Sole trader

Sole trader

This legal form concerns natural persons wishing to carry out commercial, professional or craft-based activities without creating a company. In short: a one-person company.

Basically, the fastest and easiest way to establish a business in Monaco is as a sole trader. Any individual, must normally be a resident of Monaco to pursue activity as a sole proprietor. Anyone can register to carry out professional work, retailing, contracting or manufacturing as a sole trader with unlimited liability.

As a sole trader, you can start your business quickly and easily, without the constraints of forming a company (drafting Articles of Association, publication formalities) and without having to set aside a minimum amount of capital.

The Monegasque Government also allows the possibility to choose a trading name. A trading name is basically a fictitious business name used by sole traders, who do not want to operate under their registered legal name. For example, you can register for the sole trader license as “James Bond”, however you will be allowed to publicly promote your business as “MI 6 Agency”. This will partly protect your privacy.

Management as a sole trader is not subject to the same formalities as companies (having to deposit accounting documents with the Trade and Industry Registry and even having to appoint auditors under certain conditions).

The individual’s real and personal property is then subject to the claims of the creditors of the business to the extent specified in articles 1928 and 1929 of the Civil Code on Obligations. Personal status is important, since according to the matrimonial system and the activity of the spouse, the spouse’s property may also be affected by the sole proprietor’s business commitments. Therefore, married sole traders should be aware that if the business fails, the spouse’s personal assets might be at risk.

Persons prohibited from carrying out commercial activities following a judgment declaring personal bankruptcy cannot set up as sole traders (art. 587 of the Code de Commerce ).

Anyone who regularly and customarily engages in commercial activities are normally considered merchants.

For commercial activities, the business must be run from commercial premises (commercial lease, short-term lease or temporary tenancy agreement).

For non-trading activities (the licensed professionals for example), the business should be domiciled at office premises.

The sole trader may work from their home if no legislative, regulatory or contractual provision is opposed thereto, if their business activities do not require clients to be received, if storage is not necessary and if no staff are recruited.

It is possible, under certain conditions, to domicile the firm either with a domiciliation company for a period limited to one year (may be renewed once) or on premises occupied by another firm.

Monaco in Key Figures

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

Source: IMSEE

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