Class 101 regarding Monaco companies

Are you sure that you are dealing with a Monaco-based company?

When you see a Monaco-based business with a local address, a +377 prefixed phone number, and an RCI number, you might be sure that it is a legit and authorized business in the Principality of Monaco. Also, the .mc domain name is only available to authorized businesses. However, identifying whether it is a big corporation or a simple one-person company can be important for you. For sole traders, one-person companies the Monégasque Government allows the possibility to choose a trading name. A trading name is basically a fictitious business name, used by sole traders, who do not want to operate under their registered legal name. For example, you can register for the sole trader license as "James Bond", however, you will be allowed to publicly promote your business as "MI 6 Agency".

This will partly protect your privacy as a business owner. This also means that one can be connected with numerous companies in Monaco, which are actually just one-person businesses. Dealing with a one-person business is perfectly fine in some sectors such as real estate brokerage, wedding planning, marketing advising, etc. One should never forget that sole traders have unlimited liability towards their clients, which can be handy when it comes to legal and liability matters. From my perspective, I prefer to work with small businesses because often they are more motivated. However, in some areas such as in investing or basically any activities related to financial matters, I would definitely consider choosing a large company. The good thing is that one can always use the Government site to check out business structures. Monaco is very transparent with this.

The Government site also reveals whether a legal form is a Personne Physique", meaning a one person business. The RCI number has a good indicator with the letter "P" in it.

A one-person business in this example is perfectly fine. You do not need to have a large company to organise events. What you need is a local authorisation and your drive to provide quality services in your field. The best way to decide whether you are dealing with the right partner is to always check them at the Government site.

Why is this important? 

Since Monaco and France share many similar names for legal business forms, having a Limited Liability Company, called Société à Responsabilité Limitée (S.A.R.L) in French, is the easiest tool to create the illusion of a Monaco-based business venture.

The biggest difference between a Monaco SARL and the French SARL is the process focusing on safety. In the Principality of Monaco, the approval process for any legal permit can be very lengthy, complex, and time-consuming. Under Law no. 1144 of July 26, 1991, any economic activity pursued in the Principality of Monaco, regardless of its nature (i.e.. whether commercial, industrial, crafts, or services, professional and non-professional alike) must have prior government authorisation.

Just to give you an example of how controlled it is typically, the authorisation sets out the limits of the activities that may be performed. It also specifies the premises where those activities may take place as well as any special conditions applicable to the performance of those activities. So basically, contracting with a Monaco-based company with all the approved business permits immediately can be considered a safe decision, because the government of Monaco has already spent at least six months monitoring and setting the rules and limits of the company. Nonetheless, many French companies try to take advantage of this, since there is no control in France regarding forming a business. The similarities with the French system are extremely dangerous. By simply having a rental in Monaco, which ensures the address, and having a French company, crooks can make the bold illusion of having a Monaco-based business venture. Of course, you can obtain an address in Monaco immediately when you sign your apartment rental lease. If you do not take care, you can risk losing your apartment by failing the residence permit process, usually with the part related to the "necessary funds to live in Monaco". But this is what crooks never care about during the residence permit process. They get the address by signing the rental lease, they bring their French registered S.A.R.L. and they try to fish as many golden fish as possible from the magical pond of Monte-Carlo. Following their three months of seasonal period, usually, they just move back to the country of their origin.


Always double-check the RCI number (Registre du Commerce et de l'Industrie / Trade and Industry Register) of a company in the public directory of the Principality. None of the businesses can exist without it. Once they have ensured you an RCI number, the Monaco government offers a special tool to double-check it at its internet portal: or on the If you feel cheated, you can always approach the police. In the Principality of Monaco, the police have full power to immediately intervene and protect you from further damages.

Courtesy of Living in Monaco Magazine
Zsolt Szemerszky