Incentives for SMEs

Posted on: 16 Aug 2016

Category: Articles, News

by Claudio Caruana

Micro Invest Scheme

The Micro Invest Scheme encourages undertakings (including start-ups and self-employed) to invest in their own business, so as to innovate, expand and develop their operations. Undertakings will be supported through a tax credit representing a percentage of the eligible expenditure and wages of newly recruited employees and apprentices, which were incurred during the previous year.

Who May Apply?

The applicant must be a single undertaking that in the 2 years preceding the year in which the application is submitted, employed 30 or less individuals on full time contracts for at least 12 months, and whose turnover did not exceed €10 Million in the fiscal year preceding the year in which the application is submitted. Finally, on the day of application, the applicant must employ at least 1 person on full or part time basis.

Eligible costs and expenditure include:

  • Costs incurred for furbishing, refurbishing and upgrading of business premises
  • Wages costs covering a 12 month period pertaining to new full-time jobs created from 1st January of the previous year as long as this constitutes a net increase in the total number of full-time employees of the applicant when compared to the employment figure of previous years;
  • Investment costs
  • Motor vehicle costs

Costs incurred through the purchase of land/property, costs assisted by other schemes, and costs not directly related to trade (works of art/antiques) are deemed to be ineligible for this scheme.


Seed Investment Scheme

The Seed Investment Scheme offers incentives in the form of tax credits to investors in return for investment in a qualifying Maltese start-up or early stage companies. The scheme offers access to finance, especially for SMEs and start-ups.

This incentive offers investors that operate through Maltese companies a maximum tax credit of €250,000 per year when investing in start-ups which are approved as a ‘qualifying companies’. Qualifying Companies are those which have been in existence for less than 3 years, have a maximum of 10 employees and gross assets of not more than €250,000.

The total investment value by the investor cannot exceed EUR 750,000 and therefore this means that the benefit translates to 35% of the total value of the investment.

The scheme was launched on the 1st of August 2016 and shall remain operative until the 31st of December 2018, or until €5 million is exhausted.


SME Growth Grant Scheme

This scheme provides financial support to SMEs in the form of non-repayable grants to part-finance investments towards the implementation of their growth strategies related to the extension of the capacity of an existing establishment, or the setting up of a new establishment.

Under this scheme, companies that make investments in tangible or intangible assets that result an increase in the number of employees employed by the undertaking are eligible to receive a grant of up to 35% of the total cost proposed to be made. The maximum grant that may be given to any one single undertaking is of €500,000.

Eligible Costs
  • lease of private operational premises
  • construction/up-grades on private operational premises
  • purchasing of new equipment, machinery and plant; and
  • patents and licenses

Start-Up Investment Grant Scheme

The government is committed to fostering entrepreneurship in our culture and has dedicated funds to assist innovators implement their business growth strategies by part financing their investments, provided that the business activities of the start-up fall within one of the focus areas laid down in the guidelines. Should the proposal be accepted, the start-up would be entitled to a grant of up to 50% of the eligible costs incurred, up to a maximum of €300,000.

This scheme is only available to undertakings that have been established for less than three years.

Eligible Costs
  • lease of private operational premises
  • construction/up-grades on private operational premises
  • purchasing of new equipment, machinery and plant; and
  • patents and licenses

Focus Areas

  • The production, manufacture, improvement, assembly, preservation, processing of goods, materials, commodities, equipment, plant machinery;
  • Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences;
  • Research and Technological Innovation;
  • The repair, overhaul or maintenance of pleasure crafts, yachts having less than 100gt, aircraft, engines or equipment incorporated or used in such vessels or aircraft;
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) development activities, software development;
  • Eco-innovations, and environmental solutions;
  • The creation of tourism products and services as a result of networks created between traditional tourism service providers and the crafts and artisan sector;
  • The development and provision of tourism products and services related to emerging niche markets;
  • The development and provision of tourism products and services related to the promotion of natural and cultural heritage;
  • The development and provision of tourism products and services relating to social tourism with specific focus on senior tourists, accessible tourism and active ageing;
  • The development of innovative concepts, products and services offered by Boutique Hotels and Palazzini;
  • The development, and/or provision of E-health solutions;
  • The development and provision of services and products promoting healthy living;
  • The development and provision of services and products promoting active ageing;
  • The development and provision of services and products related to child-day care;
  • The development and creation of crafts and artisan products;
  • Retail activities by self-employed and family businesses engaged in craft;
  • Start-ups proposing products and/or services that can be marketed and distributed internationally and which are typically more advanced than those prevailing in their respective industry in terms of technology, know-how and skills

If you need further information please feel free to contact Claudio Caruana.