The Constitution of Malta guarantees the right to freedom of speech and information through Article 41. The same article allows every Maltese resident to print newspapers or journals and publish them on a daily or periodically basis. There are no licensing requirements for individuals wanting to start a publishing company in Malta. The only requirement is for adults to register with the Press Registrar in Malta in order to perform as editors.
What is the main legal framework governing the print media in Malta?
The Maltese Press Act is the main regulatory framework for the printed press in the country. First released in 1974, the Press Act was amended several times during the years and the last change was made in 2009. The Press Act contains provisions about offences and the rights of journalists in Malta. This Act is based on the principle of qualified privilege which allows journalists to protect their sources of information. The Government must also make information available for publishing companies in Malta and may not boycott a printed or online publication.
The Broadcasting Act in Malta
Based on the development of the online media, Malta has adapted its legislation to the latest developments in the press and enabled the Broadcasting Act which provides certain legal rights and guidelines for opening an online media company in Malta. The Broadcasting Authority is the main legislative body regulating the activities of publishing companies in Malta.
The Electronic Communications Act and the Communications Authority in Malta also regulate the online media by providing the legal frameworks for authorized providers and also ensure the protection of users.
How to set up a publishing company in Malta?
No matter the type of publishing business to be set up, the main step is to register the company with the Maltese Trade Register. For companies conducting printing activities, one must select one of the following NACE codes within the Nomenclature of Economic Activities:
- – DE 22 for publishing, printing and reproduction of recorded media,
- – DE 22.11 for publishing books,
- – DE 22.12 for publishing newspapers,
- – DE 22.13 for publishing journals and periodicals,
- – DE 22.15 for other publishing,
- – DE 22.2 for printing and services related to printing,
- – DE 22.21 for printing newspapers.
In order to set up an online company, one must reserve an internet domain name with the Network Information Center in Malta. For information about opening a publishing company, you may also contact our Maltese company formation agents.