Setting up a business in Malta

Updated 2020-05-08 07:34

Setting up a business in Malta is rather easy. Thanks to various incentives provided by the Maltese government, many foreigners have been moving to Malta in recent years to launch a new venture. Simple procedures and low tax rates enable entrepreneurs to get started quickly. The government greatly encourages entrepreneurship to boost the country's growing economy further.

Starting a business in Malta

Establishing a business in a foreign country can be daunting and challenging. Making sure you comply with the local legislation and taking care of necessary documentation can be much more difficult in an unfamiliar environment.

However, Malta keeps its regulatory framework in-sync with the changing demands of industries laid out for the EU, which makes it easier for expats to start conducting business in the country.

Home to a population of just over 436,000 people, Malta's development has largely been attributed to its focus on knowledge and value-added industries.

Malta's government is business-oriented which makes it easier for expats to expand and develop their ideas. The country's many strengths ' from the quality of its workforce and the lower operational costs, to the good quality of life and strategic location ' offer expats a good work-life balance.

Why start a business in Malta

Home to tens of thousands of companies, Malta has a thriving tourism industry, provides maritime services, and attracts international talent from the information and communications sector, manufacturing, and life sciences.

Steady economic growth despite the worldwide recession, strong labour market fundamentals, and recovering investments are factors that make Malta a top destination to move management and control.

Malta's GDP enjoyed a few years of huge growth and has since stabilised with a promising average of around 4.6%.

This has also allowed Malta to maintain one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, hovering around 3,8%, one of the lowest in the EU. Prominent sectors of the Maltese economy are financial services, tourism, Igaming and real estate.

Other industries like aircraft maintenance, life sciences, high-end manufacturing, and IT services have also been expanding quickly in recent years, with the rapidly growing iGaming industry taking the lead in attracting many foreign employees to Malta.

IT infrastructure, telecoms, and e-Financial services are some of the sectors to get involved in. Malta is a politically stable and neutral country, which has the potential to become a start-up hotspot for entrepreneurs.

Procedures for business in Malta

To begin conducting business in Malta, you must first apply for a social security number, which will allow you to register with the VAT Department. Registration can be performed either online or in person at the Department's office.

Once you have obtained your VAT number, you have fill and sign a commitment form. This form can either be downloaded from the JobsPlus website or collected in person at a JobsPlus office.

After that, you are required to register with the Inland Revenue Department as an independent worker. This will allow you to make your social security contributions and to pay tax.

You then have to apply for a trade certificate from the Ministry of Commerce. You will also require an additional permit if your company is involved in the import and export of goods and freight.


Make sure to contact a local bank account to open a bank account in the company's name.

Formalities and fees

Once these steps have been accomplished, you will then have to work toward completing the following:

  • Booking a company name (€8)
  • Drafting the company's presentation and statutes (between €500-1,000)
  • Depositing the minimum capital
  • Registering the company on the Registrar of Companies (from €100 up to €1900 depending of the company type)
  • Obtaining a trade license (€1,000/full calendar year)
  • Obtaining a tax identification number
  • Opening a permanent bank account in the company's name
  • VAT registration
  • Obtaining an employer's number and registration of employees
  • Registration of employees with JobsPlus
  • Registration at the Information and Data Protection Commissioner's office (around €23.29)

Once you have completed all these procedures, you can proceed with the opening of your business.

Useful links:

Inland Revenue Department
VAT Department
Registration of an employer
Business First - Permits & Licences Search
Information and Data Protection Commissioner
The World Bank

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.