- August 19, 2020
- Posted by: Editor
- Category: Law
Foreign citizens who want to do business in Mauritius have several types of entities they can choose from. Even if the offshore company is one of the most employed such structures, there are also other legal forms that can be used for the creation of local businesses and one of them is the limited liability company (LLC).
If you are interested in opening an LLC in Mauritius and need assistance, our local specialists are at your services for guidance. You can rely on us for complete company formation services in Mauritius.
Characteristics of the Mauritius LLC
The limited liability company falls under the regulations of the Company Law in Mauritius and can be employed for the creation of a local business by both foreign investors and companies. Upon business registration in Mauritius of an LLC, here are the main requirements to pay attention to:
- it requires at least one shareholder who can be a natural person or corporation;
- it requires at least one resident director and more foreign directors, if desired;
- its minimum share capital is set 1 USD, however, the shareholders can decide on this aspect;
- it can be created for a duration of 50 years, with the possibility of extension.
In some cases, the LLC can take the form of a Global Business Company without the need to apply for a financial license with the Mauritius Financial Services Commission.
Just like in other jurisdictions, Mauritius LLCs are divided into private and public companies with the mention that a private entity is limited to 25 shareholders.
For more information on the features of the LLC, you can address our Mauritius company formation advisors.
LLC registration steps in Mauritius
Opening an LLC in Mauritius will follow the same steps as when incorporating any other business form and implies:
- reserving a trading name;
- having a local legal address;
- drafting Articles of Association;
- opening a corporate bank account;
- filing the documents with the Companies Register;
- obtaining a tax identification number;
- applying for specific business licenses and/or permits.
With respect to the requirements of having a resident director, you can obtain more information on this aspect from our company registration representatives in Mauritius who can provide specific services in this sense. Also, you can rely on us if you want to set up an offshore bank account in this country.
Trading name reservation for an LLC in Mauritius
Just like in other countries, the first step of starting a business in Mauritius is to reserve a trading name with the Companies Register. This is also the case of the limited liability company which must have a unique name.
For this purpose, the future business owner can submit 3 names for approval with the Mauritius Business Registrar. The procedure can be completed online and right after, the documents related to the incorporation of the LLC can be continued. From this point of view, Mauritius is very advanced allowing the registration of any legal entity in a very short time span.
Foreign investors seeking to open companies in Mauritius can rely on our consultants who can act as registered agents and commence the procedure on their behalf.
The registered address requirement for a Mauritius LLC
No matter if the LLC will operate in Mauritius or outside it when treated as a domestic company it must have a registered address here. This is a mandatory requirement for all companies incorporated here, including offshore companies.
The registered address can take the form of a property or an office space rented for this purpose. No matter the situation, documents indicating its use must be filed with the Companies House.
It should be noted that the registered address of the company must appear on the letterhead of all documents issued by the business, which is why it very important to choose a suitable legal address.
Starting a business in Mauritius follows the same lines as in other countries, which is why many foreign investors choose to set up operations here.
Bank account opening for a Mauritius LLC
The LLC can set up a corporate bank account with any financial institution in Mauritius. At first, the account will be used for depositing the share capital followed by its use for all commercial transactions of the company.
With respect to the share capital of an LLC, there is no minimum amount of money imposed under the law, which makes it very flexible for investors to choose the capital they will work with.
Shareholders and directors of LLCs in Mauritius
The LLC is a very flexible business form as it only requires one shareholder and one director. There are no restrictions or requirements related to the nationality of the shareholder.
Moreover, a natural person or company can be the sole shareholder in an LLC in Mauritius.
With respect to the director, he or she can be a foreign national who can relocate to Mauritius based on a work permit. It is also permitted to use nominee services with respect to shareholders, directors, and secretaries.
We also offer registered agent services for those who want to open companies, including LLCs in Mauritius, and do not have the time to come here to complete all the formalities. All they need to do is to grant us a power of attorney to partially complete the incorporation process.
Document preparation upon opening an LLC in Mauritius in 2021
Foreign investors who want to open LLCs in Mauritius in 2021 must prepare various documents and file them with the Companies Registrar. Depending on the status of the shareholder, valid identification papers in the case of natural persons or incorporation documents in the case of corporate shareholders will be required.
The following documents must also be prepared:
- the application form which must contain information about the future company;
- the signed consent of each director and secretary (where one will be appointed);
- the signed consent of each shareholder with respect to share ownership.
In case the company has one director who is a foreign citizen, he or she must obtain a Mauritius residence permit. You can rely on us if you want to set up a company in Mauritius and need information on the documents you need to prepare. We can also assist with their drafting.
The main uses of an LLC in Mauritius in 2021
Given the fact that the LLC is also known as a proprietary company, it is usually employed by foreign companies seeking to open subsidiary businesses in Mauritius and by overseas entrepreneurs interested in having companies operating at a local level. Considering tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in the country, it should be noted that foreign investors cannot fully own companies in this sector, their participation being limited to 49% of the shareholders in hotels with less than 100 rooms.
Another aspect to be considered upon the creation of an LLC is that it will be taxed at a rate of 15%.
If you need more information on the best uses of an LLC as well as guidance in registering one, do not hesitate to use the services provided by our agents in Mauritius.
Please watch our video on how to open an LLC in Mauritius:
Choosing a legal form for starting a business in Mauritius
Foreign investors who want to open companies in Mauritius have several legal forms under which they can establish their operations. Even if in most cases the offshore company is the preferred option, there are also other vehicles under which these create enterprises in this insular state.
In 2021, the limited liability company can be used for the opening of the following in Mauritius:
- companies limited by shares;
- companies limited by guarantee;
- companies limited by shares and guarantee;
- unlimited companies;
- limited life companies.
These all offer limited liability companies to their shareholders under specific regulations prescribed by the Companies Act in Mauritius.
The company limited by shares implies for the shareholders to have limited responsibility to the number of shares that remain unpaid by them. In other words, a shareholder owning capital in such a business form will be accountable only for the contribution he or she did not cover.
The company limited by guarantee, on the other hand, implies the liability of the shareholders on the amount of money attributed to the assets that should be paid in case of company liquidation.
The company limited by shares and guarantee is a hybrid between the two types of Mauritius limited liability companies mentioned above. It implies for the shareholders to have limited responsibility for the unpaid shares they hold and who also guarantee the contribution of the assets that would remain unpaid in case the company is wound up.
The unlimited company can be registered by those who will have unlimited responsibility towards the business.
Other types of limited liability companies are the life limited and the public ones. These too have specific requirements they need to comply with upon registration.
Just like in other countries, Mauritius allows for the creation of private and public limited liability companies. These are subject to specific requirements.
The public company can trade shares on the stock exchange and can have more than 25 shareholders.
The private company comes with the following characteristics:
- it cannot have more than 25 shareholders;
- its shares cannot be traded on the stock market;
- it can also impose restrictions on the transfer of shares.
The private limited liability company can also be set up as a small business if it has a turnover of less than 10 million rupees.
The creation of a limited liability company in Mauritius in 2021 is the same as for an offshore one and those who want to operate under this business form can rely on our local agents.
The GBC company as an LLC in Mauritius
The Global Business Company or the offshore company is the most employed and most popular business form among foreign entrepreneurs. One of its main characteristics is that after registration it can be designated as an LLC, however, this option is available only for Category 2 licensed GBCs.
We remind foreign investors that GBC2 companies have the following features:
- it is intended for trading and investment purposes,
- it can also be used as a holding company,
- holding companies can own GBC2 companies as subsidiaries.
Another important aspect to consider when registering a GBC with the purpose of designating it as an LLC is that falls under two local laws:
- the Companies Act,
- the Financial Services Act.
Should you need advice on how to select a business form to start a business in Mauritius, you can rely on the expertise of our local consultants.
Foreign companies seeking to operate in Mauritius in 2021
Mauritius has an open economy enabling foreign investors to operate in all industries which is why it also attracts overseas companies that can expand their operations here. For these, the limited liability company can be a good option especially when it comes to offering services or selling goods on the local market. Another advantage is related to the possibility of hiring Mauritius citizens thus reducing the costs related to transferring employees.
Their options are the creation of subsidiaries, branch offices, but also joint ventures.
The registration of such an enterprise by a foreign business will imply the following steps:
- reserving a trading name;
- drafting and filing several documents with the Mauritius Trade Register;
- applying for tax registration and the necessary business licenses.
As a particularity, the Mauritius company formation process in the case of a foreign business implies having a registered address in this country, as well as the appointment of at least two authorized agents.
The overseas entity must also file certified copies of its certificate of registration and Articles of Association. Other documents that need to be prepared are:
- a list with the names of all shareholders (including those of beneficial owners where such stockholders exist);
- information about the directors;
- a declaration of the authorized agents.
If you want to set up a business in Mauritius under the form of a limited liability company in 2021, our specialists can guide you through the incorporation procedure.
The LLC as a shelf company in Mauritius
Those who want to start operating in the shortest time possible in Mauritius can purchase shelf companies. These are usually registered as limited liability companies and can be bought immediately. Once purchased, the transfer of shares and the appointment of new officers in the company will be completed in a matter of days in order for the company to start operating as soon as possible.
LLC registration timeframe in Mauritius
Here is how long it takes to register a company under the form an LLC in Mauritius:
- up to 5 days for preparing the incorporation documents;
- up to 4 weeks for the creation of the bank account;
- up to 2 weeks for the incorporation to be completed;
- the total registration process can take up to 8 weeks.
FAQ on the LLC in Mauritius
These are some of the most frequently asked on the incorporation of an LLC in Mauritius:
- How long does it take to register an LLC in Mauritius?
The incorporation procedure of a Mauritius limited liability company can be completed in a matter of days, and it also depends on the industry it operates, the case in which the licensing requirements must be met.
- Is it expensive to register an LLC in Mauritius?
No, the registration fees for creating an LLC are the same as for the offshore company, however, additional service costs can appear depending on the needs of the investor.
- What are the industries an LLC can operate in?
The only industry with restrictions imposed on foreign investments in Mauritius is tourism.
- How is an LLC taxed in Mauritius?
The LLC is subject to the standard corporate tax which is levied at a rate of 15%.
For assistance in setting up an LLC in Mauritius, please contact our company formation consultants. You can also rely on us if you want to open another type of company here.