Where do I get started?
Operating your own business provides you with a number of opportunities as well as with additional challenges which were often overlooked when in employment. At Borg Galea & Associates, we can help you to make sure that you are on the right track by providing you with continuous administrative support and advise as you go along.
One of the very first challenges you will face revolves around the form and structure you would like your new business to have. Should you operate as a sole trader or should you have a limited company or are you in business with someone else and are considering a partnership? Are you a non domiciled individual and interested in having a tax efficient structure?
During the preliminary meeting, our experts will pose a series of questions to help you determine which structure fits best your needs, how VAT and taxes work in general, what is required and how to register for each one of them. We are able to assist you in all the required. We can offer you a comprehensive package which includes a preliminary meeting with one of our experts, company's incorporation, VAT registration, registered address, accounting and also auditing services.
What is a company and are there different structures available?
A company is the most common form given to businesses around the world. Sometimes companies go by different names. In Malta, a company is seldomly referred to as a limited or ltd in short, in the UK it goes by LLC. While the name often differs, the concept remains fairly the same.
Other structures that might of interest to you include
- public companies
One of the main distinctions between a limited company and a sole trader is the fact that a company has its own identity. Setting up a company keeps a clear distinction between the assets, liabilities and the overall business of the company and that of its shareholders. Any liabilities which are due by the company are not the responsibility of the shareholders unless otherwise agreed upon when the debt is being arranged. Similarly, any assets which are held by the company are not owned by the shareholders.
Apart from the many different structures available to choose from depending on your needs, one also has to analyse what sort of company fits your requirements best as there are two options at your disposal. One can opt to have a private or a public company.
If you are envisaging of raising capital in the form of public bonds or would like the shares of the company to be publicly, the likelihood is that you will need to set up a public company. Public companies are much rarer than private companies and the administrative burden to keep a public company are by far greater than that of a private company.
How long does it take to open a Company?
This question is at the top of list of everyone interested in opening a company in Malta. While the easy answer to this is that it only takes the Malta Business Registry a few days, usually 2 days to open a company in Malta, this process should not be rushed and one needs to make sure to be 100% confident in the structure which is being proposed and that the incorporation documents such as the Memorandum and Articles of Association clearly reflects the intentions of the shareholders and has the management mechanisms desired.
Key Management of the Company
Prospective company owners should also dedicate some time to short list potential personnel to fulfil strategic company positions. Every company in Malta should have the following: -
- Legal and judicial representative
- Company Secretary
Each positions carries with it different responsabilities and in some instances, the same person cannot fill all roles.
Any company operating in Malta is required to submit to the Malta Financial Services Authority its audited financial statements, annual return, beneficial owner forms if applicable and any changes in the company structure as might be required from time to time.
In addition, the company would have to submit on a periodic basis its VAT returns, if registered for VAT and its tax return on an annual basis.
In addition, one also has to take into consideration industry specific regulations and reporting requirements if the company will be operating in niche markets such as gaming, insurance and others. In such cases, one would also be bound to report to the competent authorities as required by the specific legal act governing the license in question.
Company formation falls within the list of licensable activities as per the Company Service Providers Act and such work is transfered to our strategic partner who has the authority to carry out such work.