In recent years, the co-operative business model has experienced increasing popularity amongst Maltese citizens, primarily due to its acknowledged capacity to empower individuals, ensure stability for its members, and promote equitable wealth distribution. The process of setting up a co-operative is quite straightforward, and Koperattivi Malta was specifically set up to assist those who wish to know more about the co-operative model and assist them in every step of the way.  


Step 1: Statute Creation 

Every established co-operative is required to draft a statute, a document approved by its founding members. This statute can be revised as necessary through decisions made by the co-operative members during a General Meeting. A statute is a blueprint that defines the co-operative’s objectives, assigns roles and responsibilities, and specifies the methods and procedures to be employed in achieving those objectives. It is important to note that each potential member must sign the statute on every single page. A sample statute may be accessed here. 


Step 2: Business Plan Creation 

Before proceeding to apply for registration, you also need to produce a business plan for your organisation. A business plan aids entrepreneurs with clarifying their business ideas and vision. It also serves as a roadmap that outlines a framework for making critical decisions as it is a three-year forecast of the Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statement, and Cashflow Statement. It helps in setting priorities, allocating resources, and determining the best strategies to achieve business goals. Additionally, it must be authenticated by a qualified professional. On another note, if you need external funding, a well-prepared business plan is often a requirement for investors, banks, or other financial institutions.  


Step 3: Registration with the Malta Business Registry (MBR) 

Co-operatives are required to complete registration with the MBR within the Beneficial Owners Register. Form 1 Associations should be presented in typed format, with a date, and signed in its original state by a single administrator. The MBR helps co-operatives ensure they are compliant with Maltese business laws and regulations. Registering with the MBR provides a legal identity for the co-operative. This allows it to enter into contracts, own property, and engage in various business activities. The MBR maintains a publicly accessible database of registered businesses, which promotes transparency. Potential partners, investors, customers, and other stakeholders can easily verify the legitimacy and details of the co-operative, which can build trust and credibility. Furthermore, co-operatives are required to enclose a dated and signed copy of the statute or agreement, along with a copy of the administrator’s ID Card. These records should be either submitted in person to the MBR during regular office hours or sent by post to Dr. Maria Schembri. Co-operatives can access their website here 


Step 4: Register with the Co-operatives Board 

The Co-operatives Board is committed to provide professional assistance for the setting up, for promoting good governance and for the sustainability of co-operative enterprises in Malta. It seeks to promote the co-operative spirit in all sectors of society in such a way that it will foster a wider participation in the democratic process. It strives to achieve a level playing field both between co-operatives themselves and with other business entities. The Cooperative Board can be contacted on: [email protected] 


The application should include the following original documents: 

  1. Application for Registration of Co-operative Society e-form 
  2. Business Plan 
  3. Statute 
  4. Copy of Authenticated ID of every member, along with their names, contact details including email address 
  5. A copy (not original) of the application form (Form 1 of MBR duly signed and stamped by MBR). 


Co-operatives offer notable advantages, including greater stability, higher earnings for worker-owners, profit-sharing based on engagement, resilience against failure, and increased involvement in decision-making. Considering the myriad of advantages, an increasing number of individuals are delving into the prospect of establishing their own co-operatives. Koperattivi Malta is here to assist those interested in setting up a co-operative at every stage, including offering guidance with preliminary paperwork. 


Interested in Learning More? 

If you have further questions or need clarifications about the cooperative model, we are here to assist you. Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] for a complimentary consultation with one of our team members. We are eager to provide the support you need.