Monaco property for sale or rent

Relocating to Monaco, Useful Information and Ideas

Caroline Olds Real Estate – Monaco Real Estate Agents

Living in Monaco

The Principality offers a wide range of support services for new residents and settling down to life in Monaco should be a wonderful experience in a beautiful environment with an excellent infrastructure, superb weather, schools, fitness centres, a wide range of cultural activities that include the opera, theatre, film and the arts, and a host of services for children (schools and other activities).

In addition to the well-known galas (the Rose Ball in March and the Red Cross Ball in August) there is a rich sporting calendar that starts with the supercar show ‘Top Marques’ in April followed by the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters, the Cannes Film Festival in May, the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the International Show Jumping of Monaco and the Yacht Show in September. Monaco is also constantly vibrant with international conferences, conventions and exhibitions.

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The Place

The Principality of Monaco is an independent sovereign state. Set in the heart of Europe, on the Côte d’Azur, it has a resident population of approximately 36,000 and occupies just over one square mile on the Mediterranean coast.

About 22% of the population is Monegasque, the remainder being a cosmopolitan mix of French, Italian, British and most other European nationalities as well as American, Australian, African, Russian and Middle Eastern nationals.

Though French is the official language, English, Italian and, increasingly, Russian are widely spoken and understood both in business and socially. English is the preferred foreign language for children in the highly rated local schools and is the predominant language in Monaco’s International School.

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Monaco Property Laws

There are two main laws in Monaco that regulate real estate leases, Law 887 and Law 1291.

The scope of their application is quite restricted. Nevertheless, if you are planning to buy real estate in order to lease it to a third party or you are interested in renting an apartment, it is advisable to understand these laws so that you are aware of your rights and obligations.

The laws concern apartment rentals in certain buildings and does not affect purchases and sales, where the owner intends to occupy the property himself.

LAW 887

Law 887 concerns houses that were built before 1st September 1947. If you buy an apartment in Monaco that is subject to Law 887, you have a right to lease it to the following individuals:

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The status of the Principality

The Principality is not a member of the European Union. It is consequently not directly subject to European directives and regulations. 

This is beneficial to Monaco since it is able to legislate internally on regulatory matters, with several limited exceptions (e.g. in respect of banking and insurance). Monaco became a full member of the UN in 1993 and a member of the Council of Europe in October 2004.

The Principality legislates internally in respect of all matters of direct taxation: Monaco has chosen not to adopt any income tax, wealth tax or capital gains tax legislation, and estate duty applies only in limited circumstances. 

Certain businesses are subject to tax on their net profits. As a result of a customs treaty enjoyed with neighbouring France, customs tariffs and VAT apply in Monaco. 

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Who should consider Monaco residence?

Monaco attracts foreigners wishing to relocate to an accessible European location with sophisticated facilities and a pleasant climate. Hence, individuals retiring from business may well find in Monaco an ideal location from which to enjoy their greater leisure time.

Entrepreneurs who are still successfully and actively engaged in business are also attracted to Monaco as an excellent place from which to manage their business. 

For those who want to work at or near home in a safe environment with their family and with necessities (such as excellent schooling) and luxuries close to hand, Monaco provides a perfect – and virtually unique – backdrop.

This has given rise to growing interest from those who wish to have a private or family office in the Principality.

Becoming a resident of Monaco

Monaco welcomes foreigners wishing to become resident although, given its physical size, some degree of control is exercised.

For any individual over sixteen years old who wishes to spend more than three months in Monaco, a Monegasque residence card must be obtained. The procedure to become a resident will depend upon whether or not the individual is a national of a state in the European Economic Area (the EEA) which covers the European Union states, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. To this list must be added Switzerland.

A non-EEA/Swiss national is obliged to obtain a long stay visa from the French authorities before making an application in Monaco for a residence card.

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There is no income tax, capital gains tax or wealth tax in Monaco on individuals resident here (save that certain French nationals who choose to reside in Monaco will continue to be taxed in France as if resident in France).

Gift/estate/succession duty is due by residents and non-residents alike but only on Monaco-based assets at rates of up to 16%: disposals of such Monaco based assets to direct heirs and spouses are taxed at 0%.

Monaco’s principal tax revenue comes from VAT applied in accordance with French rules. The Principality operates a tax on the profits of any commercial or industrial business conducted from Monaco. This tax applies regardless of how the business is structured: it applies therefore to private individuals, unlimited liability companies, branches and limited liability companies alike, in the same way.

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Setting up a business in Monaco

The Monegasque authorities are keen to see Monaco develop as a business and commercial centre particularly in certain fields such as banking, portfolio asset management, fund management, private equity, ship management, luxury goods, financial services and clean industries such as the pharmaceutical industry.

The Monegasque authorities take a keen interest in vetting and approving who may carry on a business activity in Monaco (of an industrial, commercial, professional or artisanal nature) and any individual or corporate body wishing to do so must first obtain authorisation from the Monegasque authorities.

The exact process to be followed to obtain a business licence will vary according to the entity and activity for which approval is being sought.

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Business licenses

What kind of business? Monaco has an established reputation in ship management, private banking, financial services, asset and fund management and entrepreneurial activity. 

Monaco also takes regulation of these activities very seriously and, aside from standard authorisation to carry on the activity being required, various other specific regulations will apply to certain activities.

Banking services 

Financial services 

Ship management  

Entrepreneurs: Family and Private Offices

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