Malta’s Startup Residence Programme: Eligibility and Benefits Explained

Malta's Startup Residence Scheme offers non-European Union nationals the opportunity to develop and expand their businesses in Malta, with access to grants, loans, and other non-dilutive assistance. Eligible applicants must fulfill specific criteria, including tangible investments and paid-up share capital, while start-ups must meet basic requirements.
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Malta, a picturesque island country in the Mediterranean, has become an attractive destination for entrepreneurs seeking a new home for their startup. In addition to its popular Golden Visa program, Malta now offers a Startup Residence Scheme, which provides eligible founders, co-founders, and core employees with a three-year residence permit.

The permit can be renewed for five years for founders and co-founders and three years for employees if the startup is still in operation and meets the program’s requirements.

Malta Startup Residence Programme

The Startup Residence Scheme is administered by Malta Enterprise, the country’s economic development agency, which provides a dedicated package of grants, loans, and non-dilutive assistance to startups seeking early-stage financing. Participants in the program gain access to mentorship, networking opportunities, and potential funding from local and international investors.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the eligibility requirements, benefits, and investment criteria for the Startup Residence Scheme in Malta. We’ll also explore the program’s applicable fees and examine other residency programs available in Malta, including the Permanent Residence, Ordinary Residency, Global Residence, and Nomad Residence Permit programs.

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Benefits of the Startup Residence Scheme

The Startup Residence Scheme offers numerous benefits to entrepreneurs, including:

1. Long-term Residence Permit: Successful applicants will receive a three-year residence permit, which can be renewed for an additional five years for founders and co-founders and three years for their employees, provided that the business remains operational and meets the programme’s basic requirements.

2. Family Inclusion: Entrepreneurs can apply for their spouses, children, and other dependents to join them in Malta, ensuring a smooth transition for the entire family.

3. Mentorship and Funding Opportunities: Participants in the Startup Residence Scheme gain access to mentorship, networking opportunities, and potential funding from local and international investors.

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4. Competitive Tax Regime: Malta offers a competitive tax regime, efficient regulatory framework, and a skilled workforce, making it an attractive destination for businesses.

5. Fast Processing Time: The processing time for the Startup Residence Scheme is typically around 90 days, ensuring that entrepreneurs can quickly establish their business in Malta.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Startup Residence Programme, an applicant must fulfil the following requirements:

  1. Concrete intention to develop business in Malta: The applicant must have a concrete intention to develop and/or expand their business in Malta.
  2. Founder or co-founder of a registered enterprise: The applicant must be the founder or co-founder of an enterprise, which has been registered for not more than seven years anywhere globally, including Malta.
  3. No profit distribution and no merger: The startup must not have taken over the activity of another enterprise, has not yet distributed profit, and has not been formed through a merger.
  4. Co-founders limit: The maximum number of co-founders of a startup eligible for the Startup Residence Programme is six.
  5. Physical presence in Malta: The founder and/or co-founders benefitting from this programme need to have a physical and tangible presence in Malta, not only from a business point of view but also in terms of living in Malta.
  6. Health insurance and financial resources: The applicant must have recognized health insurance covering risks in Malta for themselves and their dependents and should be in possession of sufficient financial resources to support themselves and any other dependents within existing regulations.
  7. No criminal record: The applicant must have no criminal record or pending criminal charges and does not pose any potential threat to national security, public policy, public health, or public interest.
  8. No previous rejection: The applicant must not have previously had applications for residence status or citizenship rejected in Malta or abroad.

Investment Requirement

The incorporated Startup in Malta is required to place a tangible investment and/or paid-up share capital of not less than €25,000 (around Rs 23 lakh). In such a case where more than four co-founders apply for the Startup Residence Permit, an additional €10,000 needs to be placed per additional co-founder.

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Eligible Business Verticals

The Startup Residence Scheme is available for businesses involved in the following verticals:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Industrial services analogous to manufacturing
  3. Eco start-ups involved in the blue, green and sustainable industries
  4. Software Development
  5. Health, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences
  6. Other innovative economic activities which are enabled through knowledge and technology provide services or products which are currently not readily available in the relevant market.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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