Business entities in Morocco

Business entities in Morocco

The most commonly used corporate vehicle to do business in Morocco is the limited liability company (SARL). Entrepreneurs looking to establish larger investments may also set up a public limited company (SA). Foreign legal entities looking to set up permanent establishments in Morocco may also set up entities in the form of a branch office or a liaison office.

The Morocco limited liability company (SARL)

optimal business structure in Morocco

  • The Morocco LLC is preferred mainly by entrepreneurs establishing small and medium sized businesses in Morocco. In accordance with the Moroccan Companies Act, this entity can be established by i) 2 shareholders and ii) 1 director of any nationality and who can either be an individual or a corporate body. The shareholder(s) and director(s) are also not required to be ordinarily residents in Morocco;
  • Although there is no legal requirement for a minimum paid up capital, as common practice the standard minimum capital required is US$1000, 25% of which is to be paid at Morocco business setup.

The Morocco public limited company (SA)

  • The Morocco public limited company is recommended for investors looking to establish larger investments in Morocco. This entity requires at least 5 shareholders and 3 directors who can either be individuals or corporate bodies. The directors and shareholders can be of any nationality and do not have to be resident in Morocco. A Morocco PLC requires a minimum share capital of US$30,000, 25% of which must be paid up at Morocco company setup. The investor is expected to pay the remaining 75% within the next 3 years of operations;
  • If the Client intends to publicly list the company on the Casablanca Stock Exchange, the required minimum share capital at incorporation is US$300,000.

The Morocco branch (succursale)

  • Foreign companies looking to do business in Morocco are permitted to set up branch offices in Morocco. The branch office is not considered a separate legal entity and must abide by the laws of both Morocco and its country of origin. The branch must also appoint at least 1 manager who can be of any nationality to represent the company in Morocco. This entity has no legal required minimum capital;
  • The parent company’s articles of association and related documents must be translated into French and filled with the Commercial Court. Additionally, a branch office must publish its annual accounts, translated into French, and file them with the same government agency.

The Morocco liaison office (bureau de liaison)

Moroccan Commercial Code allows foreign entities to setup permanent establishments in the form of liaison offices in Morocco. A liaison office is not a separate legal entity and is not permitted to engage in any commercial or profit making activities in Morocco. This entity must be registered with the Morocco Trade Register and may only engage in activities limited to i) conducting market research and collecting data and ii) showcasing the parent company’s products.

Comparison table between Morocco business entities

 LLCPLCBranch officeLiaison office
Also known asSARLSASuccursaleBureau de liaison
How long to set the company up?6 weeks7 weeks8 weeks6 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal liability?LimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly foreign owned?YesYesYesYes
Minimum capital required?US$1,000US$30,000US$1US$1
File annual tax return?YesYesYesNo
Tax registration certificate required?YesYesYesNo
Recommended corporate bank account?BMCE BankAttijaariwafa BankArab Bank MoroccoCitibank Maghreb
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNo
Resident director required?NoNoNoNo
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNo
Minimum directors allowed?1311
Minimum shareholders?25NANA
Tax identification code (TIN) needed?YesYesYesNo
Morocco resident company secretary required?NoNoNoNo
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowed?YesYesYesYes
Morocco corporate tax rate?30%30%45%0%
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesNo
Statutory audit required?NoNoNoNo
Regulated by?Ministry of Economy and FinanceMinistry of Economy and FinanceMinistry of Economy and FinanceMinistry of Economy and Finance
Allowed to issue sales invoices?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contracts?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesNo
Can rent an office space in Morocco?YesYesYesYes
Can buy Morocco property?YesYesYesNo
Can own equity in other Morocco companies?YesYesYesNo
Total Morocco business setup costs in Yr. 1US$10,625US$14,475US$11,875US$10,775
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)US$3,450US$3,750US$3,400US$3,450
Sample engagement invoicedraft invoice for Moroccodraft invoice for Morocco JSCdraft invoice for Morocco branchdraft invoice for Morocco rep office

Contact us

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