Investing and starting a business in Malta offers promising opportunities for foreign investors, thanks to the country’s robust commercial laws. The Commercial Code in Malta lays the foundation for business operations and corporate behavior, ensuring that all companies operate under clear and fair regulations. This article provides an easy-to-understand guide on how to navigate the Commercial Code in Malta when opening a company.

Overview of Malta’s Commercial Legislation

The commercial legislation in Malta is comprehensive, designed to cover various aspects of business operations and consumer protection. Key components of this legislation include:

  • The Commercial Code: This is the cornerstone of business law in Malta, outlining the fundamental legal requirements that companies must adhere to post-incorporation.
  • The Consumers Affairs Act: Ensures the protection of consumer rights and fair trade practices.
  • The Doorstep Contracts Act: Regulates contracts made in non-commercial premises.
  • The Standards Authority Act and the Trade Descriptions Act: These acts ensure that products meet quality standards and are described accurately in trade.
  • The Trading Licenses Act: This act is crucial for obtaining the necessary licenses to legally operate a business in Malta.
  • The Product Safety Act: Ensures that all products meet safety standards to protect consumers.

These acts collectively create a secure and transparent business environment, making Malta an attractive destination for international investors.

The Malta Company Law

The Malta Company Law is a critical part of the Commercial Code in Malta, and it is detailed in several chapters, each addressing different aspects of company operations and registrations, such as:

  • The Business Promotion Act: Provides incentives for companies operating in Malta.
  • The Co-operative Societies Act: Focuses on the creation and operation of non-profit organizations.
  • The Companies Act: The main act covering all aspects of company registration and operation in Malta.
  • The Competition Act: Ensures fair competition within the Maltese market.
  • The Companies Fees Regulations: Outlines the fees associated with various corporate transactions under the Malta Companies Act.
  • The Malta Enterprise Act: Facilitates the establishment of corporations in Malta.

Introduced in 1995 and last amended in 2004, the Malta Companies Act allows the formation of several types of business structures, including:

  • Limited Liability Companies: Both private and public.
  • General Partnerships: Requires at least two members with unlimited liability.
  • Limited Partnerships: Consists of one member with unlimited liability and another with limited liability.
  • Branch Offices, Subsidiaries, and Representative Offices: For foreign companies wanting to establish a presence in Malta.

The act also accommodates investment companies through structures like SICAV (open-ended collective investment scheme) and INVCO (closed-ended collective investment scheme).

Commercial Code in Malta:Open a Company

To comply with the Commercial Code in Malta, potential business owners must:

  • Deposit a minimum share capital: The amount depends on the business structure chosen.
  • Meet residency regulations for shareholders and directors: This includes compliance with specific provisions related to their residency.
  • Appoint company secretaries: As mandated by the Companies Law.
  • Maintain a registered office address in Malta: This address must be recorded in the Trade Register.

Our law firm in Malta assists with all aspects of document preparation for company incorporation, including EORI registration which is essential for businesses involved in importing or exporting.

Opening a Company under the Maltese Companies Act

Under the Maltese Commercial Code, both local and foreign investors are entitled to incorporate a company under the same conditions. Whether setting up a private limited company or a public entity, certain requirements like a minimum number of shareholders and a stipulated share capital are mandatory. For instance, opening a private limited company requires a minimum share capital of €1,165, whereas a public company needs at least €46,600, with 25% of that amount deposited before registration.

Leveraging the Commercial Code in Malta for Business Success

Exploring the commercial landscape in Malta involves understanding the comprehensive framework provided by the Commercial Code in Malta. With robust protections and clear regulations, Malta continues to be an attractive landscape for investors looking to establish or expand their business operations. Whether you’re looking to take advantage of the business-friendly environment or the strategic location of Malta in the Mediterranean, understanding and adhering to the local commercial laws will ensure your venture’s success and compliance.