Taking the country’s small size and lack of natural resources into account, it is hardly surprising that many of those working in Monaco find themselves employed in key sectors such as tourism, finance and insurance, as well as light, high-tech research and industry.
Due to its size, Monaco is highly dependent on other countries and its European neighbors in particular. As such, the principality has also been heavily affected by the Eurozone crisis and related declines in tourism and global trade. Nevertheless, the nation has managed to weather the storm so far, and it achieved a pre-crisis level of GDP in 2012.
Only about 2% of local jobs were held by Monegasque citizens in 2015, so expats working in Monaco and cross-border commuters are quite common. Nevertheless, when applying for a public service position or otherwise looking for employment, Monegasque nationals, as well as others with close ties to the country (e.g. via marriage), typically enjoy prioritization.
You can start by looking for jobs online at such sites as Job Monaco (French only) or try and send an initiative application to a local company. Kompass offers a directory of registered businesses which you can browse for this purpose. The self-proclaimed biggest employer in the Principality, for instance, is the Monte-Carlo SBM Group, which was employing over 3,000 people in the principality in 2016, and regularly offers open positions in one of their casinos, luxury hotels, restaurants, etc.
If you are planning on working in Monaco, then you will need a permit de travaiI first. Similarly, your (future) employer needs to apply for permission to hire foreign employees. This is done so that Monegasque nationals, as well as those with close ties to Monaco (e.g. the spouse of a citizen), are prioritized in regard to local jobs. In order to apply for your permit, you need to either:
If you are living neither in France nor in Monaco, you and your employer have to settle the question of your visa and residence status first, i.e. get permission to employ a foreigner, establish the work contract, use the contract to get your visa, and so on. This may also include a medical examination.
Only once your status of residence is settled can you apply for a work permit at the Employment Office. Work permits are also dependent on your job, meaning that if you change employer or position, you will also have to apply for a new permit.
If you are, on the other hand, thinking of starting your own company, of working in Monaco as a freelancer, or of any other form of self-employment, then you need a business permit. This is issued by the Minister of State (Ministre d’État). Your eligibility depends on your professional reputation and qualifications, as well as the nature, structure, and size of your business.
The public services website gives a first overview over the different legal forms for companies and regulated jobs in Monaco. For more detailed information and help with setting up a business locally, however, you’d better get in touch with the Monaco Welcome & Business Office.
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