Shipping Companies Incorporation

Shipping Companies IncorporationThe incorporation of a shipping management company, ship holding company or shipping services company in Malta has a number of beneficial advantages and is popular jurisdiction for this reason. Having assisted clients with the incorporation and set up of shipping operations within Malta and international shipping structures using Malta we are well versed and experienced in ensuring the client receives a quality and holistic shipping service.

A Shipping Organisation is required to be licensed by the Maltese Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. A licence is usually issued for a period of 5 years, renewable. A shipping organisation in Malta can be a limited liability private company, a public limited company, a trust or a foundation.

Shipping companies’ incorporation requirements are fairly standard and straightforward and consist of the following:

• Name of the shipping company
• All details of each of the shareholders involved with the incorporation, which can be individuals or corporate entities.
• The number of shares held by each shareholder and the paid up share capital of the incorporation.
• All details of each director to be named in the incorporation, which can be an individual or a corporate entity.

The incorporation of shipping companies in Malta is completed on filing the Memorandum and Articles and settling the associated fees.

Licensed Shipping companies in Malta are required to keep proper accounting records. An audit is required unless the company, on balance sheet date, does not exceed 2 of the following 3 criteria:

• Balance sheet total: €3,494,060
• Net turnover: €6,988,120
• Average number of employees during the period: 50

From any accounting period commencing after 1 May 2009, such accounts must be filed annually with the Maltese Registrar of Companies.

As from 1 May 2009, licensed shipping companies incorporated in Malta must submit an annual income tax return with the Maltese Commissioner of Inland Revenue. Up to this date, such shipping companies may elect to submit a simple declaration in the form prescribed (signed by a Maltese certified public accountant or auditor or a warranted advocate).

Furthermore, shipping companies in Malta must, upon each anniversary of its registration, make a return to the Maltese Registrar of Companies showing the share capital of the company, the shareholders and directors of the company, and any changes thereto.

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