Wholesale and retail companies make up biggest portion of Malta’s 113,256 businesses

Registered businesses increased by 8.1% in 2018, with 17% of the total being wholesale and retail trade ventures

There were 113,256 businesses registered in Malta in 2018, with 17% of these being wholesale and retail trade units
There were 113,256 businesses registered in Malta in 2018, with 17% of these being wholesale and retail trade units

Last year saw the number of registered businesses in Malta increase by 8.1%, or 8,458 registered units, over 2017, bringing the total number of business ventures on the island up to 113,256.

The greatest portion of these, 17%, consisted in wholesale and retail trade units, including those involved in the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, figures issued by the National Statistics Office on Thursday indicated.

The statistics, which are based on information in the national Business Register, show that firms involved in financial and insurance activities account for the second largest portion of ventures in Malta, amounting to 15.6% of all businesses.

These are followed by professional, scientific and technical activities, at 12.4%, and administrative and support service activities, at 8.2%.

When it comes to employment, the vast majority of businesses - 110,149 - employed zero to nine persons, an increase of 8% compared to 2017.

Small entities saw the greatest increase in the number of employees in 2018 compared to 2017 (Photo: National Statistics Office)
Small entities saw the greatest increase in the number of employees in 2018 compared to 2017 (Photo: National Statistics Office)

The number of businesses employing 10-49 people stood at 2,471 last year, an increase of 10.8% over 2017, making small entities the ventures which saw the greatest percentage increase in the number of workers.

The smallest percentage increase in employees, 2.4%, was registered by medium-sized businesses - those employing 50-249 workers - which in 2018 amounted to 505 ventures.

Only 131 businesses employed 250 workers or more in 2018, which however denoted an increased of almost 8.3% over the year before.

49% of businesses limited liability or public limited companies

In 2018, 49% of registered businesses were limited liability or public limited companies, 47.1% were business units with sole owners or partnerships, and 3.9% were government, non-profit or other types of legal organisations.

The number of limited liability companies has increased without fail over the years, with 2018 seeing a rise in such business units of 8.1% over the previous year.

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