Sitting in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, the Maltese Archipelago lies virtually at the centre, 93 kms south off Sicily and 288 kms north of Africa. Described as one big open-air museum with much of it’s past still visible today, Malta abounds in history and culture and is blessed by a mild and congenial Mediterranean climate.
It’s strategic geographic position has proved pivotal in making it a regional hub for the provision of business related services, notably in the financial, online gaming services, the information technology, maritime and aircraft maintenance fields.
Having achieved independence since 1964 and membership in the European Union since May 2004, Malta has now developed into a modern and attractive tax and cost-efficient Euro zone jurisdiction for financial services, trading and holding activities. The Maltese economy is a flexible one in which foreign direct investment in many of its sectors is vital to its continued growth.
Among the myriad of reasons for considering Malta as the base for operations., these include:
· accessible financial services regulator;
· stable political environment
· state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure for anyone seeking to invest in Malta
· modern legal and tax legislation
· skilled, multilingual workforce
· convenient time-zone
· extensive double taxation treaty network and other double taxation relief mechanisms
· stable economy (Malta adopted the Euro in January 2008)
· status as a Schengen member state
· comparatively low running costs, rent and wages
· mild climate
· good standard of living
Accessible financial services regulator
The financial services industry enjoys a robust legislative frame-work and benefits from an accessible and forward-looking regulator in the Malta Financial Services Authority (the “MFSA”) which is the single regulator for financial services activities in Malta. It regulates and supervises credit and financial institutions, investment, trust and insurance business and also houses the country's Registry of Companies. The MFSA issues guidance notes, monitors local and international developments, works with relevant parties on legislative matters, and is a major player in training and encouraging high standards of compliance.
With a legal and regulatory framework aligned with the acquis communautaire, Malta finds itself in a prime position to apply the relative benefits to local and international companies in terms of freedom of establishment and to provide cross-border services by passporting into other member-states.
State-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure
A pro-business approach coupled an established state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure capable of hosting and delivery round the clock connectivity have contributed to a remarkable and rapid growth in industries such as the gaming industry, online payment processing, making Malta an ideal one-stop-shop jurisdiction for businesses.
A Modern legal and tax legislation
Malta operates a full imputation system of taxation, whereby tax charged to the company is imputed to the shareholder in the event of a dividend distribution. This means that a shareholder will not be charged tax twice on dividends. The shareholders are entitled to claim refunds of up to six sevenths of tax charged to the company. The result of such refunds is that the effective total tax paid is of 5%.
Another example of the modern flexible regulation is the Income tax regime whereby any person that is considered to be ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta is subject to Malta tax on a worldwide basis, that is on any income or gains whether arising in Malta or not.
Persons that are either resident or domiciled in Malta but not both are subject to Malta tax on income and gains arising in Malta and on so much of their income arising outside Malta (excluding capital gains) that is remitted to or received in Malta. Income subject to Malta tax includes capital gains arising on the transfer of immovable property, securities, business, permits, goodwill and intellectual property right
A good standard of living
Malta enjoys a rich cultural and social life. Malta has a mild climate, with warm dry summers and mild winters and 300 days of sunshine a year. The cost of living is still comparatively low. After a property boom in recent years property is still relatively cheap by international standards with a good return on investment notwithstanding the present hostile worldwide economic climate. Education and health systems are of the highest levels and compare well with those of mainland Europe.
A skilled, multilingual workforce
With a smart, ambitious, multilingual inherently resilient workforce, Malta has proved to be a relatively competitive economy which strives to achieve ever greater convergence between current and anticipated market needs and the output of domestic educational institutions. To this end, an increasing stream of qualified professionals are joining the labour force and earning an excellent international reputation for their experience and familiarity with business requirements.
In terms of the language used on the islands Maltese and English are the two official languages. Most business correspondence, commerce and trade is conducted in English, thereby making Malta an attractive location to conduct international business and also to become a resident here. There is also a widespread fluency in a number of other languages, particularly Italian, French, German, Spanish.