Malta - Corporate location with European potential

The island state Malta offers numerous incentives and advantages for companies that provide services from there to end customers throughout the EU region. For holding companies in particular, Malta offers attractive opportunities for tax restructuring of corporate structures in Europe. That is why the trust company InterGest Worldwide GmbH has had a reliable partner there for a long time.

"Malta is not an Eldorado for letterbox companies, but offers interesting real economic perspectives to medium-sized groups of companies from Germany and international investors," explains Prof. Peter Anterist.

"One advantage of Malta that is little known to the general public is that modern online services for end customers throughout the EU area can be provided very easily and fiscally from here," says InterGest's British partner Chris Armstrong, who has been helping companies set up in Malta since 2008.

Companies seeking to physically set up operations in Malta either as a relocation or as a fresh start up are offered a number of fiscal incentives by Malta Enterprise, a government agency tasked with attracting foreign investment and helping start-ups. This can range from offering subsidies on the purchasing or hiring of land or property, employment subsidies and a variety of tax credits and tax exemptions for the first few years in operation.

Malta also has a number of attractive residency programmes for highly qualified personnel in certain industries that move to Malta with their jobs. Declared target sectors to name a few include aircraft maintenance, maritime goods traffic, information and communications technology, and the healthcare industry. Malta is also one of the first EU states to establish the legal framework for start-ups in the field of blockchain and offers a number of attractive incentives to encourage innovation in this area.

The island state competes very well with Ireland or Luxembourg, which have often been favoured by internationally operating software and IT companies up to now - and also in terms of skilled labour. Armstrong: "Employees, talent and experts for IT projects or call centres can be found very easily here." For expats from around the world, the Mediterranean island, where English is spoken and taught, is an attractive option for their own careers. The many air links Malta maintains to the entire EU, as well as to the Middle East and North Africa, have hardly been affected even by the Corona-related decline in tourism.

According to Chris Armstrong, Malta has strong cultural and historical ties to the UK, which is why the English language is officially recognised as a national language alongside Maltese and is spoken by the majority of the island. All legislation in Malta is drafted in English and Maltese. As a result of the English influence it is one of the few countries in the world that has legislation that recognises the concept of trusts alongside legislation for foundations, which is more traditionally used in civil law countries. This allows for a number of opportunities for wealth management, asset planning and succession planning.

The situation of Brexit has also made British companies plan more carefully for European operations so as not to have their businesses or supply chains disrupted by the lack of clarity in legislation or practicalities within the divorce arrangement when making supplies between the UK and the EU. Malta for this reason is seen as an ideal jurisdiction for setting up a European business hub owing to the strong cultural links, legislation being in English and generally lower staffing and operation costs.

The Maltese tax system offers very attractive tax and company law incentives for companies and private individuals. Also, holding companies that hold shares in other companies can take advantage of an attractive participation exemption regime which allows for a tax exemption on dividends received.

Szabolcs Toth has all the details, if you´re interested to learn more!