Malta attracted foreign direct investment flows of EUR5.2 billion during the first six months of 2015. Financial and insurance activities accounted for 98.1 per cent of the inflows, reinforcing its status as an international financial centre.
Malta ranked 80th in the World Bank's 2016 Doing Business rankings, dropping from 76th in the year prior. The country had a mixed profile with relative strengths in the categories of 'paying taxes', 'protecting minority investors' and 'trading across borders', coupled with significant weaknesses in the processes associated with 'starting a business' and 'getting credit'. The rankings acknowledged that, in the past year, reforms had been implemented to reduce the time required for getting an electricity connection.
Key facts about starting a business in Malta:
Malta is an attractive location for many overseas investors. Nevertheless, in order to make an informed decision, it is critical to understand the nuances of any local regime. The manner in which people conduct business in Malta may differ from the home countries of investors. Furthermore, variations on these distinctions may exist depending on the industry in which a company operates.
Malta's national language is Maltese but it is also accompanied by English as the official languages of Malta; most Maltese are bilingual and many are also fluent in Italian. Malta has a conservative business culture, similar to that of the UK, given the close ties between the countries. Dress codes in the workplace are typically formal.
A handshake is the typical business greeting and business cards will usually be presented at the initial meeting. Gift giving may occur but is not a requirement.
Those looking to establish a business in Malta will often look to countries across Europe as alternative options. While membership of the EU ensures parity in many aspects of the legal, tax and audit regimes, Malta can be differentiated on the following factors:
Despite the benefits that Malta offers to investors, the low efficiency of government departments and the country's judicial system continues to pose a challenge to the overall attractiveness of the country as a business environment. As identified by the European Commission, particular problems include: enforcing contracts, licensing and permit systems and lengthy insolvency procedures. While the authorities have attempted to implement reforms to address the inefficiencies, the impact is yet to be seen.
This guide has been developed to provide businesses with an overview of Malta, its legal regime, start-up and market entry considerations, tax and customs requirements and a general summary of the factors that may affect the decision to do business in Malta. However, the information contained in this document is generic in nature and you should not act or rely on it without obtaining specific professional advice.
Please note that the Country Guides may only be available in English.
|1||Registry Of Companies|
|5||Intellectual Property – Commerce Department|
|6||Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner|
|8||Department for Industrial & Employment Relations|
|2||Doing Business Rankings|
|3||Work permit - Used PracticalLaw which is a legal service Grant Thornton|
|4||Malta GDP Per Capita|
|6||Malta EU Funds|
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