Doing Business In: Morocco

M.A. Global Consulting

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Morocco’s Business Environment

Located in the northwest of the African continent and 15 kilometers from Europe of which it is separated by the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco is a privileged geostrategic crossroads between Africa, Europe and the Arab world. The ongoing improvement of the business climate, the opening up of trade combined with the liberalization of productive sectors and the country’s commitment to a series of free trade agreements are further strengthening Morocco’s economic integration.

Based on GDP, Morocco ranks 5th in Africa and 60th in the world. The primary sector (agriculture, fisheries, etc.) contributes 14% of GDP, the secondary sector (industry) contributes 29% and the service sector contributes 57%.

Morocco is the world’s third largest producer and first exporter of phosphates. It holds, by far, the first world reserves with 50 billion tons. It is also an agricultural powerhouse in terms of exports of citrus fruits, tomatoes and table olives. In addition, Morocco is becoming a major global player in the renewable energy sector through the implementation of ambitious projects to produce clean energy from solar and wind sources.

Morocco has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since January 1, 1995 and a member of the GATT since June 17, 1987. In 2008, the European Union granted Morocco “advanced status”, constituting a major turning point and the start of a new stage in strengthening relations between the two partners.

This privileged partnership, initiated under the Association Agreement and the European Neighborhood Policy, reflects the desire to establish a common economic zone between Morocco and the EU, featuring a deep integration of the Moroccan economy with that of the EU.


Foreign Investment Restrictions

The General Foreign Exchange instruction dated January 2, 2024 instituted a free convertibility regime for foreign investments made in Morocco in foreign currencies, guaranteeing the investors concerned complete freedom, with no limit on the amount, of:

  • carry out their investment operations in Morocco;
  • export revenues generated by investments;
  • export proceeds from the liquidation or sale of their investments.

Financing for foreign investment operations in Morocco can be provided in several ways (e.g., by transfers received from abroad, by debiting foreign currency or convertible dirham accounts, consolidation of shareholders’ current accounts, capitalization of reserves, retained earnings, contributions in kind financed in foreign currency or dirhams, etc.).

To carry out their investments and activities in Morocco, foreign exchange regulations allow foreign companies to open foreign currency accounts and convertible dirham accounts with a Moroccan bank.

Foreign investments in Morocco are operations giving rise to the constitution by foreign legal entities, resident or non-resident natural persons of foreign nationality and natural persons of Moroccan nationality residing abroad, of a financial or real asset in Morocco.

The investments take the following forms: a) creation of companies; b) acquisition of financial instruments; c) acquisition of shares and subscription to the capital increase of a company; d) partner’s current account contributions in cash of trade receivables; e) establishment of a branch of representative or liaison office; f) provision of related loans; g) terms deposits with a bank; h) acquisition of immovable property or rights to use such property; i) carrying out construction work and/or fitting-out of immovable property.



  • Main trade sectors


The Moroccan automotive industry is particularly strong when it comes to exports. It creates many jobs and generates double-digit annual growth. Major foreign groups are helping to position Morocco as a production and export platform for automotive equipment and vehicles.


Morocco’s aerospace industry is another dynamic sector!

Ranked among the world’s top 5 most attractive countries for subcontractors, Morocco has enormous potential between now and 2030. Following the launch of the Industrial Acceleration Plan (PAI) in 2014, the aeronautical industry doubled its turnover. With the first results committed to in the PAI, the sector is seen as an integrated catalyst for growth and could rapidly triple its revenues.


The biggest contributor to GDP, ahead of tourism and industry, agriculture has become an essential pillar of the Moroccan economy and society. Not least thanks to the Green Morocco Plan introduced in 2008. With the strategic ambition that has been at the heart of the VMP for the past ten years, Morocco is seeking to produce more (population growth), better (reducing the environmental footprint and optimising quality) and with stability (reducing exposure to weather shocks).

The VMP clearly illustrates Morocco’s determination to place the agricultural sector at the heart of its geopolitical priorities. A word of caution, however: against a backdrop of persistent drought, the agricultural sector is threatened by water scarcity.


Did you know that Morocco currently supplies 20% of the world’s phosphate production? Ranked second among phosphate-producing countries (after the United States), Morocco is even the world’s leading exporter, supplying 45% of the market alone!

OCP (Office Chérifien des Phosphates) is Morocco’s largest industrial company. It employs fifteen thousand people and has a turnover of over 420 million dirhams (42 million euro). A pilot national company with a young, dynamic spirit, OCP is a fine example of success on three levels: technical, commercial and social!


In Morocco, trade accounts for 88% of GDP.

The sectors that dominate exports? Automobiles, enamelled or anodised cables, fertilisers, clothing, transport and travel services, and business services.

Imports? Petroleum products, automobiles, gas, wires and cables, tractors and transport and travel services.

  • Inflation rates

Inflation rate has been set at 6.3% at the end of 2023.


Employment Affairs

Moroccan citizens and non-Moroccan citizens (with work permit and registration card) are allowed to work in Morocco. Minors cannot be employed until they have ended the age of fifteen years.

The annual/weekly working hours in Morocco are as follows:

  • For the industry, commerce and liberal professions sectors:
    • Annual working hours: 2,288 hours
    • Weekly working hours: 44 hours
  • For the agricultural sector:
    • Annual working hours: 2,496 hours
    • Weekly working hours: variable according to the needs of the crops.

Furthermore, the legal minimum wage in Morocco is as follows:

  • For the industry, commerce and liberal professions sectors:
    • Legal minimum wage: 16,29 MAD per hour
    • Effective date: September 1, 2023
  • For the agricultural sector:
    • Legal minimum wage: 88,57 MAD per day
    • Effective date: September 1, 2023


Legal system

How does the legal system operate? What should clients be mindful of when doing business in Morocco?

The Moroccan legal system, rooted in the civil law tradition of France, has undergone significant change since 1913. This transformation marked a shift towards positive law, gradually detaching itself from its religious foundations. The main sources of law in Morocco are the Constitution, royal decrees known as Dahir, and laws drafted by parliament.

Foreign investment is encouraged, but restrictions remain in certain sectors. Investors should familiarize themselves with foreign investment laws and regulations, taking into account potential tax incentives.

Intellectual property protection is a crucial aspect of doing business in Morocco. Registering trademarks, patents and copyrights is highly recommended to avoid disputes and ensure the protection of commercial interests. Compliance with local labor, health and safety standards is imperative.

Companies must adapt to cultural and regulatory specificities to ensure that business is conducted in line with local expectations. In the event of a dispute, international arbitration is often the preferred means of resolving commercial differences. It is a good idea to include arbitration clauses in contracts to facilitate the settlement of disputes.

Finally, establishing partnerships with local companies can prove beneficial. This facilitates market entry and helps navigate the cultural and legal subtleties specific to the Moroccan context.

Judicial organization

Morocco’s common law jurisdictions are as follows:

  • Court of first instance;
  • Administrative courts;
  • Commercial courts;
  • Courts of appeal;
  • Administrative courts of appeal;
  • Commercial courts of appeal;
  • Court of cassation.

Tax regime

The tax system in Morocco is as follows:

  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rates:
    • Headline CIT rate (%): For FY24, the CIT rates applicable to companies with a net taxable income lower than MAD 100 million are:
      • 15% for net taxable income of less than KMAD 300;
      • 20% for net taxable income between KMAD 300 and KMAD 1,000;
      • 5% for net taxable income in excess of KMAD 1,000.

For FY24, the CIT rate applicable to companies with a net taxable income higher than MAD 100 million is 33%.

The target rates that will be applicable starting from January 2026 are:

      • 20% for companies with net taxable income lower than KMAD 100,000;
      • 35% for companies with net taxable income of KMAD 100,000.
  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Due Dates:
    • CIT return due date: Within three months following the closing of the fiscal year.
    • CIT final payment due date: Within three months following the closing of the fiscal year.
    • CIT estimated payment due dates: Payment of tax is made during the fiscal year by way of four equal instalments.
  • Personal Income Tax (PIT) Rates:
    • Headline PIT rate (%): 38%.
  • Personal Income Tax (PIT) Due Dates:
    • PIT return due date: 28 February.
  • Value-Added Tax (VAT) Rates:
    • Standard VAT rate (%): 20%.
  • Withholding tax (WHT) Rates:
    • WHT rates (%) (Dividends/Interest/Royalties):
      • Resident individuals: 13,5% / 30% / 30%
      • Resident Companies: N/A
      • Non-resident: 13,5%/ 10%/ 10%


Current Opportunities & Future prospects

Morocco presents a spectrum of current opportunities and promising future prospects across rich and diversified industries. In the automotive sector, renowned as the country’s primary exporting sector, there is a remarkable 60% local integration rate. Aeronautics, witnessing a notable annual growth of over 20%, boasts a network of more than 140 aeronautical operators. The textile industry, a key player and among the foremost industrial employers in Morocco, contributes significantly to the nation’s economic landscape.

Additionally, the agro-industry stands out as the leading manufacturing sector in Morocco, emphasizing its pivotal role in the country’s economic framework. Morocco has also established itself as a competitive outsourcing platform, further solidifying its position in the global market. The pharmaceutical sector contributes to Morocco’s identity as an African pharmaceutical laboratory, showcasing advancements and innovation in the field.

These are just a glimpse of the rich industrial landscape in Morocco, with numerous other sectors contributing to the country’s economic vitality and offering diverse opportunities for growth and development.