MAURITIUS

ABOUT MAURITIUS

Mauritius is one of the most open economies in the Africa region and has become a key platform for investment and doing business in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Strategically situated in the Indian Ocean, 2,400 km off the southeast coast of Africa, Mauritius is a former colony of both France and Britain. It gained independence in 1968 and, following the adoption of a new constitution, became a republic in 1992.

The Republic of Mauritius has an appointed president as the head of state and a parliament, which is elected every five years by popular vote, as the legislative body. The Economist magazine rated Mauritius as the only “full” democracy in Africa. Its legal system derives from both French civil law and English common law. Unlike many other former colonies, Mauritius has retained the Privy Council as its ultimate Court of Appeal. This guarantees an appeal process that is independent of any political or other form of bias.

Financial regulation is based on international best practice standards in terms of legal framework and supervision. In August 2017, the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes rated Mauritius as fully ‘compliant’ under its enhanced peer review process to assess international standards. It was one of only three top-rated jurisdictions worldwide. Read more..

Mauritius has a ready supply of skilled, educated and, in many cases, bi-lingual staff and has attracted many financial institutions and professional service providers to service the international finance centre. Mauritius also boasts an innovative pool of products including Protective Cell Companies, Limited Partnerships, Foundations, Private Pension Schemes, Regional Head Quarters and Regional Training Centres.

Government policy is firmly centred on promoting foreign and domestic investment. Mauritius has no withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalties, no capital gains tax, free repatriation of profits, no estate duty, inheritance tax or gift tax. The Mauritian currency is the rupee (MR), which is freely convertible. Mauritius’ advantageous GMT +4 time zone allows business to be done with major markets within a single business day.

Mauritius also has 44 tax treaties that are currently in force worldwide, while another seven – Gabon, Ghana, Jersey, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Russia – have been signed and await ratification. A further four treaties have been negotiated and await signature, while 21 treaties are under currently under negotiation.

The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) is one of the leading platforms in Africa and also a member of a number of international bodies, including the World Federation of Exchanges, South Asian Federation of Exchanges and African Securities Exchanges Association and Committee of SADC Stock Exchanges.

Given its political, social and economic stability, efficient and effective regulatory framework, state-of-the-art infrastructure, transparent and innovative legal framework and highly competitive tax system, Mauritius claimed the highest score in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Southern African Development community (SADC) in the World Bank's 2018 ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report. Mauritius secured 25th position out of 190 economies globally.

MAURITIUS COMPANY REGISTRATION AND FORMATION SERVICES

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 practice.

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.

In addition to domestic Mauritius companies, companies incorporated in Mauritius for the purpose of doing business primarily 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. Read more..

Under the Act, an applicant for a Global Business Licence is required to submit the appropriate application to the Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC), the integrated regulator for the non-bank financial services sector and global business.

An application must be submitted through a Management Company (MC) that is licensed by the FSC under Section 77 of the Financial Services Act to set up, manage and provide nominee and other services to a corporation that carries on or intends to carry on any global business, and such class of corporation as may be prescribed, or act as corporate trustee or qualified trustee under the Trusts Act 2001.

Mauritius has built a solid reputation internationally as being a jurisdiction of substance. When determining whether the conduct of business is managed and controlled from Mauritius, the FSC will also take into consideration whether a corporation fulfils the following criteria:

  • Has at least two directors, resident in Mauritius, who are appropriately qualified and of sufficient calibre to exercise independence of mind and judgment;
  • Maintains at all times its principal bank account in Mauritius;
  • Keeps and maintains, at all times, its accounting records at its registered office in Mauritius;
  • Prepares and audits its statutory financial statements in Mauritius;
  • Provides for meetings of directors, to include at least two directors from Mauritius.

WHY INCORPORATE WITH SOVEREIGN?

As a leading international financial centre, Mauritius maintains an environment of transparency, stability and predictability providing the right platform to investors for doing business. Quality of service and the availability of highly qualified professionals are key components of this platform. Sovereign Mauritius (Trust) Company holds a full MC licence from the FSC and offers the necessary expertise in registering, setting up and managing companies In Mauritius and elsewhere.

Once a company has been incorporated, Sovereign will then provide on-going domiciliary services of the highest quality to maintain your company’s good standing in accordance with local requirements. This includes the provision of registered office facilities and (if required) nominee shareholder services, together with annual filings. Read more..

Sovereign offers the necessary expertise in administering and managing companies, including company law, board procedures, director responsibilities and shareholder relations, and financial and corporate compliance requirements. We also provide directors for many of the companies that we incorporate in order to ensure that their affairs can be properly managed and controlled from their place of incorporation. This service is often combined with our other company management and/or our domiciliary services.

We further provide the administrative support to maximise opportunities and achieve long-term sustainability, from full back-office solutions to assistance with tax and regulatory compliance. This includes accountancy, human resources, pensions, insurance, trademark and intellectual property protection, obtaining local licences and permits, executive relocation and specialist tax advice.

First and foremost Sovereign needs to understand your business requirements, strategies and goals. We will never recommend any structure that would not be effective if scrutinised by regulators and tax authorities, either in foreign markets or in your home jurisdiction. Sovereign provides progressive solutions that will work on both a practical and a legal basis to secure your commercial objectives.

Set up your company in Mauritius?