Types of Companies in Malta

You can set up various types of companies in Malta, the most commonly used being:

  • Private Limited Company;
  • Public Limited Company;
  • Partnership en commandite;
  • Partnership en nom collectif;
  • Branch of a company.

We highlight below the differences between these various types of companies in Malta.

Comparative table – Types of companies in Malta

Type of Company Shareholders (minimum) Minimum capital (€) Shareholder Representation Shareholder liability Name
Private Limited Company 2 €1165 Shares Limited “Limited”, “Ltd”
Public Limited Company 2 €46,587.47 Shares Limited “PLC”
Partnership 2 Does not exist Shares Unlimited partnerships en nom collectif. Limited (limited partners) and unlimited (general partners) partnerships en commandite “Limited Partnership”, “LP” or “L.P.”

What types of companies are there in Malta?

The most common types of company in Malta are the Private Limited Company (Ltd) and the Public Limited Company (PLC). However, there are other types of companies that can be used to meet the needs of your business activity, such as general partnerships and limited partnerships, or branches.

Private Limited Company (Ltd) in Malta

Private Limited Company (Ltd) in Malta

This is the type of company most used in Malta. A private limited company is a private company whose articles of association limit the number of shareholders to a maximum of 50, include restrictions on the transfer of shares and prohibit the opening of the company to the markets.
The name must end with the word ‘Limited’ or the abbreviation ‘Ltd’.
The liability of the partners of a private limited company is limited to their subscribed capital. This type of company must have its registered office in Malta.

As a general rule, this type of company cannot be set up with fewer than two partners, who can be natural or legal persons.

Share capital in this type of company is represented by shares and can be expressed in any convertible currency. The minimum share capital is €1,165, or the equivalent in any other currency.

At least 20% of the capital must be paid up when the company is formed. The share capital to be paid up must be deposited in a bank account in Malta before the company incorporation date.

The capital can be held by trustees.

A private limited company is managed and represented by one or more managers or directors.

The managers or directors do not need to be resident in Malta, although, for a number of reasons, it is advisable that they are.

Public Limited Company (PLC) in Malta

A public limited company is a type of company in Malta that has the possibility of trading its shares or bonds on the financial markets.
The trade name of this type of company must end with the abbreviation “PLC”.
As a general rule, a public limited company must have a minimum of two shareholders, who can be natural or legal persons, without any specific nationality or residency requirements.

Public Limited Company (PLC) in Malta

The liability of shareholders in this type of company is limited to the capital subscribed by each shareholder. These companies must have their head office in Malta.

The minimum capital is €46,587.47, divided into shares.

At least 25% of the capital must be paid up on the date of incorporation of the company, and this can be done in cash or using other assets that can be pledged. The paid-up share capital must be deposited in a Maltese bank before the company is incorporated and may also be held by trustees.

These companies are managed and represented by two or more managers or directors, as specified in the company's articles of association.

A statutory auditor must be appointed and must be a resident of Malta.

Partnerships in Malta

Partnerships in Malta

Maltese law provides for the possibility of creating two types of partnerships:

  • Partnership en commandite, also known as a limited partnership;
  • Partnership en nom collectif, also known as a general partnership.

In Malta, partnerships have a distinct legal identity, separate from their partners, which allows them to own assets and be subject to legal action.

Partnership en commandite vs Partnership en nom collectif

The main distinction between the two forms of partnership lies in the liability of the partners. In a partnership en nom collectif, the partners have unlimited liability, whereas in a partnership en commandite, only the general partner assumes unlimited liability, while the limited partner's liability is limited to the amount of his contribution.

It should be noted that in limited partnerships, the general partner does not normally participate in the management of the company. In addition, a limited partnership can be set up with variable share capital, subject to specific obligations laid down by law.

The partners of this type of company can be natural or legal persons. The obligations of a partnership en nom collectif are guaranteed by the unlimited joint and several liability of all its partners. However, partnership assets are used first, and only after that will the shareholders assets be used.

The obligations of a partnership en commandite obligations are guaranteed by the unlimited joint and several liability of one or more partners, namely the general partners. The limited partners are only liable for the share capital they have put into the partnership.

Branch of a company in Malta

A branch in Malta acts as an extension of the parent company, allowing it to carry out its business in Maltese jurisdiction.

A branch of a company functions as an entity separated from its parent company, but operates under its control. It does not have its own legal identity and decisions made at parent company level affect the branch. The branch is subject to Maltese laws and regulations.

Branch of a company in Malta

Registering a branch entails the appointment of a local representative, who must be a natural person resident in Malta.

To set up a branch in Malta, the parent company must register with the Malta Business Registry.

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