Corporate Law

No, non-residents may also register a company under the laws of Malta. For non-residents who wish to build a non face-to-face relationship with us, enhanced due diligence will be conducted.

One needs not be present to register a company in Malta. However, and as explained in the previous question, for those who will not be present in Malta  and who wish to build a non-face to face relationship with us enhanced due diligence will be required. A power of attorney may also be drafted in order for our advocates to sign any documents required to submission to the Malta Business Registry on one’s behalf.

The procedure to open a company in Malta is quite simple. First of all, one needs to start thinking of the company name, where the registered office of the company is going to be held and who the shareholders and directors are going to be. One also needs to keep in mind that in case of a limited liability company registered under the Companies Act, a company secretary also needs to be appointed.

As until now, one cannot incorporate a company online. However, name reservation of a company can be done online. After incorporation, documents such as annual returns and other corporate documents may be submitted digitally via the Malta Business Registry’s online system.

The procedure to incorporate a company in Malta is a plain sailing process where a company may be registered in less than one day if all documents required to incorporate the company are correct and abide by Maltese corporate law.

The main documents which are required are the following:

  • Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company
  • Name Reservation
  • Form BO1 (if a shareholder is a body corporate holding more than 25% of the ownership of the company directly or indirectly)

Proof of transfer of issued share capital in the company’s respective bank account.

Yes, any trading company registered under the Laws of Malta may choose its economic activity as solely being export. In the case of export economic activity, one must then apply for an Import license from the authority concerned.

Yes, a company registered under the laws of Malta may include various economic activities simultaneously, including holding of investments of stocks, bonds and other financial assets. It is important that all the activities which the company will be exercising are stipulated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company. However, if the company has only one shareholder, then then economic activity of the company has to be restricted to a principal economic activity.

Yes, it is possible for a company to have a single shareholder. For a registration of a single member company to be successful, one must keep in mind to indicate the main object and activities of the company in its Memorandum and Articles of Association.

A body corporate may act as a Director of another body corporate. A body corporate who intends to act as a director and/or judicial and legal representative of another body corporate must still abide by the Maltese Companies Act and the Company Service Providers Act.

A fee must be paid to the Malta Business Registry. The amount depends on the authorised share capital of the company which is to be registered. For example, a private limited company with the minimum of authorised share capital in accordance with the Maltese Companies Act requires a registration fee of 245euros.

Annual returns of a company must be submitted each year. The annual return fee depends on the number of authorised share capital the company holds. Therefore, such fee can vary from 100euros to 1,400euros.

Companies which are registered in Malta and subject to Maltese law are subject to a fixed rate of corporate tax of 35% on the company’s total income and capital gains at the end of each financial year. Companies who aren’t registered under the laws of Malta  however carry out economic activities in Malta are subject to tax on income or capital gains arising in Malta.

Individuals, companies, or businesses performing economic activities in Malta may apply for their Value Added Tax (VAT) number with the Commissioner for Revenue (CFR). One must first apply for an e-ID from Identity Malta then fill in the VAT online application form through the CFR website (cfr.gov.mt)

This depends on the bank institution where the company wishes to open its bank account with. This may take up to a month since the bank must first compile and examine all documents pertaining to the due diligence of the client before proceeding to the opening of the bank account.

Family Law

Separation proceedings may be quite lengthy, depending on the situation of the case. Firstly, the spouses who intend to separate must undergo mediation with assistance from their lawyers before proceeding to litigation.  If an amicable settlement is not reached between the parties, then the next step is for the parties to appear in the Family Court. Once litigation proceedings are initiated, the Court will hear all of the evidence provided by the parties including other evidence submitted by third parties such as a court expert. After final submissions from the lawyers of both parties, the family court will proceed by giving judgement.

Before a court can order two spouses as legally separated, they must attend mediation proceedings. The typical scenario would include the two spouses, each assisted with their own lawyer in front of a mediator appointed by the Court. The purpose of mediation is to help the spouses reach an amicable settlement. If no amicable settlement can be reached, the mediator will refer the case to the Family Court where legal proceedings have to be initiated.

According to Article 19 of the Civil Code, family maintenance is an allowance which is usually paid monthly between the spouses or paid by the parents to their children. It is obligatory under Maltese law for parents to provide maintenance to their children until they reach the age of eighteen years, or until they reach the age of twenty-three years if the children continue to pursue their studies. Maintenance includes food, clothing, health, and habitation.

With regards to children, maintenance shall also include the expenses necessary for health and education.

The quantum which is paid for child maintenance is estimated according to the means of the person who is supplying such maintenance. The quantum of maintenance to be paid may be agreed upon by the parties by a deed of separation or determined by the Court by a provisional decree or upon final judgement.

When the Court evaluates and assesses the means of the person, regard shall only be had to his earnings, to his salary, to a pension payable by the Government, and to the fruits of any movable or immovable property which such person owns.

Not paying maintenance is considered to be a contravention in terms of the Maltese Criminal Code and hence non-payment of maintenance may result in hefty penalties and also jail time.

A change in the financial situation of the party who is paying maintenance does not allow such person not to pay maintenance, however Court proceedings must be initiated via an application submitted through the person’s lawyer, asking such Court to reduce the amount of maintenance which was initially agreed upon by the parties.

If no agreement is reached by the spouses, during separation proceedings, the Court may order which of the spouses shall remain residing in the matrimonial home for the duration of the separation proceedings via a provisional decree. The Court takes into consideration several factors however primarily focuses on the wellbeing of the child and may allow the spouse who will have the care and custody of the child to reside in the matrimonial home.

Upon financial judgement, the provisional decree may be altered or reversed by the Court, ordering the matrimonial home to be sold together with the total liquidation and dissolution of the community of acquests.

Under Article 66B of the Civil code, proceedings for divorce may be initiated either by the spouses jointly or separately. The Court will grant a divorce to the parties if the following criteria are satisfied:

  • That the spouses have lived apart for at least four years out of the immediately preceding five years or four years from the date of the spouses’ legal separation.
  • There is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation between the spouses.
  • Adequate maintenance is being paid to the children and where applicable, to the spouse.

If the spouses in question have no disputes arising between them, proceedings will take up to a maximum of six months. This however depends on the presiding judge and how long it takes for the case to be appointed.

If disputes arise between the parties during proceedings, it will take longer, depending on a case by case basis.

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