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COVID-19 | Support Measures for Monegasque Companies

18/05/2020

The Government of Monaco has taken exceptional measures to support Monegasque companies facing economic difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Prince’s Government might modify the list and the content referred to below so as to better respond to the inherent needs of the current situation.

For the time being, the following measures have been taken:

Amendment to the interest subsidy scheme.

Ministerial Decree No 2020-253 of 20 March 2020, amending the Ministerial Decree No 2004-261 of 19 May 2004 on professional installation and assistance to undertakings, as amended, provides for:

  • The extension of the subsidy to cash loans taken out by all companies established in Monaco with a Monegasque credit institution (on request);
  • the full charge of the interest rate of the cash loan to be taken by the State (abolition of the floor-rate fixed at the 3-month EURIBOR rate plus 0,75% and switch to an interest rate of 0% for the loan beneficiaries).

Please note: only the cash loans up to a maximum amount of EUR 300,000 granted in the context of « a specific and exceptional economic situation recognised by the Government » are concerned by the subsidy. Supporting documents shall be provided by professionals wishing to benefit from this scheme to establish that the cash loans are linked to a specific and exceptional economic situation, such as the one linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allocation of an additional EUR 50 million to the Monegasque Credit Guarantee Fund and increase in the guarantee quota from 65% to 100% for eligible credits in the event of default.

(Note: the Fund guarantee is activated only at the request of a Monegasque credit institution).

The stated objective is to enable defaulting Monegasque professionals to benefit from the State’s counter-guarantee from credit institutions for the repayment of their credits. This scheme is open:

  • To natural or legal persons exercising an economic activity in the Principality for their cash loans and overdraft authorisations of less than EUR 50,000;
  • To companies listed in the Monaco Trade and Industry Register for their cash loans and overdraft authorisations of between EUR 50,000 and EUR 500,000.

Please note: the following are excluded from this mechanism: associations, non-trading companies, portfolio management companies, insurance companies as well as all professionals subject to collective proceedings.

Aide aux sociétés (Aid to companies).

This aid, which may be combined with recourse to the Monegasque Guarantee Fund, is intended to provide further support for companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1 March 2020, Monegasque companies have been able to benefit from this monthly aid of EUR 5,000, the duration of which has not yet been set by the Government of Monaco. To be eligible for this aid:

  • The company must be registered in the Monaco Trade and Industry Register;
  • The company must not be more than 50.01% owned by another commercial company;
  • The company must have achieved a turnover before tax of less than EUR 1,500,000 in 2019;
  • The company must have suffered a monthly decrease in activity of at least 50% since 1 March 2020 compared to the previous year at the same period;
  • The company must be up to date with its tax obligations as of 31 December 2019.

Please note: the following are excluded from this scheme: companies registered in the Monaco Trade and Industry Register after 31 January 2020, foreign companies and non-trading property companies. The formalities for obtaining the Aide aux sociétés are carried out online directly on the Government of Monaco website. The deadline for submitting a new application for the Aide aux sociétés is on 15 May 2020.

Revenu Minimum Extraordinaire (Extraordinary Minimum Income) for Self-Employed Workers.

This aid, which may be combined with recourse to the Monegasque Guarantee Fund, is intended to provide further support for self-employed workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1 March 2020, self-employed workers have been able to benefit monthly from (i) an income of EUR 1,800 and (ii) additional aid of EUR 3,200, the duration of which has not yet been set by the Government of Monaco. To be eligible for this aid:

  • The natural person must exercise a self-employed professional activity in Monaco (craft, industrial, liberal, commercial);
  • The natural person must not be a beneficiary of the daily allowance paid by the Social Security Funds of Monaco as compensation for childcare;
  • The natural person must be able to attest to his total or almost total absence of turnover since 1 March 2020;
  • The natural person must no longer be able to continue his activity because of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The natural person must not be an employee, manager or director of another company;
  • The natural person must not receive any remuneration other than that provided by the activity concerned, nor any company director's compensation or direct retirement pension;
  • The natural person must have achieved a turnover of more than EUR 12,000 as for the year 2019 or a minimum turnover of EUR 3,000 during the last quarter preceding the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic if his activity(ies) began in 2019;
  • The natural person must be up to date with its VAT reporting obligations (if applicable).

Please note: natural persons who carry out several activities in their personal name in Monaco cannot benefit from this aid for each of their activities. The deadline for submitting a new application for the Revenu Minimum Extraordinaire is 15 May 2020.

Referral to the Committee for Assistance to Businesses in Difficulty (Commission d’Assistance aux Entreprises en Difficulté or « COMED »).

The terms and conditions of the referral to this commission, created by the Ordinance No 11.888 of 20 February 1996 and intended to help companies in distress, are currently being reviewed by the Prince's Government to take into account the difficulties linked to the COVID-19 crisis. The Government is yet to communicate on this.

Deferral of Value Added Tax.

  • Companies and self-employed persons will benefit from a three-month deferral for the payment of the tax. Only taxable persons who have made their VAT return on time and in the prescribed manner will be able to benefit from this deferred payment system. It should be noted that:
  1. For businesses whose net VAT payable in respect of February, March or April 2020 is less than EUR 100,000, no justification is required;
  2. For businesses whose net VAT payable for the month of February, March or April 2020 is higher than EUR 100,000, proof of financial difficulties encountered due to the COVID-19 pandemic must be provided to the Tax Services Department.

Exemption from payment of the annual flat-rate fee for the professional activities carried out at home from 1 January 2020 and reimbursement of the fraction of the fee already paid for the year 2020 as soon as possible (only for state-owned housing).

Exemption from payment of rents and rental charges for merchants for the whole of 2020’s 2nd semester and reimbursement of the rents and rental charges paid for the month of March 2020 (only for state-owned premises).

The scheme could be generalised to all companies impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Exemption from payment of rents and fees from March 2020 until the end of the crisis for retailers and reduction on a prorata temporis basis of the annual fees for the occupation of the public highway relating to terraces (only for communal premises).

Staggered payments for social contributions to the Monegasque social security fund and Social Organisms (CCSS / CAR / Unemployment Insurance / CAMTI / CARTI).

Employers and self-employed workers may request by email to stagger the payment of their contributions to the Contribution Debt-collection Service of the social fund (Service de Recouvrement des cotisations des Caisses Sociales) and justify the nature of the difficulties encountered in relation with the pandemic situation. Employers remain subject to the usual reporting formalities.

Staggered payments for electricity, gas and phone contributions.

Companies and self-employed workers whose activity is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may request by email to stagger the payment of their contributions to the Monegasque Company for Electricity and Gas (SMEG - Société Monégasque de l'Electricité et du Gaz) and the Monaco Telecom company.

Deferral of supplementary pension contributions (AG2R).

Companies in quarterly or monthly payments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may request to defer all or part of the payment of Agirc-Arrco supplementary pension contributions for up to three months and without any additional delay fee. Companies remain subject to the usual reporting formalities.

Assistance measures concerning public car parks.

The Public Car Parks Office (Direction des Parkings Publics) has introduced the following measures:

  • for people with an employment subscription contract: no invoicing of overruns and the possibility of suspension of the subscription contract for employees who have been laid off within the framework of the strengthened provisions for total temporary layoff (chômage total temporaire renforcé) (upon request);
  • for people without an employment subscription contract and who have to go to their workplace: possibility to obtain a free parking card upon request by the employer by email.

Useful contacts
 “Covid19 Entreprises” Center
Center in charge of the information on the assistance schemes set up by the Government of Monaco for Monegasque companies.

Monegasque Social Fund (Debt-collection service) / Caisses Sociales de Monaco (Service Recouvrement)

Department of Tax Services / Direction des Services Fiscaux

The State Property Authority (Debt-collection fund) / Administration des Domaines (Caisse Recouvrements)

Monegasque Company of Electricity and Gas / Société Monégasque de l'Electricité et du Gaz (SMEG)

AG2R La Mondiale Group  /  Groupe AG2R La Mondiale – Agirc-Arrco

Monaco Telecom

Public Car Parks Office / Monaco Parkings

Source: https://service-public-entreprises.gouv.mc/Covid-19/Informations-pratiques-Covid-19/Aide-aux-entreprises/Guide-pratique-informations-generales#eztoc5436587_1

Authors

Olivier Marquet
Olivier Marquet
Avocat Associé | Managing Partner
Monaco
The picture of Stephan Pastor
Stephan Pastor
Avocat Associé | Partner
Monaco
The picture of Juliette Henry
Juliette Henry
Associate
Monaco