Starting Up in Malta: Exploring the New Residence Programme for Entrepreneurs

An article by Kenneth Camilleri IMCM, CEO, Vertex Alliance

The Malta Startup Residence Programme (MSRP) is designed to attract investment from non-EU nationals by offering a renewable three-year residency permit to startup founders, co-founders, key employees, and their families.

This programme is ideal for entrepreneurs seeking to launch and expand their innovative businesses in a vibrant, English-speaking jurisdiction, ensuring long-term residency stability.

Key Application Criteria

Applications for the MSRP are assessed based on the startup’s business plan, level of innovation, and business viability. Startups with up to six co-founders are eligible, provided the business has not been registered for more than seven years in any country.

To qualify, the newly incorporated startup in Malta must invest or have a paid-up share capital of at least €25,000. If more than four co-founders are applying for the residency permit, an additional €10,000 in share capital per additional co-founder is required.

Defining an Innovative Startup

Innovation is central to the MSRP. Eligible business projects must meet at least two of the following criteria:

– Offer new and innovative products or services compared to existing ones.

– Have the potential to generate income from multiple geographical markets.

– Utilise processes that are new or significantly improved compared to current market standards.

Eligible industries include advanced manufacturing, software development, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, sustainable eco-startups, and other innovative economic activities.

Benefits of the Programme

Malta provides an optimal business environment with English as its official language. Its strategic location is advantageous for targeting markets in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and the country boasts low incorporation costs and a competitive tax system.

As a member of the European Union and the Schengen Zone, Malta offers visa-free access to the Schengen area for 90 days every 180 days.

The MSRP ensures long-term residency stability. After the initial three-year permit, startup founders and their immediate family members can renew it for an additional five years, while key employees can renew it for another three years. Long-term residency can be applied for after five years of continuous residency.

The Malta Startup Residence Programme forms part of the Maltese government’s ‘Start in Malta’ initiative and operates in collaboration with Malta Enterprise and the Residency Malta Agency.

Eligibility Requirements

The MSRP is open to founders, co-founders, core employees, and their immediate family members, including spouses, de facto partners, minor children, and adult children who are principally dependent.

Applicants must be over 18, have no criminal record, be third-country nationals (excluding EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals), and be committed to developing and expanding their business in Malta. Founders, co-founders, and core employees must have sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependents.

Core employees must possess specialist skills essential for the startup and hold a full-time contract with a minimum salary of €30,000.

Furthermore, beneficiaries must demonstrate a physical presence by residing and paying taxes in Malta. All applicants and their dependents must hold health insurance and intend to reside in Malta for at least 183 days per year. At least one non-EU co-founder must be registered as an employee.

About Vertex Alliance

Kenneth Camilleri is the CEO of Vertex Alliance, a trusted advisor specialising in investment migration, corporate, tax, and wealth management services. Vertex Alliance offers guidance on various RBI and CBI programmes in Malta, Europe, and globally.

With extensive experience in the investment migration industry, Vertex Alliance assists investors worldwide in achieving their residency and citizenship goals. They are committed to understanding each client’s objectives and delivering tailored solutions for success.

For more information, contact Vertex Alliance at [email protected] or visit

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