• Access and hire global talent & deploy them anywhere in the world
  • Remove restriction from only hiring from local markets
  • Enter any international market without the requirement of opening a local entity

Expanding into Malta can bring many opportunities. The country is characterised by a skilled and international workforce, favourable employment and tax laws, and a durable infrastructure network that prides itself on being a strong maritime link between European, African, and Asian markets. Tourism, electronics, construction, and information technology services are the leading sectors of the Maltese economy.

Global Expansion is a step to make for any business, regardless of your goal. But the opportunities that can come with an expansion can be intimidating and confusing, especially when you consider all of the registration procedures that need to be done and the documentation required. Going at it without the proper support can increase the costs, time and risks involved.

The legwork and potential red tape can be worked through more efficiently and cost-effectively with the support of a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) such as Bradford Jacobs, primarily through our Employer of Record (EOR) framework. It can be best utilised when businesses are just beginning their expansion process and require more information before incorporating an entity and fully establishing themselves in the Maltese market.

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Malta – The Economy

Malta’s open market economy is highly industrialised and service based. It has been classified as a high-income country (World Bank, 2015) and an innovation-driven economy (World Economic Forum, 2014). Geographically, Malta is ideally placed in the Mediterranean Sea and acts as a crossroads between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Its robust infrastructure includes a world-renowned reputation as a flag of quality for its ports.

Malta sees its economy soar to the top of European ranks. The European Commission predicted, in its Winter Economic Forecast, that the country will have the second-largest European growth rate in 2023. They add that Malta would see an annual economic growth of 3.1%, surpassing Europe’s average by 2.3%. 

Malta saw extraordinary results in 2022, with a growth of 6.6%, the third-largest in Europe. The performance has been credited mainly to solid growth in the service and tourism sectors, the latter recovering swiftly from the pandemic. Despite the Maltese Government’s efforts to subsidise energy prices, inflation in Malta stands at 6.1%.

The country has its eyes on the future, embracing innovation, sustainability, and digitalisation – the administration is increasing investments in attracting opportunities in information technology, financial services, tourism, and manufacturing to the archipelago.

Expanding into Malta

Small and Medium-Sized Companies

Small and Medium-Sized Companies (SMEs) play a significant role in Malta’s economy. They account for 95% of all Maltese companies while providing 140,000 people jobs! In 2022, 33,442 SMEs were operating in the country – with 30,903 micro-sized enterprises employing between 0-9 people.

On February 1, 2023, a new €2 million grant scheme opened to help SMEs purchase equipment and machinery through European Funds. This new program will make it simpler and easier to apply funds and help businesses become more efficient. 

This opportunity perfectly aligns with Malta’s government strategy of digitalising companies and making them stronger and more resilient. 

According to a Malta Chamber of SMEs’ “Business Performance Survey”, 6% of SMEs plan to take their business overseas in 2023, while 39% reported that 2022 was better than 2019 (pre-pandemic).

SMEs in Malta
Malta (Republic of Malta - Repubblika ta' Malta, in Maltese)
Number of regions
The archipelago comprises 3 main islands: Malta, Comino, and Gozo.

The archipelago is itself divided into 5 regions - Southern Region (Malta); Southeastern Region (Malta); Eastern Region (Malta); Central Region (Malta); Northern Region (Malta); and Gozo Region (Comino and Gozo islands).
Principal Cities
Saint Paul’s Bay (San Pawl il-Baħar), Birkirkara, Mosta (Il-Mosta), Sliema (Tas-Sliema), Qormi, Żabbar (Ħaż-Żabbar), Saint Julian's (San Ġiljan), and Swieqi (Is-Swieqi).
Maltese and English (2/3 of the population can speak conversational Italian).
Local Currency
Euro (EUR)
Major Religion(s) (2019)
Christianity 90% (of which 83% of Roman Catholic), - No religion 5% - Islam 2%
Date Format
Time Zone
CET (UTC+1 /+2 in Summer DST)
Country Dial Code
Population (2022)
Border Countries
Maritime borders: Malta lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily (Italy), 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya.
Tax Year
1 January – 31 December (calendar year)
Goods and services are generally taxable at a standard VAT rate of 18%.

Certain goods and services have a reduced rate of 7% or 5% or 0%.
National Minimum Wage (2023)
EUR 835/month (EUR 192.73/week)
Taxpayer Identification Numbers
  • Maltese nationals can use their Maltese ID Card Number as the TIN.

  • TIN for non-Maltese nationals is issued by the IRD once they complete a registration form.

  • Entities registering with the Maltese Registry of Companies are automatically registered with the IRD and issued a TIN.
  • Leading Sectors (2021)
    Services 77.7% - Industry 12.8% - Manufacturing 7% - Agriculture & Fishing 0.4%.
    Main imports (2021)
    Mineral fuels and oils, non-electrical machinery, aircraft and other transport equipment, plastic and other semi-manufactured goods, food, drink and tobacco.
    Main exports (2021)
    Electrical machinery, mechanical appliances, fish and crustaceans, pharmaceutical products and printed material.
    Main trading partners (2021)
    Main Suppliers: Italy (23%), Canada (7%), France (7%), Spain (6,2%), Germany (5.6%), China (5.4%) and the UK (5.1%).

    Main Customers: Germany (14%), Italy (9.5%), France (6%), Japan (5.7%), Singapore (4.6%), Hong Kong (4.3%), the USA (4.2%), and the UK (4.1%).
    Government Type
    Unitary parliamentary republic
    Current President / PM
    President: George Vella (since April 2019)

    Prime Minister: Robert Abela (since January 2020)

    Main Sectors of the Maltese Economy

    The country focuses on the following key sectors, which all have a significant impact on the country’s economy:

    • Tourism – Tourism is among the primary contributors to Malta’s GDP. Tourism accounts for about 27.1% of Malta’s GDP, significantly higher than Europe’s 10.3%. This sector also employs about 3/5 of the country’s workforce. The sector follows a seasonal pattern, with June-October being the peak season. This sector also significantly impacts Malta’s natural environment of the Maltese islands, with plans for the government to promote ecotourism.
    • Manufacturing – the manufacturing sector has been long-established since the country’s days as a British colony. Before independence, the industry mainly revolved around local beverages, food, and furniture. However, after gaining independence, the country re-established itself as a low-cost manufacturing hub to attract foreign investors. Manufacturing accounts for 11% of Malta’s employment and 10% of Malta’s GDP, with electronics and F&B being dominant in the sector. Most manufacturing companies are located in the country’s industrial parks, benefiting from subsidised production costs such as cheap electricity and tax incentives on raw materials.
    • Financial Services – The fastest growing sector of the Maltese economy. The final services sector accounts for 12% of the GDP and employs over 10,000 people. Malta is also internationally recognised as a world-class centre for blue-chip banks, investment houses, and fund managers.
    Sectors of the Maltese Economy
    • Maritime – Malta is located in the centre of the Mediterranean, only a few miles off one of the busiest global shipping lanes. It also boasts one of the largest merchant ship registers and a solid reputation as a flag of quality. This sector is supported by a robust infrastructural base, which hosts one of the largest trans-shipment hubs in the Mediterranean (Malta Freeport), a vibrant commercial harbour that hosts cargo operations and ship repair facilities, and a cruise liner terminal.
    • Education – a sector with a strong foundation and great potential. Malta is known as a centre for teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). What most don’t know, however, is that Malta also has a strong presence of specialised institutions that provide training for the oil and gas sector and several international universities with various services.

    Labour Contracts Law in Malta

    In Malta, contracts need not necessarily be in writing. However, under the Information to Employees Regulations, a written agreement of basic details must be presented to the employee by eight days after the commencement of the employment if this latter is intended to last longer than one month with more than eight hours of work per week. Some key factors include: 

    • Detailing whether the contract is permanent or fixed and whether a probation period (not to exceed six months) is involved.
    • Start date.
    • Remuneration and benefits, guaranteeing at least the National Minimum Wage. 
    • Social conditions such as sick pay, maternity, and parental leave. 
    • Notice periods, termination, and dismissal policy.
    • Frequency of pay and overtime payments cannot exceed four weeks in arrears. 
    • Working hours, job description and location of employment. 
    • Procedure for breach of contract. 
    • Annual paid leave 
    • Contracts must be signed by both parties, which must be over 18 years old.
    • There is no legal requirement regarding language, but both parties must understand it.

    Tax and Labour Authorities in Malta

    Tax Authorities

    The Commissioner for Revenue – previously known as the Inland Revenue Department, this office collects taxes from individuals and businesses in a fair, timely and efficient manner to ensure that funds are available for Malta’s public services.

    Tax Compliance Unit – a semi-autonomous specialised unit within Malta’s Finance Ministry that aims to address and tackle tax evasion and fraud. The role and functions of this unit complement and support the enforcement capacities of the Inland Revenue Department, the VAT Department, and the Customs Department.

    Labour Authorities

    Department of Industrial and Employment Relations – the contact point for people and employers regarding Maltese employment. The main activities of this department are employment conditions, industrial relations (such as regulations between employment associations & trade unions), and international labour regulations (such as collaboration with the EU and other International Labour Organizations).


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