Under Maltese law all companies must prepare accounts and have those accounts audited. Sovereign provides a highly competitive accounts service package that ensures companies avoid penalties by complying with this requirement. The service also includes liaison with the Maltese tax authorities in order to procure any available tax refund.
Gibraltar-based RegisterAnAircraft.com (RANA) is the aviation division of The Sovereign Group. Combining the experience acquired over 20 years in the field of aircraft registration and offshore company management, RANA offers a complete range of professional and highly tailored services to aircraft owners and operators worldwide.
Sovereign is able provide introductions to a number of banks in Malta and elsewhere in the world with which we have long-term relationships. Sovereign can also assist with account opening procedures.
Insurance is one of the most effective ways to manage risks and protect your assets, and is a vital part of the wealth management process. Gibraltar-based Sovereign Insurance Services (SIS) provides a full range of insurance broking services – from home, contents, travel, accident and life cover through to more complex products such as “key man”, professional indemnity and kidnap and ransom cover – at the most competitive pricing levels available in the international insurance markets. SIS is licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to act as an insurance intermediary for general insurance business within the European Economic Area (EEA) but also has strategic partnership arrangements with a series of underwriters and brokers throughout the international insurance community so as to be able to meet a client’s insurance requirements anywhere in the world.
Malta Fund Services
Malta’s status as a recognised fund domicile was established with the island’s accession to the European Union in May 2004. EU membership positioned Malta on a level playing field with other EU countries and introduced “passporting rights” so that investment services and UCITS schemes may be registered in Malta and passported to any EU country. Prior to EU accession only four hedge funds were domiciled in Malta. Currently, over 400 investment services licences have been issued.
The Malta Financial Services Authority’s (MFSA) regulatory regime for collective investment schemes caters for two principal classes of schemes – retail schemes (Maltese non-UCITS Schemes and Maltese UCITS Schemes) and Professional Investor Funds (PIFs). PIFs are subject to a significantly lighter and more flexible regime than retail funds in respect of set up rules and restrictions on their investment or borrowing powers. Hedge funds, funds of funds, private equity funds and property funds are typically set up as PIFs in Malta.
PIFs can be sold only to investors who satisfy the minimum investment threshold: “experienced investors” are subject to a minimum of €10,000 or currency equivalent; “qualifying investors” to €75,000; and “extraordinary investors” to €750,000. When Malta transposed the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) in June 2013, the MFSA decided to retain its PIF regime, alongside the AIFMD, providing managers with two fund structures. As a result PIFs managed by EU AIFMs that are in conformity with AIFMD will be able to passport in the EU.
Malta-domiciled PIFs enjoy the benefits of no income tax or capital gains tax at both the fund level and at non-resident investor level, and no stamp duty is charged on share issues or transfers. For non-prescribed funds (funds in which more than 15% of the value of the funds’ assets are situated outside Malta), there is no tax on investment income and no withholding tax for non-resident investors receiving dividends. Non-resident investors are not subject to any taxation on disposal of their investment in the PIF.
Immigration and Residency
The process of obtaining citizenship or residency consists of a series of important steps that need to be implemented carefully and at the right time. Sovereign has a wealth of international and local expertise and a high success rate of delivering grants of citizenship or residency within a minimum time frame.
Sovereign will assist clients to identify the most suitable investor programme to match their individual circumstances and requirements and will advise on the most effective way to meet the investment criteria. Sovereign will then manage each step of an application and structuring of the investment to ensure that all submissions are executed correctly and at the right time.
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International Tax Planning
It is relatively straightforward to set up or purchase a company but it is vital to get proper advice on how to structure the ownership of that company, how it should be administered and how to organise its commercial arrangements. Every case is different and a high level of expertise is required to ensure that the advice is up-to-date, effective and fully compliant. Once we have understood your personal and business requirements, Sovereign is in a unique position, through its global network of offices, to advise on a suitable structure which will meet those needs and should result in significant tax savings.
Malta is one of the most popular jurisdictions for yacht registration. A solid legal framework, attractive incentives to yacht owners and operators, and a strong maritime tradition have all contributed to Malta becoming the largest maritime flag in Europe and the seventh largest in the world. All kinds of vessels, from large cruise liners and tankers to private yachts, can register under the Maltese flag.
Depending on their intended use, yachts can be registered under the Malta Flag either as a private pleasure yacht or as a commercial yacht. Under the VAT on Yacht Leasing regulations 2006, only a percentage of the lease value is subject to VAT. Depending on the length and type of yacht, the effective rate of VAT will vary from 5.4% to 9% of the lease value.
Yachts used on a commercial basis are registered as commercial yachts with the Maltese Commercial Yacht Register. Companies operating commercial yachts are also exempt from income tax on any income derived from the operation of such yachts.
Gibraltar-based Sovereign Marine Services is the marine division of the Sovereign Group. It was formed in 2000 to provide marine corporate and administration services to yacht owners, as well as to maritime law firms, yacht managers and brokers and other professional firms involved in the yachting industry. Initially established to register vessels under the British Red Ensign, RAY is now registering, administering and managing yachts – both pleasure and commercial – on a worldwide basis.
Nominee Shareholder Services
A minimum of two shareholders is required (unless a single member company is opted for). Shareholders may be corporate or individual. Details of the shareholders appear on public file, however licensed trust companies are permitted to hold shares on a fiduciary basis. Sovereign Trust (Malta) Limited is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide nominee shareholding services to its clients.
Overseas Property Ownership
Sovereign assists many of its clients with the acquisition of real estate worldwide. We advise on tax and structuring and can manage the transaction process and financing arrangements. With our regional knowledge of property ownership laws and regulations, along with our tax planning expertise, we can help you reduce any potential exposure. Most people who own or intend to own property abroad will not be fully conversant with local legal procedures or taxes – stamp duties, municipal and wealth taxes – and may not fully recognise the longer term implications in terms of potential exposures to capital gains tax, inheritance tax or forced heirship rules. Substantial benefits may be derived through the use of corporate, trust or foundation structures to address these issues.
By outsourcing your payroll you can free up your valuable time and resources to concentrate on the important business of running your company. Sovereign can provide a comprehensive yet flexible outsourced payroll service tailored to each of our client’s specific requirements.
The robust regulatory framework provided by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), coupled with Malta’s full EU member status and established financial services industry, makes Malta an extremely attractive jurisdiction for international pensions.
Malta’s legislation allows for a number of customised structures that suit the requirements of individuals or international businesses. Malta is one of the jurisdictions that meet the requirements set out by the UK tax authorities for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). A retirement scheme licensed in Malta is also eligible as a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS), providing it satisfies the UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) requirements.
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