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Analysis of Monaco Law 1.144 of July 26, 1991 - Conducting Economic and Legal Activities in Monaco

The advantages of setting up business in Monaco are essentially tax advantages. The purpose of Law no. 1144 of July 26, 1991, (“Law 1144”) is to submit the initiation of any economic activity, regardless of its nature (i.e., whether commercial, industrial, crafts, or services, professional and non-professional alike) to an administrative procedure.  To that end Law 1144 has been adopted to assure that only economic activities that are deemed suitable for Monaco are regularly operated there. 

As a matter of fact, Law 1144 prohibits any regular and habitual “unauthorized activity” and provides criminal sanctions subsequent to the violation of its rules. 

Law 1144 applies to all individuals, however it provides two different procedures depending on the nationality of the applicant.

National applicants can conduct business in Monaco after filing a declaration describing the commercial activity and receiving a receipt from the relevant authority. Conversely, the Government would only grant authorization of a proposed economic activity to a foreigner after a thorough investigation based on the submission of a detailed application on the proposed activity.

If granted, the authorization, which is personal and non-transferable, is usually very detailed about what is authorized, and the duration of the authorization - usually for several years - is normally renewable for similar periods.  Renewal is not automatic and must be applied for.  Typically, the authorization sets out the limits of the activities that may be performed, the specific premises where those activities may take place, as well as any special conditions applicable to the performance of those activities.

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