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Malta shelf company acquisition

A shelf company also called a read-made company is generally used in connection with corporate transactions. Shelf companies are incorporated by service providers but no operating activity is taking place in these companies. Instead, after incorporation they are maintained and kept on the shelf until there is an opportunity to sell them. In this case service providers can guarantee that no operational activity has taken place in the company and therefore there is no debt or other liability that could be transferred to the new owner.

Meanwhile, there are also such companies, that were incorporated some time ago with a general objective to operate and earn profit but due to some reason the company ceased its operations. While typically companies would cease to exist, service providers buy the previously active companies and maintain them until a potential investor comes around. As these companies have had certain operational activity, it is important to make sure that they have no debt or other liability. Typically, quality service providers give their guarantee that you are purchasing a debt-less company. Nevertheless, it would be useful to do your own due diligence in order to be totally sure that you are buying a clean company.

Business in Malta

If you are searching for the right place where to acquire a shelf company and commence a business activity, Malta might be what you are looking for. Malta is a well-developed country in Mediterranean located in between Europe and Africa. In addition to the advantageous geographical location and enjoyable weather conditions throughout the year, Malta manages to attract foreign investors due to its business environment and taxation system. Thanks to Malta’s taxation system, it is considered as a tax haven.

Malta’s taxation system offers numerous advantages to companies. For example, Malta has signed double taxation treaties with over 70 countries ensuring that companies do not have to pay taxes in their resident countries for the profits generated in Malta. Also, if a holding company has to pay the full corporate tax rate of 35%, typically the payable amount is largely reduced – shareholders are able to ask for a refund as large as 6/7th from the tax on dividends.

Shelf company in Malta

There are several benefits of acquiring a shelf company instead of incorporating a new one. The main advantage involves a possibility to operate a company that already has some history. Quite often, newly incorporated companies are not considered reputable, therefore potential partners and customers might decide to prefer older companies. This is the reason why the price of a shelf company is determined by the age of it: older the company – higher the price.

Generally, another benefit of acquiring a shelf company is the relatively shorter time of procedure in comparison to an incorporation of a new company. Meanwhile, this benefit does not work as good in Malta as in other countries. This is due to the short incorporation time of companies in Malta – it can take only 24 hours to incorporate a new company (the same amount of time will be needed to acquire a shelf company).

While shelf companies are rather rear in Malta, you are able to acquire companies with various legal structures – from partnerships and limited liability companies to corporations. Maltese companies can be managed both from Malta and from abroad.

Malta shelf company acquisition process

The shelf company acquisition process in Malta is relatively fast and simple. Generally, after you have decided to acquire a shelf company in Malta, you can search for a service provider online. While there are numerous service providers, you should take your time to find the one that suits your needs the best. Some of the properties to consider are the costs, the reviews and reputation of the service provider, the legal structure of the shelf companies offered and additional services and other benefits offered to support the acquisition of the shelf company and further operations.

When you have decided from which service provider you would like to acquire a shelf company, you can choose one of the offered companies, depending on its age, price, legal structure and whether or not there has been some operation activity taking place in this company. Nowadays, most of the service providers provide a list of available companies on their webpage. Maltese ready-made companies are sold with an incorporation certificate, articles of association, memorandum, a registered address and a VAT number.

The key aspect of acquiring a shelf company is the transfer of shares from the old owner to the new one. All documents and the process is organized by the service provider and you will have to simply sign the agreement of share transfer. Additionally, if you wish, you can modify the company’s name and address as well as appoint a new director right after the share transfer is finished.

It should be taken into account that authorities may require a proof of previous activities in order to allow for a shelf company to function in Malta. Also, in some cases depending on the activities carried out, special licenses may be required before any business activity is started.