Step-by-step guide to incorporating a company in Malta

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on setting up your company in Malta.

Whether you're a local entrepreneur or an international business looking to expand, Malta offers a favourable business environment and strategic advantages. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of incorporating your company in Malta, highlighting essential considerations and requirements along the way. By following these guidelines, you'll be well-equipped to establish a successful presence in Malta.


1. Company formation ground-work

To start off, one should have a clear understanding of the desired structure to be set up. Typically, one would need to:

  • Choose a unique name for your company: Check its availability and reserve it with the Malta Business Registry
  • Choose the activity and business you would like to setup as well as any assets/shares the company opts to have: Draft the relevant object clauses, outline any licensing and share capital requirements to abide by Maltese law. The company should also outline the assets/shares to be acquired by the company
  • Specify the proposed director/s: The directors can be natural persons and/or corporate entities. Having Maltese resident directors substantiate the fact that the company is managed and controlled from Malta and in turn provides more substance
  • Specify the proposed shareholder/s and ultimate beneficial owner/s: indicate the shareholders and ultimate beneficial owners of the company and prepare the mandatory Beneficial Owner (BO) register. Such would need to be maintained throughout the company’s lifecycle
  • Specify the proposed company secretary: The role of a company secretary is mandatory by law and typically ensures the proper upkeep of registers and filing of returns required by the Malta Business Registry
  • Collate the due diligence documentation to be filed with the authorities:  Certified (and sometimes apostilled) due diligence documents are to be collated for a swift and smooth incorporation.


2. Malta Company Registration 

Amongst other documentation, the Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) would need to be drafted and be submitted with the Registry. By way of information, the M&A sets out the rules and regulations of your company, including its purpose, activities, and internal governance structure.


3. Licensing

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain a business license from the relevant authorities in Malta. For example, if you plan to operate in the financial services sector, an MFSA license is required, whereas, if you plan to operate in the gaming industry, MGA license is required.


4. Tax registration

You will need to register your company for tax with the Inland Revenue Department in Malta. You will need to provide your company details.


5. VAT Registration

In case the company will be actively trading, you will need to register your company for VAT.


6. Bank/EMI Account Opening

Once your company is registered, the company may apply for an account in Malta. Banks and Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) open accounts depending on their risk appetite. To this effect, typically, the banks/Emis are initially furnished with the statutory documents as well as a preliminary form which includes company details.


7. Obtain any necessary permits or certifications

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain permits or certifications from the relevant authorities in Malta.


How can BDO help?

BDO Malta offers a comprehensive range of services to support your company setup in Malta. We can help you with key tasks such as checking and reserving the company name, drafting object clauses, assisting with licensing requirements, advising on share capital and mergers and acquisition.


We can provide expertise in the initial structuring of your company and can also assist in drafting and maintaining a Beneficial Owner (BO) register. Additionally, we provide company secretary services and prepare a customised list of due diligence requirements to ensure a smooth and compliant incorporation process. With BDO's expertise and deep knowledge of the local business landscape, we are committed to helping you establish and grow your company in Malta with confidence.


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