Opportunities in San Marino
Small but very developed country
San Marino is the third smallest country in Europe, after Vatican and Monaco.
It’s an enclave, which means that it’s completely surrounded by another country, in this case, Italy.
There are 35 000 people living in San Marino.
This is the place that has a very high quality of life. It’s among the world’s richest countries if you look at GDP. There is no national debt, they have a surplus.
Also, the average lifespan is 87 years – again among the highest in the world.
San Marino is a very peaceful place, it has good healthcare and education.
The Italian language is the official language.
Here you will get lots of the advantages that Italy has, but without lots of disadvantages. Italy is very bureaucratic and slow and has quite high taxes.
San Marino is more efficient and taxes are definitely better.
So let’s dive into their taxation
Well, San Marino has 17% corporate tax rates- not so low. However, for the first 5 years, you will get 8,5%.
At this rate, it’s one of the lowest in Europe, because in Hungary you’ll get taxed at 9%, in Bulgaria 10%, Andorra also 10%.
Also, they recently brought in a new high tech regime here in San Marino. They want to encourage IT businesses to come here.
So, if you are a high tech company you will get zero percent corporate tax for the first 3 years, then 4 next years 4%, then 5 next years 8%. So a total of 12 years of favorable tax treatment for those businesses.
In order to be considered a high tech company, you will need to meet certain criteria. There is an organization here in San Marino that monitors this, and you can apply online.
Residency in San Marino
If you want to relocate to San Marino, residency is quite easy to get.
You can do residency by investment: 600 000 EUR deposited into San Marino bank account or a property purchase of at least 500 000 EUR worth.
We would say that the costs of living are cheaper than in Italy: food seems to be a better deal, vehicles are cheaper.
There are 5% taxes on dividends, received from local companies and a 3% tax on dividends received from foreign companies.
San Marino is a great place if you want to access Italy
It is a common law jurisdiction. San Marino is the first republic in the world.
They had a constitution before the USA.
In our opinion, San Marino is quite isolated (however still better than Andorra in that way) so it would turn many people down from living here. It’s also tiny.
However, you are about 1.30 h drive from Bologna, 30 minutes from Rimini, not that far from Florence.
If you want to travel to San Marino you will have to travel through Italy. They don’t have an airport here. It’s not part of the Schengen zone but you have to go through the Schengen to reach it. This might give you an interesting edge when it comes to travel/stay limitations in the Schengen area.
There is no VAT in here. There are import duties of 17%. However if you export a product to the company you will get a full refund on those duties.
Currently there are 4 banks locally, and they are all domestic banks. Opening bank account is apparently easy to open. Companies can be pricy to open.
Since this is a tiny country it’s very easy to know all the people that matter, so you can count on getting good connections here.
San Marino has very good network of double tax treaties, it has good trust laws.
Citizenship? You can forget about it.
It’s extremely hard to get a citizenship here. You will get a passport after 30 years of living here, and for 15 years if you marry a local.
We would definitely recommend you to at least visit San Marino. It’s a beautiful place with lots of history, worth checking it out.