The Maltese law on Foundations was introduced on the 1st of April, 2008.
In spite of the relatively recent implementation of the law on
foundations, Malta enjoys an established jurisprudence on the law of
foundations where the Courts have dealt with foundations set up for
Under Maltese law, a foundation may be set up by natural or legal persons,
whether Maltese residents or not and irrespective of their domicile.
There are mainly two types of foundations recognised by the law being:
The Public Foundation
A public foundation may be set up for a purpose, as long as it is a lawful
The Private Foundation
A private foundation is a fund endowed for the benefit of one or more
persons or of a class of persons (the beneficiaries) which become
autonomous and acquires the status of a legal person when it is formed
in the manner prescribed by law.
Foundations may be set up either during a person's lifetime or by will on
that person's death.
The law provides that the foundation must be constituted in writing, via
public deed inter vivos or a public or secret will. The written deed
includes detailed provisions containing the powers and signing rights.
The setting up of a foundation entails the registration of the deed of
foundation with local authorities, amongst which the Office for the
Registrar of Legal Persons through which it gains separate legal
personality. The foundation itself is therefore the owner of the
foundation property which is transferred to the foundation through the
process of endowment.
voluntary organisations in Malta, there is then a further
registration procedure which has to be fulfilled.
voluntary organisation has to fulfil the following conditions in
order to be eligible for registration:
established by a written instrument;
established for a lawful purpose, that can be a social
purpose or any other purpose which is lawful;
independent of the State.
Chetcuti Cauchi at IFA Paris 2011 the 65th
Congress of the International Fiscal Association | 09/09/2011