Opening a corporate account in Malta


Opening a corporate account in Malta and registering a company present significant advantages for businessmen and investors seeking a reliable jurisdiction with a favourable tax regime and a developed banking infrastructure. Malta, as a full member of the European Union, provides access to the European single market, rendering it an attractive destination for companies aiming to expand their presence in Europe.

The Maltese banking system boasts a high level of development and stability. Banks in Malta offer an array of services and products for corporate clients, encompassing multi-currency accounts, online banking, and specialised financial services tailored to international companies. The level of confidentiality and security provided by Maltese banks is notably high, offering additional reassurance for businesses.

Overall, Malta presents favourable conditions for conducting business and opening a corporate account, blending a reliable banking system, attractive tax policies, and a strategic geographical location. These factors position Malta as one of the most appealing jurisdictions for international business and investment.

Procedure for opening a corporate account in Malta

Bank selection

Initiating a business account in Malta marks a pivotal step for conducting business within this jurisdiction. The selection between large, medium, and specialised banks hinges upon the requirements of your company and the nature of its activities.


Services Offered

Key Features

Bank of Valletta

Corporate finance, asset management, international payments

Extensive branch and ATM network nationwide

HSBC Malta

Corporate finance, asset management, international payments

Extensive global network, tailored solutions for international operations

Sparkasse Bank Malta

Tailored banking solutions, niche sectors like real estate finance

Specialised services for specific sectors, personalised approach, flexibility in decision-making

Conversely, mid-sized and specialised corporate banks in Malta, like Sparkasse Bank Malta, can provide a more tailored approach and customised services aligned with the specific needs of the business. These banks often specialise in niche sectors, such as real estate finance or supporting trade transactions, catering to the needs of technology start-ups.

Opting to open a corporate account with a major bank in Malta may be preferable for companies necessitating a broad spectrum of banking services and international coverage. These banks typically possess advanced infrastructure to handle substantial transaction volumes and furnish intricate financial instruments. However, account opening and customer relationship procedures at larger banks may exhibit less flexibility and a more formalised approach.

Conversely, selecting a mid-market or speciality bank may prove advantageous for companies seeking personalised financial solutions and a closer rapport with the bank. Such banks typically exhibit greater flexibility in decision-making and can proffer competitive terms for specific activities.

Regardless of the choice, establishing a business account in Malta necessitates meticulous scrutiny of banking service terms and conditions, fee structures, online banking availability, and the quality of customer support.

Bank requirements for applicants to open an account for a company in Malta

  • Preparation of documentation: opening a corporate account mandates the submission of various documents, including the company's statutory documents (charter, memorandum, etc.), a comprehensive business plan, evidence substantiating the legitimacy of the beneficiaries' funds, and an office lease agreement.
  • Due Diligence check: the bank will conduct a thorough due diligence assessment to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering legislation. This process entails scrutinising the documents submitted and may necessitate additional information concerning the business, its proprietors, and income sources.
  • Bank visit: while the account opening process may commence online, finalisation typically entails the physical presence of the director or beneficiary at the bank. In certain instances, the services of a local agent may be utilised.

Opening a business account in Malta demands meticulous preparation and comprehension of local requirements. We recommend engaging our company's experts to obtain current information and assistance throughout the account opening process.

Important aspects and recommendations

The significance of establishing a “Malta connection” for successful account opening

Opening a business account in Malta demands meticulous preparation of documents, bank selection, and notably, the cultivation of a tangible “Malta connection”. This criterion assumes pivotal importance in the account opening process, as Maltese banks strive to validate the legitimacy and commitment of foreign entities.

A “Malta connection” connotes a physical presence on the island, encompassing aspects such as office space leasing or ownership, local workforce engagement, and active business operations within the jurisdiction. This serves to reassure Maltese banking institutions of the company's substantive engagement with the Maltese economy, transcending mere tax optimisation objectives, to actively contribute to job creation and economic vitality.

Possessing such a connection substantially augments the likelihood of successfully initiating a bank account for business in Malta. Banks adhere to stringent due diligence protocols, incorporating KYC policies and anti-money laundering measures. Within this scrutiny, the presence of a “Malta connection” is perceived as a favourable factor, mitigating associated risks.

It is imperative to recognise that fostering a “connection with Malta” necessitates not only financial investment but also a temporal commitment. Securing office premises, recruitment endeavours, and operational setup in Malta represent integral components of a protracted strategy aimed at fortifying the company's footprint on the island. Simultaneously, such endeavours confer access to myriad advantages of operating within a stable jurisdiction boasting an enticing tax framework.

Therefore, a “Malta connection” not only emerges as a prerequisite for the successful establishment of a business account but also assumes significance within the realm of strategic planning for foreign enterprises intent on bolstering their presence and undertaking operations in Malta.

Potential challenges and mitigation strategies

The process of registering a corporate account with Maltese banks may encounter certain impediments; however, anticipatory awareness of probable challenges and remedial measures can streamline this process significantly. Foremost among these challenges are banks' stringent protocols pertaining to AML/KYC compliance checks.

To navigate the terrain of opening a Malta bank account successfully, meticulous attention to documentation preparation is imperative. A comprehensive dossier affirming the legality of business operations and the pristine nature of capital stands as a prerequisite. Banks may requisition business plans, financial statements, company registration documentation, passports, and proof of address pertaining to directors and beneficiaries. Inadequate documentation or lack of detail may precipitate delays or outright refusal in account establishment.

Another potential hurdle pertains to the absence of a tangible “connection with Malta”. As previously iterated, Maltese banks exhibit a preference for entities with a substantive presence within the country. Ergo, companies devoid of an office in Malta, local personnel, or active business pursuits within the nation may encounter challenges in account initiation. In such scenarios, enterprises should contemplate fortifying their Maltese presence, whether through office space acquisition or local staffing endeavours.

Additionally, bank fees and service terms may pose unforeseen obstacles for certain entities. Consequently, antecedent to opening an account with Maltese banks, meticulous perusal of tariffs and judicious selection of terms is imperative. Conducting a comparative analysis of account fees, payment modalities, and international transfer costs can forestall undue financial ramifications in the future.

Registering a business account with Maltese banks demands a methodical approach towards documentation preparation, comprehension of “connection with Malta” requisites, and holistic understanding of banking service nuances. A balanced approach towards bank selection and conscientious preparation for verification procedures can markedly ease account initiation and contribute to the seamless conduct of business endeavours in Malta.

A foreign businessman seeking to open a corporate account in Malta can enlist the assistance of various professionals and entities to navigate the process effectively. Here are some key resources that can offer support:

  1. Legal and financial advisors: engaging the services of legal and financial advisors who specialize in international business transactions and Malta's regulatory landscape can provide invaluable guidance. Our seasoned experts can offer expertise on compliance requirements, documentation preparation, and bank selection tailored to your specific needs.
  2. Corporate service providers: Corporate service providers, also known as company formation agents or corporate service firms, specialize in assisting businesses with company registration, corporate governance, and related administrative tasks. We help facilitate the process of opening your corporate account in Malta by providing comprehensive support and liaising with banks.
  3. Maltese banks: Directly approaching Maltese banks that offer corporate banking services is another option. Many banks in Malta have dedicated teams or departments that cater to international clients and can provide guidance on account opening procedures, documentation requirements, and available banking services. Building a relationship with a bank's relationship manager can also be beneficial in navigating the account opening process.
  4. State agencies: specialised state agencies can offer networking opportunities and connections to local businesses and professionals. Maltese professional associations may provide resources and support to foreign businessmen looking to establish a presence in Malta, including information on banking services and referrals to reputable service providers.
  5. Government regulators: the MFSA and regulatory bodies overseeing banking and financial services can offer information on regulatory requirements and compliance standards for opening a corporate account in Malta. While they may not provide direct assistance with account opening, their guidance can help ensure adherence to legal and regulatory frameworks.

By leveraging the expertise and support of these resources, a foreign businessman can navigate the complexities of opening a corporate account in Malta with confidence and efficiency.

How not to make a mistake when choosing a bank to open a corporate account?

Choosing the right bank to open a corporate account is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business operations and financial management. To avoid mistakes and ensure you select the most suitable bank, consider the following key factors:

  1. Research and due diligence: conduct thorough research on the various banks operating in Malta. Consider factors such as their reputation, stability, range of services offered, fees and charges, online banking capabilities, customer service quality, and adherence to regulatory requirements.
  2. Understand your business needs: assess your business's specific requirements and financial objectives. Determine the types of banking services and products you require, such as multi-currency accounts, international payment capabilities, credit facilities, or investment opportunities. Choose a bank that aligns closely with your business needs.
  3. Evaluate bank fees and charges: carefully review the fee structures of different banks, including account maintenance fees, transaction fees, currency conversion charges, and any other applicable fees. Compare these costs across multiple banks to ensure you select the most cost-effective option for your business.
  4. Consider accessibility and convenience: assess the accessibility and convenience of the bank's branches, ATMs, and online banking platforms. Choose a bank with a widespread branch network and reliable online banking services to facilitate easy access to your accounts and transactions.
  5. Assess financial stability and security: prioritize banks with a strong financial standing and a solid reputation for security and reliability. Look for banks that are well-capitalized, regulated by reputable authorities, and have a history of financial stability. Consider factors such as deposit insurance coverage to safeguard your funds.
  6. Review customer service quality: evaluate the quality of customer service provided by each bank. Consider factors such as responsiveness, accessibility, professionalism, and the availability of dedicated relationship managers or customer support teams. Opt for a bank that prioritizes customer satisfaction and offers prompt assistance when needed.
  7. Seek recommendations and references: consult trusted advisors, business partners, or industry peers who have experience with banking in Malta. Request recommendations and insights regarding reputable banks and their suitability for corporate banking needs. Additionally, seek references from the banks themselves to validate their track record and credibility.
  8. Consider long-term relationship: aim to establish a long-term relationship with the chosen bank, as this can lead to benefits such as preferential treatment, tailored financial solutions, and enhanced trust and rapport. Choose a bank that demonstrates a commitment to supporting your business growth and success over the long term.

By carefully considering these factors and conducting thorough due diligence, you can mitigate the risk of making mistakes when choosing a bank to open a corporate account. Remember to prioritize alignment with your business needs, financial stability, security, convenience, and customer service excellence to make an informed and prudent decision.