What is Business First?
Business First is a one stop business centre offering a number of services aimed at facilitating the establishment of local businesses while also providing the necessary support for business growth and expansion.
Where is Business First located?
The main office of Business First is situated in the former Institute of Health Care building within the St. Luke’s Hospital Complex. You are kindly asked to follow the signs once you are within St. Luke's,
Are there any other operational offices besides the main office?
In addition to the main office, there is an office located in Xewkija Gozo.
How can I contact Business First? Is it against a payment?
One can phone 144. The call is charged at standard telephony rates.
What services will be provided?
Business First will be providing a number of services related to business establishment in Malta. Such services cover the registration of a company or a self employed person, registration with the VAT and Inland Revenue Departments as may be applicable, registration for employment purposes, registration for the necessary licences, etc. Other services will also be provided. Please refer to the our services section for a complete list of services currently being provided.
Can I apply for these services online?
Yes, you can apply online for individual sevices using the e-form platform. You can refer to the Online Services list and also the Starting section of the site. Remember that for most services you need the e-ID. One can also refer to the Business First website for the required information, document requirements and to download a relative application.
What documents should I bring with me?
The documents required depend on the service one wants to apply for. It is therefore adviseable, that before coming to Business First, one refers to the website, or contacts us to check what documentation is required.
I would like to open up a new business. Can I register my business and obtain all the necessary licences from Business First?
Business First will provide the necessary assistance for one to set up his/her business. Business First will not process the applications received, but will submit these to the relevant entities for processing.
It is important to note that MEPA permits cannot be obtained from Business First. For this reason therefore, one should first seek to obtain the necessary information about the business envisaged from Business First, and then contact MEPA for the necessary permits (the applicant’s architect can help).
Can I apply for incentives offered by other government entities?
One cannot apply for all incentives offered by the various Government entities from Business First, but will be guided to where s/he can find the relevant information for such incentives.
How long will it take for an application to be processed?
Applications for the services offered by Business First will be processed by the different government entities generally within ten working days. However, each application is different from another and therefore processing time may be more or less than the period stipulated.
From where can I collect the final documentation? Can this documentation be mailed?
The requested service/licence will be sent by the entity directly to the applicant. However, there are entities that request the applicant to collect the service/licence directly from their offices. For this reason, one should first ask Business
Can I effect payment through Business First? If yes, how?
Business First will be receiving payments relating to:
• applications for employment licences
• applications for trading licences
Only personal cheques, bank drafts or also by debit/credit card will be accepted. Cash payments will NOT be accepted.
Business First will also NOT be receiving payments relating to:
• income tax
• Licence renewals and other.
If I have to receive any refunds (such as VAT; Tax; etc) from government departments/entities should I come to Business First?
Queries associated with refunds and collection of these such should be addressed directly to the government department/entity concerned.
Can I apply for a passport, identity card or other similar documents?
Such services are not offered at Business First because one has to apply for these personally at the government departments/entities concerned.
I need factory space from where I can operate my new business. Can Business First provide this information?
Business First Representatives can explain in details how to apply for the applicant’s request.
Why should I come to Business First to apply for the services it offers when I can go to the government department/entity concerned and apply for these directly?
Business First will offer the necessary assistance, support and information for the setting up of a business in Malta together with the possibility to apply for a number of services under one roof. Business First will also provide the relevant information pertaining to the schemes and incentives offered by Malta Enterprise. Overall, therefore, Business First will enhance customer value.
Government is committed to provide services with less bureaucracy. How will Business First carry out this commitment? Will fees and forms be reduced?
Fees still need to be paid and application forms compiled. However at Business First, an applicant will submit one or more applications for a wide range of offered services at one location. Business First will in turn submit these on the applicant’s behalf to the government department/entity concerned. Furthermore, Business First guarantees that the application/s submitted will be processed within a stipulated timeframe. The applicant will therefore not need to waste time going round the respective government departments/entities. The business owner also has the assurance that what was applied for will be provided within a given timeframe.
What are the opening hours? Will it open on Saturday?
The opening hours of Business First are Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm with extended hours on Wednesday till 7.00pm.
During the month of August, the opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 1.00pm.
Further questions on specific services may be viewed on the relevant websites:
• Employment & Training
• VAT http://www.vat.gov.mt/en/Pages/Home-Page.aspx
• Malta Financial Services Authority