Company Formation and Administration Services
At Busuttil & Micallef, we are authorised to provide company formation and ancillary services including registered office, director and company secretary and registered office services, through our wholly-owned subsidiary Areti Fiduciary Services Ltd.
We offer a full range of bespoke services including corporate, tax advisory, compliance and back office services that results in a one-stop shop experience for our clients.
We are able to rely on our network associates around the world to provide an international dimension to a client-owned structure whether this requires multi-jurisdictional advice or an international cross-border set-up to meet customer requirements.
We can also assist clients with the process to continue (re-domicile) an overseas entity in Malta and/or to assist clients in registering the tax resident status of an overseas company that is effectively managed and controlled in Malta, taking advantage of the benefits that may accrue in such situations.
Our practical approach to things allows us to be innovative in the search for solutions to meet diverse client requirements.
Aircraft Registration and Administration Services
Malta provides a robust yet flexible framework for the registration of aircraft including private jets, business jets and commercial airliners. The Maltese Aircraft Registration Act of 2010 implements the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, including its Aircraft Protocol.
The Maltese VAT authorities have officially published guidelines relating to the VAT treatment of aircraft leasing. The guidelines are particularly attractive for private or business jets which will fly into or within EU airspace and which do not qualify for VAT exemption since they are not used by airlines operating for reward chiefly on international routes.
Depending on whether the holding company is registered inside or outside Malta, there is extremely favourable tax and VAT legislation that can be relied on. The extent to which either apply will depend on a wide range of factors including the number of owners (the Maltese authorities recognise fractional ownership), the amount of time the aircraft spends in EU airspace, the physical and performance characteristics of the aircraft and its passenger capacity.
Yacht Registration and Yacht-Owning Structures
The Malta Ship and Yacht Registry is the largest in the European Union and seventh largest in the world.
There are a number of factors including the strong status of the Malta Flag, Malta’s geographical location and maritime tradition, a very competitive cost structure, flexible regulations on crew and others that can be attributed to this success.
Our services include:
- Tax and VAT efficient structuring (for both commercial and private operations)
- Registration services
- Comprehensive administration services
- Accounting services
Trusts and Foundations
Trusts provide a highly flexible option for meeting the varying needs of clients including but not limited to tax planning situations. In addition to the maintenance, administration and protection of assets, trusts can also be used for succession planning, tax efficiency and avoiding forced heirship issues and the complexities of probate.
Malta’s legislation recognises all types of trusts found in other jurisdictions including discretionary trusts, interest in possession trusts, accumulation and maintenance trusts, fixed interest trusts and charitable trusts. Maltese legislation also allows more commercial types of trust such as unit trusts or collective investment schemes to be established. Furthermore Malta trusts can be converted into Malta Foundations and vice versa giving added flexibility to the client.
At Busuttil & Micallef, we are authorised to act as trustee and to provide fiduciary services, through our wholly-owned subsidiary Areti Fiduciary Services Ltd.
Malta offers a variety of residence options which include The Residence Program (TRP) Rules for EU/EAA citizens and the Global Residence Program (GRP) Rules for non-EU citizens which require applicants to own or rent a qualifying property in Malta and Gozo, amongst other conditions.
Residence Permit holders are thus able to reside in Malta and would be subject to tax in Malta, on a remittance basis, at a flat rate of 15% on qualifying income, subject to a minimum annual tax payment.
Other options would include the possibility that is available to all EU citizens to take up residence in Malta as self-employed persons or as economically self-sufficient persons, amongst others. An individual holding such Residence Permit is subject to tax in Malta on the progressive tax rates applicable to residents, depending on the status of the individual concerned without any minimum annual tax payment being so imposed.
The Malta Retirement Programme (MRP) is also available for those EU citizens that may be interested in retiring to a warmer climate where the pace of life is less demanding than in other parts of the continent and the scheme also brings with it other benefits including a flat rate of tax of 15% and others.
At Busuttil & Micallef, we can also assist clients seeking to acquire Maltese citizenship through the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) whereby Malta citizenship is acquired through an Investment Programme. The process requires an application and a due diligence procedure whereby a certificate of naturalisation is issued after a twelve month period.
Our experience in this area allows us to offer a comprehensive and total service to clients seeking assistance with applications and related matters. We are registered as authorised mandatories for the purposes of the TRP, GRP and MRP programmes.
Intellectual Property structures in Malta
The lack of withholding taxes and the strong double taxation treaty network in Malta makes Malta an ideal jurisdiction for the exploitation of Intellectual Property rights in a tax-efficient manner. In addition, Maltese companies may benefit from protection against non-Maltese withholding tax payable on royalties qualifying under EU Interest and Royalties Directive
The very attractive exemption from taxation on royalties derived from Qualifying Patents in terms of the rules published in 2010 results in a tax-neutral situation in Malta, subject to certain terms and conditions being in place.
A “qualifying patent” means a patent registered in Malta or elsewhere, and includes patents where the research, planning, processing, experimenting, testing, devising, designing, developing and similar activity was carried out outside Malta.
Otherwise, royalty income that does not qualify for the exemption from taxation on royalties derived from Qualifying Patents is efficiently taxed in Malta and the actual effective tax rate depends on whether the income in question is deemed to be passive income by virtue of having suffered at least 5% in overseas tax, irrespective of whether the tax was levied directly or indirectly, or through withholding or otherwise.
At Busuttil & Micallef, we can be relied up on to provide clients with sound advice on the interesting possibilities for intellectual property owning structures including the application of value set-up rules when an overseas entity is continued (re-domiciled) to Malta as part of a restructuring process.