- August 10, 2020
- Posted by: Editor
- Category: Law
Foreign citizens and investors find Mauritius very appealing from a taxation point of view, however, this is not the only attribute to characterize this country. Its stable economy and good reputation as an offshore destination make Mauritius quite attractive for setting up offshore companies. These can be linked to offshore bank accounts that can be set up by foreigners who do not need to travel here.
Below, our company formation specialists in Mauritius explain the procedure of setting up an offshore account here. If you need help with the opening of a Mauritius offshore bank account, you can rely on us.
Banking legislation in Mauritius
There are several laws that provide for the banking activities that can be completed by local and foreign citizens and companies in Mauritius, as well as for the regulations that need to be respected by financial institutions. Among these are:
- the Bank of Mauritius Law of 2004,
- the Banking Law,
- the Payment Systems Act is the newest law and which was created in 2018.
While the first law provides for the creation of the National Bank of Mauritius which is in charge of the most important decisions related to banking activities, the second one provides for the licensing of various types of operations in the financial sector. The Banking Law also covers the supervision of the activities of financial companies.
The third law was recently enacted in order to provide safe and effective management of national and private payment systems.
Another law that provides for the insurance of deposits made by clients of banks is the Mauritius Deposit Insurance Scheme Act. It covers the loss of insured deposits.
Mauritius has a very sound financial legislation which makes it a safe and appealing destination for the creation of offshore bank accounts.
Banking in Mauritius
Mauritius is one of the most reputable financial centers in the North African region, being also used as a bridge to the Middle East. With more than 300,000 offshore companies and over 20 local and foreign banks operating here, many foreign citizens and entities seeking to have bank accounts in Mauritius. Among these, offshore bank accounts are the most requested when it comes to opening applications.
Even if Mauritius is known as an offshore financial center, it should be noted that in the past few years, its economy started relying on more traditional industries such as agriculture, services, and heavy industry. These have helped the country increase its stability and thus attract more investors.
These industries have also directly led to the growing confidence of non-resident citizens and companies who can now establish offshore bank accounts in the most appealing jurisdictions in the world. The fact that bank accounts can be created without traveling here makes the decision easier.
If you need information on the banking system and the creation of an offshore account in Mauritius, you rely on our local representatives who can also offer other services linked to the creation of offshore companies and accounts.
Are there any restrictions on bank account opening in Mauritius?
The Mauritius legislation on banking activities does not impose any restrictions on the opening of onshore or offshore bank accounts for private or corporate purposes. However, upon the request of creating such accounts, clients are required to provide extensive tax information which can usually be found under the form of questions in bank papers. This occurs because Mauritius has adhered to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development standards.
One of the main requirements for being able to create a Mauritius offshore bank account is to provide the tax identification number held in the applicant’s home country.
Offshore bank accounts for natural persons and companies in Mauritius
Both local and foreign citizens and companies can set up bank accounts in the insular state. Among these, the offshore bank account is preferred by both categories of clients of financial institutions here as it offers many advantages, among which a quick setup procedure.
If you need assistance in opening a Mauritius offshore bank account, our agents can help you. We also offer company registration services in Mauritius if you are looking for an investment destination.
You can read about how to open an offshore bank account in Mauritius in the infographic below:
Offshore banks and bank accounts in Mauritius
As an offshore jurisdiction, Mauritius allows the creation of offshore banks and bank accounts that can be used by foreign and local individuals and companies. Offshore banks operate under international banking licenses which enable them to offer their services outside the country they are registered in. This is also the case of Mauritius, where such banks provide offshore bank account opening services.
There are several banks in Mauritius in which foreign and local businesspersons and companies can open offshore accounts.
Our company registration advisors can assist in choosing a bank with which you can open a Mauritius offshore bank account.
How to choose the bank to open an account with
There are various aspects to consider when deciding to open an offshore bank account in Mauritius. The first one is related to choosing a financial institution to work with. Foreign investors who want to open offshore bank accounts should first obtain offers from several banks and then decide on a specific one.
Other aspects to take into account should be the services associated with the account, the documents required for opening it (some banks have more extensive requisites), as well as the currencies available with the offshore bank account.
Foreign investors can also set up offshore bank accounts if they want to open offshore companies in Mauritius. Our local consultants can assist with the incorporation of an offshore company.
The Mauritius personal offshore bank account
As mentioned earlier, natural persons can set up bank accounts in Mauritius stress-free. Among all the types of accounts, the offshore one is preferred by European citizens who find it quite easy to create it.
In order to open a Mauritius offshore bank account as a natural person, the following documents need to be filed with the selected bank:
- a notarized copy of the client’s passport or ID in the case of local citizens;
- a bank reference letter from a bank where another account is already in place;
- proof of the residential address (a recent utility bill, bank statement, rental or lease agreement);
- proof of employment can also be required in certain cases.
The documents must be submitted in English or, if not available, they must be translated into English.
The creation of an offshore bank account for a foreign citizen can also be completed remotely. Our company formation advisors can help with that.
How to open a Mauritius offshore bank account for a company
Business owners can also set up bank accounts in Mauritius. In order to open an offshore bank account for corporate purposes, the following documents are required:
- copies of the company’s registration certificate and a Certificate of Good Standing;
- information about the shareholders and managers of the company;
- information about the legal address of the company and of the shareholders and directors;
- a business plan and a description of the corporate structure of the company.
In the case of new companies, the Articles of Association must be filed. Also, the documents must be filed in English or French.
It is also possible for our agents in Mauritius to open the bank account on your behalf based on a power of attorney.
If you are interested in business registration in Mauritius, our consultants can help you throughout the entire procedure.
Services attached to an offshore bank account in Mauritius
Most people and business owners choose Mauritius for opening offshore bank accounts because of the stable economy of the country which is reflected in the quality of the financial services sector. Those who go for Mauritius offshore bank accounts usually benefit from various services, among which we can mention the following:
- many financial institutions to choose from (some of them are local banks while others are branches of renowned foreign banks);
- clients have access to financing options, debit and credit cards in various currencies;
- for the opening of the account, clients do not need to come to Mauritius;
- the creation of the account is completed rather fast compared to other similar jurisdictions;
- affordable initial deposits and low maintenance fees.
If you are interested in opening an offshore company in Mauritius alongside the bank account, you can rely on our professional services.
Opening various types of banks accounts in Mauritius
Not all foreign individuals and companies are interested in setting up offshore bank accounts in Mauritius, which is why many banks offer various alternatives. Natural persons, for example, can also create private accounts because of other reasons than the fact that Mauritius is an offshore jurisdiction.
Among these, one should note that local banks do not impose strict requirements to those creating any type of account here compared to European banks, however, Mauritius banks comply with some of the important regulations and standards imposed at the international level. This is why it is often preferred by companies and citizens of European countries.
Among the benefits provided by a bank account in Mauritius, including an offshore one, are the following:
- the account can be controlled from a distance, basically, the holder’s home country if desired,
- there are special services linked to the creation and representation of foreign citizens and companies when opening a bank account here,
- the services provided by Mauritius banks are efficient and comply with strict privacy rules,
- the service fees and rates are affordable compared to other offshore countries,
- client support is often available in international circulation languages such as English and French.
If you need support in creating an offshore bank account in Mauritius, you can rely on us for tailored registered agent services.
Mauritius as an offshore jurisdiction
Mauritius is one of the most reputable offshore jurisdictions in the world, relying on industries such as IT, finances, agriculture, and tourism. Among these, the financial sector stands out thanks to the possibility of opening offshore companies here.
Foreign investors who do not want to relocate here can also set up offshore bank accounts through which they can protect their assets. Private individuals also have the possibility of creating trusts and having their assets managed by trustees in Mauritius.
There are two types of offshore companies, also known as Global Business Companies (GBC), that can be set up in Mauritius. These can have their corporate accounts set up as Mauritius offshore bank accounts.
With respect to the banking sector, financial institutions here have all implemented the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) system which is very advantageous when operating outside the country. This is also one of the major benefits of opening a Mauritius offshore bank account.
Mauritius bank account opening services
If you are interested in opening an offshore bank account in Mauritius, our local agents are at your service with complete support in setting it up. From assistance in finding a bank to document preparation, you can rely on our specialists for tailored advice on the creation of an offshore bank account.
We can partially handle the opening of the account on your behalf based on a power of attorney, however, you could be required to visit the country once in order to sign the documents requested by the bank and to provide a specimen signature for future operations.
If you need assistance in setting up a Mauritius offshore company, we can also assist with the incorporation procedure and act as registered agents during the entire procedure.
If you have any questions about the creation of an offshore company or bank account, our Mauritius company formation officers are at your disposal.
We also invite you to watch our video on the opening of a Mauritius offshore bank account:
Economic facts about Mauritius
In the past few years, Mauritius has made great progress in terms of the economy. According to the African Development Bank Group:
- the average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2015 and 2019 was 3.8%;
- Mauritius’ economy relies mainly on the services sector which represented 76% of the GDP in 2019;
- investment also played an important part in the economy last year, representing 19% of the GDP;
- for 2020, Mauritius’ economy is expected to grow by 3.9%, while in 2021, it is projected to increase by 4%.
FAQ on Mauritius offshore bank accounts
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on Mauritius offshore bank accounts:
- Can I open an offshore bank account in Mauritius if I don’t live there?
Yes, it is possible to set up a Mauritius offshore bank account as a non-resident.
- How do I choose a Mauritius bank to set up an account with?
Banks in Mauritius are usually large financial institutions, therefore present increased credibility, so you can choose any bank that has lower set up and administration fees, or a bank that offers the services you need the most.
- How long does it take to open an offshore bank account in Mauritius?
The creation of an offshore bank account depends on the selected financial institution. Generally, it takes a few weeks to have the account opened.
- What documents do I need to provide in order to open an offshore bank account in Mauritius?
The documents related to the opening of a Mauritius offshore bank account are the same as for any type of account and imply the passport, proof of address and other supporting documents required by the bank. It should be noted that each bank has its own requisites in terms of documents.
For assistance in setting up a Mauritius offshore bank account, please contact our company formation experts.