[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Malta has been an EU Member State since 1 May 2004 and the adoption of EU Directives coupled with a unique full imputation system of taxation as well as tax refunds has developed the country into an international financial centre. Malta is the country of choice for foreign investments into the EU. However, several companies in a multitude of sectors have set up in Malta for several reasons. Although the country and the local market are small, companies have no restrictions in accessing the EU market and beyond. Malta has developed an advanced IT infrastructure, very good telecommunications and connections, an extensive treaty network, a professional and business friendly atmosphere amongst professionals and regulators, and a can-do attitude all of which have contributed to Malta’s success beyond its relative size.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Malta, being an EU Member State since 1 May 2004, has established itself as an international financial centre. The legislative framework is in conformity with EU law. The Companies Act is modelled on the UK Companies Act and provides for various types of entities such as SICAVs, INVCOs, foundations, limited partnerships, general partnerships, single member companies, limited liability companies and public companies. The most commonly used entity is the limited liability company which can be either private or public:
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Income Tax Act brings to charge “gains or profits from any employment or office, including the value of any benefit provided by reason of any employment or office”. The legislation does not define ‘employment’ or ‘office’ but with the introduction of the Fringe Benefits Rules in 2001 we now have a definition of ‘officer’ which means the holder of an office and includes an individual who is a director of a company, or holds directly or indirectly more than 5% of the ordinary share capital or of the voting rights in a company or is a partner in a partnership. The said rules also define ‘employee’ and ‘employer’ and therefore one can easily deduce what constitutes employment – the provision of any service under a contract, whether written or not.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A Professional Investor Fund (PIF) is a special class of a collective investment scheme (CIS) which is subject to a much lighter and more flexible regime than UCITS, AIFs and other retail funds.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The iGaming industry as well as the e-Commerce industry have significantly increased the need of payment gateways in Malta. The Maltese authorities have proactively responded to this change and now Malta become a destination of choice for the setting up of Payment Institutions (PI). Malta has developed an advanced telecommunications infrastructure and offers a highly skilled multilingual workforce making it a supreme destination to the setting up of customer care centres. PIs are regulated by the Financial Institutions Act, 1994. In 2017, the European Union (EU) had published the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) (Directive 2015/2366/EU) to be transposed by Member States, including Malta, into their laws and thereby repealing Payment Services Directive 1 (PSD 1). The transposition deadline for its implementation was set to 13 January 2018. The new directive builds on the previous directive and is designed to increase consumer protection, make payments safer and enhance innovation and competition. The regulatory and supervisory requirements for PIs are less rigid than those required for other credit or financial institutions. Unlike credit institutions, financial institutions cannot fund their activities through the taking of deposits or other repayable funds from the public.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Malta has a long maritime tradition and it has established itself as one of the leading maritime hubs and service centres. The Island has several yacht marinas and offers a whole range of maritime services and facilities. Malta has also developed a very strong legal and regulatory platform and Malta’s shipping register is the EU largest and one of the largest in the world. All types of vessels, both pleasure yachts and commercial ships, including vessels under construction, may be registered under the Malta flag. If the owner is not a Maltese resident person or an EU citizen, we may act as a resident agent. Vessels older than 10 years are subject to additional scrutiny by Transport Malta. Vessels older than 10 years are subject to an inspection from an authorised flag State inspector whilst vessels older than 15 years are required to undergo an authorised flag State inspection prior to provisional registration. It is customary for Transport Malta not to accept registration of trading vessels of 25 years and over although in certain circumstances this may be considered. A vessel / yacht is first registered provisionally under the Malta flag for six months during which period all documentation must be finalised. It is possible to request an extension of the provisional registration should this be required. The requirements for provisional registration are:
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