable economic ecosystem.

A strong Financial Services Sector

Furthermore, Malta’s service industries, particularly the financial services sector, are consistently emerging as very strong and innovative, facilitating and adding value to the whole process of conducting business in Malta. A trained and highly motivated workforce and relatively low costs of labour also make Malta an ideal location of choice in this respect.

Tax and Legal Framework

Malta is one of the few European countries to adopt a full imputation system, which is one of the main advantages of Malta’s tax system along with the fact that Malta has an extensive network of double taxation agreements and the refundable tax credit scheme.

A company which is set up in Malta would be chargeable to tax on a worldwide basis and typically taxed at our standard corporate tax rate of 35%, however, upon a distribution of dividends to the shareholder, such shareholder becomes applicable to an income tax refund on the Malta tax paid at company level.

With the full imputation system, profits taxed at the level of the company are not subject to further tax at the level of shareholder, since the latter receive full credit for any tax paid by the company distributing the profits.

The rate of refund depends on various factors and can be either a 2/3, 5/7 or 6/7, with a 6/7 refund applicable for companies carrying out a trading activity. Malta also adopts the participation exemption regime, meaning any dividends or capital gains derived by a Maltese company from a qualifying “participating holding” in a subsidiary would be exempt from tax in Malta. Lastly, Malta does not withhold any tax on dividends paid to its shareholders.

Business Infrastructure in Malta

Malta is a small island, yet it is equipped with infrastructure of high standards that anyone wanting to open a company in Malta would expect to find.

Commercial and Residential Property

With the construction industry being a very strong one, the island is not short of modern and highly finished property that can meet different budgets. The most popular business areas in Malta are the ones closest to the Marsamxett Harbour area that would include Sliema, Gzira, Ta’ Xbiex, Msida, Pieta, Valletta and St. Julians, however, other areas conveniently located in well-connected areas, like Swatar and Mriehel, are also in high demand.

Anyone looking for residential property can rest assured that a vast selection of property is available for sale or rent at various budgets and in any desirable location.

IT Infrastructure

Malta is quite advanced when it comes to IT infrastructure. Such types of services include co-location and hosting services, data centres and cloud services and internet services. Robust government information systems architecture together with established service providers, ensure that anyone interested in doing business in Malta will have access to secure, affordable, efficient and reliable system in place.

Business Support Services

Outsourcing any support required to ensure that all business needs are met is a highly cost saving exercise. Malta boosts a number of professional service providers that can efficiently handle corporate requirements such as submission of annual returns to the Malta Business Registry or directorship or secretarial services, auditing and accounting, payroll, recruitment, employment law, compliance and regulatory advice.

Human Resources

The workforce in Malta is highly renown for its qualified and multi-lingual population that consists of both local and foreign workers. Besides the Maltese language, English is also an official language in Malta, making communication easy within the business itself but also with clients worldwide. Italian is also widely spoken and candidates with a good grasp of French, German, Spanish and other language are significantly common too.

Accessibility

Despite being an island, Malta is highly accessible via both sea and air transport links to main and subsidiary airports in mainland Europe and North Africa. Regular and frequent flights to and from Malta are operated by numerous airlines that make use of Malta International Airport.

In addition, the island’s small size is convenient for short commuting times from all locations across the island. Other than public buses servicing routes across the island, numerous transport companies offer immediate, 24-hour transportation services to any location in Malta, particularly upon arrival at the airport.

Immigration and Investment Incentives

A number of citizenship and residence programmes are available, allowing qualifying persons that satisfy a robust due diligence process, to take up citizenship or residency in Malta. While some programmes grant residency to Highly Qualified Persons (HQP) and professionals in Key Employment, other programmes are an investment incentive that would grant an EU passport or residency permit to qualifying persons that are interested in making advantageous investment in Malta.

Malta’s Business Culture