Associations Law

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The 2007 Amendment to the Maltese Civil Code introduced a number of extensive provisions regarding Foundations law, as well as Associations Law. Associations are now defined as an agreement between three or more persons to establish an organisation which has defined aims or purposes to be achieved through their dedication of efforts and resources.

Associations Law in Malta

As per Maltese law, an association is entitled to register itself as a legal person if it wishes, but there is no obligation imposed upon it to do so. Also, it may be established for a spectrum of purposes. With respect to associations, the purpose for its foundation is highly important as different considerations apply depending on the scope of the association. One should note that associations are taxed at marginal rates which are capped at 15-35%, depending on the purpose of the association.

An association may be set up for the purpose of promoting private interests or a particular trade or profession, and thus will be regulated by the laws which regulate all civil partnerships and special laws relating to commercial partnerships, particular professions, unions and employer associations or cooperatives. These are often referred to as Private Associations.

Alternatively, an association may also be set up for the achievement of a social purpose or for the carrying on of any lawful activity on a non profit making basis. These are often referred to as Public Associations. Such associations are regulated by the provisions found in Sub-Title III of the 2007 amendments and the Voluntary Organisations Act and respective Regulations to the Act, in the event that they are enrolled with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations. 

Malta Associations Law: Setting up an Association

Malta associations law stipulates that associations may only be established through an agreement carried out in writing. The statue of the association must include a number of details which include the name of the association, its registered address in Malta and its purposes or objects. Other details which must be included are:

  • the method or process by which membership of the association is granted to applicants;
  •  the mode of procedure during general meetings;
  • the composition of the board of administration and the names of the first administrators;
  • the manner in which administrators are elected to and removed from office;
  •  the legal representation;
  •  in case of an association, the administrators of which are non-residents of Malta, the name and address of a person resident in Malta who has been appointed to act as the local representative of the association in Malta; and
  • the term for which it is established, if any.

Our Associations Law Practice

Due to their emphasis on the purpose, rather than the amalgamation of assets vested in the organisation, associations serve as flexible investment vehicles. Our dedicated Families & Wealth team can guide you through the process of setting up an association, and may serve as the local representative for your association in accordance with your local associations law.

Our team of experienced lawyers is commercially aware, but also sensitive to the needs of successful individuals or families who are considering the benefits of various investment options available in Maltese and Cypriot law. Our lawyers can help you pick the best cost-effective and advantageous investment vehicle which suits your wealth management requirements. 

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Key Contacts

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Senior Partner - Corporate, Trusts & Fintech

+356 22056422

Mr Steve Muscat Azzopardi

Senior Manager, Corporate & Fintech

+356 22056438

Dr Christine Camilleri

Senior Associate, Corporate law

+356 2205 6200

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