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Settling in Monaco

If you are over sixteen years old, wishing to live more than three months a year in Monaco, you must apply to the Sûreté Publique (Police Department), Residents' Section. You will need to provide the following documents and fulfill certain conditions:

  • Civil status documents (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)
  • Housing certificate acting regarding your situation as :
    • landlord
    • tenant
    • accomodated person
  • Completed application form ;
  • Prove sufficient financial resources (by providing payslips if you are employed in Monaco, the profit and loss accounts and balance sheets of your company if you are a business owner, a letter of support by a parent, or spouse, or a Monegasque bank certificate justifying that you have at least € 500,000 in cash available in their establishment).
  • Prove of a good character (by providing an extract from the criminal record or equivalent from the authorities of the last 2 countries where you have lived for the last 5 years, before arriving in Monaco).
  • If you are a national of the European Economic Area (including Swiss and Andorran nationals) you must present your valid identity card or passport.
If you are not a national of the countries mentioned above:
  • You have been living in France for more than a year: you must request a transfer of residency from the French Embassy in Monaco.
  • In other cases, you will need to present an establishment visa in the Principality of Monaco, issued by the French authorities. To do this, you will need to make a request to the French Consulate closest from your last legal domicile. The formalities vary depending on your nationality and your country of origin.

Our agency will be happy to assist you in this process, with the help of our partners.

For any request, you can also inquire at the Resident Service or on the website https://en.service-public-particuliers.gouv.mc/Nationality-and-residency/Residency

Following a resident card application, it will be issued:

  • A "temporary" card can be issued with no minimum requirement period for residency in Monaco. It is therefore applicable to first-time residents. It is valid for one year and may be renewed twice.
  • An "ordinary" card can be issued to people who have lived in Monaco for three years. It is valid for three years and may be renewed once.
  • A "privilege" card can be issued after ten years of residence in Monaco, whose presence on Monegasque territory is effective. It is valid for ten years and may be indefinitely renewable.

In addition, a "partner of a Monegasque national" card can be issued to any foreigner who is a partner of a Monegasque national and who has lived in the Principality for at least one year. It is valid for five years.

Housing in the Principality is divided in four sectors accessible following certain conditions:

THE NON-REGULATED SECTOR:

The apartments concerned can be rented freely to the whole population, without special condition, the only reservation being the level of the applicant’s financial resources. The length of the lease and the amount of rent payable, as well as all the other clauses, are set in a contract/lease.

THE REGULATED SECTOR:

Apartments covered by this sector are divided into two groups and are located only in buildings constructed before September 1st, 1947. It should be noted that the regulated sector, as a whole, is subject to a state pre-emptive right the day it will be sold.

THE PROTECTED SECTOR:

This sector is covered by the law n°1.235 of 28 December 2000 and 1.291 of 21 December 2004 fixing rental conditions about residential premises.

Rental conditions are determined by the Housing Department (Direction de l’Habitat).

Rents are, in general, much more affordable for tenants than those in the non-regulated sector since they are defined by the state

In addition, the lease agreement provides a better protection for the tenant, in particular because it is concluded for a period of 6 years. It can be terminated by the tenant during the lease or at its expiration, with three months notice, or by the owner with six months notice if he intends to exercise his right of repossession under the conditions provided by the law.

These properties can only be rented to persons registered as protected persons divided into the following categories and in the order of priority indicated below:

  1. Monegasque nationals ;
  2. People born from a Monegasque national; the spouses, widowers or widows of Monegasque nationals; divorced people from Monegasque nationals that are fathers or mothers of children born from this union;
  3. People born in Monaco, who have been living in Monaco since birth and one of their parents was also living in Monaco at the time of their birth. However, people can be exempted from this requirement to be born in Monaco if, while fulfilling the other conditions, they were born outside Monaco for medical or emergency reasons.
  4. People who have been living in Monaco for at least forty consecutive years

THE LIBERALISED SECTOR:

This housing sector is governed by Law n°887 of 25/06/1970.

Apartments regulated by this sector are intended for rent, to the people who have been living in Monaco for at least five years and working here for more than six months, or people who have working in Monaco for at least five years. The persons that are registered for the “protected” sector have also access to this type of flats.

The landlord will have the obligation to grant the tenant a six-year lease, which can be terminated annually according to the sole wish of the tenant; a rent indexation clause can be included in the lease at the end of each year.

The rental conditions must also be approved by the Housing Authority, but the landlord is free to fix the amount of the rent.

THE STATE SECTOR:

This relates to housing belonging to the Monegasque State.

These apartments are allocated to people with Monegasque nationality. Allocations are made in order of priority, resulting in a total number of points obtained by applying various objective criteria, which are defined by a Ministerial Decree.

PROPERTY BELONGING TO THE INDEPENDENT PENSIONS FUND:

The Independent Pensions Fund (Caisse Autonome des Retraites) owns a portfolio of property in the Principality allocated to civil servant and government officer.

The Monegasque authorities have put in place a whole administrative, fiscal and legal system in order to attract new dynamic companies and foster financial activities (family offices, asset managers, etc.), luxury goods, new technologies as well as all type of eco-responsible activites.

1) Good to know before starting:

The main legal forms in Monaco are as follows (some may be imposed by applicable regulations):

  • the S.N.C, société en nom collectif (equivalent to limited liability partnership)
  • the S.C.S, société en commandite simple (equivalent private limited company limited by shares)
  • the S.A.R.L, société à responsabilité limitée (equivalent to the private limited company)
  • the S.A.M, société anonyme monégasque (equivalent to the public limited company)

It is also possible to carry out an activity as self-employed (or sole trader) or a commercial activity by creating an administrative office or an agency.

In addition, certain type of activities are regulated and for those:

  • The law or regulation determines the conditions to exercise and to open (diploma, professional experiences, financial conditions, etc.) or conditions required for the establishment (authorization). This is the case, for example, for insurance activities, accounting, legal and financial activities, real estate activities, health-related services, the food and cosmetic industry, etc.;
  • The law or regulation determines conditions as well for the activity. For example, an antiques dealer must draw up and keep a register stating the identity and address of vendors, as well as the type and price of items

Lastly, some activities are not regulated but are subject to obtaining authorisation.

For more information:
https://en.service-public-entreprises.gouv.mc/Starting-a-business/Regulated-activities/General-information/List-of-activities-that-are-regulated-and-or-subject-to-authorisation

To discuss your project, get advice and useful contacts, we suggest you to contact the Monaco Welcome & Business Office, which provides visitors with the tools, key contacts and information they need to get started. They will also give you the contact with the essential public and private entities that will facilitate your installation.
https://en.service-public-entreprises.gouv.mc/Networks-and-publications/Professional-networks/Administration/Welcome-Office

2) To start, you must apply for a business permit

In the Principality, setting up or taking over a business, as well as carrying out any profession, is subject to prior authorisation by the Prince’s Government

The authorisation is issued on the basis of criteria relating to good character, qualifications and professional experience, and the effective existence of a stable establishment in Monaco that is operational and suitable for the professional activities in question.

The Direction of the economic development department also makes available to entrepreneurs and professionals a unique and centralized desk where you will be able to handle all formalities once you have been issued with a business permit (collection of the different documents, registration, all declarations and payment of the fees).

The different steps to create a company in Monaco are available on the Government website: https://en.service-public-entreprises.gouv.mc/Business-guidelines/Starting-a-business

3) Then declare the domiciliation of the company (registered office) and justify the use of premises, which may be located in:

  1. State-owned premises, with the condition that the company is mostly owned by a monegasque shareholder.
  2. Private premises:
    1. At the operator's home, under the following conditions
      • no legislative, regulatory or contractual provision precludes this;
      • the commercial activity does not require the reception of a clientele or the storage or display of goods;
      • there is no employee.
      For commercial activities carried out within the framework of SNC, SCS or SARL, the registered office at the owner's home is only allowed, under the conditions set out above, at the start of the activity and for a limited period : one year, renewable once. The manager must hold a dual usage lease contract (home and office).
    2. In administrative offices, for intellectual work activity as well as administrative services related to it, if you are employing and/or receiving customers. The activity must not be commercial, industrial or hand-crafted nature and no goods may be delivered or stored. If offices are rented, the lease can last from 1 to 5 years maximum depending on whether the contract is subject to Law 1.433 of 08/11/2016 or not.

      A minimum working surface per employee must be respected, and depending on the type of legal form and the type of employment contract, the standard being 9m2 for 1 employee, 12m2 for 2 employees, 21m2 for 3 employees, 32m2 for 4 employees . S.A.M. are required to respect a total surface of 25m2 minimum if there are no employees and to contract an office lease exclusively.

      Office premises are inspected by the Technical Commission for Health and Safety and Environmental Protection, which checks whether they comply with current legal and regulatory standards for health, safety and environmental protection.

      In addition, to domiciliate a company in private premises, the authorization to pursue a professional activity in an apartment must be subject to the prior authorization of the landlord (if you are a tenant) as well as the administrator of the building in accordance with the condominium rules.

    3. In business centers, in shared or closed offices, under certain conditions, depending also on the needs of the company; several formulas are offered depending on the legal form and the nature of the activity. Our agency works in close collaboration with several entities and will be happy to help you.
  3. Commercial premises (often on the ground floor with shop window) or industrial premises if the activity is commercial, industrial or artisanal in nature. These are inspected by the Technical Commission for Health and Safety and Environmental Protection, which checks whether they comply with current legal and regulatory standards for health, safety and environmental protection.

    Several possibilities can exist: acquisition or rental of premises. In case of rental, several possibilities:

    • With a commercial property, the rental lease will be dicted by the Law no. 490 of 24/11/1948, modified and supplemented by the law 1.287 of 24/11/1948, regarding leases for industrial or artisanal commercial use, concluded for a period of 3,6,9 years. A key-money will certainly be requested before entering the premises unless it occurs following a transfer of leasehold rights or business capital.
    • Without any commercial property:
      • with a precarious lease with a maximum duration of 35 months with the obligation for the tenant to leave at the end of this period since beyond this duration, commercial property would be acquired
      • under management lease: the fixed-term contract is governed by Law No. 546 of June 26, 1951 and is established with the business operator subject to the authorization of the owner of the walls.

For more information:
https://en.service-public-entreprises.gouv.mc/Starting-a-business/Acquiring-a-domicile

4) once you’ve received the approval and found the premises, registration formalities must be completed with the following procedures:

  1. Complete the declaration forms and register the business in the Trade and Industry Register.
  2. Apply for a Statistical Identification Number from Monegasque Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Monaco Statistics)
  3. Declare the business or company to the Department of Tax Services
  4. Subscribe with the social services:
    • Sickness, Accident and Maternity fund for the Self-Employed (CAMTI)
    • The Independent Pensions Fund for the Self-Employed (CARTI)
    • Create an employer’s file with the Employment Office

 

Taxation

The Prince’s Government has launched an overall initiative to facilitate business development in Monaco on all fronts in compliance with rules of ethics, transparency and efficiency

One of the Principality’s key features can be found in the “soft” taxation for natural persons.

V.A.T., corporation tax and capital gains tax on property form the basis of the monegasque tax law.

By modernising the legal system and through a stable and incentivised tax framework, the Prince’s Government is committed to fostering the relocation and development of businesses in Monaco.

There is no wealth tax, land tax or housing tax in the Principality.

Monegasques and residents of Monaco, apart from French nationals that are governed by the Franco-Monegasque Bilateral Convention of 1963, are not subject to income tax in the Principality.

However, the absence of personal income tax only concerns activities or natural persons actually and genuinely established on Principality territory. This position therefore does not infringe any rule laid down by other countries.

Inheritance tax or tax on donations applies to properties located in the Principality or the one that have there tax base here, regardless the domicile or the nationality of the deceased or the donor (subject to the provisions of the Franco-Monegasque Convention of April, 1st 1950). The level of tax depends on the degree of family relationship between the deceased and their heirs.

  • direct descent parents-children or between spouses: 0%
  • between brothers and sisters: 8%
  • between uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces : 10%
  • between collaterals other than brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews or nieces: 13%
  • between non-relatives: 16%

The only direct tax levied in the Principality is corporation tax on industrial and commercial activities.

The Profits Tax applies to companies carrying out an industrial or commercial activity and generating more than 25% of their turnover outside Monaco, whatever the legal form is. The nature of the activities and location of the operations define the tax liability.

Taxable profits are established after deducting all expenditures, in particular the remuneration of the operator, directors or executives effectively performing duties within the company. The taxation rate is 33.33%, whilst capital gains from transfers of fixed assets may be subjected under certain conditions, exempted of tax if they are reinvested. In addition, this rate should gradually decrease from 2019, to only represent 25% in 2022.

Firms created in the Principality and falling within the scope of corporation tax and that develop real new activities are exempted of taxes for the two first years and benefit from a favorable system for the three following years.

Furthermore, it should be noted that administrative offices are subjected to corporation tax and, usually, taxed at a reduced rate based on a flat rate corresponding to their operating expenses.

Valued Added Tax (V.A.T.) is paid on the same basis and at the same rates than in France; the intra-Community V.A.T. regime has been applicable since January, 1st 1993

French and Monegasque territories, including their territorial waters, form a customs union regulated by the Customs Convention of 18 May 1963, thus the French Customs Code applies to Monaco. Due to its customs union with France, and in order to ensure the strict application of this bilateral agreement, the Principality is incorporated into the European customs territory (although it remains a third State in relation to the European Union). The access to goods and services available on the European single market is therefore ensured for Monaco.

As previously mentioned, there is no tax on the real estate capital gain, no property taxes or housing tax.

However, there are registration fees (excluding notary fees) which are either proportional or fixed. The fixed fee is generally € 10. The most commonly used rates in real estate are:

  • Duty of 1 % for tenancy agreements, calculated on the annual rental plus charges
  • Duty of 3 % for mortgage agreement deeds
  • Duty of 4.5% on immovable property sales
  • Duty of 7.5% on business asset sales
  • Duty of 7,5% immovable property sales when they concern persons who don’t meet the criteria of transparency laid down by law.
  • Mortgage transcription fees of 1 % on immovable property sales
  • Mortgage registration fees of 0,65 % on immovable property sales

There may also be in certain situations VAT at a rate of 20%. This is particularly the case:

  • VAT applies automatically on sales of buildable lands and new developments within five years of their completion, and realized by professionals. The tax is due by the seller.
  • VAT applies on properties completed more than five years ago when the buy decides to keep this tax system.