Global Business Company in Mauritius

January 17, 2023 - 9 min read

 

What is a Global Business Company in Mauritius?

A Global Business Company (GBC) in Mauritius is a company that has its main business operations principally carried on from within Mauritius, with persons who are resident outside of Mauritius.

A GBC is ideal to strategically manage and grow your business, making it an effective corporate vehicle for international tax planning.

 

The advantages of setting up a Global Business Company in Mauritius

Mauritius is one of the preferred jurisdictions for setting up a company. The country is considered as an ideal platform for trading, investment and asset protection activities. A GBC can benefit from the network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements that Mauritius has signed with many countries in Africa, Europe and Asia. This makes it a cost-effective corporate medium for international tax planning.

A GBC incorporated in Mauritius can be a branch of a foreign company. Additionally, a foreign company may transfer its headquarters to Mauritius and continue its activities as a GBC. Conversely, a Mauritian GBC may transfer its headquarters to another jurisdiction.

Confidentiality protects Global Business Companies, as no person or body may disclose information on the GBC unless otherwise stated. Moreover, although the rate of corporate income tax in Mauritius stands at 15%, Global Business Companies can benefit from a partial exemption regime whereby 80% of the income streams will be debarred from tax, subject to meeting substance requirements. The GBC should therefore apply and hold a tax residence certificate, which is delivered by the Mauritius Revenue Authority.

 

The revenue streams that can benefit from the 80% partial exemption regime are:

  • Foreign source dividend, provided that it has not been allowed as deduction in source country;
  • Income derived by a Collective Investment Scheme, Close End Funds, CIS manager, CIS administrator, Investment Adviser or Asset Manager;
  • Income derived by companies engaged in ship and aircraft leasing;
  • Income derived by a company from reinsurance and reinsurance brokering activities;
  • Income derived by a company from leasing and provision of international fibre capacity;
  • Income derived by a company from the sale, financing arrangement, asset management of aircraft and its spare parts and aviation advisory services related thereto;
  • Interest derived by a person from money lent through a Peer-to-Peer Lending platform;
  • Profit gained to a permanent establishment of a resident company abroad; and
  • Interest derived by a company other than:
    – a bank;
    – a non-bank deposit taking institution;
    – a money changer;
    – a foreign exchange dealer
    – an insurance company
    – a leasing company; or
    – a company providing factoring, hire-purchase facilities, or credit sales facilities.

 


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What type of activities can companies holding a Global Business Licence in Mauritius engage in?

Companies holding a Global Business Licence in Mauritius can engage in qualified activities, in accordance with their licence.

A GBC in Mauritius can be used for providing a wide range of financial services.

  • Investment dealer;
  • Investment Adviser;
  • Funds Management;
  • Insurance business such as Insurance Broker;
  • Payment Services provider;
  • Asset management;
  • Credit finance;
  • Custodian services;
  • Distribution of financial products;
  • Factoring;
  • Leasing;
  • Occupational pension scheme;
  • Pension fund administrators;
  • Pension scheme management;
  • Retirement benefits scheme;
  • Superannuation funds;
  • Treasury management; and
  • Registrar and transfer agent.

A GBC is also a suitable structure for other types of business activities such as:

  • International Trade;
  • Aircraft Financing and Leasing;
  • Consultancy Services;
  • Information and Communication Technology Services;
  • Licensing and Franchising;
  • Logistics and/or Marketing;
  • Operational Headquarters; and
  • Shipping and Ship Management.

 

What are the requirements to set up a Mauritius GBC?

Global Business Licensed companies need to be efficiently managed and controlled from Mauritius and meet the substance requirements of the Financial Services Commission. It is therefore considered as tax resident in Mauritius for tax purposes. As stated above, a GBC in Mauritius proposes to conduct business outside Mauritius, with people that are non-resident in Mauritius.

Offshore company in Mauritius - Requirements for setting up a GBC in Mauritius

The Mauritius GBC must be in compliance with a number of requirements to be able to operate:

  • Have a minimum of two directors, resident in Mauritius and of satisfactory calibre to exercise independence of mind and impartial judgement;
  • Be administered by a Management Company in Mauritius;
  • Maintain its principal bank account in Mauritius at all times;
  • Maintain and keep, at all times, its accounting records at its registered office in Mauritius;
  • Prepare its statutory financial statements and provide financial statements to be audited in Mauritius;
  • Provide for meetings of directors to include a minimum of 2 directors from Mauritius;
  • Authorised as a collective investment scheme, close end fund or external pension scheme, is administered from Mauritius;
  • Have office premises in Mauritius;
  • Has a clause whereby all disputes shall be resolved by way of arbitration in Mauritius;
  • Holds or will hold assets within the next 12 months;
  • Company’s shares to be listed on a securities exchange licensed by the Commission; and
  • Anticipated to generate yearly expenses of a significant degree.

 

The leading jurisdiction for doing business in Africa

Mauritius features among the best offshore jurisdiction to conduct business in Africa, ranked 1st in the ease of doing business by the World Bank. Indeed, setting up a business is quick and easy, taking on average 3 days. Businesses can be 100% foreign owned, managed and controlled, subject to abiding to the laws and regulations applicable to all. To date, about 15,000 Global Business Companies are registered in Mauritius. Indeed, the country’s conducive business environment puts forward :

  • Stable political background;
  • Strategic Time Zone (GMT +4);
  • Bilingual Skilled Workforce (English and French);
  • Anglophone and Francophone high standard private schools;
  • Modern Health Care Services;
  • No Exchange Controls;
  • International Arbitration Centre;
  • Transparent jurisdiction; and
  • Safe and secure environment to work, live and do business.

Many High-Net-Worth Individuals relocate to Mauritius to work or reside by making use of the many advantages the jurisdiction offers from wealth management, conducting business and high standard of living.

Global Business Company in Mauritius, an evolving international Financial Centre

 

Access to international markets and business opportunities

For businesses seeking access to international trade, Mauritius provides an ideal location for expanding their operations. The country’s strategic position at the heart of the Indian Ocean – at the confluence between Africa, Asia, and the Middle East – provide businesses with many opportunities for growth.

In addition to the Double Taxation Agreements Mauritius has with over 40 double taxation agreements, which allows investors to benefit from reduced withholding taxes on dividends and interest payments, the country has strategic trade agreements with a number of countries, making in a trading hub for the region, which include:

  • the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),
  • the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
  • the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA),
  • Free Trade Agreement with China,
  • Free Trade Agreement with India (CECPA), and
  • Free Trade Agreement with Pakistan.

 

FAQs

1. What is the process of setting up a GBC in Mauritius?

In order to set up a Global Business Company in Mauritius, the company must comply with the requirements laid down in the Companies Act 2001 and the Financial Services Act of Mauritius. This process includes, among other steps, obtaining a Global Business Licence from the Financial Services Commission, and ensuring that the company is managed and controlled from Mauritius, with a degree of substance in Mauritius.

 

2. What is the Global Business Licence in Mauritius?

The Global Business Licence, formerly known as Category 1 Global Business Licence or GBL1, is issued under the laws of Mauritius to a company engaged in qualified global business activities, and which is carried out from within Mauritius with persons who are resident outside of Mauritius. The company holding a Mauritius Global Business Licence is considered as tax resident in Mauritius and may benefit from the tax treaties signed by Mauritius.

 

3. Can you clarify the concept of double taxation regarding a GBC in Mauritius?

Mauritius has signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with a number countries. A company holding a Global Business Licence in Mauritius can take advantage of these treaties. It means that a company will not be taxed twice on the same income.

 

4. What is the international financial significance of Mauritius as a global business destination?

Mauritius is recognised as an International Financial Centre. Its strategic location, stable political environment, and adherence to international compliance standards make Mauritius an attractive jurisdiction for businesses. The jurisdiction serves as a springboard for companies looking to conduct international business, particularly for investments into Africa and Asia.

 

5. What does “substance in Mauritius” mean?

“Substance in Mauritius” requires a GBC to have a substantial economic presence in Mauritius. It means the company should have its primary management and control from within Mauritius; it should employ a reasonable number of suitably qualified persons to carry out day-to-day managerial roles; and all banking transactions should be route through a bank in Mauritius.

 

How Sunibel can service your Mauritius Global Business Company?

Sunibel, as your registered agent in Mauritius, can accompany you in your Mauritius offshore company incorporation. Coupled with our team of internationally qualified experts, we leverage on our international and local market expertise, being a member of multinational group Probus Pleion, to offer you a global solution for all your needs. We can also act as qualified Company Secretary for all your administrative requirements, having a lengthy experience in corporate management and advisory services.

Our team of experienced professionals can help you set up your Global Business Company in Mauritius and provide advice on the most appropriate business structure for your company, taking into consideration your specific circumstances and objectives. For a decade, our international clients, entrust us with the administration of the Mauritius GBC, strengthening our reputation as an international provider of corporate, trust, fund and fiduciary services.

If you are looking for a reliable and experienced provider of Company Incorporation and Business Structuring services, contact us today!
 
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Disclaimer

This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be used for, tax or legal advice. We may put you in contact with tax and legal advisers in this regard.

Although all information and opinions contained herein have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable and trustworthy, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to their accuracy or completeness, and, to the extent permitted by law, Sunibel Corporate Services Ltd, its members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in the article or for any decision based on it. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice.

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