Setting up and register a company in Mauritius
Why setting up a company in Mauritius
Setting up a company in Mauritius is ideal for entrepreneurs and corporates from all over the world looking to take advantage the island’s robust International Financial Centre to do business worldwide. Mauritius provides a conducive business environment that features:
- 100% foreign ownership
- Political and economic stability;
- Investment and business-friendly country (leading international financial centre in Africa for doing business, economic freedom, competitiveness and transparency);
- Compliant with international standards (OECD, EU, FATF, etc.);
- A wide network of Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPAs);
- Member of various trade organisations (SADC, COMESA, African Union, and African Continental Free Trade Area);
- Good governance;
- Cost-efficient company formation and registered local office accommodation costs;
- No social security charges on the wages of foreign employees;
- Skilled, qualified and bilingual (English and French) workforce at a competitive rate;
- A comprehensive range of banking services with the presence of international banks;
- Strategic location and convenient time zone (GMT+4) for international transactions;
- Confidentiality for ultimate beneficial owner(s);
- No Capital Gain tax;
- Individual and corporate tax rate of 15 %;
- Free repatriation of dividends, capital and profits;
- No tax on dividends;
- No inheritance taxes;
- Innovative platform for foreign investors;
- Strategic location, close to Africa and Asia;
- A wide network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAs);
- Modern island with up-to-date High tech facilities and devices; and
- A competent listing and capital-raising platform (Stock Exchange of Mauritius).
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- Relocate to Mauritius: the ideal place to live and do business
How to register a company in Mauritius and do business
Both foreign companies and individuals can proceed with the creation and registration of a company, as well as its incorporation in Mauritius, which requires the services of a company formation services provider to ease the application for incorporation. No minimum capital is required, and the Mauritian laws allows for 100% foreign ownership. An applicant needs to provide the following information prior to setting up a company in Mauritius:
- Company name;
- Nature of business;
- Relevant Due Diligence documents;
- Date or suggested date of commencement for a company;
- Registered office address of business; and
- Telephone number and email address.
These companies may take one of the following status:
- Limited by shares: This category of company is set up with a constitution that limits the liability of shareholders to the amount of unpaid shares each shareholder holds;
- Limited by guarantee: This company’s constitution puts a limit on members’ liabilities to the amount they undertake to contribute in case the company gets wound up; or
- Limited by shares and guarantee: A combination of limited by shares and limited by guarantee, this kind of company limits shareholders’ liability to any amount unpaid on their shares, while having members give a limit on their guaranteed contributions should winding-up occur.
Other company status include:
- Unlimited Company;
- Limited Life Company; and
- One-person company.
What to consider upon company registration in Mauritius?
Company registration in Mauritius requires some important considerations. Before you proceed with the process, you first need to ensure that your chosen business entity is eligible for incorporation in the country. Since some transaction and activities are restricted or prohibited in Mauritius, it is important to seek advice from experienced professionals.
Secondly, you need to choose the appropriate business structure that aligns with your company objectives and provides the necessary flexibility for future expansion. Options include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, domestic company or offshore company, amongst others.
Thirdly, you must comply with the regulatory and business requirements, including obtaining a Mauritius business permit, registering with the Registrar of Companies, ensuring you have the sufficient funds to sustain your operations, as well as having a local bank account, office space, equipment, and personnel.
Overall, setting up a company in Mauritius can provide several benefits, including tax investives, access to foreign markets, and a skilled workforce.
Timeline for starting a business in Mauritius
Start a business in Mauritius is a swift process, taking on average 3 working days to obtain your certificate of incorporation. However, the timeline and requirements needed to set up in Mauritius varies and depends on the type of company, the licence(s) it requires to operate, or if additional approvals are required from other government agencies.
It is recommended to seek assistance from a business registration service provider to guide and assist in this process to ensure the application for incorporation complies with all requirements.
Before setting up an entity in Mauritius, you must therefore identify the appropriate company type for your activities, and obtain approval from the Financial Services Commission. The type of business and licences are:
Global Business Company (GBC)
A company that has its business operations carried out from Mauritius, and carries out its activities principally outside of Mauritius, a company holding a Global Business Licence benefits from the network of DTAs, making it a cost-effective corporate medium for international tax planning.
Authorised Company in Mauritius
A Mauritius Authorised Company has its activities and control & management outside of Mauritius, and is considered as foreign for tax purposes.
The Global Headquarters Administration licence has proven to be crucial in enabling several multinationals to strategically optimise their business by setting up their regional offices in the Mauritian territory.
Protected Cell Company
A Protected Cell Company (PCC) is a Special Purpose Vehicle that authorises the lawful separation of assets owned by each cell of the company. Also known as a Segregated Portfolio Company in some jurisdictions, the PCC allows for more security and flexibility for international investment structuring.
Variable Capital Company
A Variable Capital Company (VCC) is a legal structure that can be used in both the traditional and alternative investment fund market ecosystem. The VCC provides more flexibility to users of fund structures that use Mauritius for their outbound investments.
Trust in Mauritius
The Mauritius International Financial Centre has evolved into a trustworthy jurisdiction for establishing and operating Mauritius Trusts, especially used for the management, preservation and transmission of assets.
The Private Trust Company
The Private Trust Company (PTC) is a vehicle with a perfect model to preserve the assets of one’s family while exercising control as the Trustee.
A Mauritius Foundation is ideal to cater for succession & inheritance planning, management of private wealth, and asset-holding strategies. Click to learn more about Foundations.
Fund Structures in Mauritius allow for investors and investment managers to route investments into Africa and Asia, among others.
Trading companies trade goods and services from one country to the other. They can make use of the Mauritian jurisdiction to gain an edge on competitors in other countries.
Investors in Mauritius benefit from a cost-saving platform in which they also make use of the Freeport facilities, easing Trading and Shipment.
The Mauritius Freeport is one of the biggest trade and logistics hubs in the country. It has been in operation since 1992 and is currently home to over 350 companies from various industries such as textile, electronics, and jewelry. Freeport provides a strategic location for companies to conduct their import and export activities, as it is situated between Asia and Africa.
The freeport also provides various services such as warehousing, cold storage facilities, and customs clearance; and has helped Mauritius to become a business hub in the region while contributing significantly to the country’s economy. With its constant growth and development, the Mauririut Freeport is set to continue meeting the needs of local and international businesses.
Businesses whose activities are destined to Mauritius residents should set up a domestic company. This type of company is ideal for investment holding, trading, provision of consultancy services, and acquisition of immovable property (under the Property Development Scheme in Mauritius for instance) amongst others.
For warehousing, transhipment and/or transformation of products, such company can apply for a Freeport License Mauritius.
Opportunities to invest and do business in Mauritius
For companies that set up or conduct business in Mauritius, there are a number of opportunities in sectors such as:
- Creative Industry;
- Training (through training institutions or online);
- Ocean Economy (Aquaculture and Seafood processing);
- Healthcare and medical travel;
- Logistics & distribution services;
- Hospitality and Real Estate;
- Financial Services;
- Manufacturing & light engineering;
- Renewable energy and environment; and
- Information Communication Technology (new technologies and digital economy).
Regulations for company formation in Mauritius
Company registration in Mauritius are governed by the provision of the Companies Act 2001 and the Business Registration Act 2002. Both Acts are in line with the international best practice for modern domestic and international investors to invest more efficiently in Mauritius.
According to the Companies Act 2001, there is no obligation for a company to have a constitution. In this case, the Act will serve as the governing document. All companies should therefore abide by this Act The incorporation of offshore companies in Mauritius requires the approval from the Financial Services Commission, the institution in charge of the regulation, administration and inspection of all financial services in Mauritius. Furthermore, each business activity needs to be indexed with the Registrar of Companies.
In addition, under the Companies Act 2001, companies must have:
- A minimum of one director, resident in Mauritius; and
- A registered office (in Mauritius, no PO boxes).
Sunibel, an experienced provider of company formation services
Are you interested in setting up your company and looking to conduct business in Mauritius? With a strong experience gained over the years by serving clients from all over the world, we guide and accompany you in the creation of your company in Mauritius. As an international provider of corporate, trust, fund and fiduciary services, our team of experts at Mauritius company incorporation takes time to understand your business to help you strategically optimise your structure through the Mauritius jurisdiction. Our services include:
- Administration and incorporation of companies and structures
- Wealth structuring through Trusts and Foundations
- Fund administration services
- Invoicing and back office
- Finance, accounting and international taxation
- Assistance in Listing on the Stock Exchange
- Assistance with permits and relocation
We have the experience and expertise to help you maximise the value of your business through tailored services. With a robust IT system tailored to the needs of our business, we can provide a quality service, while ensuring the protection of your data.
Furthermore, through our network of partners, we can assist you in finding the best location for your business and for you. Whether you are looking for offices, commercial space, a warehouse or a plot of land to build your own premises, PLEION Real Estate, specialists in commercial and residential real estate in Mauritius, will be able to assist you throughout the process.
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FAQs: Setting up and register a company in Mauritius
1. What is the process to register a company in Mauritius?
The process involves several steps. Firstly, you need to reserve a company name with the Registrar of Companies. Next, you must submit your Memorandum and Articles of Association to the Registrar of Companies and obtain a registration number. You will also need to enroll for a business permit with the Corporate and Business Registration Department (CBRD).
2. What types of companies can be registered in Mauritius?
Various types of companies can operate in Mauritius; such as Authorized Companies, GBC, limited liability companies, etc. The choice of the company type will largely depend on the nature of your activities and the scope of your operations.
3. Can I register a company in Mauritius if I’m staying outside Mauritius?
Yes, it is possible to open business, even if you are not residing in Mauritius. However, you must appoint a local resident company secretary and have a registered local office in Mauritius.
4. What is a Global Business License in Mauritius?
A Global Business License is a type of license issued by the FSC that allows a company to conduct transactional activities off the shores of Mauritius. This license is available to authorized companies and GBC.
5. Do I need to obtain a business license for every activity?
Yes, you need to obtain a business license for every commercial activity that you conduct in Mauritius. This includes obtaining separate licenses for trading, manufacturing, or providing services.
6. What is the role of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) when you register a company in Mauritius?
The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) is responsible for indexing companies for tax purposes. Once your company is registered, you must apply for a taxpayer identification number (TIN) with the MRA.
7. Do I need to pax taxes in Mauritius?
Companies need to pay tax in Mauritius. However, companies engaged in certain activities (such as export of goods and services), or that respect certain substance requirements, may be eligible for special tax incentives (such as tax holidays over a period of time, or partial exemption on their income).
8. How many directors does a company need to operate?
A company can operate with at least one director. However, the director must be a natural person and not a company, and must be resident in Mauritius.
9. What is the role of a registered office in Mauritius?
This is a legal requirement for all companies registered in Mauritius. It is the official address of the company where all official communications, notices, and documents are sent. The office must be open during normal business hours and must be accessible to the public.
10. Do I need to engage a management company prior to registerting a new company in Mauritius ?
The registration and admninistration of a company in Mauritius requires a resident registered agent, who must be a management company and who will be in charge of maintaining the records of the company.
11. What is a Mauritius Authorised Company (AC) in Mauritius?
An AC in Mauritius refers to an entity that is regulated and licensed by the country’s regulatory body, the Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC). This company is primarily used for investment purposes, and is often established by high-net-worth individuals or institutions. An AC offers various advantages such as being exempt from corporate taxes and certain regulations, and they can carry out a wide range of activities such as investment holding, property holding;
international trade, and management and consultancy amongst others. The creation of ACs has helped boost the reputation of Mauritius in the global business community, and attract foreign investment to the country.
Contact Sunibel today to get started on setting up your own business in Mauritius!
Disclaimer and important notices
This document has been prepared using sources believed to be reliable. However, their accuracy and completeness cannot be fully guaranteed. The statements and opinions it incorporates were formed after careful consideration and maybe subject to change without notice. This document is not, and should not be construed as, an offer or the solicitation of an offer to sell any services. The use of any information contained in this document shall be at the sole discretion and risk of the user.
Sunibel Corporate Services Ltd does not provide legal or tax advice and this document should not be construed as such. Sunibel Corporate Services Ltd expressly disclaims any and all liability for inaccuracies contained in the document and shall not be held liable for any damage that may result from any use of the information presented herein.
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