‘Special Licences’ in Mauritius
Global Headquarters Administration Licence – Mauritius
The Global Headquarters Administration (GHA) Licence was introduced in 2016 to strengthen the position of Mauritius as a regional financial and business hub. The GHA licence enables multinational companies to set up their regional administration, procurement and accounting offices within the Mauritius International Financial Centre (IFC).
Since replacing its previous deemed tax credit regime with a new partial tax exemption regime based on the guidance and requirements issued by the EU and the OECD, Mauritius has re-established itself as a jurisdiction of ‘substance’. Following its removal from the FATF’s increased monitoring process, it has also now reinforced its position as an IFC of repute.
The GHA licence opens many doors for multinationals. It allows them to centralise their operational, administrative and financial functions in a jurisdiction that ranks first amongst the African countries – and 13th globally out of 190 countries – in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 report.
Investment Dealer Licence – Mauritius
The Mauritius Investment Dealer Licence, issued by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Mauritius, permits the holder to establish a trading platform in Mauritius and trade securities and similar on behalf of clients.
The legislative requirements and framework for a company holding a Global Business Licence (GBL) and an Investment Dealer Licence in Mauritius are set out in the Securities Act 2005 and the Securities (licensing) Rules 2007. Mauritius offers the benefit of a modern securities law that is adaptive to different requirements, a reasonable timeframe for licence issuance, as well as a highly competitive minimum capital requirement.
The Mauritian Budget 2021 also extended the 80% partial tax exemption on specified income streams to companies holding an Investment Dealer Licence, reducing the effective income tax rate for holders to 3%. This partial exemption has made conducting this type of business in Mauritius even more attractive.
Investment Adviser Licence – Mauritius
The Mauritius Investment Adviser Licence is one of the three classes of ‘Securities or Capital Market Intermediary’ provided for by the Securities Act 2005 and regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Mauritius under the Securities (Licensing) Rules 2007.
According to Section 30 of the Securities Act 2005, no unlicensed person is permitted to:
- Advise, guide or recommend other persons, or hold himself out to advise, guide or recommend other persons, whether personally or through printed materials or by other means, to enter into securities transactions; or
- Manage or hold himself out to manage, under a mandate, whether discretionary or not, a portfolio of securities,
Global Treasury Activities Licence – Mauritius
The Mauritius Global Treasury (GTA) Activities Licence enables multinational enterprises (MNEs) to set up or relocate their regional treasury management functions to Mauritius.
Since replacing its previous deemed tax credit regime with a new partial tax exemption regime that is based on OECD and EU guidance and requirements, Mauritius has re-established itself as a jurisdiction of ‘substance’. Following its removal from the FATF’s increased monitoring process, it has also now reinforced its position as an International Financial Centre (IFC) of repute.
Robotic and Artificial Intelligence Enabled Advisory Services Licence
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius issued the Financial Services (Robotic and Artificial Intelligence Enabled Advisory Services) Rules 2021 to provide a regulated framework aimed at promoting the adoption of new and emerging technologies by licensed service providers in Mauritius.
Under the Rules, the holder of a Robotic & Artificial Intelligence Enabled Advisory Services Licence will be entitled to provide advisory services through expert systems and/or computer programmes using artificial intelligence enabled algorithms, with limited human intervention. As such, providers of innovative technology-driven solutions developed to comply with regulatory requirements – commonly known as RegTech or InsurTech –fall under the scope of this licence.
The Rules further clarify that advisory services include discretionary and non-discretionary investment and portfolio management services. A licensee is required to comply with the minimum competency standard and fitness requirements for its promoters, shareholders, directors, beneficial owners and key staff members.