What to know before doing business in Mauritius?

Mauritius is a stable banking and business jurisdiction. There are many double tax-treaties and regional agreements in place that make Mauritius quite unique in its advantages for doing business both in Africa and globally. Trading physical goods globally with a Global Business Company in Mauritius without having to even bring the goods to Mauritius allows just 3% corporation tax and no tax on dividends. Investing abroad and receiving income in the form of dividends or interest, allow between 0 to 3% corporation tax and there is no capital gains tax in Mauritius. We have provided a few useful answers below to questions that we are frequently asked.

Who regulates the management companies in Mauritius?

All management companies here are licensed and supervised by the Financial Services Commission (FSC). They will interact with the Registrar of Companies and the Bank of Mauritius when relevant, but it is the FSC who regulate not only management companies but all of the offshore companies in Mauritius such as the GBC and the Authorised Company. Choosing a good management company is key in relation to regulation, so that when the FSC is auditing the management companies, the files are kept in the way that avoids further questions and interest in the individual companies.

Do you need to come to Mauritius to set up a company or bank account?

You do not need to come to Mauritius to set up a company or bank account. Unlike other jurisdictions where you need to attend a bank or Regulator meeting, you can set up Mauritian companies remotely without ever having to set foot in Mauritius. Some people choose to come in any event so that they can meet who they will be working with, or perhaps use the setup as an excuse to have a few days in Mauritius.

Can a foreigner start a business in Mauritius?

Yes, a foreigner can start a business in Mauritius. There is no requirement for local participation in the ownership of a company in Mauritius so a Mauritian company can be 100% owned by a foreigner. You will need 2 resident directors for a GBC, but they do not need to be Mauritian, simply resident in Mauritius. A foreigner can start a business very easily in Mauritius and it generally ranks one of the easiest places in the world to do so in the Ease of Doing Business rankings.

What documents do I need to open a company in Mauritius?

To open a company in Mauritius you will always need to provide a copy of the passport and a recent proof of address of every director, shareholder, and beneficial owner. You will need to be on-boarded not only by the management company, but also the banks and the Financial Services Commission. Other documents that they will almost certainly need are the Business Plan and information as to source of funds in order to open a company in Mauritius. Recently, personal bank accounts are requested by some of the banks. You can generally provide all of your documents in scanned form initially and then courier over the originals for the bank once you have received approval.

What type of companies can be set up in Mauritius?

There are 3 main types of company that can be set up in Mauritius. 

  • A domestic company is usually for trading locally where income derives predominantly from Mauritius.

  • A Global Business Licence (GBL) allows foreigners to set up a company that predominantly derives income from outside Mauritius and it can still utilise all tax treaties and regional agreements.

  • An Authorised Company (AC) is an offshore Mauritian company that is not tax resident in Mauritius and a corporate director is normally provided in a 0% tax jurisdiction.

What is a Management Company in Mauritius?

A management company in Mauritius is a corporate service provider that sets up and administers Mauritius companies, trusts and foundations and their bank accounts. In other jurisdictions it would normally be a called a corporate service provider or a trust company. A ‘management company’ in other jurisdictions will often have quite a different meaning.

What does a management company in Mauritius do exactly?

A management company in Mauritius incorporates and administers companies and other entities on a client’s behalf. They will also set up the offshore bank accounts for the Mauritius companies as well as any offshore personal bank account. Their directors will sit as resident Mauritian directors of your company and they will provide a registered office, the company secretary and normally provide all accounting and administration services for the company.

Can you set up Funds in Mauritius?

Setting up funds in Mauritius is something that some management companies do, but many of them do not have the capabilities to administer a hedge fund for example, (a Collective Investment Scheme in Mauritius). There are many Mauritius investment funds focused on Africa and utilising the double taxation treaties and the regional agreements that give Mauritius-based funds significant benefits. There are many EU-backed funds in Mauritius, that are dedicated to African investment. As you would imagine, Mauritian ESG Funds in Africa focusing on sustainability and better ethics are also becoming more prominent.

Disclaimer

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information given is accurate, the information on this site does not contain legal, tax or any other professional advice. We accept no responsibility or liability due to any information or representation, whether accurate or not, relied upon in the contents. It is information to provide the reader with a useful, general, but basic understanding of the different considerations. You must seek local legal, tax or other professional advice before relying on the contents of this site.

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