Getting Legal Services in the Maldives

If you’re buying a vacation property and planning on living in the Maldives for at least part of the year, you’re going to require help from Maldivian legal services to assist you with your transition. They can smoothly and efficiently take care of all legal aspects of buying and building your Atoll.Homes vacation villa, and also offer a range of other services to help make your time in the idyllic Maldives even easier. 

You may want a lawyer or notary to assist you with business, Foreign Investment or work visas, or to offer advice on any local business ventures you get involved with. Read on to find out more about legal services in the Maldives. 

The Maldives offers plenty of choice when it comes to full-service law firms and registered notaries. Some of them specialize in assisting international clients on real estate, Foreign Investment, corporate law and tax laws, and all of them speak fluent English (sometimes with additional languages too). Many of the lawyers received their training in the USA, UK, Australia, India and Sri Lanka, giving them excellent insights into dealing with an international clientele. 

The Maldivian legal system is in rapid flux due to a multitude of socioeconomic developments, but Maldivian law firms are perfectly placed to stay on top of the latest changes, whilst also adopting international best practices. In fact many of the Maldives’ top law firms have won international awards for excellence. 

Here is a brief summary of the legal aspects of buying a vacation villa in the Maldives. You can read more on our FAQ page. 

  • Maldivian law stipulates foreigners can only own property on a leasehold basis, which must be purchased through a Maldivian company. 
  • Atoll.Homes is registered in the USA and in the Maldives. We arrange the leasehold agreement according to Maldivan laws and use a local solicitor. 
  • Our leases run for 50 years but can be extended for an additional 49 years. 
  • The sale is subject to a 12% Goods and Services Tax (GST). 
  • The land purchase and leaseholder arrangements are conducted in accordance with the Maldives Land Act 2002

Atoll.Homes would be happy to recommend legal firms in the Maldives to cater to your requirements. We only recommend the best law firms in the Maldives with the highest standards of professionalism. All of them are based in Malé. 

Alternatively, you may wish to find your own legal services provider. The Maldives Bar Council website offers a directory of law firms and public notaries with contact details including relevant email addresses or they can offer a recommendation. You can also search for Google and Facebook reviews, or search websites with rankings such as The Lawyers Global.   

In case you ever have a need for dispute resolution, Atoll.Homes would be willing to recommend legal solutions for you. Even though the Maldives is not a party to the New York Convention, foreign arbitration is legally-recognized in the Maldives. 

That is because foreign arbitral awards are enforced under Section 72 of the Arbitration Act (Law No.: 10/2013). Our preferred location for all arbitration is the United States of America. You can read more details about this on our FAQ page. 

As we explained in our post on Working in the Maldives, there are all kinds of visa options available to you. If you’ll just be vacationing at your holiday villa and arriving on a standard tourist visa (rather than doing any business deals or setting up a company) then you won’t need any help from a notary or lawyer on this. You’ll get a free 30-day visa on arrival in the Maldives, whatever your nationality. You can extend it for another 60 days or ask a notary to do it for you under Power of Attorney. 

If you require a 90-day business visa, your business contact in the Maldives can probably arrange it for you or you can appoint a notary to do it for you using Power of Attorney. 

There are other options for visas that permit you to open a company or work for an employer in the Maldives. Check out our post on Working in the Maldives for more details. 

In case you need a lawyer or notary for other purposes, you’ll find the Maldives has you covered. Whether it’s setting up a company, navigating environmental laws or anything else, with a wide selection of law firms based in Malé, you’ll be able to find the right solution. 

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, Atoll.Homes is on hand to recommend legal solutions to suit your needs or you will also be able to easily find a suitable law firm online. Talk with us today. 

Maldivian law firm standards

The Maldives offers plenty of choice when it comes to full-service law firms and registered notaries. Some of them specialize in assisting international clients on real estate, Foreign Investment, corporate law and tax laws, and all of them speak fluent English (sometimes with additional languages too). Many of the lawyers received their training in the USA, UK, Australia, India and Sri Lanka, giving them excellent insights into dealing with an international clientele. 

The Maldivian legal system is in rapid flux due to a multitude of socioeconomic developments, but Maldivian law firms are perfectly placed to stay on top of the latest changes, whilst also adopting international best practices. In fact many of the Maldives’ top law firms have won international awards for excellence. 

Legal considerations for buying a villa in the Maldives

Here is a brief summary of the legal aspects of buying a vacation villa in the Maldives. You can read more on our FAQ page. 

  • Maldivian law stipulates foreigners can only own property on a leasehold basis, which must be purchased through a Maldivian company. 
  • Atoll.Homes is registered in the USA and in the Maldives. We arrange the leasehold agreement according to Maldivan laws and use a local solicitor. 
  • Our leases run for 50 years but can be extended for an additional 49 years. 
  • The sale is subject to a 12% Goods and Services Tax (GST). 
  • The land purchase and leaseholder arrangements are conducted in accordance with the Maldives Land Act 2002

Recommendations

Atoll.Homes would be happy to recommend legal firms in the Maldives to cater to your requirements. We only recommend the best law firms in the Maldives with the highest standards of professionalism. All of them are based in Malé. 

Alternatively, you may wish to find your own legal services provider. The Maldives Bar Council website offers a directory of law firms and public notaries with contact details including relevant email addresses or they can offer a recommendation. You can also search for Google and Facebook reviews, or search websites with rankings such as The Lawyers Global.   

Arbitration

In case you ever have a need for dispute resolution, Atoll.Homes would be willing to recommend legal solutions for you. Even though the Maldives is not a party to the New York Convention, foreign arbitration is legally-recognized in the Maldives. 

That is because foreign arbitral awards are enforced under Section 72 of the Arbitration Act (Law No.: 10/2013). Our preferred location for all arbitration is the United States of America. You can read more details about this on our FAQ page. 

Visas

As we explained in our post on Working in the Maldives, there are all kinds of visa options available to you. If you’ll just be vacationing at your holiday villa and arriving on a standard tourist visa (rather than doing any business deals or setting up a company) then you won’t need any help from a notary or lawyer on this. You’ll get a free 30-day visa on arrival in the Maldives, whatever your nationality. You can extend it for another 60 days or ask a notary to do it for you under Power of Attorney. 

If you require a 90-day business visa, your business contact in the Maldives can probably arrange it for you or you can appoint a notary to do it for you using Power of Attorney. 

There are other options for visas that permit you to open a company or work for an employer in the Maldives. Check out our post on Working in the Maldives for more details. 

Other purposes

In case you need a lawyer or notary for other purposes, you’ll find the Maldives has you covered. Whether it’s setting up a company, navigating environmental laws or anything else, with a wide selection of law firms based in Malé, you’ll be able to find the right solution. 

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, Atoll.Homes is on hand to recommend legal solutions to suit your needs or you will also be able to easily find a suitable law firm online. Talk with us today. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Read Next

This guide defines and explains common terminology used to refer to Maldivian topography and features.

Explore Blogs

Getting Legal Services in the Maldives

5 ARTICLES

Getting Legal Services in the Maldives

7 ARTICLES