Business entities in Morocco in 2022

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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

  LLC PLC Branch office Liaison office
Also known as SARL SA Succursale Bureau de liaison
How long to set the company up? 6 weeks 7 weeks 8 weeks 6 weeks
How long to open company bank account? 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks
Legal liability? Limited Limited Unlimited Unlimited
Wholly foreign owned? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum capital required? US$1,000 US$30,000 US$1 US$1
File annual tax return? Yes Yes Yes No
Tax registration certificate required? Yes Yes Yes No
Recommended corporate bank account? BMCE Bank Attijaariwafa Bank Arab Bank Morocco Citibank Maghreb
Does our Client need to travel? No No No No
Resident director required? No No No No
Resident shareholder required? No No No No
Minimum directors allowed? 1 3 1 1
Minimum shareholders? 2 5 NA NA
Tax identification code (TIN) needed? Yes Yes Yes No
Morocco resident company secretary required? No No No No
Corporate shareholders allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Morocco corporate tax rate? 30% 30% 45% 0%
Annual financial statements required? Yes Yes Yes No
Statutory audit required? No No No No
Regulated by? Ministry of Economy and Finance Ministry of Economy and Finance Ministry of Economy and Finance Ministry of Economy and Finance
Allowed to issue sales invoices? Yes Yes Yes No
Allowed to sign contracts? Yes Yes Yes No
Allowed to import and export goods? Yes Yes Yes No
Can rent an office space in Morocco? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can buy Morocco property? Yes Yes Yes No
Can own equity in other Morocco companies? Yes Yes Yes No
Total Morocco business setup costs in Yr. 1 US$12,625 US$16,475 US$13,825 US$13,825
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee) US$3,450 US$3,750 US$3,450 US$3,450
Sample engagement invoice View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF

Contact us

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