The French Riviera is one of Europe’s most exclusive places to live and work, with picture-postcard beaches and Mediterranean coastline complementing a year-round warm climate and mountainous backdrop. But the jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the tiny Principality of Monaco, which has an area of just two square kilometers. Famous for its association with the rich and famous, the state has the highest percentage of millionaire residents in the world, at 30.6% of the total population. Many of these are attracted by its low taxes and confidentiality. With more police officers per person than anywhere on the planet – as well as a network of high-tech surveillance systems – it’s also one of the safest countries in the world, with almost zero crime. Add in the glamour of world-famous casinos, an iconic marina with super-yachts, and the annual allure of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, and it’s easy to see why Monaco’s famed narrow streets are among the world’s most sought-after addresses. Let’s look at what makes it so attractive.
Access to Europe
Monaco is perfectly situated on the south-east tip of France, meaning all the major financial centres across Europe can be accessed in a short amount of time. This is an important factor if you need to attend face-to-face meetings to shake hands and make business deals at a moment’s notice. Some of the flight times to Europe’s major cities:
Geneva: 1 hour
Frankfurt: 1 hour 30
London: 2 hours
Paris: 1 hour 40
Rome: 1 hour 10
Madrid: 2 hours
Barcelona: 1 hour 15
Monaco doesn’t have an airport, but the Côte d’Azur airport in Nice is a short 30- minute drive away. An alternative is to take a helicopter from Monaco to Nice airport.
If you’re a resident of Monaco, you won’t pay any income tax on the money you earn.
This policy was created by Prince Charles III in 1869 and has been maintained ever since, meaning that the state must rely on other means of income. It does this through its casinos, tourism and sporting events.
If your business is based there, you’ll only pay corporation tax after the third year of being in business. Even then, the amount you need to pay comes after taking out directors fees, which are tax-free anyway if you’re a resident. So it still works out better than in most other countries.
You’ll pay no inheritance tax either on transfers to direct family members, no matter how big the amount of money is or how vast the assets being passed down are.
This changes if money or assets are being passed to a brother or sister as opposed to a son or daughter, as there’s an 8% tax rate for a sibling beneficiary. But this is still relatively small compared with most other places in the world.
Because of this favorable business environment, most companies enjoy significant benefits from being based in Monaco, and the unemployment rate is less than 4%.
The city’s 5,000+ businesses operate in a range of industries, including international trade, banking, finance, tourism, retail, real estate and construction, shipping, and yachting.
Monaco is also one of the hottest networking destinations in the world, as the sharpest minds in business, government, technology, and entertainment regularly convene there.
Relationship with the European Union
There wouldn’t be much point in Monaco having such good transport links to the rest of Europe if its residents had to go through lengthy immigration processes every time they left the city.
That’s why it has its own agreements with the European Union, to ensure the free movement of its citizens just like other members, with no customs duties on goods and services.
It’s also treated as a part of the Schengen Area, maintaining an open border and customs union with Europe’s other Schengen states. This makes it a serious player on the global stage – something that most other tax havens can’t offer.
A home from home
If your commercial success in the UK makes moving to a low tax jurisdiction a serious option, language won’t be a problem, as you’ll be joining many English speaking nationals who already live there.
And as far as lifestyle goes, it’s unlikely you’ll find a better quality of life anywhere else in the world.
Thinking about residency?
There are a few different ways to become a resident based on your circumstances, but we’ll guide you on the best option.
We can handle your residency application (including all the paperwork), attend any meetings with you in Monaco, and we can even help you get a bank account, find an apartment and choose a school for the kids.
For more information on living in Monaco, or more details on the benefits Monaco has to offer, get in touch today for a free consultation.
Get in touch for more information
Tel: 00 377 92 16 59 99