Creating a company in Morocco: 3 essential tips

Creating a company in Morocco represents an attractive opportunity in 2024 for many entrepreneurs, both local and international.

This North African country, known for its political and economic stability, offers a favorable business environment, marked by clear regulations and easy access to African and European markets.

Whether you are planning to launch an innovative startup or establish a subsidiary of an existing business, understanding the process of starting a business in Morocco is crucial.

This article aims to provide you with an overview of the essential steps, administrative formalities, different types of companies available, as well as the specific advantages that Morocco offers to entrepreneurs.

We will also explore the cost and time required to navigate the process of setting up a company, helping you effectively plan your entrepreneurial adventure in this dynamic and growing country.

What are the stages of creating a business in Morocco?

Creating a company in Morocco

Setting up a business in Morocco is a structured process, designed to be as smooth as possible.

The first step is to choose and reserve your company name, a crucial step in establishing your corporate identity. Next, it is necessary to prepare and file the statutory documents, which define the legal structure and operating rules of your company.

These documents include the company’s articles of association, the register of shareholders, and other essential administrative formalities.

After these preparations, you will need to open a bank account in the name of the company and deposit the share capital into it.

The amount of capital varies depending on the type of company created. The minimum capital can start at 1 MAD in the case of an SARL.

The next step involves registering the company with the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC) to ensure your brand is protected.

Once these steps have been completed, your business will need to be registered with business tax and obtain a tax identification number. This step is crucial to ensure your company’s tax compliance. Finally, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, depending on your sector of activity, marks the last step before being able to legally operate in Morocco.

Here is a structured list of the stages of creating a company in Morocco :

  1. Choice and reservation of the company name : This first step is fundamental. This involves choosing a unique name for your business and having it reserved to avoid duplication. This name will be the identity of your company and must be chosen carefully. This reservation is made through a negative certificate from OMPIC .
  2. Preparation and filing of statutory documents : Statutory documents include the company’s articles of association, the register of shareholders, and the minutes of incorporation meetings. These documents are essential to define the legal structure and internal operating rules of your company.
  3. Opening a bank account and depositing the share capital : You must open an account in the name of the company and deposit the share capital there. The amount required varies depending on the type of business you are starting.
  4. Registration with OMPIC : Registering your business and brand with the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property is crucial to protecting your commercial and legal identity.
  5. Tax registration and obtaining a tax identification number : Your business must be registered with business tax and obtain a tax identification number. This step ensures your company’s compliance with Moroccan tax regulations.
  6. Obtaining Necessary Licenses and Permits : Depending on your industry, certain licenses or permits may be required to operate legally. It is important to understand and follow these requirements to avoid any legal issues.

By following these steps, you will be able to successfully navigate the process of setting up a company in Morocco, ensuring that all legal and administrative aspects are properly handled.

Upsilon Consulting supports you in creating a company in Morocco

Creating a company in Morocco is a complex process that requires in-depth knowledge of local legislation and administrative practices. At Upsilon Consulting, we offer you complete and personalized support to help you create your business in the best conditions.

Our experts will guide you through every step of the process, from reserving the company name to obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. We will help you draw up the statutory documents, open a bank account in the name of the company and deposit the share capital. We will also assist you in the registration process with OMPIC, the tax administration and other competent authorities.

Thanks to our expertise and experience, we guarantee you a smooth and stress-free business creation. We will help you get your business off to a good start and focus on your core business.

Our services include:

  • Legal advice and assistance
  • Administrative assistance
  • Drafting of statutory documents
  • Opening a bank account
  • Deposit of share capital
  • Registration with OMPIC
  • Tax registration
  • Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits

Contact us today to learn more about our services and to receive a free estimate.

The advantages of creating a company in Morocco for foreign entrepreneurs

Taxpayer's overall tax situation

Morocco, with its growing economy and its strategic position as a gateway to Africa and Europe, offers many advantages for foreign entrepreneurs wishing to create a company there. Here are some of these benefits:

  1. Political and Economic Stability : Morocco is recognized for its political stability and constantly improving economic environment, making it a safe and reliable destination for foreign investment.
  2. Easy Access to International Markets : Thanks to its geographical proximity to Europe and its strong links with African countries, Morocco serves as a hub for accessing various markets, thus opening significant growth opportunities.
  3. Tax Incentives and Subsidies : The Moroccan government offers various incentives, such as tax reductions and subsidies, to encourage foreign investment and support startups and businesses in various sectors.
  4. Skilled and Affordable Workforce : The country has a young, dynamic and increasingly qualified workforce, available at relatively low costs compared to those in Europe.
  5. Favorable Legal and Regulatory Framework : Morocco has established a legal and regulatory framework favorable to businesses, simplifying the business creation and management processes.

These advantages make Morocco a destination of choice for foreign entrepreneurs seeking to establish a presence in Africa and take advantage of the many opportunities the country offers.

Services Offshoring in Morocco: A Growing Opportunity

Morocco has established itself as a key player in the field of services offshoring, offering substantial advantages for international companies. This sector encompasses various activities such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), Engineering Service Outsourcing (ESO), and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)​​. These services cover areas ranging from strategic business processes to the outsourcing of engineering and R&D services, highlighting the diversity and sophistication of skills available in Morocco.

Morocco enjoys a strategic position at the crossroads between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, making it ideal for companies looking to expand their reach in these markets. The country is also renowned for its skilled, educated, and multilingual workforce, offering expertise in fields such as engineering, IT, and finance.

On the tax front, Morocco offers significant incentives to offshoring companies, including an exemption from corporate tax for five years, followed by a reduced rate, as well as various tax exemptions linked to importation and export of goods. Companies also benefit from reductions in social security contributions for employees.

In addition to these tax incentives, the offshoring sector in Morocco is supported by world-class infrastructure, including airports, ports, modern roads and integrated industrial platforms offering comprehensive support services. These platforms are strategically located close to major urban centers, providing easy access and quality facilities for businesses.

With these assets, Morocco positions itself as a preferred destination for offshoring, offering an environment conducive to international companies wishing to exploit new markets and benefit from a competent workforce at competitive costs.

What are the administrative formalities to follow for the creation of a company in Morocco?

calculation of corporate taxes 2024

The administrative aspect plays a crucial role in the creation of a company in Morocco. To effectively navigate this process, it is essential to understand and respect the following formalities:

  1. Declaration of Existence and Registration : The first administrative step consists of declaring the existence of your company to the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC) . This includes registration in the Commercial Register, essential to obtain your tax identification number.
  2. Filing of Articles of Association and Legal Documents : After reserving your company name, you must file the articles of association and other relevant legal documents. These documents must clearly define the structure, objectives and operating rules of the company.
  3. Opening a Professional Bank Account : It is imperative to open a bank account dedicated to your company to deposit the share capital. This account will be used for all financial transactions of the company.
  4. Tax and Social Declaration : Once the company is registered, it must be registered with the tax and social authorities. This includes obtaining a tax identification number and registering with the social security fund.
  5. Obtaining Necessary Permits and Licenses : Depending on your industry, specific permits or licenses may be required. It is important to comply with these requirements to ensure the legal operation of the business.

Following these steps will ensure that your business is not only compliant with Moroccan legal requirements, but also ready to operate effectively within the country’s economic framework.

Advantages of using our team for the creation of a company in Morocco

Setting up a business in Morocco is a complex process that requires in-depth knowledge of local legislation and administrative practices. At Upsilon Consulting, we offer you complete and personalized support to help you create your business in the best conditions.

Here are the advantages of calling on our team:

  • Proven expertise and experience : Our experts have in-depth knowledge of Moroccan legislation and administrative practices. They will guide you through every step of the process of setting up a company in Morocco, from reserving the company name to obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.
  • Personalized support  : We adapt to your needs and objectives to offer you tailor-made support.
  • A complete service  : We offer you a complete service, including legal advice, administrative assistance, drafting of statutory documents, opening of a bank account, deposit of share capital , registration with OMPIC , tax registration and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.

Contact us today to schedule a free appointment

To learn more about our services and to receive a free estimate, contact us today. We will be happy to answer your questions and support you in creating your business in Morocco.

The types of companies that can be created in Morocco and their specific characteristics

Morocco offers a variety of options for starting a business, each tailored to different business needs and goals. Here is an overview of the most common types of companies and their characteristics:

  1. Limited Liability Company (SARL) : Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, the SARL offers a flexible structure with liability limited to the amount of contributions. No minimum capital is required, making this type of company accessible for many entrepreneurs when creating a company.
  2. Limited Company (SA) : Suitable for large companies, the SA requires higher share capital and is regulated by stricter rules. It makes it possible to raise capital by issuing shares and to open up to a larger number of shareholders.
  3. Collective Name Company (SNC) : This type of company is formed by two or more partners, with unlimited liability. It is suitable for family businesses or close partnerships where the partners have significant mutual trust.
  4. Branch or Subsidiary of a Foreign Company : Foreign companies can expand their operations in Morocco by establishing a branch or subsidiary. This option makes it possible to maintain a direct presence on the Moroccan market while benefiting from the support of the parent company.

Each type of company has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice will depend on the company’s specific objectives, size, capital structure and growth strategy. A thorough understanding of these options will help entrepreneurs make the choice best suited to their needs.

A new legal form: The Simplified Joint Stock Company (SAS)

  1. Simplified Joint Stock Company (SAS) : The SAS is a type of company which offers great flexibility in terms of management and organization. It is particularly suitable for projects requiring a specific governance structure or for joint ventures. In an SAS, the liability of shareholders is limited to their contributions, and the share capital is not subject to a mandatory minimum. This form of company also allows great freedom in the drafting of the statutes, thus offering shareholders the possibility of defining the rules adapted to their specific needs. The SAS is therefore an interesting option for entrepreneurs looking for a legal structure offering both flexibility and security.

In summary, Morocco offers a range of business structures, from the SARL, ideal for SMEs, to the SA, suitable for large companies, to the SNC for close partnerships, to the branch or subsidiary for companies foreign companies, and the SAS for those seeking flexibility and innovation in the structure of their business. Choosing the right legal form is a key decision that should be aligned with the company’s long-term strategies.

The time required to complete the process of creating a company in Morocco

Accounting rules in force in Morocco

Time required to start a business in Morocco

The time required to complete the Morocco business formation process can vary depending on several factors, including the type of company you are forming and how quickly you complete the paperwork. The average total time can be estimated at 3 weeks from the start of the formalities.

Here is a general estimate of the time required for each step:

  • Choosing and reserving the company name  : This step can be completed relatively quickly, generally within 48 hours, provided that the chosen name is available. Legally, the company already has a common business identifier at this stage and can start doing some activities and sign some contracts (indicating company in formation).
  • Preparation and legalization of statutory documents  : The preparation of these documents depends on the details to be recorded in the documents, as it requires special attention to ensure that all legal aspects are properly addressed. For the most standard conditions, our teams respond to your request and deliver within a maximum of one week.
  • Registration in the commercial register and registration  : This is the step which depends on the availability of appointments with these administrations. Typically this step takes no more than 2 weeks.
  • Opening a bank account and depositing share capital  : This can be done within a few days once all the required documents are in order.
  • Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses  : The time required for this step varies greatly depending on the industry and the specific licenses required.

Foreign customers

If you are a foreign client and you cannot travel to Morocco to sign the required documents, you can give us a power of attorney. This will allow us to represent your company to the Moroccan authorities and complete the process of creating your company without your presence.

Opening a bank account

On the other hand, opening a bank account requires the presence of a company manager. If you are unable to travel to Morocco to open a bank account, you will need to appoint a local manager who can do this for you.

In summary

If you are a foreign client and want to create a business in Morocco, you can count on our team to support you throughout the process. We will provide you with the advice and support you need so you can set up your business quickly and efficiently.

Also know about investing in Morocco

Comparison between the creation of a company and a branch in Morocco

The decision to create an independent company or establish a branch in Morocco depends largely on the business objectives, the desired structure and the tax and legal implications. Here are some key points of comparison:

  1. Legal Entity and Autonomy : A company incorporated in Morocco is an independent legal entity, having its own legal personality distinct from that of its shareholders. It enjoys complete autonomy in terms of management, finances and decision-making. In contrast, a branch is an extension of a foreign parent company and does not have a separate legal personality. It therefore depends heavily on the parent company for its decisions and operations.
  2. Creation Process and Legal Requirements : The creation of a company requires compliance with several formalities, such as registration with OMPIC, tax declaration, and deposit of minimum share capital. Setting up a branch is generally simpler in terms of administrative procedures, but it must still be registered and follow Moroccan accounting and tax standards.
  3. Taxation and Repatriation of Profits : Moroccan companies are subject to local corporate tax, with the possibility of benefiting from certain tax advantages depending on the sector of activity. Branches, although subject to Moroccan tax, can facilitate the repatriation of profits to the parent company, depending on the tax conventions between Morocco and the country of origin.
  4. Liability and Risks : In an independent company, the liability of shareholders is generally limited to their contributions. For a branch, the parent company bears responsibility for the branch’s activities and obligations, which may involve higher risks.
  5. Flexibility and Market Expansion : Creating a company offers more flexibility to adapt to local market requirements and can promote a stronger brand image in Morocco. Branches, however, can benefit from the support and resources of the parent company, facilitating rapid market integration.

In conclusion, the choice between creating an independent company or a branch in Morocco depends on the company’s overall strategy, its desire for operational and legal independence, and its long-term objectives in the Moroccan market.

The Notion of Permanent Establishment in Relation to the Creation of a Branch in Morocco

When a foreign company plans to create a branch in Morocco, the notion of permanent establishment becomes a crucial element to understand for tax and legal reasons. A permanent establishment is defined as a fixed business unit through which the enterprise conducts all or part of its activities in a foreign country. In the Moroccan context, here are some key points:

  1. Tax Implications : The recognition of a branch as a permanent establishment implies that this entity is subject to Moroccan tax legislation. This means that it is taxable in Morocco on profits generated by activities carried out in the country. This situation can have significant implications for the parent company’s tax planning.
  2. Operating Autonomy : Although a branch is not a separate legal entity, the fact that it is considered a permanent establishment gives it a certain degree of operational autonomy. She must keep separate accounts, declare her income and pay taxes locally.
  3. International Tax Conventions : It is important to take into account the tax conventions between Morocco and the country of origin of the parent company. These agreements can affect how branch profits are taxed and can prevent double taxation.
  4. Permanent Establishment Criteria : The criteria defining a permanent establishment include physical presence (such as an office), a significant duration of operation and a certain degree of permanence. The branch must be able to enter into contracts and carry out substantial activities independently.
  5. Strategic Considerations : The decision to establish a branch as a permanent establishment should be aligned with overall business strategies. While this can provide benefits in terms of local market presence and credibility, it also involves compliance with local regulations and tax commitments.

Read the original article in French : Création d’une société au Maroc