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Startup Residence

Startup Residence Programme

Malta is a full member of the European Union and has the Euro as its official currency. The Maltese islands have a population of just over half a million. More than 25% of those working in Malta are expats that come from all over the globe. During the last years, The Government of Malta has adopted an open approach toward Start-ups and this has resulted in the attraction of various highly innovative start-ups. The Malta startup residency programme is another tangible policy step towards increasing our competitiveness in this area.

Malta Enterprise can help with its Business Start scheme. If your start-up is still in its early development phase but is not yet backed by a formal business plan, it might be eligible for a grant of up to €10,000 which you can use to develop your business proposal. On the other hand, if your start-up presents a Business Plan and is deemed to be economically viable by Malta Enterprise, it may be awarded a maximum grant of two hundred thousand euro (€200,000). This incentive will be available until the 31st December 2023.

The Malta Startup Residence Programme grants a 3-year residence permit, extendable for an additional 5 years, during which beneficiaries are able to reside in Malta while launching their startup venture. Intended for non-EU nationals, this competitive programme is specifically designed to facilitate the setting up of innovative startups and scale-ups in Malta whilst supporting the immigration process of their founders/co-founders, core employees and respective immediate family members. Beneficiaries of this programme need to have a tangible presence in Malta (including living and paying taxes locally).

The Programme offers beneficiaries a number of benefits including long term business and family stability together with an enhanced attractiveness to attract and retain international talent. This programme is complemented with lucrative non-dilutive support measures that are administered by Malta Enterprise which acts as the main contact point for start-ups and scale-ups that are looking to set-up innovative operations in Malta.

The residency programme offers an attractive entry price point, access to a small and nimble jurisdiction – Malta, where English is the language in which business is held, access to the EU market and to other continents, ability to access local and to attract international talent together with a dedicated one to one service to address your needs.

Malta Startup Residence Programme Eligibility and Requirements

Eligibility Criteria

“To be eligible for the Startup Residence Programme an individual must satisfy the following requirements:"

  • has a concrete intention to develop and/or expand their business in Malta;


  • Is the founder or the co-founder of an enterprise, which has been registered for not more than seven (7) years anywhere globally (including Malta), which fulfils the following: 

           it has not taken over the activity of another enterprise,

           it has not yet distributed profit,

            it has not been formed through a merger

  • A co-founder would be one of the first entrepreneurs to have set-up the start-up. This would also be reflected in the market cap table. In case of a dispute as to whether the individual would be a co-founder, reference will be made to the market cap table until the second year to determine that the co-founders had significant stake in the registered entity. In addition, proof as to whether the co-founder would have served as a director and/or had legal representation of the company, together with other duties related to the company might be requested;


  • Third country nationals, excluding EU, EEA and Swiss are eligible. 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;


  • A founder, co-founder or core employee applying under this programme must be 18 years and older;


  • The incorporated Startup in Malta is required to 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 Startup Residence Permit, an additional €10,000 needs to be placed per additional co-founder. In any case, the maximum number of co-founders eligible for the Startup Residence Programme is six (6);


  • The founder and/or co-founders benefitting from this programme need to 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;


  • Has recognised health insurance covering risks in Malta for himself/herself and dependants;


  • In possession of sufficient financial resources in own bank statement to support himself and any other dependents within existing regulations;


  • Has no criminal record or pending criminal charges and does not pose any potential threat to the national security, public policy, public health, or public interest; and


  • Must not have previously had applications for a residence status or citizenship rejected in Malta or abroad.


The residence permit will be issued for an initial period of three (3) years following the approval of Malta Enterprise and Residency Malta. This will be renewed for a further five (5) years once Malta Enterprise and Residency Malta confirms that the start-up is still ongoing and the founder or co-founder(s) still meets the eligibility criteria of the Programme.

How to Apply

For application details please log in to the “Client Portal” 

Download the Startup Residence Eligibility and Requirements

For further information please contact us at

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