Malta Yacht Structures

Malta Yacht Structures

Malta Yacht Structures

The island nation of Malta has, since time immemorial, been wedded to the maritime sector. The geographic position of Malta in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, at the borderline between North Africa and Europe and halfway between the straits of Gibraltar and Suez has aided in making the country a natural interconnector and a hub for maritime activities. Yet, Malta offers more than a strategic location! Malta enjoys a stable political climate and is considered as one of the best performing Eurozone economies - with a steady economic growth and a low unemployment. This, amongst others, has helped establish Malta as a lead option within the corporate and commercial law sphere. Malta has been a member of the EU since 2004 and of the Schengen Area since 2007. Easy access to the archipelago together with English being an official language render Malta the ideal jurisdiction for trade and commerce. In the context of ownership set-ups, asset protection and trading, Malta provides for a number of structures that are created to protect and manage funds or assets, in particular, yachts or ships. Additionally in 2018, the European Union approved Malta’s Tonnage Tax Regime, providing for significant fiscal incentives.

Country Highlights

TAX ON SHIPPING ACTIVITIES: Exempt MARTIME FLAG: Largest in Europe, 6th in the world
TAX ON OTHER TRADING ACTIVITIES: Possible 5% effective tax rate  EU: Member of the EU and Eurozone
DOUBLE TAX TREATY: Extensive double tax treaty network NO WITHHOLDING TAX: On outbound dividends



Legal Basis

The Maltese legal system provides for various entities/vehicles that may be used for the purpose of asset holding or trading. The vehicles available include trusts, foundations, partnerships and limited liability companies, the most popular being the latter. Malta limited liability companies are incorporated and regulated in terms of the Maltese Companies Act, which is the principal piece of corporate law in Malta. The Act is predominantly based on common law principles and in line with European Union (EU) directives. Due to the simple registration process, and benefits in fiscal planning, Maltese companies offer an ideal environment for structuring, asset protection and/or commerce within the maritime sphere. In the context of maritime trading and commerce, Maltese law provides for the setting up of shipping organisations which, whilst being generally limited liability companies, benefit from a number of incentives due to the application of tonnage tax law. The Malta Tonnage Tax regime is governed by the Merchant Shipping Act (Chapter 234 of the Laws of Malta). The regime has been approved by the European Commission.


  • Shipping Organisations: Exemption from Income Tax
  • Holding Entities: Asset Protection/Risk Segregation
  • Costs: Relatively Low Establishment & Operating Fees
  • Reputation of an EU Jurisdiction
  • Timeframes: 3-5 Days Company Incorporation


  • Share Capital: EUR 1,250
  • Eligibility: No Limitations on Nationality of Shareholders
  • Malta Registered Office
  • Officers: At Least One Director and Company Secretary
  • Classification: Trading or Holding or Shipping Organisation Depending on Activity

Process & Timeline

Why Work With Us

Request More Information

Please send me legal and other updates
Reference Materials

Key Contacts

Dr Charlene Mifsud

Partner, Corporate & Commercial

+356 2205 6298

Dr Jean-Philippe Chetcuti

Senior Partner, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056111

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Senior Partner, Corporate, Tax & Immigration

+356 22056122

Related Industry Groups
Related Practice Groups