Beaches, Jet-set, Yachts, Formula 1, Casinos, Diamonds, Helicopters, French Riviera, No Crime, No Taxes. Top Class.
When talking about one of the classiest places on Earth, you can assume the living standards are just incomparable. Being James Bond was never more attainable when choosing this country, as this billionaire’s retreat has become a reference for the single-greatest life quality out there.
All kinds of celebrities, from Formula 1 drivers to ATP tennis players, are more than often the most high-profile residents of Monaco, but the truth is that many successful businessmen and cosmopolitan individuals from all over the world are attracted to this amazing principality.
Monaco just puts the shine on the European Mediterranean, as it has found a spot between the French Riviera and the Italian coast to offer world citizens its attractive enchantment. Amongst amazing mountain tops and beautiful beaches, the way this place enlightens both the region and all of those who are able to visit is truly remarkable.
Such scenery is not only due to its micro-size, which accounts for its sense of exclusivity for the wealthy.
A small country of only 2 square km, Monaco has nearly 40,000 citizens, which accounts for having one of the highest population densities in the world. The country is a constitutional monarchy that has Prince Albert II as head of state, and it’s regarded as one of the oldest monarchies due to its 800-year-old establishment dating back to 1297.
The principality’s enchantment within its borders is thanks, in part, for being part of the common culture of the rich, of which the Monte Carlo casino and the Formula 1 race track play a fundamental role. Just entering any place and ordering a martini will make one feel like James Bond himself.
The fact is we are talking about one of the most amazing countries on Earth with one of the most comfortable climates, with mild winters and warm summers. You will definitely never be too cold, and even then, you can visit one of its famous coasts, or one of its marinas full of yachts, or one of its amazingly decorated and equipped hotels near the beachline.
Monaco is known for being one of the safest places on Earth, as year after year, it presents virtually zero criminality due to its extensive high-tech security camera system distributed along the city and an amazingly effective local police department.
On top of that, we have to consider how its Nice International Airport is less than half an hour from the city, an ideal distance for you to easily travel across Europe and the world for the reason you desire, either work or pleasure.
Understanding how this country is from within will automatically self-explain how it has become the playground for the top 1%, and in fact, over 30% of the residents are millionaires, accounting for the country having the world’s highest GDP nominal per capita. However, there is a secret card that plays in favor of Monaco’s success amongst the richest of the rich: its tax policies. If something was needed to ultimately decree Monaco as the paradise on earth, its legislation surely got the work done.
THE BEST CLIMATE WITH THE BEST TAX CONDITIONS
There’s 0% income tax legislation in Monaco that simply explains why the wealthiest end up having their sometimes life-long vacations within the principality.
Although this might appeal to pretty much any person in the world, there is an exception you should take into account, especially if you are a French citizen. For them, there is a limitation regarding tax exemptions regardless of their time living in the country. This is because authorities understood it was too “easy” for them to just cross the border for any given reason and avoid the French tax regime.
Another important exception affects companies incorporated in Monaco. Companies that generate more than 25% of their turnover outside of Monaco, along with those producing revenues from patents or other intellectual property rights are subject to a flat tax of 33.33 % on profits.
Also, inheritance tax is non-existent when gifted to any given family from a direct line, which includes parents, spouses, and children. Nonetheless, in case the gift is granted to other family members, there are enforceable tax obligations, specifically of 8% for brothers and sisters, 10% for uncles and nephews, and 16% for unrelated persons.
Aside from the aforementioned limitations, which honestly aren’t that limiting since there is a reduced percent of people who enter said categories, Monaco’s place as an ideal home for international wealth remains untouched.
Of course, along with its zero-tax policy, there is another element that explains such a place in our contemporary society: its unbelievably accessible residence programs are available for pretty much any investor out there looking to optimize their tax strategy.
GETTING MONACO RESIDENCE
When it comes to acquiring a Monaco residence permit, there are several ways to achieve it without compromising your calendar. Let’s take a look at how to do it and begin your new luxury-filled life in no time.
THREE WAYS TO GAIN MONACO RESIDENCE
Amongst the following methods to acquire Monaco residence, you should know there are at least two that are practically unknown for general audiences out there.
-The first option is for you to get a job position, which means you should look forward to a potential employer to offer an employment contract. Said employer must be a Monegasque one, an element that tends to limit the number of opportunities available.
-The second method requires the ownership of a personal business. Most businesspersons in Monaco are offered residency after national authorities officialize all documentation required to the functioning of the business.
If the particular enterprise focuses on financial activities or banking, e-commerce, cryptocurrency traders, pharmaceutics, or retail-related business, there is a high chance you’ll be granted permissions quickly enough. However, we recommend betting on the ever-thriving tourism industry that gathers more than 300,000 tourists per year and that will probably provide enough revenue for it to be self-sufficient.
-The third method towards Monaco residence is oriented to those who aren’t interested in neither working or having their own company in the country. For those cases, the only thing you have to do is prove you have enough capital. This means, basically, demonstrating you are a wealthy person. You will need to open a Monegasque bank account and deposit at least €500,000, but we will get to the specific details in no time.
STAGES OF THE RESIDENCY PROCESS
Regarding the phases of the process, you are about to embark in, there are three fundamental stages you need to consider, each one of them with a particular renewal timeline and with a specified residency period.
The first step comes with the assignation of the so-called temporary residence card, which allows you to remain in Monaco for a year-long period. To do so, you will only need to be present within the country’s borders for more than six months a year.
After the year of the permit ends, you are required to renovate the “carte de séjour temporaire” for yet another year. This kind of permit will need renovation procedures at least two times, which means you will be residence under said card for about three years’ time.
Once you have completed three years of temporary residency, you can proceed to upgrade your card and start the application for the next step of the residence process. This time, the granted permit will last three more years and this permit can also be renewed as many times as you desire to.
After having at least 9 years of residence in Monaco (which comes from having renewed the temporary residence card two times and the ordinary residence card two more times) you can apply for a privileged residence card (or carte de séjour privilégié), which will allow you to reside in Monaco for ten years without the need to renew your residence permit benefits.
DETAILS TO CONSIDER WHEN STARTING YOUR APPLICATION
For nobody is a surprise that undergoing these processes is much easier when being a European Union citizen (EU + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), as they tend to need much less documentation when doing so.
It should be said that, at least in general terms, the granting of renewals is fairly a simple and easygoing step of the procedure, but you will need a good local consultant to properly present your dossier in a way that contributes to your cause. However, the starting stages of the application do tend to present more problems to capital holders, as normally authorities take between 4 to 6 months to process and respond to applications.
For those EU citizens mentioned before, the process does get simpler. For starters, non-EU citizens will need to apply for a long-term visa permit to start their application process, something that can be done in a French Consulate. If in Monaco, the process can be started at the French Embassy.
Moreover, for these cases, non-EU citizens can ask for a transfer if they have been residing in France for at least a year, therefore dodging the long-term visa permit requirement that is currently enforced.
Monegasque authorities will ask for a set of documents in accordance with their due-diligence legislation, which often involved the presentation of a valid passport, birth certificates, marriage or divorce certificates, criminal record and health reports for elder applicants. Furthermore, residency officials could ask for information related to the level of education and/or the professional background of the applicant, along with health insurance for the time they will be staying in the country.
PROOF OF ACCOMMODATION
National authorities will ask for either one of these documents in order to certify proof of accommodation:
- Deed of property in Monaco registered under the applicant’s name.
- Proof that the applicant is among the directors or unitholders of a company owning a property in Monaco.
- A lease showing at least one year of the contract.
- Proof that you are currently sharing a home with a spouse or partner.
It’s important to highlight that there is no official need to purchase a Monegasque property in order to comply with residential requirements, but we do recommend doing so if having the capital at hand. The real estate business in Monaco is amongst the most secure in the world, as is an ever-growing market in one of the safest places on earth.
It’s also important for applicants to present an electricity bill for their property, one that also must be coherent with the number of people currently staying there. Moreover, the apartment itself must be consistent with the economic and professional level of the new resident. If you are a millionaire entrepreneur, you should be living in an apartment that goes with your profile, not a 30-meter studio apartment.
PROOF OF “WEALTH”.
Being able to demonstrate you have sufficient financial resources to live and thrive in Monaco is one of the most important requirements for authorities when it comes to delivering residence permits. Nonetheless, the threshold to actually qualifying is not as impossible to reach as many would think.
Many methods are available for proving your financial assets, including the presentation of an employment contract that can demonstrate your current salary within the country. Also, providing documentation on a particular commercial activity located in Monaco can also suffice authorities’ demands.
Another way to prove your financial resources is by asking for a bank letter from a Monegasque financial institution that says you have enough capital to live in Monaco. However, it must be said that there is no specified amount to be declared, as the sum is disclosed by the bank, but on average Banking institutions ask for a minimum amount of €500,000 to be accredited to them.
Also, you should know there isn’t any limitation for a foreigner when it comes to opening and accessing a Monegasque bank account or owning real estate in Monaco.
PROOF OF CHARACTER
The last piece of the residence puzzle is the proof of good character, which means you will have to surrender criminal record documentation demonstrating you are not a threat to the society you are about to introduce yourself to. Certification of your current criminal record information must also be submitted, specifically regarding your last 5 years of life before arriving in Monaco.
It goes without saying you must have a clean criminal record in order to qualify for residence benefits.
After you have successfully gathered all of the necessary documentation, you are ready to ask for an official residency appointment. This can be done through the Resident’s Section of the Directorate of Public Security, in which authorities will ask you for all the aforementioned documents, and answer a set of inquiries about relatives, education, professional background, and other related information.
Once this step is completed, non-EU citizens can hope to have an answer in the following 4 months, while EU citizens are usually contacted after only 8 weeks.
FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LIVING IN MONACO
It is of the utmost importance for you to understand that living in Monaco is amongst the most expensive options around the world. A one-room apartment can cost you more than €5,000 while leasing a three-bedroom in the city center one can go as up as €20,000 per month.
However, you shouldn’t let your head down. If your current strategy doesn’t include renting as an alternative, a great option could be to invest in the acquisition of a Monegasque home. If you are lucky as to have available enough capital at hand, investing in Monaco real estate is a no-brainer. An ever-booming market influenced by a high demand will always present an amazing ROI, which accounts for so many successful businessmen around the world turning their heads towards this amazing market.
The latest World Ultra Wealth Report says that Monaco is currently amongst the greatest second-home locations in the world. This is not news for many, as this amazing country is expected to keep attracting hundreds of capital-owners in the near thanks to its mile-long myriad of benefits. However, that fact does account for a permanent rise in prices, which should be noticed as a perfect chance to invest in real estate in the near future in order to maximize income from it.
In Monaco, you will be able to enjoy one of the greatest lifestyles on Earth, along with an indescribable exclusivity, remarkable proximity to both French and Italy, and one tax regime that makes pretty much any country in Europe look like a tax inferno.
In addition, living in Monaco will provide you with the amazing advantage of enjoying some of the biggest sports events in the world, including the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the WRC Monte-Carlo Rally, the ATP Monte-Carlo Masters, and the IAAF Athletics Diamond League.
In the end, preferences play a fundamental role in the ultimate decision. If you are a businessman that considers your home location as a key signal for your status, Monaco is simply the right call. Even when it might be lagging behind some European countries in terms of public services, its antique and old-school sense usually ends up enchanting those who trust its shores. It has the best of both worlds, as being part of the Schengen area still provides its citizens with the European free-access benefit most capital holders tend to seek.
If you have set your mind to living in this paradise, we encourage you to contact our team of Centurion Capital, as even our CEO lives in Monaco and knows the Monegasque reality in-depth. He will be able to advise you on a detailed route towards success while introducing you to the entrepreneurial and social reality of the Principality. Our experts will guide you every step of the way, from how to succeed in the residence process to how to open businesses and bank accounts. Enjoy your wealth as never before with the assistance of the very best premium advisors in the market!
Warning: The content of this article does not constitute legal or tax advice. It is provided for general informational purposes only and not for the purpose of offering any warranty or guarantee. As laws change frequently, personalized professional advice is absolutely necessary.
Article written by: Fabrice Barra is a cosmopolitan entrepreneur, lawyer, fiduciary and author, one of the world’s leading experts on offshore strategies, corporate haven, international investments and global mindset lifestyles. He is the personal trusted advisor of well-known entrepreneurs, UHNWI, Forbes Global 2000 companies, professional sportsmen, aristocrats, celebrities, investors, people with a net wealth of 7- to 8- or more figures, and he has access to a network of influential people around the world.