STARTING UP A BUSINESS IN MONACO: GENERAL CONDITIONS
Engagement in any regular economic activity in the Principality of Monaco is subject to administrative license, on pain of criminal penalties.
In addition to this general license, certain activities are subject to specific rules.
Activities not subject to specific regulation
Artisanal, commercial, industrial and professional activities may be engaged in as a self-employed person subject to the licensing conditions laid down by Law no. 1.144 of 26 July 1991 regarding engagement in certain economic and legal activities.
The Government, represented by the Minister of State, issues the requisite license to engage in economic activity in the Principality of Monaco.
This license is limited to the activity declared: any change in the activity actually carried out requires an application for a new license.
If the activity engaged in is not subject to any specific regulation within the territory of Monaco, it is subject only to the general provisions of the above law.
Activities subject to specific regulation
In addition to the rules laid down by Law no. 1.144, certain economic activities are also subject to specific regulations.
The specific regulations require compliance with detailed conditions that may include nationality, the qualification of executives, a requirement to adopt a particular form of business entity or a minimum amount of registered capital.
This specific license is then granted by the Minister of State and/or a specific administrative authority.
Regulated activities include:
> Financial activities (portfolio management, stock brokerage, investment advice, creation and management of mutual funds),
> Banking and credit activities,
> Activities engaged in by ministerial officers or under the monitoring of professional bodies, such as the professions of notary, bailiff, barrister, architect or chartered accountant,
> Medical, paramedical and pharmaceutical activities,
> The professions of estate agent, property management agent, co-ownership property management agent,
> The manufacture and sale of works made from precious metals,
> Private personal and property security activities.
Different ways of engaging in economic activity in the Principality of Monaco
The entrepreneur may choose to engage in an activity in his/her own name or in the form of a corporate entity.
There are several forms of corporate entity:
- Monegasque general business corporation (S.A.M.)
- Partnership limited by shares (S.C.A.)
- Private limited company (S.A.R.L.)
- Limited partnership (S.C.S.)
- General partnership (S.N.C.)
- Specific structures
The relative simplicity of company law in Monaco leaves scope for a degree of contractual freedom.
Depending on the form of corporate entity chosen, however, certain obligations may apply.