- Networking – Over the past two decades, Malta has developed as a hub for selected business sectors, such as financial services, gaming and blockchain. Many ‘big fish’ within these industries have chosen Malta as a home for some (if not all) of their major operations. In addition, numerous conference and convention events, such as the annual Summit of iGaming Malta (SiGMA), bring together professionals, stakeholders, operators and regulators to provide unique networking opportunities for all participants.
- EU Membership – Malta has been a member of the EU since 2004 and adopted the Euro currency in 2008. Its status as a full EU Member State brings many benefits to the island: freedom of movement, currency benefits and many more of these have helped the island develop into what it is today. Malta has become a highly desirable destination for businesses and investors who desire a business-ready European location. As a free-market economy, with no restrictions or legal prohibitions on FDI and no exchange controls, Malta benefits from few obstacles to trade and enterprise. The EU passporting system for banks and financial services companies enables firms that are authorised in any EU or EEA state to trade freely in any other with minimal additional authorisation
- Cost of Doing Business – Malta ranks very favourably as a value-for-money location in which to do business. Salaries are 20 to 30% lower than those in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. When social security costs and other employment taxes are factored in, total labour costs are still competitive when compared to the newer EU member states and significantly lower than those in other established members of the EU.
- Tax Benefits – Malta offers a highly efficient tax regime which avoids double taxation on taxed company profits distributed as dividends. Companies are taxed at a rate of 35% but through the use of the Tax Rebate System offered by the Maltese government, many organisations are eligible for a tax refund of 30% from 35%, which allows for an effective corporate tax of 5%. Over and above this, Malta has signed double tax treaties with some 70 countries. The tax system also includes Commonwealth relief, unilateral relief and the flat-rate foreign tax credit, thereby ensuring that income arising from overseas is not subject to double taxation, even if there is no double taxation agreement in force.
- Capital Gains Tax – Maltese law exempts capital gains derived by non-residents on the transfer of shares and increases of share capital from being taxed in Malta, provided that the assets of the company do not include immovable property based in Malta.
- The Location – Strategically located at the centre of the Mediterranean, between Europe and North Africa, Malta has historically been the link between the two continents. Malta’s internal market is relatively small, and the real opportunity lies in using the country as a stepping stone to other markets. As an EU member state, Malta offers instant access to the EU’s massive single market of over 500 million people, while it also has strong historical and cultural ties with North African and Middle Eastern countries, making it an attractive base for European, American or Asian companies wishing to enter the relatively untapped markets to the south.
- The Language – Malta was part of the British Empire for over 150 years before independence in 1964. As a result, English (along with Maltese of course) continues to be an official language in Malta. This means that well over 90% of the population is fluent in English, while all legislation and official information is available in both English and Maltese.
- The History – Strategically located in the center of the Mediterranean, Malta has always attracted the interest of the various dominant cultures, from the Phoenicians, Romans and Carthaginians, to the Ottomans, French and British amongst others. The Maltese are a truly international and a highly adaptable people.
- The Island – Malta enjoys around 300 days of sunshine a year and is surrounded by some of the clearest and cleanest waters in the Mediterranean; something that many people, especially those from colder climates tend to enjoy! Offering an agreeable, Mediterranean lifestyle, Malta’s pleasant climate and welcoming people make living on the island or visiting the island an exceptional experience. With a heavy dependence on international trade and business, Malta’s transport sector is a significant factor in its economic development and prosperity. The island is connected by air to almost every major city in Europe and to key destinations in North Africa and the Middle East.
- Company Legal Framework – Similar to many other Commonwealth countries, the Maltese Companies Act is broadly based on British common law principles, but is also in-line with the relevant EU directives. Such a legal framework means it is recognised worldwide, and makes it easy to understand and practical to do business. Maltese companies are useful, flexible vehicles which allow rapid formation of Maltese companies, capital requirements are low, bank accounts can be held in third countries and business can be conducted internationally. As a result, Malta is a popular and reputable destination for both start-ups and well-established businesses that wish to set up headquarters, branches, or finance and investment companies in a European jurisdiction.
Contact Chris Zahra