Malta’s economic vision is to develop a dynamic, high value-added economy founded on competence, skills and excellence and capable of sustaining a high quality standard of living for its entire people.

 

Malta Enterprise is the national agency responsible for promoting and supporting Foreign Direct Investment into Malta. Malta Enterprise also assists businesses and industries in the country to grow, develop and internationalise through a wide range of support measures. 

 

ENTERPRISE SUPPORT

 

MicroInvest

This scheme supports micro enterprises and the self-employed that invest in their business, innovate, expand, implement compliance directives and/or develop their operations. Micro enterprises and self-employed will be supported through a tax credit representing a percentage of the eligible expenditure and wages of newly recruited employees and/or apprentices.

MicroInvest covers costs incurred and paid for:

  • Furbishing and upgrading of business premises for improved operations;
  • Machinery or technologies to improve operations;
  • Investments which enable compliance with regulations, including Health & Safety, Environment Directives and Physical Access;
  • Cost of one commercial vehicle as long as such vehicle is involved in the transport of goods as specified in the guidelines;
  • Wage Costs for new jobs created.

Business Development Scheme

 

The scheme is intended to facilitate typically large, high-value adding projects that are likely to offer a significant contribution to the regional development of Malta through substantial job creation. The scheme may support various activities such as supporting the initial development phase of enterprises establishing an operational base in Malta.

 

Examples of costs items that may be supported include:

 

·         Professional and consultancy fees;

·         Fees related to selection process and recruitment of staff;

·         Relocation costs of personnel;

·         Costs related to capacity building;

·         Transport and freight costs;

·         Setting up costs;

·         Costs related to the handicaps encountered by enterprises setting up an operation in Malta.

 

 

 

 

Gozo Transport Grant Scheme

 

The scope of this scheme is to support manufacturing undertakings operating from Gozo by reducing the additional inter-island transport cost incurred for transporting materials, goods and finished products between Malta and Gozo.  This assistance serves to reduce the cost-disadvantages for manufacturers based in Gozo, rendering these businesses in a better position to compete effectively within the single market.

Network Support Scheme

Collaborating in a network will enable enterprises to build synergies and attract business deals which would otherwise be difficult to conclude as individual enterprises.

 

Business Networks are made up of between 3 and 10 independent enterprises working together to achieve a specific business objective. Through the sharing of resources, enterprises forming part of the network can benefit from transfer of knowledge, combined capacity, improved business prospects and achieve higher competitiveness.

Malta Enterprise will support approved network projects with a cash grant which shall not exceed €60,000. This grant may be used to part finance approved costs up to 60%. Eligible costs include:

  • the engagement of a Network Manager
  • the participation in trade fairs and trade events
  • studies, consultancy services and certifications required for the target market
  • promotional material including brochures, multilingual websites and CD-ROMs

Development networks bring together enterprises operating within the same sector or having complimentary activities for the purpose of achieving collaborative and collective development. Development networks should be operated on the principles of not-for-profit organisations, must have an established secretariat and the necessary statutory mechanisms to accept and process membership applications and ensure democratic leadership.

This incentive supports development network by part finacing their operation in their first 3 years.

Quality+

 

Quality+ encourages Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to continuously improve the quality of their products, services and processes through the:

 

  • achievement of recognised quality certifications and quality marks related to processes, products or services;
  • achievement of recognised environmental certifications;
  • acquisition of a franchise licence;
  • acquisition of a licence required for participation in a value chain.

 

The incentive will only be granted on approved projects and may cover a maximum of €20,000 in eligible costs. Malta Enterprise may approve a tax deduction from eligible taxable income equivalent to 150% of the eligible costs (over any normal statuary tax deductions).

 

 

Trade Promotion

 

The scope of this incentive is to facilitate access to foreign markets by allowing enterprises to explore growth opportunities, establish business contacts and consolidate existing markets.  This scheme provides part-financing to business undertakings that participate in international trade events, fairs and trade missions.  Business undertakings can capitalise on these events by establishing trade partners, developing value chains, identifying new business opportunities and acquiring knowledge about new markets, technologies and consumer trends.

 

Malta Enterprise also provides various initiatives that prepare entrepreneurs for entering new markets.  These initiatives help local business in acquiring market knowledge; developing effective marketing capabilities; understanding specific market issues and building the internal capabilities to export their products and services. 

 

SME DEVELOPMENT

 

Innovative Start-Ups

 

New enterprises need a mix of resources and support in order to flourish. Most start-ups seek external guidance, assistance and finance. This scheme supports new enterprises engaged in existing markets but introducing new perspectives and having the potential to compete in international markets and enterprises engaged in new markets, new technologies, novel products or services and in knowledge based industries that demonstrate a potential for job creation and growth.

 

Enterprise benefiting from this incentive may receive support on:

 

  • Industrial Services
  • Investment costs related to tangible and intangible assets

 

Expert Support

 

The main aim of the incentive is to support Small and Medium–sized Enterprises (SMEs) to develop and diversify their activities, increase competitiveness and develop new products and services.

 

Through this incentive Malta Enterprise may provide SMEs with part financing for subcontracting external experts in relation to new development projects.

 

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

Experimental Development Tax Credit

 

Experimental Development is the acquiring, combining, shaping and using of existing scientific, technological, business and other relevant knowledge and skills for the purpose of producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. These may also include, for example, other activities aiming at the conceptual definition, planning and documentation of new products, processes and services. The activities may comprise producing drafts, drawings, plans and other documentation, provided that they are not intended for commercial use.

 

Experimental Development projects may receive tax credits on:

 

  • Wages of researchers and technicians;
  • Depreciation costs of instruments and equipment;
  • Costs of material, supplies and similar products, bought specifically for the research project;
  • Subcontracted research;
  • Costs incurred for the purchase of technical knowledge and patents.

 

The tax credit percentage is related to the size of the enterprise. Additionally bonuses are provided to enterprise participating in collaborative projects with other industry partners or research organisations.

 

Grants For Cross-Border Collaborative Research and Development

 

The collaborative R&D Grant Scheme supports Maltese enterprises that carry out an industrial research or experimental development project in collaboration with other enterprises. The project should lead to the development of innovative products, processes and services based on advanced technologies. Projects may only be funded if they are endorsed by the EUREKA network or approved through the Eurostars Programme.

 

Support is provided through refunds that part-finance pre-approved costs. Such costs may include:

  • Personal costs (wages) of researchers and technicians;
  • Depreciation costs of new instruments and equipment;
  • The costs of material, supplies and similar products, bought specifically for the research project;
  • Cost incurred for the procurement of technical knowledge and acquisition of patented knowledge and technology;

 

EUREKA is an intergovernmental network launched in 1985, to support market-oriented R&D and innovation projects across all technological sectors.

 

Eurostars is a programme that supports research-performing small and medium enterprises, which develop innovative products, processes and services, to gain competitive advantage. Eurostars does this by providing funding for transnational innovation projects; the products of which are then rapidly commercialized.

 

Eurostars is a transnational programme, where projects have partners from two or more Eurostars countries. Thanks to this international collaboration, SMEs can more easily gain access to new markets.

 

The Eurostars programme is publicly financed with a total budget of 1.14 billion euro and is currently supported by 33 EUREKA countries and the European Union.

 

Industrial Research and Experimental Development Scheme

 

Industrial Research is planned research or critical investigation aimed at the acquisition of new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services or for bringing about a significant improvement in existing products, processes or services. It comprises the creation of components of complex systems, which is necessary for the industrial research, notably for generic technology validation, to the exclusion of prototypes as covered by experimental development.

 

The tax credit percentage is related to the size of the enterprise. Additionally bonuses are provided to enterprise participating in collaborative projects with other industry partners or research organisations.

 

 

 

 

Loan of Qualified Experts

 

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from the temporarily engagement of a highly qualified expert to work on R&D&I projects. In this way SMEs can access new knowledge and increased innovation capabilities. The expert will help the SMEs to carry out an Industrial Research and Experimental Development projects.

 

Malta Enterprise may provide part financing of the costs directly related to the secondment of highly qualified personnel, seconded from a research organisation or large enterprise. These cost may consist of wages paid by the SME to seconded personnel or fees charged by the research institute or large undertaking for such secondment.

 

Preparatory Technical Feasibility Studies

 

Since Research & Development initiatives are associated with high risk it is advisable that enterprises undertake technical feasibility studies to determine that the key elements of the proposed research project are based on sound principals.

 

The objective of this incentive is to support enterprises intending to undertake Industrial Research and Experimental Development projects in carrying out Technical Feasibility Studies in preparation for these projects.

 

The Scheme will part-finance eligible related to:

 

  • wages of researchers and technicians, to the extent and for the duration that they are directly engaged in the preparation of the technical feasibility study;
  • the acquisition of services required for the preparation of the technical feasibility study;
  • the acquisition of knowledge, including technical consultancies and reports required for the preparation of the technical feasibility study.

 

Registration For Intellectual Property Tax Credits For SMES

 

This incentive is aimed specifically to SMEs that after conducting an approved Industrial Research or Experimental Development project would like to seek, obtain and validate patents and other intellectual property rights.

 

The tax credit may cover costs incurred in the 24 months after the R&D project was completed. The value of the tax credits will be based on:

 

  • costs preceding the grant of the right incurred for the preparation, filing and prosecution of the application of the right in the first legal jurisdiction;
  • translation costs incurred in order to obtain or validate the IP right in other legal jurisdictions;
  • costs incurred in defending the validity of the right during the official prosecution of the application and possible opposition proceedings.

 

Research and Development Clusters

 

The objective of this scheme is to support formal collaboration between enterprises by assisting in the setting-up, expansion and animation of innovation clusters. The aid will be provided exclusively to the enterprises operating the cluster which must have the sole purpose of promoting Industrial Research and Experimental Development.

Any Undertakings setting-up or operating an innovation cluster made up of a mixture of SMEs and large undertakings, with the aim of carrying out or promoting Industrial Research and Experimental Development activities may be supported under this incentive.

 

Malta Enterprise may support the cluster by part-financing investment costs related to land, buildings, machinery and equipment and operating costs such as personnel and administrative costs for the management of the cluster's facilities and activities to enhance the networking between the members of the cluster.

 

Royalty Income From Patents

 

The objective of this initiative is to encourage researchers to exploit intellectual property through the licensing of patented knowledge.  The scheme should also encourage investment in research and knowledge creation and exploitation of intellectual property.

 

The incentive gives fiscal benefits to persons (individuals and enterprises) that own the rights to patented intellectual property and are receiving income in the form of royalties.

 

ACCESS TO FINANCE

 

Interest Rate Subsidies

 

Loan Interest Rate Subsidies is an access to finance tool that aims to help increase the competitiveness and innovative capacity of enterprises by supporting the acquisition of tangible and intangible capital assets that lead to a more effective and efficient production and supply of service.

 

The main objective of this incentive is to support new investment projects undertaken by enterprises engaged in manufacturing.

 

Loan Guarantees

 

Loan Guarantees facilitate access to finance to assist enterprises in the acquisition of capital assets that will lead to a more effective and efficient production and supply of service/s.

 

The main objective of this incentive is to support new investment projects undertaken by enterprises engaged in manufacturing.

 

Micro Guarantee Scheme

 

The Micro Guarantees scheme shall provide eligible undertakings with the possibility to access funds required for the acquisition of tangible investments, intangible assets and working capital linked to such acquisitions.  The Micro Guarantee may only be used to support a new loan, used to finance investment costs approved by the Malta Enterprise, which in total do not exceed €100,000.  

 

Soft Loan

 

Soft loans support enterprise through loans at low interest rates for part financing investments in qualifying expenditure.

 

Soft Loans are available to manufacturing enterprises and only after Malta Enterprise completes a due diligence exercise on the applicant and the proposed project. Soft Loans, granted by Malta Enterprise, usually cover 33% of an approved project but in any case may not exceed 75% of the cost of plant, machinery and equipment.

 

The main objective of this incentive is to support new investment projects undertaken by enterprises engaged in manufacturing.

 

INVESTMENT AID

 

Investment Aid Tax Credits

 

Investment Aid Tax Credits support enterprise in investment and job creation. The scheme is mainly focused on attracting new investment projects and promoting expansion or diversification of existing enterprises.

Eligible enterprises, as defined in the incentive guideline document, can benefit from tax credits calculated as a percentage of the value which is set according to the enterprise size.  The principle beneficiaries are enterprises engaged in manufacturing, ICT development activities, call centres, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, filming and audio-visual industries.

Tax credits are computed as a percentage of either the value of capital investment or the value of wages for 24 months covering new jobs created as a result of an investment project.

The tax credits which are not utilised during a particular year are carried forward to subsequent years.

 

Disclaimer

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