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

Note: This article was updated on the 18th January 2023 following the new 2023 financial law.

I get a lot of questions about the auto-entrepreneur status in Morocco, and especially the 1% 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:

  • Services: If you are selling a service, you are part of this category. If you’re a freelancer or working online, you’re part of this category. You need to make less than 200k MAD per year to be eligible.
  • Commerce: If you are selling physical products, you are part of this category. You need to make less than 500k MAD per year to be eligible.

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 1%. For commerce, you get taxed at 0.5%. There is also a new 30% tax, paid by your client if Moroccan. More details in this post.

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:

  • In the auto-entrepreneur status, you get taxed on the 30k you made.
  • If you had a company, you’ll get taxed on the 30k – 10k = 20k, ie, the profit.

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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    31 responses to “What is the auto-entrepreneur status in Morocco and when to use it?”

    1. Thank you for those infos! I have 2 questions :
      – can you sell services externally with auto-entrepreneur status? (For exemple, you wanna work remotly for a company in an other country).
      – if you fucked up big on something (let’s say you droped the prod DB and there is no backup available 😀 ), what status of those 2 protects you better?

      • Hey,

        > can you sell services externally with auto-entrepreneur status? (For exemple, you wanna work remotly for a company in an other country).

        Yes, you can.

        > what status of those 2 protects you better?

        Thank you for bringing this. I missed this while writing the post.

        A company protects you better than an auto-entrepreneur, given a company has a separate legal status.

    2. Great article, it sums up the limitations of the AE status quite nicely.

      I opened an AE account a couple of years ago at a Barid Bank agency. In doing so, they also opened a bank account which I ended up not using. Can I close the bank account while keeping the AE account ?

    3. Hey bro,
      Thanks a lot for everythings,
      Can you get a statut employee when working remotely say a European company?
      If so What is the best being auto entrepreneur or employee?
      Thanks

      • Hey
        > Can you get a statut employee when working remotely say a European company?
        It depends on the company. Usually, it’s not your choice. It’s the company’s choice and preference.

        > If so What is the best being auto entrepreneur or employee?
        This is a broad question.

        Thanks

    4. Hello Ahmed,
      Firstly, I want to thank you for the article.
      I have a question please, do I have the possibility to sell services in websites like fiverr and upwork ?
      if you check ae.gov.ma/faq-2/ (number 33) they say you can not export services. (do think that they mean that big contracts ?)
      Thank you

      • Hey Anas,

        Thank you for flagging this, first time seeing it on the website.

        As you said, it can be related to big contracts with companies outside Morocco. For small amounts like fiverr and upwork, I think it’s maybe ok.

        If you ever find more info about this, let me know!

        Thank you

      • Update: 28/12/2020

        After some research, you can use your AE status to export services. I updated the article with the latest information

    5. Hey Ahmed, Thank for the post!

      Say you sell your services to a company abroad and they pay you in euro, what’s the exchange rate the bank is going to use in that case? I was wondering if it’s possible to open a “compte devise” but have no clue if it’s possible. Also does the rate depend on which bank you deal with (the bank you declared the “ae” status with)?

      • Hey Mehdi,

        Please see the comment above, it’s not possible to sell your services abroad using the auto-entrepreneur status for now.

        But to answer your questions, any money received from outside Morocco lands in Bank Al Maghrib (the central bank). The rate depends on those communicated by BAM in this case. Also, BAM will take a cut from the payment.

        That said, if you have a company bank account, you can create a “compte devise” and you keep up to 70% of the payment in the currency received (like EUR). The other 30% will be converted to Dirhams.

        Hope that answers your question.

        Cheers.

        • Hey Ahmed,
          First of all, thank you for these sort of articles!
          Reflecting on the comments above, is it still not possible to offer services, let say graphic design or virtual management to companies/small businesses abroad?

        • Hey Abir,

          Yeah, it looks like it’s still not possible to do it legally using the auto-entrepreneur status.

    6. Hey Ahmed,
      I m looking for technical assistance plz/
      I filled up the auto entrepreneur from the website form to apply for the card. However, It has been 5 months now En treatment guichet. the bank agency did not validate my request. The old form is not accepted as its dated back to 3 months before. How can I cancel/ delete my profile and filled up a new form. ?

    7. Thanks Ahmed for your guide. It’s really difficult to find otherwise information about the AE status.

      You explains that « 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. »
      I’d like to understand what happens during the first years when you earn more than the limit. Is the excess amount also only taxed by 1 or 2% ?

      • Hey Valentin,

        Yes, you’ll still be taxed the same amount for that excess.

        I hope that helps! Good luck

        • Thanks a lot Ahmed for your answer. That is really good news!

          I have another question regarding expenses that are covered by my client (like travel or specific purchase required for the job) for which I get reimbursed. Is there any specific way I should declare them? My general understanding is that I shouldn’t pay taxes for those. Am I correct?

          Thanks again for your help.

        • Hey,

          That’s actually one of the downsides of the auto-entrepreneur status. There is no idea of “expenses”, so you get taxed on everything.

          To recap, the reimbursement from your travel and work-related stuff is also taxed :/

    8. Thank you so much for writing this great article, really appreciated!

      I would like to know how I can send invoices with auto entrepreneur status to my international clients? Also is it possible to create a PayPal business account with it?

      • Hello,

        Yes, you can send invoices to international clients. For the PayPal account, I’m not really sure :/

    9. I think there are an update on AE it’s no longer allowed to export services as AE.
      From FAQ official website:

      33. Exportation des services dans le cadre du statut de l’auto-entrepreneur ?
      L’exportation des services pour les auto-entrepreneurs n’est pas encore possible. L’office des changes travaille

      actuellement sur l’actualisation des dispositions réglementaires pour prendre en compte le nouveau statut de l’auto-entrepreneur et permettre aux auto-entrepreneurs d’exporter leurs services.”

      • Hey,

        That information is outdated. I personally contacted Office des Changes, and here’s part of their response:

        La réglementation des changes ne spécifie pas les entités  habilitées à réaliser les opérations d’exportations de services.

        Toutefois, deux obligations incombent aux exportateurs de services, à savoir :

        1. Rapatrier le produit des exportations de services dans les délais réglementaires (90 jours à compter de la date de la réalisation des prestations de services. (Article 75 de l’Instruction Générale des Opérations de Change 2020)
        2. Transmettre à l’Office des Changes une déclaration établie conformément aux modalités, procédures, délais et modèles fixés par la liasse des déclarations opérateurs. (Article 79 de l’Instruction Générale des Opérations de Change 2020)

        Which is what I described in the post

    10. This has been very insightful.
      One question I do have though is how do Moroccan receive international payments? Since they have 90 days to convert it to a Moroccan bank, can they for example open a USD bank account and just have it transferred there? And how easy/hard would it be for them to then withdraw their money in USD instead of MAD?
      Is there a specific inconvenience related to this particular mechanism?

    11. Hello Ahmed.
      I enjoyed reading your article. I didn’t have any clue about auto-entrepreneur so you made it easy to understand.
      I just want some clarifications.
      So I will start working with a school of programming for children in morocco , I will be their sales manager. It was a sudden offer so I was not prepared. The school has never used ANAPEC and since the procedure is quite long, they suggested I make an auto entrepreneur statuts so that we have a justification for my first salaries and then we will change it after.

      Is it possible to do it as a moroccan ?

      • Hello,

        Glad you liked the content!

        Regarding your question, I think that’s possible. You can start with auto-entrepreneur and then remove it if you want down the road 🙂

        Good luck!

      • Hello,

        Sadly, I’m not an auto-entrepreneur anymore, so can’t provide more than what’s already said 🙂

    12. Hi Ahmed, Thanks a lot for the great articles! They are of great help 🙂 I have a quick questions regarding the AE status. Is the tax on revenues of 1% the only tax I would need to pay. Or would I also need to pay additional taxes on for instance a salary I pay myself on a monthly basis, based on the regular income tax brackets in Morocco? I know that as a self-employed person you usually only pay income tax once a year on the entire revenue, but just wanted to be sure that the 1% is the only tax that would apply here. Thanks a ton for your reply 🙂

      • Hey Kathrin,

        Yes, you’ll only pay 1% as taxes on the income, but on the whole income. With the auto-entrepreneur status, there is no way to remove your expenses before paying taxes, nor a way to have a monthly salary.

        Regarding the schedule, taxes are paid every quarter and not every year.

        I hope that helps!

        • Thanks a lot for the info and the quick reply Ahmed. Makes sense, all clear now 🙂 Take care!

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