How to open a business bank account in Malta? What documents are required?
Tax optimization is a common and popular way to reduce the monthly costs of running a business. One of the ways to achieve this result is company registration in Malta. Although it is one of the smallest European countries, it offers quite a lot of opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs. When you decide to register a company in this country, you need to become familiar with one more aspect, namely how to set up a business bank account in Malta. Proper preparation for this activity requires the preparation of the necessary documentation. What documents are required for opening such bank account? You will learn more from this article.
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Who can set up a bank account in Malta?
As a rule, any resident of Malta can open a bank account there. In justified cases, non-residents, as well as foreign companies, have this possibility. Theoretically, Maltese banks also accept applications from people who are not EU citizens, but in practice, the requirements for opening a bank account are a lot tighter.
It is worth knowing that many banks operating in Malta belong to international corporations, e.g. Sparkasse or HSBC. Due to the above, you can set up a Maltese bank account without having to actually visit the country. However, you must meet several conditions, first and foremost those regarding good financial history. If you have had problems with your debts in the past, a Maltese bank may require you to meet additional criteria, the most common of which is to demand that you obtain a tax residence in Malta for a certain period of time. Then, you can open a bank account for business in this country even if you have declared bankruptcy or have had problems paying off the debt in your home country.
How to open a business account in a bank in Malta?
After meeting the preconditions, it’s time to move on to formal aspects. In general, individuals have a much easier procedure than business clients, especially companies based outside Malta. Depending on the bank you choose, you can complete all the formalities by mail (which usually takes up to 2 weeks) or in person at a Maltese branch. In total, you have a choice of one of 29 financial institutions that have received state accreditation for conducting banking services.
Maltese bank account opening documents
Basically, you may need several documents to open a business bank account in Malta. However, you must know that they will vary from case to case. According to the khg.pl website, most often Maltese banks may require:
1. The “Know-Your-Client” form (abbreviated as KYC), which is the basic document without which it is not possible to register any bank account in Malta, regardless of whether it relates to a private or business account.
2. An application for opening a bank account, in which you must provide some information, such as the type of account, the main operating currency and the preferred method of payment of tax.
3. Copies of the company’s articles of association (so-called “memorandum”) and the organization’s statute.
4. A certified copy of the registration certificate in the Maltese company register.
5. A certified copy of the company’s activities along with current and anticipated turnover.
6. Identity documents with authentication – applies to all directors, signatories, beneficiaries and secretaries.
7. Statements of the company secretary if the entity is listed on the stock exchange.
8. References from the country of origin – banks may require these documents if there are entities or persons from outside Malta in the structure of your company. Banks usually accept letters of reference from a lawyer, for instance.
Malta banks may also request other documents
When deciding to set up a business bank account in Malta, you must be aware that the banks there may require you to submit other documents as well. This is especially true for companies that will deal with less popular industries, such as cryptocurrencies. As reported by kgh.pl, it may happen that companies that have dealt with cryptocurrencies in the past may wait even up to 6 months to open a bank account.
What document translations do you need?
The bank may also require you to submit a translation of your company documents. Most often this is the case if your company’s headquarters are outside of Malta (but still within the EU). In this situation, you must supply a translation of the company’s articles of association, statutes, documents regarding company operations or identity documents of decision-makers. And they don’t have to be Maltese translations. English is one of the official languages of Malta, so documents drawn up in this language will be acceptable. The nature of the authentication of translations remains a separate issue. In some cases, you may need an apostille clause on all translated documents, but make sure you ask about the details in a given Maltese bank.
What banks are available in Malta?
You already know how to set up a company bank account in Malta, you just have to decide which bank to choose. In total, there are 29 financial institutions in the country with state accreditation. Some of them are international organizations that give you the opportunity to set up a Maltese bank account without having to appear in this country in person, although it’s always an individual issue.
Bank of Valletta – Malta’s largest bank
The oldest and longest-operating bank in Malta is the Bank of Valletta, whose name comes from the capital city of the country. It has been on the market since 1974 and offers a comprehensive range of financial services, including access to online banking and a wide range of loans. Opening an account in the Bank of Valletta requires completing a form available on the bank’s website. Then you have to wait a few days for an adviser to contact you and provide the details of further steps.
HSBC – the largest international bank in Malta
HSBC Bank is a different organisation than the Bank of Valletta. First of all, because it is an international entity. You can set up HSBC business account without having to visit Malta provided, however, that you are already its customer in any other country. Standard account opening formalities also apply (at least theoretically). The only difference is that HSBC does not accept letters of reference from a lawyer, but only from another bank. In practice, you may also be required to submit a significantly larger number of additional documentation than, for example, the Bank of Valletta. Furthermore, if you are not an HSBC customer in another country, you must schedule a personal appointment at a Maltese branch for 2 weeks in advance. The waiting time in the queue is quite long.
Business account in MeDirect – the easiest procedures
MeDirect previously operated as a Mediterranean Bank and is the third-largest banking institution in Malta. However, it stands out from the competition by simple procedures for setting up a company account in Malta. The only thing you need to have is an account in any European bank or account number in the SEPA system. That’s all – now, you only need to request a transfer of your data using ID verification and to open a company account in MeDirect. Everything is fully automated and the rest of the formal aspects are completed without your participation.
What if you don’t have a bank account opened elsewhere? You will need to visit one of the three Maltese MeDirect branches in order to undergo manual data verification. The institution stands out from its competition with excellent advice, so such a visit is rather a pleasure. Just remember about one nuance – this is primarily an investment bank, so the costs of running a business account can be high. You may want to consider using one of the available investment instruments to get better terms of cooperation.
How to set up a Business account in a bank in Malta?
After deciding to register a company in Malta, you should think about opening your small business accounts in a bank in this country. In theory, this is possible for both residents of this country and residents of any EU Member State. Procedures are significantly more complicated for people who reside outside the European Community. You must also remember to supply the required documentation, and if necessary, provide translations and certified documents. The choice of the appropriate financial institution where you will learn how to set up a company account in a bank in Malta remains a separate issue. Remember that the procedures may differ depending on which bank you choose. That is why it is worth conducting a detailed analysis of offers to save yourself both time and money.