Risk Management
Although your main focus might be on the survival of the business, ensure that any actions you take do not leave you exposed. Staff employment contracts and data privacy policies may be designed to work in an office but could leave you exposed to risk of fines when staff have open access to confidential data at their homes.

Your Cash Flow 
If you do not have one, build a cash flow plan now. Reduce whatever expenses you can by cutting all that does not directly contribute to the bottom line. Re-negotiate contracts, defer payments, call in whatever dues are outstanding. The Malta Government has offered a series of packages to assist those most impacted including cash grants and delayed payment of tax. Check whether you qualify for support.

Your People 
Your team is probably extremely worried by the current situation and need to know what is happening. Explain to them honestly the realities of how the business is affected, and what they can do to help. You may need to consider changing their roles, moving them to forced leave, reduced hours or even redundancy if revenues are that severely impacted. In any event, ensure that all their legal rights are fully respected.

Business Continuity
Find ways to operate and generate revenue even in adverse conditions. Equip staff to work remotely if you can and let clients know that you are still in business. For instance, hotels are being used as residences for health care workers or using the closed period to complete renovation works.

Your Collaborators 
The same goes for your clients, suppliers and other stakeholders. You march to beat of success together during the good times and it is important that your relationship survives this crisis. Be clear about what contractual terms you can or cannot meet and what you are doing about it.

Go Online
If you are unable to operate your office or outlet due to government restrictions, consider how you may continue to deliver remotely. A very basic webstore can be built very quickly and then improved, and here in Malta, many cab companies have put their idle taxi fleet to use offering delivery services.

Your Employment Status 
 Whether you are employed, self-employed, or live off rental income you should re-examine how sound these currently are. Those employed might be subjected to forced leave, reduced hours or made redundant. The Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER) can assist if you feel your rights are not being respected.

Your Property Commitments
 Almost all of us pay either home loans or rent. Banks are offering the possibility to delay payment of loans by a number of months, so contact your bank to understand what you can apply for. If you pay rent, you may approach your landlord to renegotiate rental terms temporarily.

Get Maltese Residence for life
If you are a non-EU national, you might want to explore the possibility of applying for permanent residency in Malta under the Malta Residence & Visa Programme. This programme gives you the right to reside in Malta permanently and to travel within the Schengen Area without the need of a visa.

Maltese Citizenship by Naturalisation
Have you been residing in Malta for more than 15 years and have built genuine connections with the island? This can make you eligible to apply for Maltese citizenship which would you give the same rights as Maltese and EU nationals.

Although not a pleasant thought, if you were seriously ill, you would not have access to your bank account or be able to enter into a contract. It is always recommended to have a trusted person who can operate on your behalf in such a scenario.

Legacy and Succession Planning
Have you planned out your estate and considered whether you wish to support any charitable or civic cause? It can benefit your family greatly to have certainty of how assets will be dealt with.  Situations like the one we are facing today highlight the importance of having a solid estate plan set up.

Reassessment of Estate Plan
Ensure that your documents are current and reflect your present wishes.  At times like these, we are reminded of the most fundamental purpose of estate planning – to make sure that our plans, and the documents that carry out those plans, reflect our wishes. Are your wills, trust deeds, letters of wishes and powers of attorney in line with your wishes? Take stock of the actions which you have already implemented from your estate plan and implement any others which are still outstanding.

Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney gives you the peace of mind that should you not be in a position to act or carry out certain transactions there will be someone you trust who is able to do this on your behalf.

Your Cash Flow
If you lease your property, prepare yourself for tenants to request breathing space on their rent as their own income takes a hit. No one enjoys seeing less revenue but if you do not budge you may lose the tenant altogether with no replacement. If you have a property or development to sell, you might find fewer potential buyers as their wallet  are  also hit. There remain many buyers who are well funded and will see now as the best time to buy.

Your Property 
If you own a property abroad you may be getting worried about it - will it remain in good repair while you cannot travel? If you rent it out you might be concerned that the tenants may act up since they know you are unable to fly over yourself.

Making a Property Investment
Although you would usually go in person to view a property investment abroad, the current travel restrictions make that impossible. Technology permits you to view the property to buy or to rent from the safety of your home.

Supporting your Continuity during the Covid-19 Crisis

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Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates is an international professional services firm, with head offices in Malta, and also in Cyprus, London, Zurich and Hong Kong, advising high net worth international families and their businesses on Residency & Citizenship, Corporate, Tax & Property

We offer free consultation and professional advice on handling legal and business challenges arising from Covid-19.

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All Chetcuti Cauchi firms operate separately and independently under the Chetcuti Cauchi mark.

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I run a business and need to understand the impacts of COVID-19I am an individual and worried about my employment, bank account or assetsI develop or rent out property and need to understand how COVID-19 impacts me

How can we help you?

Our multidisciplinary team comprising lawyers, accountants and company directors with experience in crisis management are available to help guide you through these challenging times.

Our lawyers can help you navigate the current climate, helping you re-negotiate supply contracts to reduce cost, respond legally to attempts by clients to wriggle out of payment, advise on salary reductions, forced leave and redundancy that may be necessary for survival.

We may review your corporate structure to ensure adequate protection from claims, such as creditors, and advise on data protection and GDPR for staff who are now handling sensitive data at home.

Our financial professionals are on hand to guide you through a cash flow plan, verify whether you qualify for any relief or grants, and help to apply.

Our Corporate Advisory unit can help you with your bank relationship and intercede on your behalf.  We may support you to put in place alternate directors or bank signatories in case of emergency.

How we can help with your Business

Our multidisciplinary team comprises lawyers and estate planners with experience in crisis management and are on hand to support you through this difficult period.

We are able to help you re-negotiate any bank loan commitments or lease agreements to a schedule that fits your current situation.

Our immigration lawyers may assist you if you are facing issues to renew your work permit, if you are in Malta on a special residency programme and have any concerns, or to support your citizenship by descent application.

Trust and Estate Planning is a specialised area where our experts may guide you to put in place the necessary documentation to ensure that your interests are protected in the event that you fall seriously ill, and that your wishes would be executed should the worst occur.

How we can help you with your Assets and Employment issues

Assist you to collect your rent on your behalf and also making sure that your property is in top-notch shape. Find tenants, draft agreements and make sure that all is in line with the new rental regulations which came into force in Malta this year.

List your property with our collaborator estate agents to start marketing and advertising the property on their website and with their database of clientele.

Through the use of 3D imaging and virtual video conferencing tools you may see yourself all details and features of a property while our lawyers can negotiate on your behalf to secure the best deal and represent you in the deed of sale.

Enjoy the benefits of a professional third-party property administration service that includes property management and maintenance services, condominium services, letting services, general office administration and tailor made-turnkey project management.

If you bought your property and you are unable to come to Malta to have it key-ready, we can assist you with finishing and furnishing your property to the standard you desire.

Apart from assisting buyers and sellers, we can also assist tenants to find their perfect home to live in according to their needs and budget, using virtual video conferencing tools.

How we can help

*Property Services are provided through a trusted collaborator.