Commercial property in Malta is divided into 18 different classes, each with its own unique permit. This permit lays down the parameters for its use and guidelines that the owner or tenant must adhere to if they want to use it legally for business or commercial purposes. If you are looking to buy or rent commercial property in Malta, you need to know what class of property to look for or what licence you will need to acquire.
Property used for residential purposes such as accommodation and private lodgings for an individual or a family. It could be an apartment, villa, private house, duplex, maisonette, or studio, or a block of residential properties such as apartments. The caveat is that a Class 1 property, as well as being residential, should have a part used for commercial occupation or to render a service.
This class refers to residential institutions such as an elderly care home, respite centre, or hospital.
For institutions such as museums, public or town halls, and libraries.
Class 2C categorisation is used for educational institutions such as a nursery or kindergarten, daycare, schools, or colleges.
If you want to run a guesthouse, hostel or the like, you would need a Class 3A permit which caters for those wishing to provide temporary accommodation to people. Prime areas for this kind of property include Victoria on the island of Gozo and areas in Malta such as Valletta, St Julians, San Gwann, Sliema, St Pauls and Bugibba. In terms of price, it really depends on whether it is finished and furnished, and to what standard.
For those looking to provide temporary accommodation on a larger scale, such as a hotel, then Class 3B is required. Preferred locations for hotels include touristic areas like Sliema, Valletta, Gzira, St Julians, Bugibba, Marsascala, and even developing areas like Birzebbuga and Marsaxlokk.
This category of licence is required for those looking to run a theatre or cinema or a facility such as a health club where more significant numbers of people will gather on a short-term basis.
The 3D category relates to marine premises used for sailing, mooring and docking, diving, boat-related services, and water sports activities. For this kind of business, prime locations would include areas such as The Three Cities, the Grand Harbour, the Northern Harbour District, and St Pauls/Bugibba in the north.
If you want to open a business and need an office, you would require a 4A permit for your building and site. Popular areas for offices include Swatar, Birkirkara, Smart City, Santa Venera, Sliema, Ta’Xbiex, Gzira and Msida. In terms of prices, this will vary depending on the exact location, the finishes as well as the type of services included with the lease. As a ballpark figure, one can expect between €100 and €300 per square metre per year, but this can significantly increase for prime property.
This class is intended for those who wish to display and sell any kind of retail goods, except cars or other forms of motor vehicles. Shops pervade the whole island, but where you will be based will depend on what kind of products you are selling. Whether you wish to retail high-end luxury goods or fishing equipment, there is a location and price point to suit you best. Prices start off at €250 a month.
Class 4C is mainly for food and drink establishments where no cooking takes place as for instance, a coffee shop or an ice cream parlour. Again, the location and price will depend on what you would like to offer. A cocktail bar in a central area will be priced higher per square metre than a small coffee shop in the south.
This licence, on the other hand, is for food and drink establishments where cooking occurs, such as a creperie or a restaurant. As with class 4C permits, the location and cost will really depend on what you would like to offer.
If you wish to start a business in light industries such as crafts, product development, etc., 5A would be the licence you need. An example could be an artisan making handcrafted clothing or even a graphic design studio. These kinds of artisan businesses can be found in most towns and cities as well as industrial regions such as Birkirkara, Qormi, San Gwann, Luqa, Marsa, Msida, Attard, Hal Far, Paola and Birzebbuga.
If your business is a bit more intensive industry-wise, then this is the class for you. This licence is needed for processes that include machinery and a longer, more complex manufacturing process. Properties of this kind can also be found in the above locations.
Class 5C is for intensive industries that might include processing metal, minerals or other products. This would include serious machinery and intensive working processes. These kinds of sites are rarely found in towns and cities and are instead located in industrial estates such as Luqa, Zejtun, Attard, and Marsa.
For businesses with a requirement for warehouses and storage, or where products are stored before being distributed, then you would need a Class 6A permit. Popular locations for these properties would include the industrial estates listed above, particularly if you require ample space..
Malta is home to a thriving maritime sector. If you want to repair, build, store, or otherwise tinker with boats commercially, you would need a Class 6B licence to do so. Boatbuilding yards are typical in Gzira, Msida, Marsa, Kalkara and the Three Cities.
For farmers operating farming premises, including those for storing or processing animals and crops, a class 7 permit must be acquired. Due to Malta’s small size, it has a modest agricultural sector. Most activities are restricted to southern and northwestern areas of the country. This is also where you would find properties designed for agricultural purposes.
Last but not least, for those involved in fishing or ocean-related agricultural work, a class 8 licence must be acquired for the premises. It goes without saying that these properties are often located around the coast, near areas where fishing and other maritime activities take place. Birzebbuga, Marsaxlokk, The Three Cities, Marsa, and Gzira are some common examples.
In terms of cost and location, it really depends on the exact nature of your commercial activity as there are many different variables at play. If you already have a budget in mind and you know precisely what you want to do, contact us today, and we will be happy to show you properties that suit your vision and exact specifications.