Introduction to Monaco
Monaco is one of the most economically and politically stable countries in the world. Its high level and efficient infrastructures, financial institutions and services, the safe environment provided for individuals and their assets, makes the country a strategic platform to establish a residence or diversify one’s investments.
The country is situated ideally by the Mediterranean Sea, at the border of France and Italy with access to many prestigious and diverse places such as St Tropez, Turin, Milan and ski slopes within a couple of hours’ drive or a short helicopter ride. Furthermore, it boasts access to Nice International Airport in less than 30 minutes.
Although French is the official language, English is mostly spoken with 139 nationalities present in the Principality.
With its exceptional climate, social and cultural environments, the country offers a unique and prestigious lifestyle.
A comprehensive banking sector and family offices are able to cover all the needs of an individual or a family.
With its numerous banks and investment management companies, financial activities play a key role in the economic life of the Principality.
The Monegasque structures are able to handle estate management and planning on an international level as well as managing any corporate needs to operate in the region.
Monaco is home to a thriving real estate sector for two main reasons:
- •Sustained and increasing demand of new residents wishing to access this unique quality of life.
- •Due to the size of the country, there are limited properties available, and as such they command higher prices and are highly sought after.
Many of the real estate transactions are made every year by individuals wishing to invest in the country (with a property value per square metre increasing on average 15.8% p.a. since 2006), as well as to have the option to access a residency at any time.
Lifestyle and infrastructures
Health and Education system
The Principality includes several French schools and an exclusive international school, as well as the International University of Monaco (offering courses though to MBA level).
Furthermore, excellent health infrastructures are in place with 2 hospitals, including a prestigious cardiac centre specialising in sports medicine.
Culture, Sports and Leisure
Numerous entertainment and cultural events are being hosted year-round at the world-famous Ballets de Monte Carlo and Opera Garnier, as well as the Grimaldi forum, two contemporary art museums and multiple galleries, theatres, and concert venues.
World renowned events are organised yearly in Monaco such as the Formula One Grand Prix, the Rolex Tennis Masters, the Yacht Show, Horse Jumping Show and Monaco Circus festival. To those yearly and regular events, there are many sports available to practice around the city, in the stadium and at sea.
Furthermore, a host of restaurants of all cuisine (with several Michelin starred), bars and the historic Monte Carlo Casino are available to discover and enjoy.
Finally, Monaco is also home to highly exclusive and renowned clubs such as the Monaco Yacht Club, The Automobile Club, the Monte-Carlo Beach Club and the Monte-Carlo Country Club, and the Monte Carlo Golf Club, all boasting fantastic amenities for individuals and families’ enjoyment.
Taxation in Monaco
The general principle of taxation in Monaco is that there is the absence of any direct taxation on salaries, wealth, capital gains and other profits.
The only exception to this rule is applicable to commercial and industrial activities generating more than 25% of their revenues outside of Monaco.
Assets located in Monaco are subjected to the following scale:
- •Direct filiation between parents and children or spouses: 0%
- •Between brothers and sisters: 8%
- •Between uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces: 10%
- •Between relatives other than brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews or nieces: 13%
- •Between persons who are not related: 16%
Property sales are subject to proportional duty of 4.5% for persons or companies meeting the transparency criteria. In other cases, these transactions are subject to proportional duty of 7.5%.
Structuring a business and entrepreneurial activities in Monaco
The undertaking of a commercial, artisanal, industrial or service activity is subjected to the being granted an authorisation from the Prince’s Government. The authorisation is granted or rejected based on the guarantees offered by the applicant and based on the usefulness of the project for the economy of Monaco.
Legal forms of operation
From sole trader to E.I.G. (economic interest grouping) through joint ventures or commercial groups, many legal forms can be encountered in Monaco. The main legal forms to consider are:
- •S.N.C, société en nom collectif (similar to a partnership)
- •S.C.S, société en commandite simple (similar to a limited partnership)
- •S.C.A, société en commandite par actions (similar to a partnership limited by shares)
- •S.A.R.L, société à responsabilité limitée (similar to an LLC)
- •S.A.M, société anonyme monégasque (another type of LLC for larger businesses)
Furthermore, Trusts can also be used for persons fitting the necessary requirements.
Monaco strongly encourages and supports entrepreneurial endeavours. The Principality has focused a lot of its efforts in creating a conductive environment for such ventures (through the creation of a new company incubator and bringing support where possible in different manners).