How to set up a business in Morocco

business people
Updated 2020-05-19 13:29

The Government of Morocco has committed, for a few years, to the liberalisation of its economy. Investment procedures in the country have been simplified to encourage more entrepreneurship in the region. New laws have been passed to increase the growth of local and foreign private companies. The Moroccan government has also signed free trade agreements with several partners, including the European Union, the United States of America, Turkey, and the Arab and Mediterranean countries.

Types of companies in Morocco

Expatriates in Morocco can create any type of company they wish to; however, the most popular ones among expatriates are LLCs (SARL) and outsourcing solutions. Keep in mind that to set up your business in Morocco as an expatriate, you must have a valid residency permit. Note that many expatriates who wish to set up a business in Morocco usually start the company in their country of origin or another country of their choice and then they set up a branch or satellite office in Morocco, thanks to low rent and expenses compared to other countries.

How to proceed

You will first have to name your business. In fact, you need to obtain a certificate in order to create an enterprise in Morocco. This document will be used for the identification and registration of your business (known as a negative certificate). For this, you will need to apply to the Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office by producing the following:

  • 230 Dh fee
  • Negative certificate (filled with 3 possible trademarks, which you can withdraw from the CRI or OMPIC counter)
  • ID or passport 3 notarized copies
  • Formal letter of request

You are also advised to have already established a business plan that you will have to present to the authorities. Next, you will need to establish your business status with a notary or a law firm (required documents for this step depend on the law firm) as well allotment letters and transfer acts (these function mainly as a promise of financial contribution by associates to the company capital). Then, you will have to block the amount of paid-up capital for the creation of your business.

The next step is the establishment of the declaration of share allotment and the remittance, which is drawn up by the notary or law firm after you present them with the bank document proving the blocking of capital.

 Good to know:

You may handle the whole process by yourself, or you may present your file to a fiduciary who can take care of both the registration and domiciliation of your business for a fee

Registering your business in Morocco

To register your business, you should go to the Regional Tax Directorate, which is the Regional Investment Center within 30 days, and bring your business documents. You will also have to produce a lease or a purchase deed registered within these 30 days. Note that the fees vary according to the different types of companies.

Blocking the paid-up capital and other paperwork

The last major part of the process before obtaining a license is blocking the paid-up capital within 8 days of fund receipt. A certificate of the blocking will be delivered by the bank which, along with the ballots drawn up by the notary will be needed to deposit the acts of company creation and registration formalities at the RCI.

Keep in mind that the process and the required documents may differ between L.Cs, L.L.Cs and law firms. A good way to proceed is to always check the required documents and concerned entities at the website of the right government agency (information available in English as well).

For the detailed info about the company registration process, please refer to this link.

Obtain a license

Once you have completed all these steps, you must obtain a license and a tax ID from the Regional Taxes Directorate. You will have to produce the approval letter for regulated financial activities you intend to practice in Morocco, an agreement for classified establishments (see the list of sectors), and your acquisition lease or debit note.

Finally, you must obtain a license from the Commercial Court for your business. You will also need to register your company at the National Fund for Social Security if you intend to hire staff.

Here is some more information regarding paying taxes in Morocco.

 Good to know:

Once all procedures performed, you must publish an official announcement for the launch of your business.

Additional help

There are many agencies and middle-man type companies specialised in helping expatriates set up a business (usually a startup) in Morocco such as WeStartUp. Consult fiduciaries, the Moroccan Agency for Business Development and Invest In Morocco.

 Useful links:

The Morocco Office of Industrial and Commercial Property
Step by step guide – English Version

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