Working as a freelancer in Madagascar


A lot of expats dream of becoming self-employed: we would like to help you to make that dream come true.

Can foreigners work as self-employed in Madagascar? What are the formalities to work as a freelancer?

What are the pros and cons of this status: social security, tax system, etc.?

How is the freelance market in Madagascar?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience,



I don't know what you plan on doing ("freelance" what?), but you might want to scope out the demand for whatever it is. This may also affect the type of visa you apply for.  They are a bit lax on follow-up, but it may catch up with you eventually if you don't have the right visa.  For example, I have a "family reunion" visa because I am married to a local woman.  I don't think it allows me to work, but back in 2007, I established a small business with the local equivalent of a chamber of commerce, and they never said anything.  However, the business never took off due to protests from my wife and the fact that I got a contract in another country, so I formally shut it down.  Funny enough, a few years later, I was working in Afghanistan and my wife called me to say representatives of the finance department showed up at the house and threatened to put her in jail if I didn't pay taxes they supposed I owed.  I told her where to find the official letter closing down the business, and they backed down. 

The informal job sector is quite widespread and common here.  Whether it's legal I don't know.  It leads to a lot of uncontrolled, shabby work (such as construction), and I seriously doubt those folks don't report income or pay taxes.  As an expat, you'll surely receive more scrutiny.  I have an Italian friend who runs an ecotourism business with his Malagasy wife.  if I cross paths with him, I could send you a bit more information.


If you talk about "freelance", you can only stay in Madagascar on a tourist visa for 90 days and work for example online as a freelancer for a company abroad. This presumes that you leave the country every 3 months, like many French pensioners do, because you cannot apply for a "freelancer visa".

About 90% of the all activities in Madagascar are informal, but as buster says, informal work is done by locals - they are less controlled. As a foreigner either you come with a fixed contract or you found a company.

When you have a company, you pay minimum taxes, even if you do not have any income, for example in times of (the permanent) crisis! normally the fiscal office does not bother you with a "redressement fiscal" in the first years, but after 5 years you might receive a more or less correctly calculated bill...

It depends a lot on what " freelancing" you will be doing .... however to have a long stay VISA, you need to have a contract with a company.

Hi, There

Could somebody please refer my to an employment agency in Madagascar if possible. I am an Instrument technician, in control and automation field and i am seeking employment in the industrial sector.

This will be a big help to me. Thanking you in advance.


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