This section provides an overview of Malta's business register.
The Maltese business register includes general information on companies in Malta.
The Register is a part of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), which is legally responsible for keeping the national registry of companies up to date. The MFSA website provides information on financial services legislation, including:
General information on the Maltese business register is available to the public free of charge, although users are charged for access to some areas of the website.
The MFSA website is available to the public free of charge.
Registered users of the Registry's online system can access the Registry database free of charge. There are no subscription fees to become a registered user. There is a charge for downloading documents on individual companies from the website, but users can search the database for information free of charge. Anyone can therefore search for a company by entering its name, a part of its name or its registration number. Other information available free of charge includes the registered offices of the company and the names of its directors, company secretary and shareholders.
The 1995 Companies Act, Chapter 386 of the Laws of Malta, is the main law governing Limited Liability Companies registered in Malta and includes provisions enabling third parties to rely on documents and other particulars in the register, as shown below:
All documents and statutory notices submitted by companies for registration are signed/authenticated by the signature of a director or company secretary of the company. Documents and statutory notices are received by the Registrar of Companies in good faith. The company officer signing is responsible for the content of the document. It is a criminal offence in Malta for a person to give a false declaration or statement in any document intended for any public authority in order to gain any advantage or benefit for himself or others.
Company law was introduced in Malta by the Commercial Partnerships Ordinance of 1962. The Register originally came under the Commerce Department, a Government department. It became a part of the Malta Financial Services Authority in 1997 following the introduction of the new Companies Act in 1995. All of the documents registered for existing companies were scanned and an electronic file was created for each company. Remote access to the companies database and the documents included therein was initially available via a direct dial-in system, which was updated to the internet in 2000. In late 2004 a new web-based system was launched, and in 2006 an electronic file system using digital signatures was introduced.
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