DOING BUSINESS IN MOROCCO
Since 2003, Healy Consultants 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.
Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.
Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of Morocco company registration
- 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;
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
- 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%;
- 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
- 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;
- 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.
- Time to incorporate: Six weeks
- Cost to set up: US$10,625
- Minimum capital: US$1,000
- Physical office required: No
- Shareholders: 2
- Directors: 1
- Company secretary: No
- Resident director: No
- Corporate tax rate: 30%
- Corporate tax base: Territorial
- Shelf companies: No
- Main company type: SARL
Useful links for Morocco
Government and public authority websites:
- Moroccan Investment Development Agency
- Morocco Stock Exchange
- Morocco Chamber of Commerce
- Morocco airports
- PKF – Doing business in Morocco
- World Bank – Doing business 2014 Morocco
- ICAEW – Doing business in Morocco
- Commercial Laws of Morrocco – EBRD
- Improving The Business Climate in Morocco – USAID
- Visa Application Form – Morocco Consulate
- Morocco Country Profile – KPMG
- Invest in Morocco – Sharing Success
- Invest In Morocco – Olive Oil Sector