Starting a Business in Monaco

Information on starting up as self-employed, in partnership SNC or SCS, a limited liability company (SARL), a SAM (public limited company) or a branch office...

Government authorisation is required before starting a business activity of any kind in Monaco. The most common legal structure is a sole trader (société en nom personnel).

Getting Started

Business and economic activity in Monaco is promoted by the Chamber of Economic Development (CDE), which can help start-ups with advice, contacts and administrative procedures. Its website is in both French and English, and it can supply English-language guides on request.

Legal Forms of Business in Monaco

  • Société en nom personnel (sole trader)
  • Société en Nom Collectif, SNC (general partnership)
  • Société en Commandite Simple, SCS (limited partnership)
  • Société à Responsabilité Limitée, SARL (limited liability company)
  • Société Anonyme Monégasque, SAM (public limited company)
  • Société en Commandite par Actions, SCA (partnership limited by shares)

Foreign companies that wish to set up an administrative office or branch in Monaco also require authorisation.

The Monaco Government website provides information in English on the different company structures.

Sole trader

The fastest and easiest way to establish a business in Monaco is as a sole trader. Anyone can register to carry out professional work, retailing, contracting or manufacturing as a sole trader with unlimited liability. Married sole traders should be aware that if the business fails, the spouse's personal assets might be at risk.

SNC (general partnership)

General partnerships are established by two or more people operating under a company name. The articles of association of the company must be registered with the Tax Department and an excerpt of the incorporation certificate published in the Journal de Monaco (government gazette).

SCS (limited partnership)

Limited partnerships are established between one or more managing partners, and one or more financial backers. Managing partners have unlimited liability, whereas financial partners' liability is limited to the amount invested. Financial partners may not play any role in managing the partnership, even by proxy. The articles of association of the company must be registered with the Tax Department and an excerpt of the incorporation certificate published in the Journal de Monaco.

SARL (limited liability company)

A SARL is formed between two or more people with liability limited to the amount of their capital investment. There is a fixed minimum capital investment which must be released to an account at a Monaco bank, opened for this purpose. Proof of this is required when applying for registration with the Trade and Industry Register, (Registre du Commerce et de l'Industrie, RCI).

SAM (public limited company) / SCA (partnership limited by shares)

Public limited companies and partnerships limited by shares must have notarised articles of association that are published in the Journal de Monaco and filed with the court registrar. There must be at least two shareholders, and the Board of Directors must also contain at least two shareholders. Share capital must be fully subscribed and each shareholder must pay at least a quarter of the nominal value of their shares for the incorporation to be valid. The first shareholders' meeting must be held within three months of the licence being granted. The company's auditors must be based in Monaco.

Administrative offices and branches of foreign companies

Administrative offices are established by companies whose registered office is not in Monaco. Their sole purpose is for management, coordination or supervision. Licences are granted for a limited period and must be renewed. Branches of foreign companies must obtain a licence and register with the Trade and Industry Register, (Registre du Commerce et de l'Industrie, RCI).

Application Procedure

Applications for business and professional activity are handled by the Direction de l'Expansion Economique (DEE).

  • Direction de l'Expansion Economique (DEE)
    At
    : 9 rue du Gabian, MC 98000 Monaco
    Open: 09:30-17:00
    Tel: +377 98 98 88 12
    Fax: +377 92 05 75 20
    email

Applicants must assemble a dossier containing all necessary documents before submitting the application to the DEE.

Documents required

The following documents are required for all business types:

  • Request for authorisation addressed to the Minister of State
  • Description of the business activity
  • Contract for business premises in Monaco
  • Business information form (available online)
  • Projected profit and loss for three years

In addition, individual managers, employees, workers and shareholders must provide information about themselves:

  • Personal information form (available online)
  • Birth, marriage, divorce certificates
  • Carte de séjour residency permit or passport (as appropriate)
  • Police report less than three months old from all countries in which the individual has been resident in the past ten years
  • CV in French
  • Copies of professional diplomas

Application forms needed for establishing a company in Monaco are available on the Government website.

  • Detailed information of what is needed to establish a business can be found on the Government website: Click here

Once submitted, applications take at least three months to be approved. The subsequent business licence defines the business activity, the business address and the authorised workers. Changes to any of these require further approval.

Registration with the RCI

All companies and businesses are required to register with the Trade and Industry Register, the Registre du Commerce et de l'Industrie (RCI). Subsequent changes to status or location must also be reported. On registration, an RCI number is issued. This is made up of two digits (representing the year of registration), a letter which denotes if the operation is a sole trader (activité personnelle, P) or a company (société, S). For example: RCI 10 P 12345. A Monaco business's details are available online, and can be reached by searching on its RCI number using the website.

  • Direction de l'Expansion Economique (DEE), RCI division
    At: 9 rue du Gabian, MC 98000 Monaco 
    Open: Weekdays 09:30-12:30, 13:30-17:00 
    Tel: +377 98 98 84 91 (direct line to the office or the RCI)
    Fax: +377 98 98 75 20 
    email (RCI)

Other obligations

Once authorisation is received, all companies are required to register:

For VAT and other tax:

  • Direction des Services Fiscaux
    At
    : 57 rue Grimaldi, MC 98000 Monaco
    Tel: +377 93 15 81 04

For hiring employees:

  • Service d'Emploi
    At:
    2 rue Princesse Antoinette, MC 98000 Monaco
    Tel: +377 93 15 88 14

Sole traders and business licence holders must also register and pay contributions:

For health care:

  • CAMTI
    At: 11 rue Louis-Notari, MC 98000 Monaco
    Tel: +377 93 15 44 06

For pensions:

  • CARTI
    At
    : 11 rue Louis-Notari, MC 98000 Monaco
    Tel: +377 93 15 49 59

SAMs, SCAs and SARLs must prepare audited accounts and file them with the RCI. Other types of company are not required to file accounts, but must keep annual records.

Further Information