Global Headquarters Administration Licence

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.

Mauritius offers a fully functioning and effective legal system, a robust and compliant regulatory system, a highly competitive tax environment and an extensive network of double tax agreements. It also offers a ready supply of skilled and educated staff, a strong cohort of lawyers, accountants and other professionals – whose services can typically be obtained at lower cost than in many equivalent jurisdictions – and some of the biggest and most reputable international banks. Mauritius permits bank accounts to be kept in all major currencies and does not have any exchange control regulations.

All these factors reinforcee Mauritius’ position as a leading investment destination and domicile of choice for structuring cross border investment into Africa and Asia.

The GHA Licence permits the holder to provide at least three (3) of the services listed to at least three (3) affiliates within a multinational grouping:

Administration and general management
Business planning, development and coordination
Economic and investment research and analysis
Services related to international corporate headquarters in Mauritius.

Companies holding a GHA Licence are eligible for an eight-year (8) tax holiday on corporate income, subject to meeting the licensing requirements. In addition, there is no capital gains tax or withholding tax on dividends and interest in Mauritius.

Further to standard Global Business Company (GBC) licencing requirements, a company that holds a GHA Licence is also required to meet the following economic substance requirements:

Have a physical office in Mauritius
Employ a minimum of 10 professionals, with at least two at managerial level
Incur annual expenditure of at least MUR5 million (approx. USD150,000).

Those wishing to apply for an Occupational Permit to work and reside in Mauritius can do so under the three categories: Investor, Professional and Self-Employed. The Investor and Self-employed permits are issued for a maximum period of 10 years and are renewable subject to conditions. The Professional permit is issued for a maximum period of three (3) years depending on the duration of the contract of employment and is renewable subject to conditions. Occupation Permits can be converted into a 20-year Permanent Residency Permit only three years after issue, provided that the holder meets the relevant criteria.

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