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:

  • 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 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:

  • 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.

I work online, how can I do it legally?

  • Understand how taxation works and in which cadence you should pay it.
  • Get your health insurance in CNSS or a private insurance company.
  • Know how you can benefit from the legal system and reduce your taxes.
  • Get help with real examples and real numbers.
  • Get an Excel sheet to calculate your taxes at any moment.

5. You don’t have a healthcare plan

With the auto-entrepreneur status, you don’t have a healthcare plan nor a pension plan. This isn’t the same as being employed where you have the CNSS and everything.

That said, you can get your own health insurance if you want. Head to our article to learn more about this.

For your pension, it’s also easy. You can open a pension account on any bank you want. 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 health insurance and 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.

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

  1. nad.h says:

    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?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahmed says:

      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.

      Like

  2. Hassan says:

    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 ?

    Like

  3. amhdaar says:

    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

    Like

    • Ahmed says:

      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

      Like

  4. Anas says:

    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

    Like

    • Ahmed says:

      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

      Like

    • Ahmed says:

      Update: 28/12/2020

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

      Like

  5. Mehdi says:

    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)?

    Like

    • Ahmed says:

      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.

      Like

      • Abir says:

        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?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ahmed says:

        Hey Abir,

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

        Like

  6. Mohamed Belaiter says:

    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. ?

    Like

  7. Valentin says:

    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% ?

    Like

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