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Malta plans family business legislation

Malta’s minister for the economy, investment and small business has announced the government has started work on a family business act that would be the first of its kind in Europe.

Malta’s minister for the economy, investment and small business has announced the government has started work on a family business act that would be the first of its kind in Europe.

Speaking at the Bank of Valletta-PwC Family Business Forum, Chris Cardona said family-run businesses made up around 75% of the private sector in Malta.

However, he said there had never been legislation designed purely for family businesses.

“[The Family Business Act] will be the first of its kind in the European Union and, if we get it right, could be the blueprint for other countries to follow,” he told the forum.

He added that what would be included in the act would largely be determined through consultation with stakeholders, which is now in its early stages. However, he explained that it should facilitate succession.

“Many family businesses pass down to the next generation, but only about 30% pass on to the generation after that,” he said. “This new act of parliament should benefit the next generation after us, and the next generation after that.”

Last year, PwC research of family businesses in 27 countries found Malta was one of only three countries that felt their governments were doing everything they could to help them, alongside Singapore and Turkey.

The research revealed family businesses wanted better tax incentives to facilitate succession, additional grants and incentives for research and development, and more access to long-term finance.

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