The aim of the Family Business Act is to assist family businesses when transferring their family business from one generation to the next. It tackles:
- The definition and understanding of family and who is to be considered as an eligible family member for the purposes of the Family Business Act.
- The understanding of what constitutes a family business in terms of size of the business, ownership, control, decision making and voting rights and governance and management structures.
- The difficulties family businesses face in terms of succession and family governance.
- Lastly, the legislation invites family business to register by aiming to offer key incentives and assistance.
The Family Business Act aims at taking one step further by taking these principles and policy measures and giving them legal backbone by providing tangible help and a method to allow for such regulation by legislating and providing an administrative backdrop for the sectors creation and development.
Family Business Office within the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business.
Enacted on 1st January 2017 - ongoing.
During 2016 the Family Business Act was finalised. Feedback and results of the White Paper were published, reviewed and analysed. This led and brought on final discussions on the final Bill to be presented to Cabinet. The final Bill, with changes and amendments arising from the White Paper, were presented to Cabinet for endorsement to be tabled in Parliament. Following Cabinet endorsement, the legislation was tabled to Parliament where it went through the due Parliamentary process. The legislation received full Parliamentary support and in September 2016 the legislation was assented to by the President of the Republic and officially published as Chapter 565 of the Laws of Malta in the Government Gazette. Following publication, the operational aspect of the legislation took place which involved the appointment of the Regulator, the setting up of a family business unit with premises and personnel, the setting up of a website (economy.gov.mt/en/familybusinessact/Family%20Business/Pages/Introduction.aspx) as well as coordination and administrative process with the entities operating the fiscal and governance incentives. Once complete, a commencement notice was duly published bringing the legislation into force on the 1st January 2017.
The aim of the Family Business Act is to assist family businesses when transferring their family business from one generation to the next.
Dr. Nadine Lia