FinanceMalta Investor Guide Series – Trusts & Foundations

Source:  FinanceMalta

Trusts and Foundations in Malta

The number of authorised trustees is increasing yearby-year. Among the companies offering their services in Malta one finds not only many of the leading firms of the sector¸ but also a large number of smaller firms¸ local and foreign¸ that assist with the establishment and administration of trusts and foundations in  Malta.  Ongoing market volatility is a constant reminder of how important it is to protect or enhance the value of assets. From tax to succession planning¸ from the holding of company shares to gifting property to children¸ Malta trusts and foundations are the ideal financial instrument for those seeking solutions to their wealth management requirements.  With more than 120 Maltese and international fiduciary companies licenced to offer trust and trustee services on the island¸ including organisations such as Maitland Group and Bentley Trust¸ this is a growing segment of the financial services offered by Malta¸ and one that is expected to continue expanding rapidly.

Why Malta: Trusts and Foundations

  • One of the few civil law jurisdictions that has developed its own domestic trust law;
  • Recognition of trusts set up under foreign laws;
  • Offering the set-up of domestic trusts and foundations;
  • Legislation published in English;
  • EU and eurozone location;
  • Competitive fiscal environment;
  • High professional standards with many accountants¸ bankers¸ lawyers and investment advisors holding overseas qualifications and having overseas experience;
  • Fast-track authorisation for trustees licensed in other (approved) jurisdictions;
  • English-speaking country with a pro-business government.

A leading domicile for asset protection: key reasons for Malta’s success

Malta is one of the few jurisdictions that cater for both trusts and foundations. While trusts are peculiar to systems of law based on common law and are not generally
found in civil law countries¸ Malta¸ a civil law country¸ is an exception to this rule. Malta trusts and foundations benefit from a number of advantages when compared to other trust jurisdictions and the country’s lower set-up and management costs are proving attractive to both corporate entities and high-net-worthindividuals from across the world looking for ideal vehicles for financial planning in a reputable¸ EU-based financial centre.


Skilfully combining all the features of the Anglo-Saxon trust concept within a civil law framework¸ the Malta trust is an effective and reliable vehicle that provides both  certainty and security. The Malta trust offers a useful and practical vehicle that gives settlors the peace of mind that comes with a highly-regulated¸ EU environment¸ while remaining faithful to the original concept of a trust. With legislation in place to regulate the setting up of foundations¸ through which founders are able to maintain a level of control on the direction of the estate¸ Malta offers an additional instrument for wealth management¸ tax and succession planning. While there are a number of similarities betwee