Frequently Asked Questions


At Astra Consulting we believe in being open and transparent. If not, how could we develop the relationship of trust that is the basis of all the successful business relationships with our clients?

Often a client will read something that indicates one thing, while the reality can be some what different. In this FAQ, we provide clear answers to the most common questions people ask us about doing business in Malta.

NOTE: The information below is designed as a quick-reference guide. It is not intended to be a complete or wide-ranging examination of the topic and should not be acted upon without additional discussion. Get in touch with a qualified business advisor here.

Opening a bank account in Malta isn’t always an easy process and the client must be patient. Maltese banks, as with banks worldwide, are very risk adverse. There are a host of forms that need filling out and the bank needs to complete its due diligence. This will always include a bank reference for each of the directors and possibly the shareholders. All documents have to be in place before a bank account can be fully up and running.
In theory yes, although some banks are reluctant to take on certain types of businesses, especially for non-resident shareholders. We work with the best, most flexible banks who manage to balance their risk assessment process with customer requirements.
We do not work with the banks where a bank account can take up to three months to open (yes three months) as this is unacceptable for all parties. Where all documents are in place we can generally get a preliminary account set-up in around ten days.
Once we have completed all of the necessary due diligence and have all of the necessary documentation, generally the company can be incorporated in a few days (our record is 3 hours!). However this depends on the workload at the Registry of Companies, MFSA, the time of year, and so on, so it may take a little longer sometimes.
A private company can have a minimum of one shareholder (single member company) and a maximum of fifty shareholders. Public companies must have at least two shareholders. There is no maximum number of shareholders in the case of public companies.
The minimum number of directors in a private company is one and there is no maximum number. The minimum number of directors in a public company is two and there is no maximum number either. By law all companies must have a company secretary.
The minimum share capital of a private company is €1,165 of which at least 20% has to be paid up. The minimum share capital of a public company is €46,588 of which at least 25% has to be paid up. The capital must be deposited in a bank account (“company in formation account”). The deposit slip has to be shown to the Registry of Companies as proof of the deposit for the company to be registered.
Yes. If the name is not already being used by an existing company, you may request the Registrar to reserve the name for a period of three months. There is a small charge for this service.
Unless the name is the same or very similar to the name of an existing or reserved company, you can choose the name you desire. However, the Registrar of Companies may refuse to register a name if it is considered offensive or otherwise objectionable. There are also certain rules regarding choice of name which may indicate a licensed activity (e.g.” Insurance”).
To register a company in Malta, one needs to provide a copy of the passport for shareholders and directors (or registration certificate in case of a foreign company) as well as a reference letter from a bank if the above are not EU members. A bank account will be opened in which the share capital is deposited. A Memorandum and Articles of Association is prepared following the requirements of the Companies Act 1995. A registration fee is payable according to the authorised share capital a company opts to have (minimum of €245).
This is another area that requires some patience. The VAT Department can be rather slow, a matter that causes a lot of frustration for those who want to start invoicing straight away. Just a warning: it can take up to a month to obtain a VAT number (in exceptional cases even longer).
There is a simple form that needs to be completed either online or it can be delivered in person with supporting documentation. The Vat Department is able to ask any additional questions it feels are required to support an application and may request a face to face meeting with the directors of a company to understand better the nature of the economic activity.
An economic activity may consist of any trade or business, any profession or provision of personal services, provision by a club/organisations, the utilisation of tangible/intangible property, and the admission of persons to any premises for a consideration.
Anyone who carries on an economic activity is obliged to apply for a VAT number, unless they provide an exempt without credit supply.