Basic Principles for Business Authorisation

Basic Principles for Business Authorisation

Setting up a business or taking over an existing firm is challenging and requires careful preparation and support from competent advisors. Entrepreneurs need to be made aware of the conditions for entering and remaining in Monaco, how to set up a business, taxation, social security legislation and any state aid available. 

The Principality offers you the possibility to operate your business from your home during the first two years. In some cases, it is worth considering.

Therefore, it is always recommended to seek for Administrative Assistance to help you during the process and to avoid unnecessary and time consuming circles. 

You also need to understand the official procedures to be followed during the course of the business’ existence, as well as their obligations. Key agreements related to goodwill are also discussed. 

First and foremost, entrepreneurs must be aware of the fundamental rule governing business relocation to Monaco – the fact that a licence must be obtained before initiating business activities. 

In order to run a business in Monaco, whether in trade, industry, crafts or as a freelancer, as a sole trader or as a company, those without Monégasque nationality must acquire a business permit issued by the Minister of State. 

One of the most important pre-conditions to be granted by the administration is good morality and a clean criminal record.

The permit is issued according to the following criteria: 

  • Professional reputation: The professional reputation is assessed according to any criminal or judicial record on the part of the entrepreneur and following an official inquiry.
  • Professional qualifications: Professional qualifications must be held in the entrepreneur’s own name. Some activities are subject to specific entry conditions (certificates, nationality, guarantees, etc.)
  • The creation of a stable business activity:  Authorisation is only granted if the operational structure is appropriate to the nature and size of the business.

The conditions for issue of the permit, processing of the application and retaining the licence are laid down by Law n. 1.144 du 26/07/1991, except where a specific law governs the profession. 

Persons of Monégasque nationality must send the Minister of State a declaration of business activities unless the activities envisaged are subject to entry conditions defined by a specific regulation or where they are creating a société anonyme monegasque (SAM) or a société en commandite par actions (SCA). 

Setting up a société anonyme or a société en commandite par actions is subject to specific conditions (authorisation to set up the business, approval of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, share capital of 150,000 €, etc.)  (Ordonnance du 05/03/1895 sur les sociétés anonymes et en commandite par actions  and  Code de Commerce).

Also be aware that the Monegasque Government makes enormous efforts to avoid “overcrowding” in some sectors, in order to guarantee the safety and the stability of the local economy. There are several areas in which it is nearly impossible to obtain a business permit anymore, such as in real-estate, legal advisory, event management and transportation.

Monaco in Key Figures

Surface area
GDP per capita (2021)
.3 bn
Nominal GDP (2021)

Source: IMSEE