In 2018, there were 54,739 active business units in Malta, an increase of 9.1 per cent over the previous year, according to a statement by the National Statistics Office aimed at providing data on the business demography for reference year 2018 and earlier years.
Compared to the situation a year earlier, large active business units (250+ employees) increased by 13.6 per cent; followed by increases in micro (0-9 employees); medium-sized (50-249 employees) and small business units (10-49 employees) at 9.4, 5.3 and 4.2 per cent respectively.
The Wholesale, retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles sector accounted for 20.1 per cent of the active business units; Professional, scientific and technical activities accounted for 12.9 per cent, while construction accounted for 9.9 per cent.
In 2018, 69.5 per cent of the active business units were sole proprietors and partnerships, 28.3 per cent were privately or publicly quoted companies with limited liability for those owning shares, while 2.3 per cent were non-profit organisations, cooperatives, corporations, branches and joint ventures.
The number of new registrations within the active business population increased by 35.3 per cent while the deregistrations increased by 3.7 per cent over 2017.
Employer business demography is an alternative measure of business demography based on businesses with at least one employee. There were 17,132 employers in Malta in 2018. This represents an increase of 9.8 per cent in the number of employers over the previous year.