Open A Company In Malta – A Guide For U.S. Businesses

Open A Company In Malta – A Guide For U.S. Businesses
Updated on
January 27, 2023

Update: The negotiating directives for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have become obsolete.

Further information can be found here.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) is a trade and investment agreement between the United States and the European Union. This agreement has unlocked American business opportunities in Europe and vice versa. More than 200 international companies have established operations in Malta and the country’s business friendly approach makes it easy to open a company in Malta.

The Maltese Islands is a centre for international business in the Euro-Med region, giving access to all European trade markets and proximity to North African markets. Together with Malta’s unilateral tax relief system, double taxation treaties are essentially extended beyond non-treaty countries as well. This provides a very favourable tax regime for international trade by companies incorporated in Malta.

The Maltese Industry Market & Performance

Maltese Market Overview

Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004. The government’s commitment to becoming a highly competitive and business friendly country has provided a sound financial services and telecommunications infrastructure. Although being a small nation, the developments of highly skilled personnel and competitive labour costs, among others, has made it a very attractive country to open a company in for US Businesses.

Malta is modern, English speaking, politically stable and offers a sound legal system. Apart from its geographical location providing easy access to southern European and north African trade countries, it has become renowned for its extensive legislative framework for iGaming and Cryptocurrency businesses.

Market Opportunities In Malta

The country has excellent ICT connections to mainland Europe via satellite technology and high capacity fibre-optic submarine cables. This makes it an ideal location, particularly for ICT based businesses such as Blockchain, cryptocurrency, ICO and iGaming sectors, to settle on the Island. These sectors are also strengthened by Malta’s sound legislative frameworks, which are the most advanced in the world.

Furthermore, Malta is one of the best performing economies in the Eurozone. Even during the European financial crisis, Malta’s has seen a strong and healthy economic growth and low unemployment. The knowledge-based economy that has seen large success within the financial services, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment, aviation maintenance and registration of ships and aircrafts.

Malta offers a positive approach to business promotion and development, which together with benefits for individuals and investors, make Malta a very attractive and safe country to relocate your business to.

The Largest Growth Markets

The largest growth markets of the Maltese economy are banking investments, insurance, communications and software development.

The ship registration, repair and aircraft maintenance industry has also seen a large growth. Lufthansa Technic recently made a €3.2 million investment and issued a base maintenance approval as the only European based location servicing Airbus widebody A350 aeroplanes.

Certification and registration of medicines within the pharmaceuticals industry has also seen a large increase due to Brexit providing opportunities for local companies in Malta. The European Medicines Agency has also given increased focus on the Maltese Medicines Agency, who together with the Netherlands, share a large portion of the medicine registration after the British Medicines Agency is cutting back.

VISA Requirements For US Citizens

All U.S. citizens traveling to Malta are not required to obtain a VISA due to the U.S Visa Waiver Program (VMP). However, for longer stays than 3 months one must obtain a VISA. Normally you will be asked how long you intend to stay in Malta upon arrival.

If you intend to work in Malta, a work VISA can be obtained from the Immigration Section of the Police Department in Malta.

For detailed and updated information, we advise you to contact the Maltese Embassy in Washington D.C. or the Maltese Consulate in New York City.

Opening A Company In Malta – The Procedure

Company Legal Forms

Setting up a company in Malta, due to the country’s business friendly approach, is quite straight forward. There are various ways to incorporate your company in Malta, such as public limited liability companies, partnerships, cooperatives or as a holding company structure. The most common and adopted is the Private Limited Liability Company. Malta also supports the re-domiciliation of your current company if the jurisdiction your company is currently registered in adopts the same approach.

Registered Office

A company incorporated in Malta must have a physical address locally. However, this may also be a managed office space or the office of a firm of lawyers or accountants.

Capital Requirements

One of the incentives the government has put in place is the capital requirements. The authorised share capital required for a private limited liability company (compared to an LLC in the U.S.) is only €1,165 (or approximately $1,325). This low capital requirement allows the company to operate with a stronger liquidity and require less capital for the initial registration of the company.

Shareholder Requirements

For a private limited liability company (LTD), no more than 50 shareholders are allowed, and the minimum are two.

Directors And Secretary

Private Limited Liability Companies require at least 1 director and a company secretary. Usually the secretary cannot be the sole company’s director, but there is an exception for a “single member company”.

Company Legal Documents

Each private limited liability company requires documentation about the fundamental conditions under how the company will be operating. The documents required are the Memorandum Of Association and require to be drafted according to Maltese law. These statutory documents are normally drafted by legal professionals as part of the company registration.

Opening A Bank Account In Malta

A company bank account is needed to complete the company incorporation. Once the share capital is deposited, the bank will provide a certification which is required by the Malta Financial Authority before issuing the registration certificate.

Additional Documents for U.S. Citizens

Non-EEA residents are also required to provide a satisfactory bank or character reference together with a valid passport.

Residency Opportunities For U.S. Citizens

The Global Residence Program

The government has introduced the Global Residence Program. This program is aimed to attract non-EEA residents to settle for long term tax residency in Malta. This program essentially provides a Schengen residency within 4 months, which entitles you to a long-term residency status and work permit entitlement.

The biggest benefit of this this program is a remittance basis of taxation of a 15% flat rate. Family members are included and there is no minimum presence in Malta required prior to applying. Furthermore, Malta’s double taxation agreements with the U.S. ensures tax is never paid twice upon the same income.

The program only requires you to be economic self-sufficient and to buy or rent a property in Malta.

The Citizenship By Investment Programme

Alongside the global residence programme, the citizenship by investment programme is designed to provide a Maltese citizenship to ultra-high net worth individuals. This essentially provides mobility and the right to work in any of the 28 European and EEA countries.

Company Registration, Residence and Citizenship Service Providers

Welcome Center Malta is an official partner and a unique provider of an extensive range of services in Malta. We can help you relocate your business and personal affairs to the Island providing all the services you need in one place.

Visit our corporate services page for more information and contact us today to inquire about relocating your U.S. company to Malta or apply for one of the residence opportunities for U.S. citizens.

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Facilitating a move to Malta is seamless when you rely on the Welcome Center Malta. Established in 2016 with the sole objective of helping people make an effortless move to the island, Welcome Center Malta aims to reduce the challenges involved in settling, moving and establishing local contacts.