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by Zsolt Szemerszky

Zsolt Szemerszky

The real lawyer

The real lawyer

In 2012, I decided to open a company in the Principality, therefore, I personally contacted the Monaco Welcome & Business Office. I knew that there are various companies that are able to do this for you, and they have enough skin on their face to charge even 40,000 Euro for the “preparation”, which they call an “all-in package”. However, this informal service is free of charge and the Monaco Welcome & Business Office is capable of speaking perfect English too. So, I decided to take the time to send over my inquiry via email.

After a few days, my request was dedicated to a manager (they call them Administrateur) and we started to clear every single requirements for the planned activity. I have to tell you, I asked a lot, really a lot, from them and the dedicated person from the Monaco Welcome & Business Office was very helpful and extremely patient. He was verykind to send me detailed explanations and he also showed me the ways that I could double-check some related resources.

However, he always said that the best way is to use a local lawyer or a financial advisor, although he never forced me to do that. It was just a recommendation from the part of the Monaco Welcome & Business Office. I kindly acknowledged, however, I wanted to do the preparation work myself.

Many months went by because I was extremely busy during that time and my business partner was expecting a baby, so from the starting date in spring, we went to the end of summer. The truth is that the summer period is the worse period for any kind of administration in the Principality of Monaco. The offices and Administrateurs are usually fully overloaded with inquires. However, I was so motivated that I did not really care about this delay.

For the summer, we organized all the requested documents in originals with a certified translation into French. The package included the clean police records, birth certificates, bank references, personal introductions, professional references, etc.

We also agreed on the corporate purpose (”Objet social”), which I considered as one of the most critical pieces. The corporate purpose is the part which will determine the requested permits and laws in the Principality of Monaco.

That was it; we were ready. The only thing missing was the “Statuts”, as they call in Monaco, which basically includes the Articles of Association and the Shareholding agreement. This was the document where I needed a lawyer.

So I started to contact some of the lawyers I found on the internet. I realized that I could find four types of them:

1. The busy one, who was ready to create the Statuts for us, but since it was summer, asked for two-three months. Obviously, they were not my target because I wanted a faster solution.

2. Then I found the crooks, who said that they could do anything, even in a 24-hour timeframe. I just needed to transfer them a payment in advance. This was quite understandable, but when I asked for a personal appointment, they said that we could not meet before the transfer. It was weird, but probably the reason was simple, they had no office in the Principality.

3. Then there were the “package deal guys”, as I called them. They said that they could do the Statuts for me. In order to do so, I only had to sign a contract for one of their packages. The minimum was 40,000 Euro at the time, but many of them asked for more than a hundred thousand. When I mentioned that I only need the Statuts, they tried to convince me how hard the preparation process is. So, I sent them the letter from the Direction Expansion Economique, which stated that all other documents are ready, so I and just need to send over the Statuts. Usually this was the point when they had no more interest in working with me, because they were unable to charge me the full package.

4. But life always helps and if you are persistent enough, usually life guides you in the right direction. So finally, I find the fourth type of lawyer. I had a chance to keep in contact with a very kind guy in the Boulevard d’Italie, who was ready to make us the Statuts in a very short timeframe. It was not easy to convince him, because he was very busy too, but luckily he understood that if he helped me, then I would probably be his client for a long time. This was the first time that I felt customer care, and in his office, I was the real client.

He charged me everything in advance in a much more realistic price, kept his word, and prepared everything well. Furthermore, he was kind enough to offer his services to bring all the Statuts documents to the Tax Office to get the official stamps on it. And he did this as an added value, which felt more than great.

He managed everything with utmost professionalism, from the preparation to the stamped papers within a week. His professional service was worth every cent.

I am the kind of person who likes to be involved in the preparation processes, because I like to know the options and possibilities. I do not like it when people say I have only one way. It is always good to see the options because they give you a variety of choices. However, there is always a point when you need to ask for professional help.

I believe that to find a good lawyer who is not busy and overloaded with VIP clients, it is almost impossible in the Principality. However, if you are persistent enough, they will be ready to work with you and they will fasten up all your processes with the highest possible level of legal security.

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