International Corporations: Malta


Malta, island country located in the central Mediterranean Sea. A small but strategically important group of islands, the archipelago has through its long and turbulent history played a vital role in the struggles of a succession of powers for domination of the Mediterranean and in the interplay between emerging Europe and the older cultures of Africa and the Middle East. As a result, Maltese society has been molded by centuries of foreign rule by various powers, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Swabians, Aragonese, Hospitallers, French, and British.
The country comprises five islands—Malta (the largest), Gozo, Comino, and the uninhabited islets of Kemmunett (Comminotto) and Filfla—lying some 58 miles (93 km) south of Sicily, 180 miles (290 km) north of Libya, and about 180 miles (290 km) east of Tunisia, at the eastern end of the constricted portion of the Mediterranean Sea separating Italy from the African coast.
Malta’s population is composed almost entirely of ethnic Maltese, the descendants of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians as well as of Italians and other Mediterranean peoples. Attempts to form a unifying and homogenizing Maltese ethnicity can be traced back to the late 13th century; these efforts were consolidated in the nationalistic discourses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Aside from the Maltese population, there are small communities of British nationals, Sindhis, Palestinians, and Greeks on the islands. Since the 1990s, influxes of more transient but no less significant groups have arrived from North Africa and the Balkans and, in the early 2000s, from countries of sub-Saharan Africa.


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Company Incorporation
Main Characteristics of the international bussiness (IBO

Malta is a reputable, compliant and transparent financial hub, and the gateway to the European Union, a market of more than 500 million people.

Due to its advantageous tax regime, Malta is the jurisdiction chosen by a large number of international companies and holding companies, to establish their headquarters and do business in the European Union.

Although its corporate standard rate is 35%, in practice there is a system of tax credits and refunds for individuals and corporate shareholders of part of the tax suffered on the distribution of profits.

The tax refund may be either a six-sevenths refund for trading income, a five-sevenths refund for passive interest and royalties, or a two-thirds refund for passive income. This may lead to a reduction of corporate tax to effective tax rates of between 5 and 10 percent, the lowest across the European Union.

Malta Corporations Overview

Company type
Private company limited by shares (Ltd.).
Governing corporate legislationCompanies Act
Limited companies may be formed by one shareholder and not more than 50, who can be either natural or legal persons, residents or non-residents, without limitations. A minimum of two shareholders may be required if the director is a corporation.
At least one director, who may be a natural person or a legal entity, resident or non-resident. A shareholder may be the company director.
Information published relating to company officers
Details of shareholders are publicly accessible.
Directors’ details are available to the public.
The liability of the shareholders for the company is limited to the amount of their respective shareholdings.
Accounting requirement/ compliance
Limited companies are required to include financial statements audited or certified by officially authorized auditors or accountants and a declaration on the Income Tax Return. This requirements also apply to companies with no taxable income or dormant companies.

Directors are required to file to the Registrar a copy of the company’s annual accounts laid before the company in general meeting, together with a copy of the auditor’s report and the directors’ report.

Audit and director’s report requirements may be waived for a company that qualifies as a small company.

Limited companies are required to submit annually an Annual Return to the Registrar of Companies. Annual returns of the company are calculated according to the authorized share capital.
Corporate income tax
Corporate tax standard rate is 35%.

However, relief of double taxation upon the distribution of taxed profits is ensured, granting a shareholder the right to claim a refund of all or a part of the Malta tax paid on the qualifying profits out of which the dividend was distributed, reducing the effective tax rate to 0%-10%.

In addition, certain investment income is taxed at a CIT rate of 10% or 15% and certain categories of rental income are taxed at 15%.
A company is tax resident in Malta if it is incorporated in Malta or the management and control of its business is exercised in Malta.
Companies both domiciled and resident in Malta and is consequently taxable on a worldwide basis. A non-Maltese incorporated company that is resident in Malta through management and control is subject to Maltese tax on income arising in Malta and on income remitted to Malta.
Standard currencyEUR
Shared capital/paid up
Minimum issued share capital required is EUR 1,164.69, of which twenty percent (20%) of the nominal value of each share must be paid up. It may be denominated in EUR or any other currency.
Basis of the Legal System
Mixed (Civil and Common law)
A secretary is required who must be an individual, resident or non-resident. In certain cases, the director may also act as company secretary. Secretary must fulfill requirements stated in the Companies Act.
Bearer shares are not allowed.
Registered address
Private limited companies must have a registered physical office address located in Malta, where the company must keep all statutory records and other documents which must be available for review.
General meeting
very company must hold one annual general meeting, which can be held in Malta or abroad, in addition to any other meetings held during the year. The first general meeting must be held no later than 18 months after the company is formed. No more than 15 months may elapse between one general meeting and the next one. A corporate shareholder would have to appoint a corporate representative to sign documents on behalf of the company, individual shareholders may appoint proxies to attend on their behalf.
Electronic SignaturePermitted
Time to form3-5 days
Renewal date
Anniversary date of the company / Each Year
Time ZoneGMT+1
Confidentialityhigh levels



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