Malta Start-Up Residence Programme

malta start up residence programme

Malta offers an attractive residence programme ideal for third country nationals wishing to invest and open a business in Malta. Launched in 2022, the Malta Start-Up Residence Programme is ideal for non-EU nationals and non-EEA entrepreneurs who wish to set up innovative start-ups and scale-ups in Malta. The programme covers the business’ founders and core employees, as well as their respective immediate families. 


The Malta Start-Up Residence Programme offers applicants a 3-year residency permit, subject to the individual investing in Malta through a start-up enterprise.

After the 3-year residency period ends, the beneficiaries of the Programme will be able to further renew their residency for five years. This, provided that their start-up is still in business and that the beneficiaries still meet the eligibility requirements they applied under.

Core employees and their immediate family will also have the option of renewing their permit for an additional three years.

Malta Enterprise and the Agency will closely be monitoring the business and economic viability of the start-up’s approved projects.


The Programme is open to start-ups operating in the manufacturing, software development, industrial services analogous to manufacturing, health, biotech, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences, or eco industries.

Other eligible start-ups must operate innovative economic activities, enabled through knowledge and technology and which provide services or products which are not readily available in the relevant market, or which shall be provided through a novel process.

To be eligible for this residence programme the start-up must also satisfy the following conditions:

  • Have a concrete intention to develop and/or expand their business in Malta.
  • Have not been registered for more than 7 years anywhere globally, including Malta.
  • Must not have taken over the activity of another enterprise, or been formed through a merger.
  • Must place a tangible investment and/or paid up share capital of not less than €25,000. In case where more than four (4) co-founders apply for the Start-up Residence Permit, an additional €10,000 needs to be placed per additional cofounder. In any case, the maximum number of co-founders eligible for the Start-up Residence Programme is six.


The founder must:

  • Be one of the first entrepreneurs to have set-up the start-up. This would also be reflected in the market cap table.
  • Be a third country nationals, excluding EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. Nationals from (or have close ties with) Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela are ineligible. The list of ineligible countries may be revised from time to time.
  • Have a physical and tangible presence in Malta not only from a business point of view but also in terms of living in Malta. Thus, those benefitting need to be living and paying their taxes in Malta.


All applicants (founders and core employees) must

  • Be 18 years and older;
  • Have a recognised health insurance covering risks in Malta for themselves and their dependants;
  • Be in possession of sufficient financial resources;
  • Have a clean criminal record and no pending criminal charges and does not pose any potential threat to the national security, public policy, public health, or public interest;
  • Must not have previously had applications for a residence status or citizenship rejected in Malta or abroad.

Family members

The Malta Start-up Residence Programme is open to family members of start-up founders, co-founders and core employees. Their permits will have the same validity period of the residence permit of the start-up founder/co-founder or core employee. These include spouse, de-facto partner, minor children and adult sons or daughters who are principally dependent on the founder/core employee. 

Application Fees

The fees pertinent for applying for the Malta Start-up Residence Programme include:

  • €750 for each adult applicant (founder or core employee) and for each dependant;
  • €82.50 to Identity Malta Agency for the issuance of the residence card, for each individual applicant.

Tax Implications in Malta

Beneficiaries of the Malta Start-Up Residence Programme would be taxed on all income arising in Malta, regardless of where the income is received, and will be taxed at the resident progressive rates of tax which are capped at 35%. However, income arising outside of Malta would not be taxed in Malta even if it is received in Malta. 

Eligible employees working with start-ups licensed or recognised by the relevant authorities in Malta may also qualify under the Highly Qualified Persons Rules, and benefit from a 15% flat tax rate in certain circumstances.

Get in touch to find out more if this Programme is ideal for you.


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