REDOMICILIATION, BRANCHES AND OVERSEAS COMPANIES
The Continuation of Companies Regulations (Legal Notice 344 of 2002 as amended by Legal Notice 352 of 2003 and 181 and 186 of 2006) provide for:
a) the continuation in Malta of a foreign company; and
b) the continuation outside Malta of a company incorporated in Malta.
A company formed and incorporated or registered under the laws of an approved foreign country, which is similar in nature to a company as known under the laws of Malta, may request the Registrar of Companies to be registered as continued in Malta, provided the laws of the foreign country so permit, and provided the company is authorised to do so by its constitutive documents.
An overseas company is a body corporate which is constituted or incorporated outside Malta. Such a company is required by law to deliver to the Registrar a set of documents within a stipulated time frame.
A branch is a form of business opened by the foreign entrepreneurs in order to provide goods and services in Malta. The branches in Malta are not considered legal entities, but they have the obligation to register with the Maltese Registrar of Companies no longer than a month from the incorporation date. The responsibilities for its actions are taken by the foreign company and the capital and assets are provided by it. No minimal capital is requested at registration. The branches established in Malta usually pay the same income tax as the local companies (35%), but in most cases, tax facilities are granted.
The advantages of owning a branch in Malta are for instance that no withholding taxes on dividends, interests and royalties and the exemption from income payment, if the foreign company's country has signed double tax treaties with Malta, no registration costs, no minimal share capital request, the possibility to refund the taxes and also that many actions of the branch must receive the approval of the parent company before being applied, so a higher control is possible