Monaco is a small country. The regulation is of high quality, meeting international standards, but at the same time it is human scaled, and the authorities are approachable.
Executive power is retained by the highest authority, the Prince. Administrative responsibilities are the duties of the Minister of State, aided by the Government Council responsible to the Prince. Legislative and budgetary powers are exercised jointly by the Prince and by the National Council. Finally, judiciary power, independent of Government, is exercised by the courts and tribunals.
The Government’s regulatory power authorizes enacting passed bills and laws and administering public services. Two distinct regulatory acts are possible:
Sovereign orders are promulgated after receiving sovereign signature and after publication in the Monaco Journal.
Ministerial decrees ratifying sovereign laws and orders are posted by the Minister and are executed following a ten day period during which the Prince can exercise his veto power.
The Ministry of Finance and the Economy is under the responsibility of the Government Minister and deals with all financial matters relating to operations carried out by the state, and overseas the budget and the activities of a large variety of services.
The Economic Development Direction is specifically responsible for examining and following up applications for new businesses, either as an individual business or as a company; and maintaining the Register of Commerce and Industry, as well as carrying out all enquiries regarding individuals and companies, within the framework of the provisions set out in law 1144 ; receiving and handling complaints from individuals and economic agents.
It develops studies and statistics enabling regular economic information to be provided, particularly in the areas of business, industry and real estate.
It monitors texts relating to economic activities and entities in the Principality, as well as ensuring the procedures are adhered to. It provides protection for inventions, distinctive marks used by companies in their activity and forms given to products by industrial property titles : patents, trademarks, designs and models.
The Commission de Contrôle des Activités Financières (CCAF), Monaco’s Financial Services Authority, encourages the development of financial activities, and promotes the development of those activities in the Principality while ensuring the security of savings and investments through various protective dispositions.
It should be noted that the new European MIF directive, in the current state of Monaco law, is not applicable except in its purely prudential aspects relating to credit establishments (not financial management companies).
The Service d’Information et de Contrôle sur les Circuits Financiers (SICCFIN) is the national central authority responsible for collecting, analysing and disseminating information related to the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and corruption.
The Commission de Control des Informations Nominatives (CCIN) is responsible for upholding information rights and data privacy for individuals.
Surrounded by French territory, the Principality signed its first bilateral treaty in 1641, thereby institutionalising the links of friendship between both countries. Since then, Monaco has negotiated other bilateral treaties, particularly those concerning international extradition and judicial assistance with various countries. In addition to its fiscal convention with France, Monaco has signed double taxation treaties (DTAs) with Luxemburg, and Qatar, and is actively negotiating new treaties with other countries. A significant number of Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) have been signed, including ones with the United States and Germany.
The OECD, which has recently published the results of its Phase 2 Peer Review on Monaco, considers Monaco to be on its white list of cooperative countries. Monaco was assessed as being "largely compliant" with international standards on transparency in tax matters (like, for example, the United Kingdom and Italy) at the OECD Global Forum in Jakarta in November, 2013.