Maltese law allows for the establishment of various types of foundations, whether for a social or private purpose or for the benefit of named beneficiaries or a class thereof. By virtue of its separate legal personality, a foundation can hold assets for its own benefit and of incurring obligations for which it is liable with all its assets, present and future.

A foundation is an organisation consisting of a universality of things constituted in writing, including by means of a will, by a founder/s whereby assets are destined either for the fulfilment of a specified purpose; and/or for the benefit of a named person or class of persons, and which are entrusted to the administration of a designated person or persons.

Types of Foundations

Purpose Foundations are established exclusively for a charitable, philanthropic or other social purpose or any other lawful purpose. Examples of purpose foundations are a Public Benefit Foundation which may be set up to promote a social or public purpose on a non-profit making basis, and a Non-Public Benefit Foundation a social purpose foundation which is not set up for a public purpose.

Private Foundations are established for private benefit of a person or a class of persons who can be ascertained.

Setting up a Foundation

A foundation can be set up either by means of a public deed or else through a will. The foundation needs to have a name which must include a denomination that clearly indicates that it is in fact a foundation. Other mandatory details are a Maltese registered address, and a description of the constitutive assets with which it is formed, its purpose and/or objects.

The setting up of a foundation entails a requirement for an endowment of money or property worth at least €1,164.69 to the same foundation, this is set at €232.94 for foundations established exclusively for a social purpose or as non-profit making.

The deed of foundation must also state, on pain nullity, the purposes or objects of the foundation, the composition of the board of administrators and the names of the first administrators (or the method of their appointment), the legal representation of the foundation and the term for which it is established. In cases where all administrators are non-residents, the name and address of a person resident in Malta who has been appointed to act as the local representative of the foundation in Malta is to be indicated.

In private foundations, the deed should indicate the names of beneficiaries, or, in the absence of such indication, a declaration that the foundation is constituted for the benefit of beneficiaries. In the latter case the beneficiaries will be indicated in ‘beneficiary statement’, a written instrument which need not form part of the public deed but must be signed by the founder and addressed to the administrators.

Kindly send any enquiries to should you require any further information on the establishment of a Malta Foundation.

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