Trade Law

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Malta and Cyprus share a common feature which attracts a multitude of individuals, families and businesses to their shores: their highly advantageous taxation system. Both countries offer several advantages to companies who are interested in carrying out trading activities in Malta and Cyprus. Through optimal trade law, both jurisdictions have exploited their geographical positions which help them to serve as prime trading bases in the Mediterranean. Malta, through its renowned freeport has become a leading base for trading activities.

Trade Law in Malta

The Trading Licenses Act defines commercial activity as the exercise of any trading activity from sale of goods to providing any types of services. The Trading Services Act is the main legislative framework which regulates trading services; however, banking, insurance and investment services do not fall under the remit of the Trading Services Act.

Additional laws which regulate trading activities in Malta include the Trading Licenses Regulations (Subsidiary Legislation 441.07)

Maltese companies who want to obtain a trading license must submit an application with the Trading Licensing Unit (TLU), and undergo through a procedure which is relatively straightforward, subject to certain fees.

Special Requisites to obtain Trading Licences in Malta

Manufacturing and engineering companies require a special permit before applying for a trading licence in Malta due to the fact that these types of activities are subject to a number of environmental and waste control regulations before they are issued a trading licence.

There a number of different trading licenses issued in Malta, based on whether a company’s activities require handling food or beverages, or are companies in the hairdressing, fitness and beauty area. Prior to obtaining their trading licences, such companies must obtain a no objection declaration with the Environmental Health Directorate.

How does one apply for a Trade Licence in Malta?

One will need an application or notification in order to obtain a license from the Trading Licensing Unit. Once the application or notification has been submitted, a trading license is normally issued within 10 days. With the application, one must attach a number of documents:

  • Name and address of the applicant,
  • Foreign Citizens need a copy of the identification papers or ECT (Employment and Training Corporation) permit,
  • With respect to companies, a company’s name, country of registration and registration number must be issued,
  • The VAT (value added tax) registration number, where available,
  • The activity which will be carried out and supplementary details about this activity,
  • Any relevant permits, if necessary

Trading Law in Cyprus

Cyprus is an excellent trading base which can serve as a gateway to the EU, the Middle East, Gulf Russia and Eastern Europe offers a number of advantages to traders as well. Similarly to Malta, relevant licences are obtained depending on the nature of the business from the appropriate authority.

Our Trade Law Expertise

Our seasoned Commercial Law team has a wealth of ‘on the ground’ knowledge and experience which makes them leading professionals in the field of trade law. We are in a position to offer all-encompassing advice and assistance to clients on all trade law matters through our multi-disciplinary team.



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Key Contacts

Dr Maria Chetcuti Cauchi

Senior Partner

+356 22056412