What you didn’t know about NACs, MSMEs and self-employment

On September 20, the regulatory package that legalizes the creation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) came into force, while establishing changes in the operation of non-agricultural cooperatives (NACs) and self-employment. In this issue, Negolution brings you some similarities and differences between these different economic actors.

  Classification according to the number of employees
Micro From 1 to 10
Small From 11 to 35
Medium From 36 to 100

The only difference between the different categories of MSMEs is the number of employees. The number of employees in an MSME includes all the individuals involved in the activity of the enterprise, both partners and hired workers. This is the most widespread indicator used in the world, but the classification of MSMEs may include others.

MSMEs are economic actors with legal capacity, in both the state and private sector, engaged in the production of goods and services and classified by size according to their characteristics.

Cooperatives are an economic entity of entrepreneurial character with their own legal capacity, which is constituted based on the voluntary association of people who contribute money, other goods and rights; to meet the economic, social and cultural needs of its owner-members, based on their work and the effective exercise of the universally recognized principles of cooperativism.

  Form of ownership Legal structure Number of partners Notary fees


Growth limit Taxation system Hiring of employees
NAC Cooperative ownership implies the participation of members on equal terms and the distribution of profits according to the work contributed Cooperative Minimum of three partners and no maximum 1,200 CUP



No limits to their growth The tax system of NACs is more beneficial than that of MSMEs, since it is a more social form of ownership


Workers are hired for a fixed term of up to three months, and may not exceed 10% of the number of members
MSME Private ownership implies the private distribution of profits among the partners, who distribute them according to their contributions to the capital stock Limited liability company They can be incorporated from a single partner and have as many partners as they wish, as long as they comply with the number of employees established by law for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises 2,100 CUP Can grow to medium-sized companies with 100 employees The taxation system is less beneficial than that of NACs They may hire as many workers as they deem necessary, as long as the MSME does not exceed 100 employees
MSME Have legal capacity

They have the same powers

They may carry out the same activities in compliance with the list in Decree 49/2021

They may own establishments without legal status in several territories of the country

Have access to credit and government financing

The corporate purpose of MSMEs and NACs is that which the partners establish in the articles of association as the lawful economic activities in which they will engage, in accordance with the regulations in force

They can access foreign investment


E It is necessary to clarify that the concept of self-employment also changed in this new law. The self-employed worker (TCP) is an individual who undertakes an economic activity in an autonomous manner on a very small scale. The holder of a self-employed worker’s license may employ family members up to second degree relatives, without the need to declare them as hired workers. Additionally, a TCP can hire up to three workers.






Telegram channel “Actores Económicos”

Conferences on the official YouTube channel of the Ministry of Economy and Planning

Cuban News Agency


Official Gazette No. 94, August 19, 2021

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