The main types of Maltese companies are divided into limited companies and partnerships. The most common types are the private limited companies and the public limited companies. Both types of structures need a minimum share capital in order to be able to begin the business activities. The principal legal framework for companies’ registration in Malta is the Companies Act of 1995.
The private limited company is the most popular among small investors looking to start a company in Malta. The requirements for this type of company are:
- at least one shareholder,
- one director and a secretary according to the Maltese Commercial Law,
- a minimum share capital of approximately 1,200 euros that can be denominated in any currency.
When incorporating a private limited company in Malta, the minimum share capital must be fully subscribed, but only 20% must be paid up front. The shares of the Maltese limited company cannot be traded on the stock exchange and its shareholders will be held liable for the company’s debts and obligations to the extent of their capital contributions.
The Maltese public limited company requires at least two shareholders who will be held liable for the company’s debts and obligations to the extent of their contribution. The minimum share capital required when incorporating a public limited company is approximately 47,000 euros.
The minimum share capital can be denominated in any currency, it must be submitted, but only 25% must be paid upon incorporation. Unlike the private limited company, the shares of a Maltese public company can be traded on the stock exchange.
In order to register a public or private limited company in Malta, the founding members must submit the memorandum and articles of association of the company, copies of the identification documents of the shareholders and a bank account statement, as proof that the minimum share capital has been deposited. The memorandum and articles of association of a company can be signed by the shareholders or by their attorneys in Malta and do not need to be notarized.