Until December 31, 2006, Malta allowed the incorporation of International Trading Companies and International Holding Companies. While advantageous from a tax perspective, the OECD and FATF attacked these entities as an example of "ring fencing", i.e. a different treatment of resident v. non-resident shareholders.
Since January of 2007, the incorporation of Malta Companies has now been permitted. These companies are allowed to carry on any type of business activity. These companies are required to file annual audited accounts and can maintain a Maltese bank account. The company's administration centered in Malta, is not required to have a physical operating presence. These companies are fully EU compliant (including VAT compliant) as they are subject to ordinary rates of Malta corporate taxation.
The Malta Company keeps in place the prior full-imputation system of corporate taxation which can effectively reduce tax rates to as little as 5%. What's more, there is an existing network of 42 Tax Treaties in place. The Malta Company should definitely be considered among the most attractive jurisdictions for entering the EU.
For a complete discussion of Malta companies including fees, please see http://www.ibcf.com/jurisdiction.php?source=&country=Malta
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