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Liaison Office in Malta

Liaison Office in Malta

Our company formation specialists in Malta can provide you with information about how to open a representative office in Malta and the formalities implicated. We offer support for international and local entrepreneurs interested in company incorporation in Malta.

 Quick Facts  
 Definition of the liaison office  A liaison office in Malta is a representative office established by a foreign company to facilitate communication and business activities in the country.

 Communication and coordination

 The primary purpose of a liaison office is to facilitate communication and coordination between the foreign company and its clients or partners in Malta.

 Market research and analysis

 Liaison offices in Malta often conduct market research and analysis to gather information about the local business environment and market opportunities.

 Promoting business interests  Liaison offices play a role in promoting the business interests of the foreign company in Malta.
 Legal entity status

 A liaison office does not have a separate legal entity status in Malta and operates as an extension of the foreign company.

 Limited scope of activities

 Liaison offices are limited to activities such as market research, information sharing, and coordinating business activities.

No profit repatriation 

 Liaison offices cannot generate profits or conduct business transactions, so profit repatriation is not applicable.

 Work permits and visas

 Employees of a liaison office may require work permits and visas to work and reside in Malta, subject to immigration regulations.

 Restricted duration

 The duration of a liaison office's existence is typically limited and subject to renewal based on the foreign company's needs.

 Local representation  A liaison office may appoint local representatives who act as a point of contact and provide support in Malta.
 No contracts or agreements

 Liaison offices cannot enter into contracts or agreements on behalf of the foreign company.

 Cost-effective market entry

 Establishing a liaison office in Malta can be a cost-effective option for foreign companies looking to explore the market before committing to a permanent establishment.

 Limited liability

 The liability of a liaison office is limited to the foreign company it represents; it does not have separate legal liability in Malta.

 No trading or commercial transactions

 Liaison offices are prohibited from engaging in trading or commercial transactions, including buying or selling goods or services.

 Conversion to branch or subsidiary  If a foreign company decides to expand its operations in Malta, it can convert the liaison office into a branch or subsidiary for more extensive business activities.

The functions of a liaison office in Malta

The functions of a liaison office in Malta are restricted to non-profit undertakings, such as providing information about the parent company, promoting the company’s services, maintaining relations with the customers in Malta. The liaison office carries no right to issue invoices or sign contracts in the name of the company.

A representative office in Malta can only provide information regarding the company’s products and it is only enabled to conduct research and inform the headquarters about the results. Whether you want to register a company in Malta or a liaison office, we invite you to talk to one of our consultants.

Registering a liaison office in Malta

The process for registering a liaison office in Malta can take a few weeks, but before establishing the representative office in Malta, the main company must announce the Maltese authorities two months prior to the opening. The approval for opening the liaison office in Malta is granted for a limited number of years depending on the company’s profile, but it can be extended, if the company applies for a renewal. The documents required to open a liaison office in Malta are:

  • – notarized copies of the memorandum and articles of association of the parent company;
  • – an audited financial statement of the company;
  • – a letter from the management board of the company declaring the objective of the liaison office;
  • – a letter from the board management authorizing a representative for the liaison office;
  • – copies of identification documents, usually passports, of the Maltese liaison office’s personnel;
  • – a request for opening a bank account.

The video below shows the main steps on opening a Maltese representative office:

What are the attributes of a liaison office in Malta?

Because a liaison office is not a legal entity and addresses to other type of activities, a foreign investor must observe a few characteristics linked to a liaison office in Malta which are mostly applicable in any European country:

  1. liaison office in Malta cannot have financial operations.
  2. A liaison office can have employees who must communicate with the foreign company.
  3. A representative agent with residency in Malta can represent a liaison office in this country.
  4. Through a liaison office in Malta, a foreign company cannot agree and sign contracts with a local or overseas business.

Even if there are no complicated formalities for establishing a liaison office in Malta, it is recommended to have the support of a company formation agent in Malta who can handle all the requirements imposed by the authorities.

Who can establish a liaison office in Malta?

International companies wanting to have an idea about the business climate in Malta can, first of all, open a liaison office. This is in most cases the suitable option for foreign entrepreneurs who would rather skip the formalities of opening a company from zero. The main idea is to verify and test the market and to see what kinds of sectors suit most the needs of a foreign businessman, with the help of a liaison office in Malta. This is among the choices of international investors who do not want to take any risks and instead want to see and know from the start the ways in which their businesses can be successful. 

Can I promote import and export activities with a liaison office?

Yes, a liaison office can promote the trading activities of a foreign company in Malta. There are numerous import and export companies that are interested in having their operations in Malta, but need to, first of all, find the proper place on the market. It is quite recommended to inspect the market you want to develop your activities and find out more about the business direction in Malta before establishing a company. If you want to know more about how to set up a liaison office in Malta, do not hesitate to solicit the support of our company formation specialists in Malta.

The suitability of a liaison office in Malta

A communication between a foreign company and potential clients in Malta can be properly sustained by a liaison office in this country. This is the proper method through which a foreign enterprise can establish several business contacts in Malta, collect market information and develop promotional schemes for the goods and services the company wants to sell. If the liaison office comes with fruitful and positive results, the owners of the foreign business can think of establishing the company in Malta, as a limited liability company, joint stock company or partnership, depending on the needs.

Connecting with customers worldwide

It is permitted to have liaison offices in more than just one country if the parent company needs to promote the business in different regions and even continents. However, a single representative office established in Malta can connect with clients all over the world. It is important to make some specific verifications of the targeted market before registering a liaison office in Malta. A representative officer can prepare specific promotion and marketing documentation, in accordance with the consumer needs and demands.

Then, getting in touch with potential business partners and professionally presenting the business through a liaison office is the next thing to do. If you believe it is time to incorporate a representative office in Malta, we suggest you discuss all the details with one of our specialists. The procedures are simple and your liaison office in Malta can start the activities in a relatively fast manner.

Types of businesses you can promote in Malta

Malta is an ideal business destination for a variety of entrepreneurs. The business climate is favorable to the implementation and development of several types of business in the island state. Those wishing to promote their business in Malta can register a representative office before starting the operations with the help of a standard company.

Tourism, innovation, research, production, entertainment, manufacturing, finance, and insurance, here are just a few areas of interest that you can promote in Malta, with the help of a liaison office. If promotion and marketing prove to be successful, then the business direction can change, and the liaison office can be transformed into a new structure, which can have other operations. Find out from our specialists in company registration in Malta what the steps to follow are in order to be able to move from a liaison office to a company.

Responsibilities and attributes of a liaison officer in Malta

Without a doubt, a liaison officer in Malta is the point of contact between the parent company and potential clients and collaborators. He/she has a series of responsibilities, and besides that, he/she must also have experience and certain qualities. Let’s review some of them:

  • • A liaison officer in Malta must first of all understand the business direction of the company he represents, in order to be able to provide complete information to potential clients from this territory.
  • • Experience in international relations is an asset for a good liaison officer in Malta.
  • Liaison officers in Malta must have negotiation skills in order to attract as many clients as possible for the company they represent.
  • • Also, in the case of conflicts that may arise in the business direction, he/she must know how to mediate them and offer optimal solutions to extinguish them.
  • • Among the responsibilities of a liaison officer is the preparation of marketing and promotion plans, in collaboration with the parent company.
  • • Reports and market analysis also come under the attention of a liaison office in Malta.
  • • Another advantage is to have studies or thorough knowledge of business, international relations, and management, depending on the parent company’s field of interest.

It can be said that these are some of the attributes, but also the responsibilities of a good liaison officer in Malta. We recommend the services offered by our agents if you want to set up a representative office in Malta.

Financial support for a representative office in Malta

Opening a representative office in Malta involves certain expenses. Financial support is also needed for the marketing and promotion activities of the liaison office. Moreover, various local purchases can be made for which the parent company bears the respective expenses. You can discuss more with one of our specialists to find out about the financial support of a representative office in Malta.

Taxation of a liaison office in Malta

liaison office in Malta cannot undertake economic activities with a view to generating income and respective profits. Thus, a representative office in Malta is not subject to corporate tax in Malta. However, VAT is paid on the purchases that are the subject of this tax. It should be mentioned that all supporting documents and invoices must be kept and sent to the parent company, in order to report from the accounting point of view.

A liaison office in the R&D sector in Malta

Research and development is one of the most matured fields in Malta and is often on the list of foreign investors. You can opt for opening a representative office in Malta in this field and access potential clients and collaborators for the business you represent. The field is extremely attractive from an investment point of view, so it might interest you at some point if you want to test the Maltese market.

FAQ about liaison office in Malta

Can a liaison office have financial operations?

No, liaison offices in Malta do not have retail activities and therefore, no financial operations. This is an office that connects potential clients in Malta to foreign companies.

Can a liaison office in Malta develop marketing activities?

Yes, this is the first activity a liaison office can have in Malta or anywhere in the world.

Can a liaison office develop commercial activities in Malta?

No, a liaison office in Malta cannot have commercial activities in Malta but can get in touch with potential business clients.

Is a liaison office in Malta subject to taxation?

No, liaison offices in Malta do not need to register for tax purposes.

Who can set up liaison offices in Malta?

Any foreign entrepreneur who wants to have an idea about the business and the market in Malta can open a liaison office in Malta and develop all sorts of marketing activities.

Can I sign contracts while having a liaison office in Malta?

No, liaison offices in Malta cannot sign business contracts. However, advertising and marketing operations are permitted.

What types of structures are permitted for a representative office in Malta?

Limited liability companies, partnerships, and even joint-stock companies are available for registering a liaison office in Malta. In most cases, the limited liability company represents a suitable option for the operation of a liaison office.

Is a liaison office a good option for promoting the activities of a foreign business in Malta?

Yes, this is the main activity of a liaison office. Foreign companies can promote their business activities in Malta through a representative office. There are no financial activities involved.

Is it hard to register a representative office in Malta?

No, the formalities of registering a liaison office in Malta are straightforward and can be entirely handled by one of our company formation representatives in Malta. Talk to us for assistance.

Can a liaison office change into a company with financial operations in Malta?

Yes, if your representative office no longer serves the business needs you wanted in the first place, it is time to change the direction. This means that your business can start the operations if you made the proper modifications and notified the Maltese Trade Register in this matter.

Investments in Malta

Malta is quite appealing from foreign investments and the government provides a series of attractive incentives to sustain the economic development in this direction.  The financial sector, and the tourism field are top investment destinations in Malta. Below you can find information and facts about foreign investments and the economy in Malta:

  • • A total FDI stock of approximately USD 231 million has been registered in 2021;
  • • Malta ranked 88th out of 190 international economies, as reported by World Bank and the 2020 Doing Business report
  • • the small island already hosts more than 200 international companies;
  • • around 97% of the foreign investments in Malta were directed to the financial and insurance activities.

Choosing our company formation agents in Malta

We can offer support and guidance for foreign investors interested in company formation in Malta. Our specialists have experience in registering companies of any kind, including liaison offices in Malta. We can take care of the formalities and documents to ease the registration process and allow you to focus on the business and investments you have to make in this country.

Choosing our company formation agents in Malta

We can offer support and guidance for foreign investors interested in company formation in Malta. Our specialists have experience in registering companies of any kind, including liaison offices in Malta. We can take care of the formalities and documents to ease the registration process and allow you to focus on the business and investments you have to make in this country.

If you want to open a company in Malta or set up a liaison office, you may contact our company formation agents in Malta.