Why a Maltese Company?
Advantageous geographic location and member state of the European Union
Extremely private; no free public access to beneficial ownership information
Shareholders, directors and officers can reside anywhere in the world
Trusted Legal system and stable political system
A minimum requirement of one director and one shareholder
No requirement to file annual reports or financial returns
Local legislation geared towards favouring business and entrepreneurship
Jurisdiction not tainted with negative offshore associations
Malta Company Key Facts
Malta Company Tax Information
A Maltese offshore company enjoys significant tax efficiency benefits. Every Maltese company whether onshore or offshore is liable to pay a 35% flat rate corporate tax (with some discrepancy between certain business industries). Although unlike other offshore jurisdictions Malta is not an absolute tax neutral territory, the country’s low level corporation tax is an incentivising feature for companies to incorporate within the jurisdiction.
Malta’s tax system enables a tax rebate where the company is able to make an application for a 6/7 refund. The net total tax rate therefore is reduced to 5% on the distribution of company dividends.
Dividend distribution of profits from Maltese companies to their shareholder(s) enables the shareholder to claim such this partial refund.
Moreover, Malta is considered a lucrative jurisdiction for company incorporation also as a result of its extended double taxation agreements with over 70 jurisdictions which protect companies from double tax charges on trade.
Type of Shares
Ordinary shares, registered shares, preferences shares and redeemable shares are all permissible. Neither bear shares nor no par- value shares are allowed
Corporate or individual
Must the Director/ Manager be resident?
Minimum paid up capital
The minimum paid up capital is €250, with the usual authorised at €1,165. Neither the capital nor any shares can be registered on the Malta public stock market and must be kept within the company.
Restrictions on trade
There are no specific restrictions on trading imposed on Maltese companies. However, companies involved in particular spheres of economic activity may require a licence before commencing their activities. Such activities include investment services, insurance business and or other financial services.
Type of Company
Location of meetings
It must be maintained in Malta. Additionally, each company must have a Registered Agent and Registered office in the jurisdiction, provided by a licensed service provider.
Name of the company
Anything identical or similar to the name of a company already incorporated or reserved; anything that in the opinion of the Registrar of companies is offensive or otherwise undesirable.
Malta as a jurisdiction is renowned for its highly protective privacy and data protection policies which enable companies to operate with full anonymity and security. The Professional Secrecy Act provides the parametric confines of a companies’ operation and disclosures (if any) that the company must make public or file.
Maltese companies are obligated to file audited accounts at the end of each financial year, in accordance with Malta’s Companies Act 1995 and International Accounting Standards (IFRS).
Malta since 2013 has become a signatory to FACTA, complying with the automatic international exchange of information relating to the offshore accounts of US citizens over to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Under the Act, the Maltese Competent Authority is required to transfer information to the relevant jurisdiction’s Competent Authorities. This partnering agreement has prevented Malta based financial institutions to pay otherwise a 30% withholding tax on US source income.
Details pertaining to company Director(s) and shareholder(s) name are on public record, however Maltese companies are allowed the use of nominee services to anonymise such information.
Maltese companies are obligated to prepare financial audits with Director signatories of the company’s accounts and file annual returns to the Maltese Tax Authority. Such information nonetheless remains remote from public access unless granted with a court order.
Malta Background Information
Malta’s economy has greatly benefited from its accession into the EU since 2004 with a great boost to its service based business industry. Malta has a strong GDP per capita at $22,779 (as recorded in 2013), and is the 15th largest economy in the EU in terms of GDP. Malta’s economic growth rate has exceeded the average average EU member state’s economic growth rate.
In recent years Malta has diversified as an economy, from depending upon its strong history of export trade with the opening of the Suez canal in 1869, which aided Malta to become a principal port in the Mediterranean; the jurisdiction has since begun to develop its service based economy. The number of funds set up within Malta has increased threefold with a net asset value of €9.79 billion. Moreover, as of September 2013 there are 66 and growing insurance operators.
Malta’s financial service sector has undergone rapid expansion in recent years, and the territory now boasts high levels of employment within it’s leading sectors such as financial services and tourism. Moreover, the country has the sixth lowest unemployment rate in the EU demonstrating it’s robust working population productivity.
Malta has been positively labelled by many major international financial bodies in recent years. For example, the IMF has identified Malta as having an “advanced economy”, and the World Bank has calculated Malta with a relatively high income per capita. The World Economic Forum too notes Malta’s highly “innovation-driven economy”.
Malta has a stable democratic political system based on representative democracy. Malta’s laws too are based on familiar English Common Law. Malta’s trusted political structure has helped to attract foreign investment into the county, and the country’s adoption of the Euro in 2008 has further instilled greater confidence in investors to invest in the country.
The government of Malta has though local legislation created a modern corporate territory which adopts business friendly stances to further the interests of businesses.
In addition, Malta is a Schengen zone member allowing the passport free movement of labour which has helped attract highly skilled work populations. The government of Malta invests heavily in education supported by a stipend system where students are paid for studying.
Malta companies are regulated under the Malta Companies Act 1995. The Maltese Registry of Companies, and the Malta Financial Services Authorities are the governing authorities.
The Act is considered business friendly providing significant autonomy to offshore companies in the jurisdiction to conduct business with flexibility and reduced bureaucracy.
Malta Banking Services
- High-level confidentiality – Banking privacy is reinstated by Maltese statutes. Authorities have access to bank information in criminal tax matters where a court order is present only.
- Variety of payment options – With accounts in several currencies, internet banking, international wire transfers, debit and credit cards, prepaid cards, checkbooks, merchant accounts, brokerage accounts Malta bank account holders enjoy great payment flexibility.
- Low initial deposit requirements
- Full operative control– Secure Internet-banking facilities, with no need to install specific software on computers or other devices.
- Wide choice of payment cards
- No personal visits to Malta is required to open a Maltese bank account.
- Free account application – The bank charges no fee for account opening.
Bank Account Requirements:
✓ Certified copy of passport
✓ Bank reference from a bank, which knows the person over 2 years
✓ Professional reference from an individual who knows the person over 2 years. If you do not have a relationships with a professional, the bank needs a second bank reference from another bank.
✓ Proof of address (original utility bill with individual’s name and residential address).