Morocco company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN MOROCCO IN 2017

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with registering their business in Morocco. Our services include i) Morocco company registration services ii) Government licensing services iii) corporate bank account opening services in Morocco and abroad iv) employee recruitment and Moroccan work visa services and vi) Morocco office rental solutions.

SummaryLLCFast business setup solutionFree zone companyHolding companyPLCRepresentative officeBranch office
Also known asSARLSARLEntreprise de zone francheSociété d'investissementsSABureau de LiaisonSuccursale
Best use of company?All products and servicesClose a customer deal nowManufacturing and export tradingOffshore investment holdingTo secure public fundingMarketing & researchSpecific projects
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?2 months6 weeks2 months2 months2 monthsCannot trade2 months
How soon can you hire staff?3 months8 weeks3 months3 months3 months3 months3 months
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?ImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediately
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?2 months6 weeks2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months
How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?2 months4 weeks2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months
Corporate tax rate on annual business profits?30%30%up to 0%US$50030%Cannot trade30%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?NoNoYesNoNoYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital? (USD)111130,000NoneNone
Corporate bank account location?Attijariwafa BankBanque Populaire du MarocBMCE BankSociété GénéraleSociété GénéraleCIH BankCrédit Agricole
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesYesNoYes
VAT payable on sales to local customers?20%20%Up to 20%None20%No sales allowed20%
Average total business set up engagement costs? (USD)13,875Inquire a proposal15,640Inquire proposal14,47511,82511,875
Average total engagement period?2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months


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Accounting and tax considerationsLLCFast business setup solutionFree zone companyHolding companyPLCRepresentative officeBranch office
Corporate tax rate on annual business profits?30%30%0 to 30%US$50030%Cannot trade30%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoNoYesNoNoCannot tradeNo
Group HQ tax incentives?YesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Must file an annual tax return?YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Must appoint an auditor?NoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Withholding tax on payments to foreign shareholders?15%15%15%No15%No15%
Company RegistrationLLCFast business setup solutionFree zone companyHolding companyPLCRepresentative officeBranch office
Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?NoNoYesNoNoYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?22225Parent companyParent company
Minimum number of directors/managers?1111311
Minimum statutory paid up share capital? (USD)111130,000NoneNone
Time to incorporate a new entity?2 months4 weeks2 months2 months2 months2 months2 months
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesYesYesN/ANoNo
Can have preference shareholders/partners?YesYesYesYesYesNoNo
Business ConsiderationsLLCFast business setup solutionFree zone companyHolding companyPLCRepresentative officeBranch office
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Can secure an import and export license?YesYesYesNoYesNoYes

Sponsorship by a local citizen required?No
Our Client needs to travel to Morocco for business set up?No
Shelf companies available?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory?No
Can be wholly foreign owned?Yes
The entity will likely be regulated by?Regional Investment Center
Monthly VAT reporting to the Government?Yes
Public register of shareholders and directors?Yes
Government approval required for foreign owners?Yes
Must sign an physical office lease agreement during incorporation?Yes
Shareholders & directors documents to be attested/translated?Yes
Can bid for Government contracts?Yes
Each foreign director needs a personal income tax number?No
Foreign non resident director needs a residence visa?No
Maximum number of staff allowed?No maximum number for any entity
Expatriate to local staff ratio?None
Can secure residence visa for business owner?Yes
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Click link
This country has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average custom duties suffered?17%
Government foreign investment approval required?Yes
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?100%
Average monthly office rental? (USD per sq m)14
Minimum statutory monthly salary? (USD)310
Average monthly salary for local skilled employees? (USD)2,270
Security deposit to be kept with Government?No
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)2.25%
Overseas remittance currency controls?Yes
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?No
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Low
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.

  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Morocco company registration

      business registration in Morocco

    1. Morocco business formation only requires a minimum capital of US$1,000 (MAD10,000) of which only 25% must be paid-up before incorporation. The company can be formed by two shareholders, who can be a foreigner and with no need for a resident director;
    2. Registering a company in Morocco is easy for a foreigner because:
      • Contrary to many other Northern African and Middle Eastern countries including i) Algeria ii) Libya iii) Saudi Arabia and iv) the United Arab Emirates, foreigners are not required to form a joint venture in order to do business in Morocco;
      • Foreigners are not subject to higher capital requirements than locals in most industries;
      • While business registration with the Moroccan Business Registrar is slow compared to developed countries like i) New Zealand ii) France iii) Singapore or iv) Hong Kong, it is still much faster than other Northern African countries.
      • For the reasons listed above, Morocco is currently ranked by the World Bank as the 43rd best place in the world for the ease of starting a business, before i) the United States (49) ii) Italy (50) or iii) Switzerland (60).
    3. While the standard corporate income tax rate is high (30%), foreigners starting a business in Morocco can benefit from the following tax benefits:
      • Companies operating in a free trade zone in Morocco benefit from a tax holiday of five years. Thereafter, they enjoy a reduced tax rate of 8.75% for the following twenty years;
      • Foreigners starting a local company in Morocco can also secure “Casablanca Finance City” status, which allow them to benefit to i) up to five years of corporate tax holidays and ii) a permanently reduced CIT rate of 10%. Eligible activities include i) investment holding ii) financial services and iii) HR, legal, audit and other professional services;
      • Morocco has entered into at least 50 double taxation avoidance treaties with different countries including i) Singapore ii) Switzerland iii) United States iv) United Kingdom v) Canada vi) Germany vii) United Arab Emirates, among many other jurisdictions;
      • Many other industries benefit from tax benefits, including i) agriculture, which can be permanently tax exempt and ii) accommodation and tourism, which benefit from a five-year tax holidays followed by a permanently reduced rate of 17.5%. Read the invest in Morocco page for the full list of tax exemptions available in Morocco.
    4. Morocco is a great place to start a call center, a farm and other businesses requiring manpower because:
      • The average salary of a Moroccan worker is only €450 (MAD5,000) per month in the private sector. The minimum salary is only €225 on a monthly basis;
      • It is easy to find workers in Morocco, due to an unemployment rate officially at 10% and in reality much higher due to chronic unemployment, notably amongst the younger urban generations;
      • The vast majority of the urban educated workforce is fluent in French and often also speaks English;
      • Employers in need of reducing payroll costs are often allowed to do so. Morocco is indeed ranked as the 38th best place in the world for the flexibility of wages by the World Economic Forum.

    Disadvantages of Morocco company registration

    1. While there are many ways to legally minimize corporate tax, the standard rate is high: 30%. Companies subject to CIT are furthermore subject to a minimum tax corresponding to 0.5% of their turnover. Morocco also implements withholding tax on dividends distributions and branch remittances, at a standard rate of 15%;
    2. It is nearly impossible to open a corporate bank account in Morocco without registering a permanent establishment like a branch or a subsidiary.
  • Best uses for a Moroccan company

    1. Gateway to North Africa: A short distance from Spain and with a large French-speaking population, Morocco is a natural first choice for European firms expanding into North Africa and looking for a country with an attractive holding company regime for their regional headquarters;
    2. Labor intensive services and manufacturing: Many European companies, notably for France and other French speaking countries, relocate to Morocco their call centers, garments factories and other manpower intensive manufacturing activities.

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Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: Six weeks
  • Cost to set up: US$10,625
  • Minimum capital: US$1,000
  • Physical office required: No

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 2
  • Directors: 1
  • Company secretary: No
  • Resident director: No

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 30%
  • Corporate tax base: Territorial
  • Shelf companies: No
  • Main company type: SARL

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Morocco, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon