Business in Mauritius – Setting Up and Relocating

Doing business in Mauritius has never been so exciting and easy, and with the right tools and sustain you can be well positioned to succeed.

Global Business

Global Business Companies (GBC’s), a rare concept introduced by the Mauritian government in 1992 which, offers investors an efficient means for tax structuring and planning. GBC’s are governed by the Companies Act 2001 and the Financial sets Act 2007 and regulated by the Mauritius Financial sets Commission (FSC).

There are two types of GBC’s, based on the category of license:

  1. Category 1 Global Business License (GBC1) – this company must be administered by a Management Company e.g. for GMG via GMG Trust Ltd.
  2. Category 2 Global Business License (GBC2) – this company must be set-up by a Registered Agent.

Category 1 Global Business License (GBC1)

A GBC1 is a corporate means used mainly to assistance from the network of double taxation avoidance agreements which Mauritius has concluded with a number of treaty countries. The GBC1 is resident for income tax purposes, and provided management and control is properly exercised in Mauritius, it can assistance from the network of double taxation treaties. In addition, there is no withholding of taxes on dividends, interests and royalties paid to any person and there is no capital gains tax. The GBC1 is a very useful corporate means for international tax planning and structuring. Some meaningful Characteristics:

  • Residents may qualify to access the network of double taxation treaties
  • Application for a license is processed within 2 weeks (provided all required documents have been submitted)
  • advantageous owner’s details are disclosed to the FSC, but not obtainable to the public
  • Limited life companies permitted; Protected Cell companies also permitted for certain global business activities (insurance and investment funds)
  • Minimum of two resident directors
  • Audited accounts required to be filed with the FSC and Mauritius Revenue Authority
  • possible Users of a GBC1

A GBC1 can be used for a wide range of business activities, including but not limited to, investment holding, estate planning, trading, licensing and franchising, character ownership, financing, debt factoring, etc. In addition, a GBC1 is permitted to attempt global business activities, such as, Investment Funds, Captive Insurance, International Financial sets, Asset Management, Pension Funds and it can be structured as a Protected Cell Company.

meaningful Features of the GBC1

Confidentiality: Specific provisions regarding confidentiality

Disclosure Requirements: Information filed with the Registrar of Companies and the FSC are not obtainable to the public

advantageous Ownership: Required to be disclosed to the authorities

Shareholders: Disclosed to the authorities

Register of Members:  Required, maintained in Mauritius

Single shareholder and director permissible: Yes

Minimum no. of Shares: One

empowered proportion Capital: Not required

Bearer Shares: Not Allowed

Corporate Income Tax: Yes, unprotected to a rate of 15% which results in an effective tax rate of 3% after concessionary foreign tax credits of up to 80% are applied.

Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement: Yes, can access / assistance

Minimum no. of Directors: One or two to qualify for treaty benefits

Corporate Directors: Not permissible

Board Meetings: Must be held, chaired and minuted in Mauritius

Secretary: Required

Registered Office: Must be located in Mauritius

Annual Meeting: Required, can be done by written resolution for private companies

Audited Accounts: Required

Annual Return: Not required, but audited accounts must be filed with the FSC and the Revenue Authority

Company Name: English or French or jointly with another language e.g. Chinese

Constitution: English or French or jointly with another language e.g. Chinese

Company Name ending B.V., N.V., S.A., etc: Allowed

Continuation from/to another jurisdiction or from/to a GBC2: Migration permissible

Category 2 Global Business License (GBC2)

A GBC2 is a flexible corporate means which has similar characteristics to that of the popular British Virgin Island Business Company. The GBC2 is exempt from corporate income tax and other taxes & duties in Mauritius. In addition, taxes are not withheld on dividends, interests and royalties paid to any person and there is no capital gains tax. A GBC2 is required to at all times have a Registered Office and a Registered Agent in Mauritius. A GBC2 cannot access the network of Double Taxation Treaties concluded by Mauritius.

meaningful Characteristics:

  • Low incorporation cost and fairly quick incorporation period
  • No minimum capital requirement
  • Shares can be issued with or without par value
  • Limited life permitted
  • Corporate director permissible
  • No requirement for audit and annual return
  • No access to double taxation treaties

possible Uses

A GBC2 can generally be used for a wide range of business activities other than banking; financial sets; holding or otherwise dealing with a collective investment fund or scheme as a specialized functionary; providing registered office, nominee sets or other sets for corporations; and providing trusteeship sets by way of business. In addition, a GBC2 is a flexible and appropriate means to keep up and manage private assets such as character, trading, licensing, consulting, etc.

hypothesizedv changes for GBC2 in 2009-2010 Budget

Following the 2009-2010 Budget, certain changes have been hypothesizedv regarding the disclosure requirements relating to Category 2 Global Business Companies such as:

  • More information relating to advantageous Owners of Category 2 Global Business Companies;
  • A more detailed business plan; and
  • Filing of financial summaries.

meaningful Features of the GBC2

Confidentiality: Specific provisions regarding confidentiality

Disclosure Requirements: Information filed with the Registrar of Companies and the Financial sets Commission are not obtainable to the public

advantageous Ownership: Not disclosed to the authorities

Shareholders: Disclosed to the Authorities

Register of Members: Required, maintained in Mauritius

Single shareholder and director permissible: Yes

Minimum no. of Shares: One

empowered proportion Capital: Not required

Bearer Shares: Not Allowed

Nominee Shareholders: Allowed

Corporate Income Tax: Exempt

Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement: Cannot access or assistance

Minimum no. of Directors: One

Corporate Directors: Permissible

Board Meetings: Can be held anywhere

Secretary: Not required / Optional

Registered Office: Required, in Mauritius

Registered Agent: Required, in Mauritius

Annual Meeting: Required, can be done by written resolution for private companies

Audited Accounts: Not required

Annual Return: Not required

Company Name: English or French or jointly with another language e.g. Chinese

Constitution: English or French or jointly with another language e.g. Chinese

 

HOW TO move TO MAURITIUS

Relocation to another country has never been easier. To live and work in Mauritius requires a work and residence permit, and there are currently three ways in which a person (and his/her dependants) can be granted a  permit:

1 – IRS (Integrated Resort Scheme) – this results in an immediate residence permit. (See more details further down)

2 – Occupational Permit (“OP” – which is valid for three years)

3 – As a Retiree

2.1 – Occupational Permit

An occupational work permit allows a foreigner to reside and work in Mauritius and can be obtained as an Investor, a specialized or Self Employed. The following conditions apply:

Investor

Three Year Permiy – The hypothesizedv business activity should generate an annual turnover exceeding MUR 3 million.

long-lasting – 10 years – An annual turnover for three consecutive years exceeding MUR 15 million.

specialized

Three Year Permit –  The basic monthly salary of a specialized should go beyond MUR 30,000.

long-lasting – 10 years – The basic monthly salary earned is in excess of MUR 150,000 per month for the period of three consecutive years.

Self Employed

Three Year Permit – The annual income of the hypothesizedv business activity should go beyond MUR600,000.

long-lasting – 10 years – An annual turnover of the business which surpassed MUR3 million for the first three years.

 

Having long-lasting residence (valid for ten years) is advantageous as this allows the person to acquire character on the island, other than by the IRS schemes.

As soon as the required documentation is submitted, occupational permits (which are valid for three years) are issued within three days.

2.2 – As a Retiree

This permit allows an eligible retired non-citizen to reside in Mauritius, unprotected to this person undertaking to move at the minimum USD 40,000 yearly into Mauritius. This permit is valid for only three years, but this person could also apply for a long-lasting permit (valid for 10 years) if the above mentioned funds have been transferred regularly.

2.3 – Citizenship

Obtaining a long-lasting residence permit does not automatically consequence in a citizenship. Only the chief Minister can grant citizenship and the application can be made after five years.

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