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What is the auto-entrepreneur status in Morocco and when to use it?

I get a lot of questions about the auto-entrepreneur status in Morocco, and especially the 2% taxation part. Why not paying 2% instead of +35%? And why spend too much time creating a company when you can get this status in no time?

All these are good questions, and we’ll answer them in this post. The auto-entrepreneur status is indeed good for some people. But not as good when you see some of its drawbacks (presented last in this post).

This post is part of the Legal series where we talk about the legal side of working remotely from Morocco. Laws, banking, accounting, taxes, etc… We cover them all.

Find more articles like this one on the Legal category.

So, here’s all what you need to know about the auto-entrepreneur status in Morocco:

1. Who can get the auto-entrepreneur status?

Anyone with a valid national ID card (CIN) can get an auto-entrepreneur status. If you work in the private sector, there is no problem. However, check your contract to see if you can do freelance jobs on the side. It’s usually not permitted.

If you work in the public sector, it may be illegal to have an auto-entrepreneur status. Double-check before going this path.

2. You need to make less than 200k (or 500k) MAD per year

There are two categories in the auto-entrepreneur status:

In both cases, if you make more than what’s allowed for two consecutive years (200k and 500k respectively), you are no longer able to use the status. In this case, you should create a company instead.

Here is an article that covers this.

3. The taxation

For services, you get taxed at 2%. For commerce, you get taxed at 1%/. In both cases, you’re taxed on the money you make, not the profit. This may be a little confusing, so let me give you an example:

In order to do you work, you need some materials. This can be your laptop, wood, vegetables… depending on your work. Let’s say you spent 10k on this.

Then you hit the market with your creations and you sell them for 30k.

Here’s how taxation works:

Taxation happens every 3 months and can be done online. Head to the auto-entrepreneur website, add your declaration and pay online. Or print the document and head to the nearest post office if you prefer.

4. International working with the auto-entrepreneur status

Update 28/12/2020: This section was added after few researches. More on this Twitter thread.

Even if the official site states you can not use the auto-entrepreneur status to export your services, that information is old and incorrect. You can use your auto-entrepreneur status to work internationally online. You only need two extra steps in addition to what’s described above:

  1. Whenever you do a service and get paid, you have a 90 days period to get that money into a Moroccan bank account.
  2. Once a year, before the end of April, you need to fill a document with the total amount of services exported using the Modele 6 page 9 in this PDF.

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5. You have CNSS health care if you want

Update 17/03/2022: CNSS for auto-entrepreneurs is a new 2022 law. For now, only health insurance is included (no pension).

Starting 2022, auto-entrepreneurs can get CNSS health care and they can register via the online portal. That said, it’s optional and you can get your own private health care instead if you want. Head to our article to learn more about this.

For your pension, it’s not possible via CNSS, but don’t worry it’s easy. You can open a pension account with any bank. Just head to the nearest bank and ask for it. The offers are usually the same for all banks.

6. The auto-entrepreneur status doesn’t mean a thing for some

This is the biggest drawback of the auto-entrepreneur status. If you go to ask for a visa, for example, this status doesn’t mean a thing. Being an auto-entrepreneur doesn’t ring a bell for embassies. Why? Because they can’t trace back from where you got the money.

If you were an employee, they know at least your salary is coming from a company and the said company is regulated. But when you’re an auto-entrepreneur, they don’t have that assurance. And they will reject your application.

I know a lot of people who got their applications rejected for this. Don’t try it.


Conclusion

As a recap to this. You should get an auto-entrepreneur status if:

  1. You are a Moroccan
  2. You just started working independently and don’t make more than 200k MAD/year for services. And 500k MAD/year for commerce.
  3. You plan to get your own pension
  4. You don’t plan to travel outside of Morocco

If that’s the case, get an auto-entrepreneur status. Otherwise, get a company.

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