Small Business & Crafts Directorate

Small Businesses & Crafts Directorate

About us:

The Goals

  • facilitation of the interaction between entrepreneurs and any authority, body, ministry or department which renders a service to small business
  • gathering of all relevant information to pass it on to those concerned with helping small business flourish
  • assisting in the process which shall lead to an improved and simplified business environment

The Directorate focuses on the needs of the small business and the self-employed, helping them get a better service from service providers. Its roles vary from facilitator of communication, to provider of information, and educator.

The Functions

  • to complement the existing services already provided by other entities, and to facilitate any business entrepreneurs have with these entities
  • to achieve synergy between the service providers
  • to identify trends or patterns that hinder the rendering of efficient services required by small business
  • to assist in proposing amendments to regulation that affects business practice, leading to simplified and "business-friendly" legislation and procedures
  • to become the leading centre of knowledge and expertise on small business, and to pass on this knowledge to all those concerned with helping small business prosper
  • to promote and cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship within society.
  • to co-ordinate the Local Entrepreneurship Policy with the Local Councils

Programs :

Business Organisations
The Small Businesses and Crafts Directorate was set up in 2000 in order to create a better relationship between the commercial sector and government departments. Amongst the various ways chosen to reach this aim, is the consultation process with business associations. To direct these meeting a set of terms of references were issued.

The SBCD Terms of Reference with Business Organisations are:

  1. Simplify legislative and administrative environment 
    Some laws governing commercial activity in Malta are old and do not cater for a market which is continuously changing (also influenced by the rapid changes in technology). Therefore there is a great need for laws which are more commerce-friendly. 

    Through these regular meetings we invite the various associations to identify any laws or regulations which they feel are hindering their members or their industry. In this way a process to change the laws or create new ones is started.

    Apart from problems regarding particular laws, an association, may also want to refer about any inefficiency in a Governmental Department. We ask the association to pinpoint clearly where the inefficiency lies and try to eliminate through consultation with the relevant Department. In this way the Unit aims to diminish those bureaucratic procedures which are not needed and which hinder commerce. 
  2. Increase Competitiveness and improve the financial environment 
    Business associations are helped to become more organised and be more competitive in today's market. It is important not to rest on the laurels of the past and continue doing things which were done in the past. The commercial sector must find new ways how to compete in a better way.

    During the meetings there is an exchange on ideas of how this improvement can be attained. There are also plans for forming think tanks, where associations can nominate representatives who will discuss new ideas and propose ways how to implement them. 
  3. Increase accessibility to information and training 
    SBCD works also a centre of information which passes on relevant material to the associations. Information is all the time increasing and many times it is difficult for the commercial sector to identify and discern which is the information needed. SBCD offers information on laws which are discussed or were approved by parliament and are of particular relevance to the commercial sector. 
    Other ways of making this information known is through the organisation of seminars in conjunction with the same associations. In this way information is circulated in the best way possible.

The co-operative experience is a growing reality in Malta. It is also an important example of how unity in commerce brings strength. SBCD meets these co-operatives in order to help them in the Maltese commercial reality. Through constant contact with the Board of Co-operatives and APEX, the organisation of Maltese co-operatives, this model is presented to self-employed who are interested in joining forces with their colleagues as to be stronger.


Local Entrepreneurship Policy

Through the introduction of a local Entrepreneurship policy:

  • There will be continuous consultation with the locality’s commercial sector.
  • The needs of the commercial sector are known and assistance given.

Through this consultation, the commercial sector:

  • Will be assisted in such a way that it improves its operations.
  • Will be developed further and provide more jobs.

Therefore, through this dialogue the community will benefit. Furthermore, the creation of jobs will improve the quality of life in the community.

How to Reach this Aim

The Entrepreneurship Policy in the community matures when the local council adopts the following points:

  • Appoint a Councillor for commerce and create a sub-committee, which keeps consultation with the community’s commercial sector and works for the benefit of this sector.
  • Analyse the levels of employment and unemployment within the locality and as a result of this analysis, organise training together with ETC. It could also provide information on employment training offered by ETC to the unemployed and the commercial sector.
  • Ensure that the commercial sector provides more jobs for the benefit of the community.
  • See that this sector obtains the needed services within its community and monitors regularly the service being given to the consumer.
  • Co-ordinate an information campaign on Consumer’s Rights.
  • Support voluntary organisations through the involvement of the commercial sector.
  • Co-ordinate with the commercial sector to develop the locality’s potential as a commercial centre.
  • Analyse the situation regarding parking, especially in commercial and industrial areas.
  • Organise consultation meetings with the commercial sector so that it brings this sector closer to the central government and to service providers.
  • Produce signs within the industrial and commercial areas indicating the industries and shops, and the service they are offering.
  • Develop the locality in such a way that it attracts more tourists through heritage tourism.

Through this consultation process, the local council can balance the needs of the residential community with those of the commercial sector, so that each one sustains the other.

Minimising Inefficiencies

The Small Business and Crafts Directorate was set up in order to minimise inefficiencies in the service being offered to the commercial sector. The objective of this department is to bring about a change in the approach of all those involved namely the service providers and all those who receive a service. 
Through SBCD the following are co-ordinated: 

1. The Administrative Aspect

  1. The commercial sector is continuously being asked to report to the SBCD office whenever they are given an inefficient service.
  2. Consultation meetings are carried out with service providers involved so as to evaluate the inefficient procedures reported. The aim of such meetings is to render the service less bureaucratic.
  3. Continuous consultation meetings are held with business associations so that they can also report, on behalf of their members, any inefficient service received.
  4. SBCD is committed to investigate and to offer all assistance about any case reported. However the most important role is to analyse if a problem is repetitive. When this is the case, discussions with the particular entity are held in order to improve the service rendered.

2. Providing Information 
It is a fact that lack of information about rights and obligations deriving from legislation creates inefficiencies, which hinder the commercial sector.. The SBCD is working to make these laws more accessible. This information is published in the form of user-friendly leaflets.

Malta Crafts Council

  • About MCC
  • Maltese crafts
  • Certification
  • Directory of Craftsmen and Entrepreneurs
  • Craftsmen
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Registration
  • How to Register
  • Form
  • Promotion
  • Activities

About Malta Crafts

Malta Crafts Council Act

The Act XXI of 2000 establishing the Malta Crafts Council provides for the encouragement, promotion and regulation of crafts and craftsmen. Of particular importance are crafts forming part of Malta's historical heritage. 
For the purposes of this Act:

  • Craftsman means a person who practises a Maltese craft;
  • Entrepreneur means a person, whether an individual or a company who by way of trade deals in Maltese craft products;
  • Craft means an art, skill, or trade practised by a person or persons in the manufacture of artefacts and other products generally reflecting the traditions and heritage of the Maltese Islands and generally requiring in its manufacturing a greater input of human skill than of machinery;
  • Maltese Craft Products means products of Maltese crafts manufactured in Malta.
  • The Minister means the Minister responsible for Industry
  • The Malta Crafts Council shall consist of eleven members, six representing the Government and five representing craftsmen and entrepreneurs:

The Members

The Malta Crafts Council shall be constituted as follows:

  • Chairman of the Council - the Director responsible for Industry;
  • The Deputy Chairman - selected by the Minister;
  • Member - an officer serving in the Ministry for Education;
  • Member - an officer serving in the Ministry for Gozo;
  • Member - an officer serving in the Ministry for Tourism;
  • Member - an officer serving in the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries;
  • Member - an official of a constituted organisation representing entrepreneurs;
  • Member - elected by and from among entrepreneurs registered with the Council;
  • Three members - elected by and from among craftsmen registered with the Council.

The Functions

  1. to register craftsmen and entrepreneurs in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed;
  2. to promote a steady interest, appreciation, promotion and regulation of Maltese crafts in particular and in Maltese crafts in general among all sectors of the community both resident and foreign;
  3. to support and safeguard the interests of craftsmen through the promotion of studies for the identification of raw materials, design, market research and sales programmes;
  4. to promote the revival of traditional Maltese crafts;
  5. to promote the creation of opportunities for the production of Maltese craft products;
  6. to establish a certification system whereby the genuineness of Maltese craft products is guaranteed and to regulate and supervise such system;
  7. to advise the Minister on all aspects of Maltese crafts, generally and in particular in the formulation of a national policy on Maltese crafts, and in the making of regulations under this Act;
  8. to advise on the implementation of, and to monitor, the national policy on Maltese crafts;
  9. to establish international contacts with the aim of enhancing Maltese crafts;

Through this Act, both craftsmen and entrepreneurs can actively participate to promote Maltese crafts. It is in the interest of every craftsman and entrepreneur to register with the Malta Crafts Council so as to have the opportunity to be a part of the efforts of this Council and to participate in the election of representatives on the Council which takes place every two years. 

Maltese Crafts

malta crafts council visit website:

The Malta Crafts Council was set up by virtue of Act XXI of 2000 which was passed through Parliament on the 28th July, 2000, and came into force on the 21st November, 2000.

The aims of the Council are focused on the encouragement, promotion and regulation of crafts and craftsmen and entrepreneurs dealing in Maltese craft products. Crafts forming part of Malta's heritage are given particular importance.

The Council's priorities

The following priorities were put on top of the Council's agenda:

  • the issue of regulations to regulate the registration of craftsmen and entrepreneurs with the Council;
  • the introduction of a certification system on Maltese crafts products to promote their manufacture and sale.

Legal Notices

Two legal notices were published on 28th June 2001:
L.N. 157: Registration of Craftsmen and Entrepreneurs (Malta Crafts Council) Regulations, 2001 (with effect from 1st July, 2001);
L.N. 158: Maltese Craft (Constitution) Order, 2001
The Schedule annexed to L.N. 158 lists 46 different categories of arts, skills, trades and industries considered as Maltese crafts.

List of arts, skills, trades and industries considered as Maltese crafts

  1. The production of bakers' and confectioners' products (such as bread, biskuttini, ring-cakes, galletti, nougat, cream buns, etc)
  2. Production of honey
  3. Production of agricultural products (such as cheeselets - gbejniet; dessicated products like figs, tomatoes etc; preserved and salted products, etc)
  4. Production of wine and alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks
  5. Production of musical instruments
  6. Production of tobacco pipes
  7. Clock/watch making and repairing
  8. Salt production
  9. Lime production
  10. Production of cars, sulkies and such like vehicles
  11. Metal works (such as iron, tin, copper, bronze etc)
  12. Precious metals works (such as gold, silver, etc)
  13. Textile works (such as lace - bizzilla, weaving, embroidery, crochet, macramé, tatting)
  14. Potter, ceramics, or porcelain works or of other material of a similar kind
  15. Plastic, fiberglass works or of other material of a similar kind
  16. Wax works
  17. Cane works
  18. Stone works
  19. Wood works (such as furniture, etc)
  20. Cobbler works
  21. Leather works
  22. Glass works
  23. Restoration works
  24. Printing works (such as books, magazines, etc) and related work like binding
  25. Hatter works
  26. Papier Maché works
  27. Production of trophies, medals and badges
  28. Production of statues and figurines
  29. Haircutter, hairstylist, or beauty salons and activities of like kind
  30. Upholstery works
  31. Horse shoeing
  32. Flag-making and production of coats-of-arms
  33. Painting, sign painting or 'tberfil' works and other similar works
  34. Manufacturing of tiles
  35. Sewing
  36. Ganutell
  37. Inlay works
  38. Gilding
  39. Stone or wood carving
  40. Boat building
  41. Flower arrangements
  42. Modeling in Maltese clay, wood, tin or other material
  43. Poker-work (pyrography)
  44. Tattooing
  45. Engraving
  46. Frame making

Certification System

The certification system was launched on 13th July, 2001 during a Press Conference held at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity. Printing of 100,000 certificates, to be used on Maltese crafts products genuinely made in Malta and 1000 certificates to be used by outlets selling Maltese crafts products, was effected. The first issue of the certificates was exhausted and another 20,000 certificates were printed. A survey was carried out to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the system. The second issue shall be printed after due consultation with the craftsmen and entrepreneurs involved.

Registration with the Council

Any craftsmen or entrepreneur who is a citizen of Malta, or who is not a citizen of Malta but who has the necessary permits according to law the operate in Malta, may submit, on a voluntary basis, his/her registration with the Council on the appropriate form and subject to the following conditions (as laid down in L.N. 157 of 2001):

(a) shall produce a certificate demonstrating his competence in the practice of any Maltese craft and, or any document or evidence showing that the crafsman had been practising any Maltese craft for at least two years up to the date of his registration;
(b) may register himself in the craftsmen register and be called as a craftsman, if he operates as an individual, sohowever that a registered craftsman shall be an individual who only files and application in his own name;
(c) shall be 18 years or over up to the date of his filing an application for registration.

(a) shall produce the following documents together with his application for registration:
(i) his VAT registration number,
(ii) his Trading Licence registration number
(b) shall be 18 years or over up to the date of his filing an application for registration.
The registration is free of charge.

Benefits of registration (L.N. 157 of 2001)
Any craftsman or entrepreneur who is registered with the Council shall be eligible to participate in any benefit or scheme which the Council may, from time to time, launch according to the particular conditions of such benefit or scheme.

SOLVIT Centre Malta

The Small Businesses and Crafts Directorate also operates the SOLVIT Centre for Malta. SOLVIT is a network present in all EU Countries which aims to solve problems which are created by incorrect application of regulations covering Internal Market.

Click here to download the pdf file with information in Maltese

More information can be found on: Solvit Website [English Version]
  Solvit Website [Maltese Version]

Contact Us:

Tell us if you have encountered an inefficient service from any Government entity.
We also welcome any other relevant comments or suggestions

Small Businesses and Crafts Directorate
Commerce Department
Lascaris Buildings
Valletta, CMR02

Tel: 21226688
Fax: 21239891