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Setting Up a Business in Mauritius

Important factors in deciding to use a particular type of corporate structure are the tax and regulatory treatment that will be applied both in Mauritius and any foreign country. It is essential that appropriate legal and tax advice is sought in all relevant jurisdictions to determine the type of corporate body/structure that will be best suited to your requirements.

There are several options available to international companies seeking to create a presence in Mauritius:

  • The type of business activities
  • Commercial models 
  • Mauritius statutory compliance and reporting obligations
  • The levels of risk anticipated in the start-up stages
  • The duration of your business in Mauritius plan and activities 
  • Accounting and taxation considerations

The principal statute governing the formation and operation of Mauritius companies is the Companies Act 2001, which has been regularly amended to keep pace with changes in respect of Mauritius incorporated companies and international good practices.

The registrar for Mauritius companies is the Corporate and Business Registration Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, which administers the Companies Act 2001, the Business Registration Act 2002, the Insolvency Act 2009, the Limited Partnerships Act 2011 and the Foundations Act 2012.

Companies incorporated in Mauritius for the purpose of doing business outside of Mauritius are designated as Global Business Companies (GBCs). These are governed by the Financial Services Act 2007, which simplifies the regulatory regime and consolidates the legislative framework of the global business sector.

Domestic Companies

A domestic company is the best way to conduct business with Mauritian residents and is the preferred vehicle for investing in Mauritius.

The Domestic Company is only registered and reviewed by the Registrar of Companies and is taxed at 15% in Mauritius.  Losses can be carried forward for a maximum of 5 years for tax purposes.  

“Export of goods” includes international buying and selling of goods by an entity in its own name, whereby the shipment of such goods is made directly by the shipper, in the original exporting country, without the goods being physically landed in Mauritius.”

Setting up a domestic company in mauritius

Compulsory registration for VAT is when the Company reaches a revenue threshold of (Mauritius Rupees) MUR 6,000,000 and is dealing with VAT taxable supplies. The domestic company should compulsorily have its financial statements audited in Mauritius when the revenue threshold reaches a minimum of MUR 50,000,000.

The Mauritius Companies Act 2001 allows a domestic company in Mauritius to have foreign shareholders as long as at least some operations are being carried out within the geographical boundaries of Mauritius. 

However, with respect to directors, you should ensure that at least 1 director is ordinarily resident in Mauritius so as to be in compliance with the requirements of Clause 132 of the Mauritius Companies Act 2001. Ordinarily resident means that at least 1 director should be spending at least 183 days in Mauritius in a calendar year as per Clause 73 of the Income Tax Act. 

Global Business Companies (GBCS)

Companies incorporated in Mauritius for the purpose of doing business primarily outside Mauritius are designated as Global Business Companies (GBCs) and are governed by the Financial Services Act 2007.

Prior to 2018, any resident corporation that proposed to conduct business outside Mauritius could apply to the Financial Services Commission (FSC) for a Category 1 Global Business Licence (GBC1) or a Category 2 Global Business Licence (GBC2).

A GBC1 is a company that is resident in Mauritius for tax purposes. It is, therefore, liable to tax at a flat rate of 15% on chargeable income, but there is a Deemed Foreign Tax Credit (DFTC) of 80%, resulting in a maximum effective tax rate of 3%. Upon obtaining a Tax Residence Certificate (TRC) from the Mauritius Revenue Authority, a GBC1 also has access to Mauritius’ network of double tax treaties.

A GBC1 is permitted to undertake any business activity that is not illegal or against public policy, including those involving capital raising from the public. A GBC1 may be a locally incorporated company or a branch of a foreign company and may be structured as a protected cell company, as an investment company, a fund or a limited partnership.

A GBC2 is not considered resident in Mauritius for tax purposes and therefore, is not liable to tax in Mauritius. As a result, it is unable to qualify for double taxation treaty relief. A GBC2 is suited for trading, holding and managing private assets and may not engage in certain authorised activities such as financial services.

Some of the services available to you via our Partner Network include but are not limited to the following:

  • Advice on the best structure for your activities
  • Highest level of integrity and confidentiality
  • Wide range of administration and add-on services for the daily operations of your company
  • One-stop-shop solutions tailored to meet and suit your individual requirements
  • Company Formation in Mauritius – Global Business Corporation (GBC), Authorised Company (AC), Protected Cell Companies (PCC), Limited Partnership (LP), Investment Dealer, Investment Adviser, Domestic Company and any other special licences
  • Assistance for the Bank account opening, internet banking, credit card and/or e-commerce facilities
  • Assistance for company re-domiciliation and migration
  • Directorship Services
  • Company Secretary
    •    Incorporation of the company
    •    Legal advice and service 
    •    Accounting Services 
  • Personal approach and fast service at all times

Smart Cities in Mauritius – The Smart City Scheme

The government of Mauritius launched the Smart City Scheme in 2015. The property development programme involves mixed-use of property development, with the incorporation of residential, commercial, working offices, education and medical spaces. 

The Smart City Scheme is based on innovation, sustainable living, having a more efficient life and a greater quality of life. 

The intentions and goals of the Smart City Scheme include: 

  • Green urban space emergence
  • Smart development
  • Enhance the financial & investment platforms of Mauritius 
  • Nature conservation 
  • Social Welfare contribution 
  • Sustainable living
  • Live-Work-Play concept & way of life
  • Boost business setup in Mauritius 
  • Increase & encourage foreign investment 
  • High quality infrastructure 
  • Reduce the environmental footprint 
  • Improved mobility solutions 
  • ICT enabled (IoT, Cloud Infrastructure, Energy Saving)
  • Promotion with foreign investment 

Smart City Scheme - business in Mauritius

HR Support Services

We focus on people issues impacting your business in Mauritius. We cover all areas of HR Support. We can find out what’s important to you and consider your challenges from a commercial perspective. We then select the right people with the right skills, experience and business insight that you need. Our people are passionate about providing you with practical advice and working together with you to enhance your business performance.

  • HR support and Audit
  • Personnel Files and Maintenance
  • Employee Handbook
  • Employment Contracts Drafting 
  • Performance and Talent Management
  • Training Needs Analysis
  • Payroll Processing
  • Industrial Relations
  • Organisational Development
  • Employee Health and Wellness
  • Project-Based HR Consulting
  • Employee Counselling
  • Onboarding

Our Concierge team is standing by to answer all your questions about setting up a business in Mauritius. Contact us today for a free needs analysis.

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