Malta, a small country with immense potential. Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, it's strategically placed to support investments in multiple sectors and verticals. For many years, iGaming has been a focus, but those looking to invest in Malta have broadened their scope. From citizenship and residence programmes to starting your own company or investing in Maltese stocks and bonds, the opportunities are there for those with the will and means to take them.

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Who can invest in Malta?

Malta is open to investment from anyone who wishes to do so. The various kinds of investments all come with regulations, requirements, and obligations that must be respected, including a comprehensive due diligence process. It's also advisable to draw on the experience of professional corporate service providers like CSB Group Malta to ensure you are making the right decisions.

A fully-fledged EU Member State with a thriving economy, the possibilities Malta offers are plentiful.

Citizenship and Residency by Investment

Malta Permanent Residence Programme

The Malta Permanent Residence Programme provides a way for third-country nationals and their families to live and work in Malta. Aimed at high-net-worth individuals and business owners, it makes conducting work in Europe more straightforward and more efficient. It also gives them the chance to live in an English-speaking country with excellent transport links and high levels of stability and security.

Citizenship by Investment

It's also possible to acquire Maltese citizenship if you invest in Malta and satisfy various requirements. Maltese citizenship gives applicants and their families the right to visa-free travel in over 170 countries, residence in Malta and the EU, and optimised treatment when setting up businesses, being taxed, or applying for educational institutions. Investment in Maltese citizenship is seen by many as an investment in them and their children's future.

Global Residence Programme

Developed as a response to the needs of private clients, the Malta Global Residence Programme is suited to wealthy individuals from outside the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. It provides them tax residency within the EU in return for investment in property in the form of owning or holding a 12-month rental contract. Foreign income remitted to Malta will be taxable at a flat rate of 15% in Malta, though this will also be subject to a minimum tax of €15,000 per annum.

Other ways to invest in Malta

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Buying stocks and bonds

The Malta Stock Exchange is the sole stock exchange in the country. If you want to invest in Malta and buy stock in some of its most prominent companies, you should do so through an authorised stockbroker or fund manager. The Exchange includes big names such as HSBC Malta, FIMBank, GO, Mapfre Middlesea, and the Bank of Valletta. You can also purchase corporate or government bonds in Malta. It's advisable to always seek professional advice and guidance before investing in stocks or bonds.

Private investment funds

There are a variety of private investment funds available to those wishing to invest in Malta. The most notable are the Professional Investor Fund (PIF), the Crypto PIF, Alternative Investor Fund, Notified Alternative Investment Fund, and Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Security. Benefits of an investment fund in Malta include adherence to EU regulations, increased investor safeguarding, and an approachable regulator.

Pension funds

Malta provides several pension plans for foreign citizens. This dynamic sector provides frameworks for both corporations and individuals who wish to base their funds in the country. Benefits include favourable taxation, full regulation by the Malta Financial Services Authority, a plan in an EU Member State, and provisions that facilitate fully customised structures.

Real estate

Malta's real estate sector is booming and has been on an upward trajectory over the last decade. 2020 saw over EUR 3 billion invested in the industry, and more are expected to come. Drives of the property sector include those looking to buy a residence and those looking for a return on their investment. Whichever kind of investor you are, the Maltese market is dynamic enough to provide plentiful opportunities. Real estate agencies, like Malta Sotheby's International Realty – leaders in the luxury property market, have the necessary local expertise to support their clients with professionalism and discretion in the search for their ideal property.

Buying a company

Due to Malta's thriving business sector, there are multiple opportunities for mergers and acquisitions. The country has seen many big deals in recent years, particularly in the cross-border sphere. With such acquisitions come several considerations such as due diligence, compliance, tax, and corporate structuring, all of which should be done with the assistance of an experienced, local provider.

Starting a company

Incorporating a company is a great way to invest in Malta. The country is known for its favourable business regime and authorities that are welcoming to new businesses. Setting up a company in Malta also means gaining convenient access to the European and North African markets. The backbone of Malta's corporate sector has been iGaming, but this has grown to include other verticals in the last decade. Fintech, crypto and blockchain, financial services, and even aviation and maritime are all burgeoning sectors. Furthermore, Malta offers a full imputation taxation system which can bring down corporate tax rates to as little as 5% instead of 35%. This makes Malta a cost-effective jurisdiction for businesses and enterprises of all kinds.

Why should I invest in Malta?

There are a myriad of reasons why you should invest in Malta. These include:

  • Malta is a fully-fledged EU Member State;
  • Its workforce is multilingual, including English, Italian, French, and German;
  • They are also highly skilled and educated;
  • Malta is a hub for iGaming, fintech, finserv, IT, eCommerce, crypto, blockchain, and more;
  • Malta is a safe and stable country with low crime rates;
  • The business environment is welcoming and flexible;
  • Regulators are approachable and fair;
  • There is a vast network of double taxation treaties;
  • Malta implements a full tax imputation system on corporate tax;
  • Its corporate service sector is professional and well developed;
  • Plenty of opportunities for returns on investments;
  • Access to multiple markets and sectors;
  • Strategically located between Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.