Starting a business in Mauritius is quite simple and implies the same steps as when registering a company in any other country. Among these, obtaining specific business licenses is mandatory. The business licenses must be obtained with the relevant authorities in the industry the company operates in.
Below, our company formation agents in Mauritius provide information on the types of licenses available when setting up a business in the insular state and how to obtain them. We can also assist with the procedure of applying for specific business licenses and permits as part of the incorporation procedure.
Table of Contents
Companies required to obtain business licenses in Mauritius
Generally speaking, all companies are required to apply for specific business licenses in Mauritius, including offshore ones. The procedure of obtaining a business permit depends on the authority issuing it, which is why it is advisable to first get acquainted with the legislation in the domain the company will operate in before applying for any license.
With the help of our experienced company registration officers in Mauritius, the procedure of obtaining the necessary business permits can be simplified.
Industries that require special business licenses in Mauritius
Mauritius is mainly known as an offshore destination, a case in which the creation of an offshore company is quite easy. Given the fact that most offshore businesses are used for offering financial services, these companies must obtain their licenses with the Financial Supervisory Commission. The type of business permit for a Mauritius offshore company is the Global Business License which is divided into the Category 1 and Category 2 permit.
Other industries that require special business licenses in Mauritius are:
- the occupational permit which is issued to foreign investors seeking to set up operations in;
- the management company license which is another business permit issued for the financial sector;
- the tourist enterprise license which must be obtained by companies operating in tourism;
- import-export business licenses must also be obtained by companies carrying out trading activities;
- fishing licenses must be obtained by companies operating vessels registered in Mauritius.
Apart from these, in certain cases, Mauritius companies must also register with various authorities.
If you want to set up a company in Mauritius and need guidance in applying for the necessary business licenses related to your activity, you can rely on our local advisors. You can also obtain information on how to move here from our immigration lawyers in Mauritius.
The occupational permit for foreign investors coming to Mauritius
Considering Mauritius is one of the preferred investment destinations of foreign entrepreneurs, the occupational permit is one of the most requested licenses when it comes to immigration to Mauritius. It should be noted that there are several categories of eligible applicants. These are:
- the business license available for investors carrying out operations with a minimum annual turnover of 3 million MUR;
- the business permit available for self-employed individuals with an annual income of more than 600,000 MUR;
- the professional employed foreign citizen with a basic monthly salary of more than 30,000 MUR;
- the licenses available for investors seeking to set up companies in one of Mauritius’ 4 special economic zones.
Our local agents can offer more information on how to apply for an occupational business permit in Mauritius. We can also assist with the opening of offshore bank accounts for those interested in this option.
How to obtain a license for a tourism business in Mauritius
Setting up a business in tourism has become one of the most prolific industries in Mauritius in the past few years, which is why those interested in setting up an onshore company can choose this sector. After incorporating the business, the company must apply for a tourist enterprise license with the Mauritius Tourism Authority.
This license allows both local and foreign investors to set up companies in the following divisions of the tourism sector:
- private clubs;
- travel agencies;
- tour operators;
- helmet diving businesses;
It should be noted that foreign citizens seeking to relocate to Mauritius must also apply for residence permits with the Passport and Immigration Office. For this, you can rely on our immigration lawyers in Mauritius.
The Category 1 Global Business License in Mauritius
The financial sector is one of the most prolific in Mauritius and the offshore company is the most employed business form for the creation of investment funds but also the establishment of other operations with activities outside the insular state.
There are two business licenses that can be obtained when creating offshore companies in Mauritius:
- the Category 1 Global Business (GBC1) License;
- the Category 2 Global Business (GBC2) License.
Each business license is required for specific activities and is a must for a Mauritius offshore entity.
The GBC1 license is required for the following activities in Mauritius:
- asset management and fund management;
- leasing and financing for aircraft;
- consultancy services;
- pension and insurance fund activities.
The same license can be employed for non-financial related operations, among which:
- IT services;
- marketing services;
- trading, shipping and ship management;
- operational headquarters activities;
Foreign investors who want to open companies in Mauritius and want to obtain this license must know that companies operating under it will be subject to the corporate tax here which is levied at a rate of 15%. Such a company is considered a Mauritius resident business and the business license must be obtained with the Financial Services Commission.
If you are interested in immigration to Mauritius and setting up a business in Mauritius, our specialists are at your disposal with detailed information and assistance in choosing a suitable type of company.
The GBC 2 License in Mauritius
An offshore company can also operate under a Category 2 License which enables it to complete financial activities outside Mauritius. The main advantage of this business permit is that under it a company will be subject to a 0% corporate tax rate.
If you want to create a company in the financial sector in Mauritius, you can rely on our company registration advisors.
The main requirements for obtaining business permits for offshore companies
The business licenses available for Mauritius offshore companies are obtained with the Financial Services Commission provided that these meet certain requirements.
Such companies must have at least two resident directors who can also be nominee managers. They must also have at least one resident secretary and must appoint a local auditor to have their accounts audited. Offshore entities must be incorporated with the Trade Register in Mauritius and must set up bank accounts with local financial institutions in order to prove they meet the share capital requirements imposed by the national legislation. The legal seat and statutory documents must be in Mauritius all the time.
A special requirement for these companies is that board meetings must be held in Mauritius every time.
In the case of a business applying for a GBC 1 License, it should be noted that this can also take the form of a trust or limited partnership.
When it comes to filing for obtaining its license with the FSC, the following papers must be prepared:
- the application form;
- the Certificate of Incorporation;
- the receipt indicating the payment of the authorization fee.
If you are interested in applying for business licenses with the FSC, you can rely on our consultants in Mauritius.
The registered agent license in Mauritius
A special business permit that can be obtained in Mauritius is the registered agent license that is available for both natural persons and companies seeking to offer this service.
Registered agent services are used by many companies in Mauritius which is why there are numerous providers.
The permits available for those interested in becoming registered agent providers in Mauritius are:
- the management license;
- the management company license;
- the nominee company.
The difference between these licenses consists in the services they are created for. For example, a management license is dedicated to natural persons interested in acting as professional trustees. The nominee company can provide a wide range of nominee services, such as director and shareholder. The management company license is by far the most complex business permit available for a registered agent.
The registered agent license must be obtained with the Financial Services Commission considering that most of the activities it covers are related to the financial industry.
If you decide to open a company in Mauritius and need guidance on the types of business permits available, our officers are at your service, especially since there are also other activities outside the financial sphere you can undertake here. We invite you to watch our video below:
Documents required to obtaining business licenses in Mauritius
When it comes to the documents that need to be filed upon applying for specific business permits and licenses, these depend on the industry to operate in. Apart from the company’s incorporation papers, each authority will require additional documents.
If you want to set up a company and need assistance in applying for business licenses, please contact our agents in Mauritius.