Doing Business In... 2022

Last Updated July 12, 2022


Law and Practice


Gardetto Law Offices is a Monaco-based law firm with a strong international dimension in terms of both the diversity of its clients and the nature of the cases it handles. It offers its clients, international companies and private individuals alike, a highly skilled and professional team that possesses all the competencies required to tackle a comprehensive range of legal issues, including both litigation and advisory work, and to resolve the most complex situations. The firm is regularly involved in international litigation, as well as in international projects, and assists clients wishing to settle in the Principality of Monaco. Thanks to its network of overseas correspondents, the firm is in a position to offer clients services that are not confined to the Principality of Monaco.

Monaco is a principality where justice is independent of executive power. The administration of justice falls under the responsibility of the Directorate of Judiciary Services, which was created in 1918, under the care of its director – the State Secretary for Justice.

Monaco is not an EU member. However, the Principality has been part of the European Community customs territory since 1968 given its customs union with France. Monaco is also part of the European VAT system.

Monaco is not a signatory to the Schengen Agreement; however, holders of Monegasque residence permits have the right to move freely within the Schengen Area for stays lasting less than three months. Monaco is also currently negotiating an association agreement with the EU.

The Principality is also party to numerous treaties with other states and to international conventions, such as the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), among others.

Monaco is a civil law jurisdiction where most laws are codified. However, there is a multitude of laws concerning specific subjects (ie, commercial leases, data protection, employment, etc) which are not codified.

The Prince holds ultimate judicial power but delegates the full exercise of this power to the courts, who dispense justice in his name.

The courts are organised as follows.

  • Civil courts with three levels of jurisdiction:
    1. Jurisdictions of First Instance – Justice of the Peace, Court of First Instance and specialised courts, ie, the Labour Court, Rent Arbitration Commission, and Arbitration Commission for Commercial Leases;
    2. Court of Appeal;
    3. Court of Revision.
  • Criminal courts, also with three levels of jurisdiction.
  • Supreme Court, which has special jurisdiction in constitutional affairs and administrative affairs. It also rules on conflicts of jurisdiction.

Law No 1.511 of 2 December 2021 has recently modernised judicial proceedings before the civil courts.

No approval is required for foreign investments.

This is not applicable for this jurisdiction.

This is not applicable for this jurisdiction.

This is not applicable for this jurisdiction.

The limited liability company (société à responsabilité limitée, or SARL) is the most common form of company in Monaco. Its minimum capital is EUR15,000, and the company must have a bank account in Monaco. The company must have at least two shareholders (individuals or legal entities) and the manager (natural person) must reside in Monaco or in the surrounding cities in France or Italy. The company’s registered address must be in Monaco, either at the manager’s home address (for a limited period of two years, and subject to the landlord’s approval – in this case the company cannot have employees), or on private premises which need to be coherent with the company’s activity or in a business centre which offers domiciliation services.

The Monegasque Joint Stock Corporation (société anonyme monégasque, or SAM) must have at least two shareholders (individuals or legal entities). The directors are not required to reside in or near Monaco. The minimum capital is EUR150,000 and the company must have a bank account in Monaco. The company’s registered address must be in Monaco, either on private premises or in a business centre, as described above.

Other types of entities are the société en nom collectif (SNC) and the société en commandite simple (SCS). These companies must have at least two partners and do not require a minimum capital.

Furthermore, it is also possible to register a sole-trader activity (entreprise en nom personnel).

Finally, civil companies are also an option (société civile particulière, or SCP). These companies do not carry out any business but are merely limited to managing their own assets. No minimum share capital is required for an SCP. The company must have at least two shareholders (individuals or entities), local or foreign, and the manager of the civil company is not required to reside in Monaco or surrounding cities. The company’s registered address must be in Monaco, either at the manager’s home address in Monaco (with no limitation period and the landlord’s approval is not necessary), or in a business centre.

All new business activities in Monaco must be specifically authorised by the government. The applicants must file an official authorisation request.

Activities are sometimes denied because they are saturated or simply unwanted. In addition, certain activities are subject to specific regulations in Monaco.

The authorisation request includes information on the company’s purpose and on the company’s shareholders and directors, as well as a copy of the articles of association duly registered with the tax office.

The authorities are required to provide their response within three months from the filing of the authorisation request.

Once the authorisation is granted, it will be necessary to secure a registered address and open an account with a bank in Monaco in order to receive the share capital paid by the shareholders. Registration of the company with the Monaco Trade Registry will then be possible.

Commercial companies can become functional after approximately six months from the authorisation application, mostly due to administrative deadlines, and the bank account opening process. The authorisation for a sole-trader activity is also subject to a three-month administrative deadline. Civil companies can become active after approximately one month, given that they are not subject to the authorisation process detailed above.

All companies must keep accounting records and, with the exception of civil companies, must file yearly accounts with the Monaco authorities.

All companies must record information on their ultimate beneficiaries upon registration with the Monaco Trade Registry, and disclose any subsequent changes.

Amendments to the company’s articles of association and its management must also be disclosed.

SARL companies are managed by one or several managers (gérants) who may or may not be shareholders. The managers can act independently or jointly, depending on the wording of the articles of association, which may specify further powers.

SAM companies are managed by a board of directors. The directors (administrateurs) must hold at least one share in the company. The articles of association can provide for ownership of a minimum number of shares. Further powers can be granted to members of the board through a special mandate granted by the board of directors.

The shareholders of a SARL are liable for the loss incurred by the company up to their share in the capital.

The liability of the partners of a SAM is limited to their share in the capital.

The partners of an SNC are indefinitely, jointly and severally liable for the debts of the company on the basis of their entire assets.

In an SCS, the general partners (commandités) are indefinitely, jointly and severally liable for the debts of the company, while the limited partners (commandiataires) are liable up to their contribution to the share capital.

The sole trader’s liability extends to his/her entire assets. This also applies to the shareholders of a civil company.

Labour law is governed by a small number of laws, the implementation of which is specified in sovereign ordinances and regulations.

None of these laws or regulations are codified.

The employment contract is of particular importance in Monaco insofar as it constitutes the law between parties and allows for the inclusion of very specific clauses applicable during and after the period of employment (non-competition, intellectual property, etc).

The employment contract can be written or oral.

Labour law is supplemented by case law of the Labour Court, the decisions of which fill certain legal gaps.

Considering that Monegasque labour law is comparable to French law, it is possible to refer to French case law on certain issues as well.

Some professions have been able to negotiate collective agreements that complement existing legislative and regulatory provisions (eg, the collective agreement for banks, which contains very specific rules).

In recent years, labour law has been modernised and new laws have regularly been added to the existing legislative and regulatory framework, particularly with regard to working hours. Legislative reforms are also expected.

There are also practices in Monaco which are not set out in any statute but which should be known – such as the three-month notice period for an executive employee, which is not provided for in any legal statute but is nevertheless fully applied by judges.

The conditions for hiring and registering an employee in Monaco are regulated.

All job offers must be submitted to the employment service, which may present candidates to the employer in accordance with a certain order of priority established by law.

In Monaco, there is a national preference whereby applications from employees of Monegasque nationality are given priority if they have the same level of competence.

The employer may only conclude an employment contract with an employee who holds a work permit in Monaco.

Any new employment contract, any modification of the employment contract or any change of employer must be reported to the employment service.

An employment contract may be concluded verbally, and may be concluded for a fixed or indefinite period.

The law does not provide for a maximum duration for fixed-term contracts, which may be renewed as many times as necessary.

However, the renewal of a fixed-term contract is not without risk, since it can lead to the fixed-term contract being converted into an open-ended contract if it turns out that the purpose of the contract is to fill a permanent job in the company.

The fixed-term contract is subject to certain specific rules relating, in particular, to the duration and organisation of work, but also to the termination of the employment contract.

A fixed-term employment contract can only be terminated at the end of its term or for one of the reasons set out in Article 12 of Law 729 on employment contracts, eg, for a valid cause or in cases of serious misconduct, force majeure, or where provided for in the contract or determined by internal regulations.

Article 6 of Law 729 (regarding termination of the contract by either party at any time subject to compliance with the notice period) cannot be used by the employer in the case of a fixed-term contract.

Collective agreements may contain additional provisions concerning fixed-term contracts.

The working hours of employees are set in a general manner at 39 hours per week.

Derogation is possible under conditions set by law.

Hours worked in excess of 39 hours per week will generally give rise to a minimum increase in salary, as follows:

  • 25% increase for the first eight hours;
  • 50% increase for the following hours.

Termination of Employment Contracts

Monaco is an “employment at will” jurisdiction. An open-ended employment contract can always be terminated by each party after a notice period, without obligation to justify this decision (Article 6 of Law 729).

Case law also provides a framework for the termination of employment contracts. Judges sanction dismissals when they are implemented in a brutal manner, without a minimum of formalism and without a minimum of respect for the employees. This general employment termination rule is not applicable in the banking sector and is prohibited by certain establishment agreements in the hotel industry.

A fixed-term employment contract can be terminated before completion of its term by the will of one party, though only in a limited number of cases, such as serious misconduct or force majeure.

A notice period of one month is applicable to employees with seniority who have been with the same employer for more than six months.

A notice period of two months is applicable to employees with seniority who have been with the same employer for more than two years.

These rules may be waived in the presence of more favourable collective agreements or customary practices.

The notice period is reduced by half if the employee takes the initiative to terminate the contract.

The contract may also be terminated without notice if such termination results from the agreement of the parties, or in the case of a serious fault or force majeure.

Any employee with a permanent employment contract dismissed after working with the same employer for more than two years is entitled, except in the case of serious misconduct, to a dismissal indemnity comparable to one fixed in a neighbouring economic region.

In the event that the dismissal is not justified by a reason considered valid, the employer must pay the employee a severance compensation. Each month worked entitles the employee to an indemnity equal to one day's salary.

The amount of this severance compensation may not exceed six months’ salary and cannot be combined with the above-mentioned dismissal indemnity.

Any abusive breach of the employment contract may also give rise to damages, the amount of which is determined by a judge.

Collective Redundancies

In order to be recognised as a valid reason, a collective dismissal must be based on an economic justification, the criteria of which have been defined by case law.

The employer is required to respect numerous obligations in order to carry out a collective redundancy, and must inform and consult employee representatives on collective redundancy projects.

Workforce reduction shall be achieved, as far as possible, through natural or voluntary departures, and various measures are provided to protect employees in the case of downgrading.

Employees included in a collective redundancy of an economic nature are given priority for re-employment for a period of one year from the date of their redundancy.

All companies with more than 11 employees must hold internal elections to elect employee representatives for a period of one year.

Employee representatives can hold several mandates in succession.

The number of representatives depends on the size of the company. In companies with more than 26 employees there must be at least two representatives and two substitute representatives.

The employee representatives are the main contacts for the employer and the labour inspector. Their task is to report to the employer all individual and collective complaints relating to the application of wage rates and job classifications, laws and regulations, worker protection, health and safety and social security. They can also negotiate and conclude collective agreements with the employer on these same issues.

However, the law does not impose any obligation on the employers to conduct negotiations.

Employee representatives must be consulted on the following topics:

  • collective redundancies (minimum of ten employees) of an economic nature;
  • working hours (when the planned working hours exceed 48 hours);
  • paid holidays;
  • internal regulations.

In order to carry out their assignments, the employee representatives benefit from private premises, a monthly time credit to carry out their duties and the right to move freely inside and outside the company.

The employer must also meet with them once a month and answer their questions.

Finally, employee representatives have special protection throughout their term of office and for six months after they have finished their duties, which protects them from any risk of unfair dismissal.

Individual Taxation

Employees that are Monegasque nationals or residents in the Principality are not subject to any individual taxation (including income tax, capital gains, dividends, interests and other passive income). The absence of individual taxation in Monaco contributes to the Principality’s attractiveness from an international standpoint (eg, employees of family offices established in Monaco are not subject to individual tax, provided they are Monaco residents).

The absence of income tax in the Principality only applies to Monaco-based activities and individuals who are genuinely residents in Monaco. This does not impact the tax rules that might be applied by other states, especially in cases where a Monaco resident employed by a Monaco-based business has kept close links with his state of origin (ie, sufficient ties to continue to qualify as a tax resident) and could therefore be subject to individual taxation on their global income.

Furthermore, the absence of individual taxation in Monaco does not apply to French nationals residing in Monaco. They are considered French tax residents under the 1963 Double Tax Treaty between France and Monaco.

Individuals qualifying as French tax residents are fully liable to tax in France, even if they exclusively work in Monaco and their entire income is derived from a Monaco-based employment relationship. 

Social Contributions

Both employees and employers are subject to social contributions in Monaco computed on their gross salary, as follows.

  • Employees: employees are subject to a 6.85% contribution to the agency in charge of pensions in Monaco (ie, Caisse Autonome des Retraites, or CAR) and a 2.4% contribution to the agency in charge of unemployment insurance in Monaco (ie, UNEDIC).
  • Employers: in addition to the social contributions paid by their employees, Monegasque employers are liable for a 14.75% contribution to the Health Insurance Agency (Caisse de Compensation des Services Sociaux, or CCSS), a 9.24% contribution to the CAR and a 4.05% contribution to the UNEDIC.

These are the maximum social contribution rates that can be applied to employers. Employers that are not affiliated with the Caisse de Garantie des Créances des Salariés (CGCS) are only liable for a 14.7% contribution to the Health Insurance Agency. In addition, the above-mentioned 9.24% contribution to the CAR is the total of a 7.15% flat rate (always applicable) and a 2.09% variable rate.


Value-added tax is levied in Monaco on the same basis (ie, the same substantive rules regulating transactions subject to VAT) and at the same rates as in France (normal rate of  20%; intermediary rate of 10%; reduced rate of 5.5%; super reduced rate of 2.1%).

However, some specific transactions are expressly exempted from VAT in Monaco, while these same transactions will not be VAT-exempted in France.

For example, services provided by attorneys, legal and tax advisers, bailiffs, charted accountants, and notaries are (for the time being) exempted from VAT in Monaco.

Tax on Profits (Impôt sur les Bénéfices)

Businesses carrying out an industrial or commercial activity in Monaco and making more than 25% of their gross turnover outside Monaco are liable to a tax on profits in Monaco.

Conversely, Monaco-based businesses deriving their entire turnover from activities carried out within the Principality are not subject to a tax on profits in Monaco.

As of 1 January 2022, the tax rate in Monaco is 25%. This tax rate is applicable on the net profits determined by the difference between the gross turnover and the tax-deductible expenses.

The main specific regime applicable to expenses relates to the deductibility of managers’ remuneration. Managers’ remuneration is deductible from the gross turnover by reference to a predetermined scale, according to which the deductible remuneration depends on the gross turnover of the business.

This scale differs between service-providing businesses and businesses carrying out sales activities (eg, for a service-providing business the maximum deductible expense for a manager’s salary will be EUR426,384 if the turnover is between EUR875, 001 and EUR1 million; whereas for a business carrying out sales activities the maximum deductible expense will be EUR219,960 if the turnover is between EUR750,000 and EUR1 million).

Similarly, amortisation of non-commercial motor vehicles is only deductible up to a purchase value of EUR18,300 (this amount can be higher (EUR30,000) or lower (EUR9,900) for certain types of vehicles with predetermined carbon emissions).

Withholding Tax

There is no withholding tax on dividends and interests in the Principality of Monaco.

In the absence of individual taxation, the main tax credits and tax incentives offered in the Principality of Monaco relate to the tax on profits.

Research Tax Credit

Businesses incurring certain types of research and development expenditures might benefit from a research tax credit designed to promote and encourage innovation.

The businesses eligible for this regime are those that are carrying out industrial, commercial or agricultural activities and that are subject to the tax on profits in Monaco.

Three types of research and development expenditures give a right to the research tax credit:

  • fundamental research with the aim of acquiring new knowledge;
  • applied research carried out with the view of identifying the possible applications of new knowledge acquired from fundamental research;
  • experimental development, which is designed to collect the technical data that will aid decision-making, especially thanks to prototypes and/or pilot plants.

The main expenditures that are likely to benefit from a research tax credit are staff costs, ie, wages paid to researchers and technicians that are directly and exclusively involved in eligible research and development activities within the business.

For this reason, it is crucial to:

  • keep and update the list of the employees working on the business’ research and development projects;
  • be able to provide justification of their qualifications (diplomas);
  • identify the research and development projects that they are working on and to keep records of the time spent by these employees on each project.

The amount of amortisation of immovable assets assigned to research and development activities can be taken into consideration for the computation of the research tax credit. 

External expenses relating to services obtained from third parties (ie, service providers) can be allowed within the research tax credit regime under specific conditions detailed in Sovereign Order No 10.325 of 17 October 1991, as modified.

The research tax credit rate is as follows:

  • 30% of the research and development expenditures below EUR100 million;
  • 5% of the research and development expenditures above EUR100 million.

The research tax credit is calculated on the annual tax return for each civil year and can be carried forward without limitation of time if not offset against the tax on profits owed for the current fiscal year.

New Companies Regime

This tax incentive is available for new companies incorporated after 1 October 1991 which are subject to the tax on profits and which develop a genuinely new activity for the Principality.

To be eligible, the companies must not carry out any activity within the banking, finance, insurance or real estate management sectors and not be held by another company (directly or indirectly) for more than 50% of their share capital.

The eligible companies enjoy a business tax exemption for their first two years of activity in the Principality and are subject to reduced tax on profits rates for the following three years, as follows:

  • from the first month of activity to the 24th month – tax on profits exemption;
  • for the following 12 months (third year) – the tax on profits is computed on 25% of the taxable profits;
  • for the following 12 months (fourth year) – the tax on profits is computed on 50% of the taxable profits;
  • for the following 12 months (fifth year) – the tax on profits is computed on 75% of the taxable profits.

State Aids

There are several state aid regimes offered by the Principality of Monaco or Monegasque public entities such as the Monegasque Fund for Credit Insurance, the Monegasque Fund for Innovation, the Industrial Allowance, the Monegasque EUREKA Fund, etc.

There is no tax consolidation regime available in Monaco.

There are no thin capitalisation rules applicable in Monaco.

There are no transfer pricing rules in Monaco.

There are no anti-evasion rules in Monaco.

However, even where the scope of the Monegasque tax on profits is very narrow, Monegasque public authorities are entitled to carry out tax audits either against businesses that are regularly filing tax returns or those that are not filing tax returns as they are considered to be outside the scope of the tax on profits (ie, less than 25% of their turnover is made outside the Principality).

There are no specific rules in this field under the laws of Monaco.

However, if a relevant transaction involving one or more Monegasque entities has an impact in a country other than Monaco, the rules of that other country may apply.

For instance, under the guidelines of the French Competition Authority, merger control shall apply to all companies regardless of their nationality or location, whether or not they have assets or a structure in France, and whether or not the transaction is carried out outside French territory, provided that they have a turnover in France and exceed the relevant thresholds. In that case, the French control procedure shall apply.

There are no specific rules in this field under the laws of Monaco.

There are no specific rules in this field under the laws of Monaco.

There are no specific rules in this field under the laws of Monaco.

According to Law No 606 of 20 June 1955 on patents, the following are considered as new inventions or discoveries:

  • the invention of new industrial products;
  • the invention of new means or the new application of known means for obtaining an industrial result or product.

Patents are protected for a maximum period of 20 years from the date of filing with the Intellectual Property Office.

The applicant must provide a certain amount of information, including a description of the discovery, invention or application for which the patent is sought.

At the time of filing with the Intellectual Property Office, it is possible for the applicant to claim a right of priority by virtue of an earlier filing in a foreign country within six months of the filing of the application.

The greatest attention should be paid to the characteristics of the discovery, invention or application, as they will determine, for the future, the scope of protection granted under the filed patent.

The applicant must also pay close attention to the content of their application, which must comply with the numerous requirements set forth in Article 6 of Law No 606.

Patents that have been properly applied for will be granted without prior examination, at the applicant's own risk, and without any guarantee of the reality, novelty or merit of the invention, or of the truth or accuracy of the description.

It is therefore the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their application is in order.

If the formalities required for the filing of the patent are not complied with, the registration will be rejected, and half of the fees paid at the time of the filing will be retained by the tax department.

It is therefore strongly recommended to be assisted by an intellectual property attorney in order to strictly comply with the application filing procedures provided for by Sovereign Order No 1476 relating to the application of the provisions of Law No 606 of 20 June 1955, as amended.

If the application complies with the required filing procedures, an order of the Minister of State noting the regularity of the application shall be issued to the applicant and shall constitute the patent.

In the case of refusal of registration, the decision can be challenged by means of an informal appeal before the Minister of State or a contentious appeal before the Supreme Court.

A special register kept by the Intellectual Property Office shall record the descriptions, drawings, samples and models of the patents granted. Extracts from this special register are available upon request to the Intellectual Property Department upon payment of a special fee.

An action for invalidation and a revocation action are available to any person having an interest in the matter.

The Public Prosecutor's Office may also request the nullity or lapse of the patent in the event of non-compliance with the provisions of Law No 606 on patents for invention or for a reason of public policy.

The action for invalidity or lapse of the patent is governed by a statute of limitation of five years.

In addition, the patentee may bring an action for infringement in the event of the manufacture of products or the use of means covered by the patent by a third party.

If necessary, the patentee may request the appointment of a bailiff to establish the infringement and proceed to a seizure of the infringement before bringing an action on the merits before the Monegasque courts.

Finally, Monaco is a signatory of the European Convention of 5 October 1973 on the Grant of European Patents.

Although Monaco is not a member of the European Union, the Principality is a signatory of a certain number of European conventions on trade marks, including the Paris Convention on Intellectual Property and the Madrid System.

In Monaco, the definition of a trade mark is that established by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), ie, a distinctive sign enabling goods or services to be distinguished from those of competitors. The trade mark may be verbal, figurative or semi-figurative.

In order to be registered, a trade mark must not be descriptive or deceptive, nor must it be contrary to public policy and the provisions of Article 6ter of the Paris Convention.

The Intellectual Property Office has published a guide on the criteria for assessing the distinctiveness of a trade mark based on the common practice developed by the European Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN) in relation to trade marks.

Trade marks are filed with the Monegasque Intellectual Property Office or with an intellectual property office located in one of the member countries of the Paris Convention. In the latter case, the applicant must request the extension of their trade mark registration to Monegasque territory within a period of six months from the initial registration.

It is possible to file a collective trade mark provided that the regulations determining the conditions to which the use of the trade mark is subject are provided with the filing.

The filing of the trade mark is subject to certain administrative formalities which are provided for in Ordinance No 7.801 of 21 September 1983 laying down the conditions for the application of Law No 1.058 of 10 June 1983 on trade marks and service marks.

The registered trade mark is protected for a period of ten years, which is renewable. Once registered, it is entered in a special register kept by the Intellectual Property Office and becomes enforceable against third parties.

In the case of refusal of registration, the decision can be challenged by means of an informal appeal before the Minister of State or a contentious appeal before the Supreme Court.

In order to protect their trade mark, the trade mark owner has a right of action against any person who fraudulently uses or imitates the protected trade mark.

The offence of counterfeiting is punishable by a prison sentence and a fine, and the owner of the counterfeited trade mark can request the seizure and destruction of the counterfeited goods.

The protection of designs provided for in Law No 607 is applicable to any new design, plastic form, or industrial object which differs from similar ones, either by a distinct and recognisable configuration conferring a novelty on it, or by one or more external effects giving it a specific and new physiognomy.

Registration is made at the Intellectual Property Office and may cover from one to 50 objects or designs, subject to payment of a fixed registration fee.

The term of protection for designs is ten years from the date of filing or date of disclosure declared at the time of filing the application for registration.

This protection may be extended up to a maximum of 50 years subject to payment of the relevant filing fees, either on the date of the initial filing or on each request for extension.

The registration of designs is published in the Monaco Official Journal and recorded in a special catalogue which is available to the public on request, subject to the payment of a fee.

The applicant may also file their designs in a sealed envelope in order to benefit from a priority right. In this case, the applicable term of protection is five years, which is renewable.

A right of priority can also be claimed by a simple entry in a special register.

Under certain conditions, the owner of the designs has an action for infringement against third parties who fraudulently use or reproduce them, and may also seek the seizure of the infringing goods as well as of the equipment used to carry out the infringement.

Regarding copyright, the Principality of Monaco is a signatory to most of the European treaties and conventions in this field, including the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Copyright is protected throughout the author's lifetime and until 50 years after their death. This protection applies to published and unpublished works authored or co-authored by a Monegasque national as well as to works published for the first time in Monaco, regardless of the nationality of the author.

"Published works" within the meaning of Monegasque legislation are published materials, regardless of their method of manufacture, which must be made available to the public in sufficient quantity.

As regards the remuneration of authors' rights, they are freely fixed by the parties to the contract.

The author shall have the right to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of their work or any other infringement of the same work that is prejudicial to their honour or reputation.

Infringement of copyright is punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine, and the author may also bring an infringement action if a third party has fraudulently appropriated the authorship of their work (either by putting the third party’s name on the work or by presenting themselves as the author).

Domain Names

The registration, management and maintenance of domain names is governed by a Naming Charter which can be found in Appendix 1 of Ministerial Order No 2022-38 of 21 January 2022 implementing Article 20 of Law No 1.383 of 2 August 2011 for a digital Principality, as amended, relating to domain names.

According to the Charter, the following may apply to register or renew a domain name in the ".mc" zone:

  • legal entities having their registered office, their principal place of business or an administrative office established in the territory of the Principality of Monaco;
  • associations and other Monegasque organisations or foundations;
  • holders of Monegasque trade marks registered and/or protected in the Principality of Monaco;
  • individuals carrying out a self-employed craft, commercial, industrial or professional activity duly authorised by a decision of the Minister of State;
  • embassies, consulates and other diplomatic representations of the Principality of Monaco abroad.

In general, registration of domain names is accepted provided that the conditions relating to the applicant's status are met. For instance, for a company registered with the Trade and Industry Registry, the domain name must correspond exactly to the company name or to one of its signs clearly indicated on the company's certificate of incorporation.

Other conditions are set out in the Naming Charter depending on the status of the applicant.

There is no limit to the number of domain names that can be registered.

Applications for registration must be submitted to an accredited registrar, which will act as an intermediary between the applicant and the Network Internet Centre in Monaco (NIC Monaco). The registrar is a legal entity accredited by NIC Monaco that provides domain name registration services.

NIC Monaco acts as the top-level registrar of the internet domain name address system corresponding to the Monegasque name space. Domain names are allocated by NIC Monaco through the registrars.

NIC Monaco is not a supervisory authority, although it may carry out certain checks on the lawfulness of domain names or when the provisions of the Charter appear to have been violated.

During the so-called compliance checks, NIC Monaco may request additional information necessary for the registration of the desired domain name.

The registration and renewal of a domain name is carried out on the basis of declarations made by the applicant and under their responsibility. The holder is solely responsible for the use and exploitation of the domain name.

The domain name is valid for one year from the date of registration. This period is tacitly renewed from year to year subject to the payment of the corresponding fee.

Any dispute relating to the registration or use of the domain name shall fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Monegasque courts.

Monaco is not a member of the EU; therefore, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not apply directly in Monaco. However, a data controller or a data processor based in Monaco may be subject to the obligations provided by the GDPR based on Article 3 (territorial scope).

In any case, the protection of personal data in the Principality is governed by Law No 1.165 of 23 December 1993, as modified.

The Law provides the definitions of the most important terms, by:

  • defining the role of the Monegasque supervisory authority (Commission de Contrôle des Informations Nominatives, or CCIN);
  • listing the obligations of the data controllers based in Monaco;
  • detailing the data processing methods, data subjects’ access to data, and security and confidentiality obligations;
  • detailing the supervision role of the CCIN;
  • regulating the transfer of personal data; and
  • setting out penalties and defining the scope of the Law.

Articles 20 and 20-1 of Law No 1.165 concern the transfer of personal data. Monaco law distinguishes between two types of data transfer, which are subject to different rules.

Data transfers to countries that provide adequate protection as defined by Article 20 of the Law are not subject to the authorisation of the CCIN. Nevertheless, they must be declared in a formal document.

Transfers to a country or organisation that does not provide adequate protection need to be authorised by the CCIN. The authorisation request is filed by the data controller.

The CCIN is the authority in charge of enforcing data protection rules in Monaco.

The CCIN has several roles, as follows:

  • receipt and analysis of processing declarations and requests;
  • authorising the transfer of personal data to a country that does not have an adequate level of data protection;
  • monitoring and examining complaints and petitions;
  • informing data subjects of their rights and obligations by responding to their questions about data protection;
  • issuing warnings and addressing formal notices;
  • referring facts establishing an offence to the Court of First Instance and to the Public Prosecutor;
  • co-operating with other data protection agencies.

Data Protection

Bill No 1054 dated 20 December 2021 is intended to replace Law No 1.165 of 23 December 1993, as amended, on the protection of personal data.

The goal is to integrate into domestic law the new international standards resulting from Convention 108+ of the Council of Europe and the GDPR. This bill is also inspired by the principles resulting from Directive (EU) 2016/680.

The bill is divided into ten chapters and contains 114 articles (instead of the 26 articles present in the current law), in addition to the accompanying explanatory statement.

Its main contributions are the disappearance of a certain number of prior formalities applicable to data controllers, the introduction of the office of Data Protection Officer, and new obligations such as the realisation of impact analysis, or the keeping of a directory of processing. Another novelty concerns the strengthening of the sanctioning powers of the future Personal Data Protection Authority (PDPA), which will replace the current CCIN.

At this stage, a rapporteur must be appointed within the National Council in order to analyse the bill, and to present, in a public session, their analysis and possible amendment proposals. There is no foreseeable date of entry into force of the new law in Monaco.

Intellectual Property

The protection of literary and artistic works is currently the subject of an in-depth legislative reform.

A bill is currently being discussed in Parliament in order to harmonise the Monegasque copyright regime as much as possible with the one in force in neighbouring countries, and to establish a legal regime for intellectual property issues left unresolved by the current legislative and regulatory framework.

Recently, the regime and the amount of the resale right have been reformed in the light of the provisions of Directive 2001/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 on the resale right for the benefit of the author of an original work of art.

Gardetto Law Offices

Villa Marcel
19 Boulevard des Moulins
98000 Monaco

+377 92161617

+377 93504241
Author Business Card

Law and Practice


Gardetto Law Offices is a Monaco-based law firm with a strong international dimension in terms of both the diversity of its clients and the nature of the cases it handles. It offers its clients, international companies and private individuals alike, a highly skilled and professional team that possesses all the competencies required to tackle a comprehensive range of legal issues, including both litigation and advisory work, and to resolve the most complex situations. The firm is regularly involved in international litigation, as well as in international projects, and assists clients wishing to settle in the Principality of Monaco. Thanks to its network of overseas correspondents, the firm is in a position to offer clients services that are not confined to the Principality of Monaco.

Compare law and practice by selecting locations and topic(s)


Select Topic(s)

loading ...

Please select at least one chapter and one topic to use the compare functionality.