Mauritius is one of the most sought offshore business destinations in the world when it comes to foreign ownership in a company. Among the main reasons for company formation in Mauritius, we can mention the favorable tax system and the free repatriation of profits for foreign entrepreneurs, alongside the fact that recently the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has recognized the insular state as a fully tax compliant one.
Below, we invite you to find out how the process of company registration in Mauritius is completed and how we can help you set up a business here as fast as possible. We are a team of Mauritius company formation specialists offering tailored services related to opening a business here.
Types of companies available for registration in Mauritius
A foreign investor must comply with the local legislation when deciding to set up a company in Mauritius, however, this does not mean the choice to be made is difficult. Here are the main types of business forms available for company registration and among which you can choose in full confidence:
- the Global Business Company which is a domestic company created under the Business Registration Act of 2002;
- the limited liability partnership which must have at least two members who can be of foreign origin;
- the authorized company which is usually employed for financial activities and requires authorization from the Mauritius Revenue Authority;
- the limited liability company which is the equivalent of other similar companies in foreign jurisdictions;
- the free zone company which benefits from various tax benefits provided that it meets specific requirements;
- the branch office and the local office which is available for foreign companies with expansion plans in Mauritius.
There is also the possibility of creating a small business under the form of a sole proprietorship, however, this is not often employed.
If you want to open a company in Mauritius and need assistance, our local experts can help during the entire procedure.
We also invite you to read more on company formation in Mauritius in the infographic below:
The Companies Act in Mauritius
The main law that provides for company formation in Mauritius is the Companies Act of 2001 which sets up the legal framework under which domestic companies can be registered here. According to the law, there are various requirements to meet in order for a business to qualify as a domestic company, a Category 1 Global Business Company, or a Category 2 Global Business Company (GBC). The last two types of entities are also known as companies that can be used for creating offshore companies in Mauritius.
If you are interested in business registration in Mauritius, our consultants here can offer all the necessary details related to the conditions you need to fulfill in order to operate any type of company.
What to consider upon company incorporation in Mauritius?
There are various aspects to consider when it comes to business registration in Mauritius and among these, we must mention the fact that there are various documents that need to be prepared and filed with the Companies Register. Apart from these, there is also the share capital requirement that must be fulfilled and the appointment of company officers.
In terms of document preparation, if you decide to set up a company in Mauritius, you need to have the Articles of Association drafted and notarized when it comes to limited liability companies and a partnership agreement in the case of a limited liability partnership. Then, you will need to consider the opening of a bank account with a local institution.
One of the most important aspects to consider when it comes to company formation in Mauritius is the shareholding structure. It is good to know that full foreign ownership is available no matter the business form you select, or in other words, there are no restrictions to the foreign shareholding in a local company. While for some business forms the minimum number of shareholders is one, for others at least two shareholders are required. The limited liability company, for example, requires at least one shareholder, who can be a natural person or corporate entity and who needs not be a Mauritius resident.
In terms of company officers, for company registration in Mauritius, at least one director is required for a limited liability company. He or she must be a resident of this country.
How to choose an appropriate business form in Mauritius
When considering Mauritius for company formation, the most important aspect to take into account is the business form. There are two ways of operating here: through onshore or offshore companies. The last option is usually employed by foreign investors because of the various advantages it offers. Moreover, there are two types of licenses that can be obtained for such companies (the Category 1 and Category 2 licenses). More importantly, offshore bank accounts can be linked to such businesses in Mauritius, thus offering increased protection.
When it comes to the protection of assets, foreign individuals can also consider the creation of trusts in Mauritius.
No matter how you choose to invest here, our company formation experts in Mauritius can be by your side with various services.
Mauritius company formation steps
The company incorporation process of a Mauritius-based business will usually follow the steps presented below:
- the trading name reservation and preparation of the incorporation documents;
- the opening of the corporate bank account where the share capital will be deposited;
- the submission of the registration file with the Companies House;
- the registration with the Mauritius Revenue Authority (this step is completed alongside the registration with the Trade Registrar);
- the application for the necessary licenses and permits with relevant institutions.
The creation of a company in Mauritius is quite simple and if you want to skip coming and going for various operations, our specialists can handle the entire process on your behalf. This way, you can come and directly start the operations of your company.
Documents required to set up a company in Mauritius
Apart from the forms issued by the Companies Register, there are various documents that need to be prepared upon the opening of a company in Mauritius. Among these, just like in any other country, the Articles of Association are among the most important ones. These must contain information about the type of company, its activities, and about the shareholders, the types of shares, and their distribution among the stakeholders.
The Articles of Association must be drafted when setting up both onshore and offshore companies in Mauritius and our company formation agents are at your service with detailed information about the papers that need to be filed when starting any type of business in the insular state.
Apart from these, detailed information on the shareholders must be provided. Apart from copies of their passports, their residential addresses must also be stated in the application forms that will be filed with the Trade Register.
The opening of a company in Mauritius is not complicated, however, special attention must be paid when establishing the details related to the company officers, operations, and business licenses that need to be obtained.
Trading name selection and reservation
After choosing the best business form for the operations, an investor must choose and reserve a trading name. One must make sure the name is available prior to the registration of the company which is why it is advisable to propose 3 names among which the one the future business owner is interested in.
Registered address requirements in Mauritius
Just like in other jurisdictions, in order to open a domestic company in Mauritius, a local legal address is required. No matter if the address is located in a business center, a rented office, or even a virtual office, it must be stated on the registration form to be filed with the Companies Registrar.
The legal address of the company can be changed later. Our consultants can help with registered address services in Mauritius.
Appointing company directors in Mauritius
The company management of a company in Mauritius depends on the types of operations completed. These can be set up as onshore or offshore companies. There are no restrictions when it comes to the nationality of the directors of any type of company, however, the main requirement applicable to all types of business forms is for these to have at least one resident director.
It should be noted that in the case of offshore companies registered as Global Business Companies (GBC) the management requirements can be different depending on the license category these apply for. Our Mauritius company formation agents can offer detailed information on the management requirements applicable in this country.
While there are no restrictions related to the number of directors, it should be noted that one’s age must not surpass 70, unless a special resolution has been passed by the shareholders. Where a company requires a board of directors, at least two independent directors and two managers who are part of the executive board must be appointed.
If you are interested in business registration in Mauritius and have any questions about the composition of the management board, the duties and powers of directors, our local advisors are at your disposal for detailed information.
Registration with the tax authorities in Mauritius
Just like in other countries, a Mauritius-based company must file for a tax registration number. The procedure is rather easy and can be completed in a matter of days. At the same time, registration as an employer should be completed. These will enable the company to start its activities in the country. It should be noted that even if an investor will register a company in Mauritius for completing offshore activities, its employees must be registered with the local authorities. We remind foreign businesspersons that offshore companies will need to go through the same registration steps as onshore ones.
Applying for business permits and licenses in Mauritius
The last step in Mauritius company formation is obtaining the necessary business licenses and permits in order to operate. Among these, we mention the following:
- the land use permit if the company is involved in manufacturing activities;
- foreign shareholders seeking to relocate and even work in Mauritius must apply for occupation permits;
- residence permits must be obtained by those who simply want to live in Mauritius.
The occupation permit can be obtained by foreign investors who enter one of the following categories:
- their activities exceed more than 3 million MUR in annual turnover;
- self-employed persons who earn more than 600,000 MUR per year;
- professionals and skilled migrants with a monthly salary exceeding 30,000 MUR.
Apart from these, a Registration Certificate from the Board of Investment is required for various categories of foreign businesspersons. This certificate must be obtained by those who want to invest in agricultural activities and by those who want to operate in Mauritius’ free zones.
Our company registration advisors in Mauritius can assist foreign investors interested in setting up onshore businesses and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits that will enable to operate. Moreover, some of these activities can be subject to special incentives such as the Integrated Resort Scheme.
Application forms to be filed when starting a business in Mauritius
The following forms need to be filed with the Trade Register upon company registration in Mauritius:
- Form 1 which is the application for registration and trading name reservation;
- Form 7 which is the consent of the director of the company;
- Form 8 which is the consent of appointment of the company secretary;
- Form 9 which is the consent of every shareholder in the company.
In case the shareholder is a legal entity, it must also submit a certified copy of its Articles of Association.
Mauritius company formation offered by our local agents
If you are interested in business registration in Mauritius, we can provide the following services:
- assistance in choosing the appropriate business form;
- documents preparation (drafting and notarization);
- bank account opening;
- documents filing with the Mauritius Companies Register;
- tax registration;
- employment registration;
- assistance in obtaining residency in Mauritius;
- guidance in obtaining the necessary business licenses.
If you decide to open a company in Mauritius, we provide personalized services that answer your needs and that will help you explore all options available offered by this market.
Reasons to invest in Mauritius
Located in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has strong connections to Asia, which is one of the largest consumer markets in the world. If you want to set up a company in Mauritius, here are some of the main reasons to do that:
- the corporate tax rate for domestic entities is 3%, while for limited liability companies it is set at 15%;
- the minimum share capital for opening a company here is 1 USD;
- it has 44 double taxation agreements with countries all over the world;
- the standard VAT rate in Mauritius is 15%;
- through an online application, a company can be registered in less than one day.
FAQ on company registration in Mauritius
Below, our consultants answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the creation of a company in Mauritius:
- Is there a minimum share capital requirement for starting a business in Mauritius?
No, there is no minimum amount of money required by the law when setting up a company here.
- How many shareholders can a company have?
The minimum number of shareholders in a company in Mauritius is one.
- How many directors can a business have? Can they be corporate directors?
A company must have at least one resident director (in certain cases 2 directors are required) who must be natural persons.
- Is there necessary to appoint a secretary?
Yes, companies in Mauritius must also have secretaries.
- How fast can I register a company in Mauritius?
The procedure of registering a company with the Trade Register takes a few days until the preparations are made, however, the Certificate of Registration is issued in 24 hours after submitting the documents.
If you want to start a business in Mauritius and need assistance, please contact us. You can rely on us for quick and reliable Mauritius company formation services.