- October 13, 2020
- Posted by: Editor
- Category: Law
Starting a business in Mauritius requires meeting various requirements that depend on the business form chosen by the investor. Most foreign entrepreneurs decide on offshore companies in Mauritius because of the advantages offered by this legal entity.
One of the main requisites for creating an offshore company is to appoint a registered agent in Mauritius. The appointed person or company must comply with several regulations and will have a well-established role in the company.
Below, our company formation consultants in Mauritius explain the main requirements associated with the appointment of registered agents. We can also act as registered agents for companies in Mauritius.
What are the companies requiring registered agents in Mauritius?
There are two types of offshore companies that can be incorporated in Mauritius:
- the Category 1 International Business Company (IBC);
- the Category 2 International Business Company.
Both legal entities are subject to similar registration requirements, however, the Category 2 IBC company is required to have a registered address and registered agent in Mauritius.
The Mauritius registered agent can be a management company licensed in accordance with the Financial Services Act (Section 23), an offshore bank registered in the insular state, or a natural person required to apply for the Registered Agent License.
The registered agent must be appointed shortly after the time the business is incorporated in Mauritius as its details must be enclosed in the Trade Register’s database.
Our Mauritius company formation officers can offer more information on the legislation prescribing the appointment of a registered agent.
Steps in appointing a registered agent in Mauritius
There are several steps to complete when appointing a registered agent for a Mauritius company. These are:
- the registered agent must be appointed through a resolution passed by the company directors;
- within 14 days from the appointment, the registered agent must apply for the Registered Agent License;
- where the registered agent is already registered with the Financial Services Commission, it will not be necessary to apply for the license;
- the company must report the appointment of the registered agent with the Mauritius Companies Register.
In the application for registration with the Mauritius Financial Services Commission, the following documents must be filed by the future registered agent:
- information about the company and the person appointed as a registered agent;
- all relevant data required by the FSC;
- proof of payment of the application fee.
The registered agent is subject to an annual fee that must be paid with the Financial Services Commission.
Mauritius companies can change their registered agents through a resolution passed by the directors and the replacement must be announced with the FSC and the Companies Register no later than 7 days after the change.
If you need more information on the regulations related to the appointment of a registered agent or simply need guidance in setting up an offshore company in Mauritius, our local consultants are at your service.
We also offer tailored business registration services in Mauritius.
How to apply for a registered agent license in Mauritius
Management companies are required to apply for registered agent licenses with the Financial Services Commission when planning to offer their services to offshore companies. These are required to file various documents with the Commission based on which they will receive their licenses.
There are three types of licenses that can be used when offering registered agent services in Mauritius. These are:
- the management company license,
- the management license,
- the nominee company.
The main differences between them reside in the types of services they can provide. The first type of company can offer multiple services, however, the management license can only be issued to those seeking to provide qualified or trustee services. The nominee company can offer nominee services, as its name states.
The documents required to obtain any of the registered agent services mentioned above are the application form, the documents providing for the services to offer, and the receipts of pay the necessary fees and taxes for obtaining the license.
The duties of a Mauritius registered agent
Offshore companies operating under Category 2 licenses in Mauritius and required to appoint registered agents can delegate the following duties to the appointee:
- to act as a contact point with the Companies Register and other relevant authorities in Mauritius;
- to update company records, Articles of Association and record meeting minutes;
- to act as an intermediary between the company and third parties;
- to make sure the company’s financial obligations are met in accordance with the legal requirements.
The registered agent will also be in charge of paying all annual fees with various authorities, such as the FSC and the Mauritius Tax Office.
How to choose a registered agent in Mauritius
Choosing a registered agent in Mauritius is not difficult as all companies providing such services are listed on the FSC’s website. However, foreign investors can have one or more companies verified in order to make a good decision. Also, the choice should be based on the type of services required and on the type of legal form they plan to use in Mauritius.
If you want to open a company in Mauritius and need guidance, our local specialists are at your service. Also, if you are looking to appoint a management company which is licensed under the conditions imposed by the FSC, you can direct your questions to our advisors.
Registered agent services in Mauritius
Foreign investors who want to set up companies in Mauritius can use the services of a registered agent in this country.
Our company formation consultants in Mauritius can offer registered agent services, among which we mention the following:
- documents preparation,
- documents filing with the Trade Register,
- tax and VAT registration,
- registration for employment purposes,
- obtaining business licenses.
All these can be obtained with the help of a power of attorney.
Moreover, those who want to immigrate to Mauritius can rely on our lawyers who can help them with relocation services.
Documents that can be prepared by a registered agent in Mauritius
When it comes to the incorporation of a company in Mauritius, a registered agent can act as the contact point between the shareholder and the authorities in this country. This will simplify both the registration and the relations between the two parties.
Foreign investors need to grant a power of attorney or pass a resolution through which the services of a Mauritius registered agent are contracted and then wait for the procedure of starting a business is begun.
Overseas businessmen can start the preparation of the incorporation documents themselves and then send them to the registered agent, however, this procedure can lead to delays in starting the company, or they can give their full details to the Mauritius registered agent who will start the procedure right away.
Among the documents to prepare when starting a company in Mauritius are the Articles of Association. These must be carefully drafted in order to ensure their correctness upon submission with the Trade Register.
Other documents that can be prepared by a registered agent are different shareholders’ agreements and amendments to statutory documents if companies need to make different changes in the business’ structure of share capital.
Given the fact that the registered agent in Mauritius will be the contact point between the company and the local authorities, it is best to work with specialists who can handle various aspects of doing business here. The registered agent can be a natural person or company who can offer such services.
Registering a company for taxation and employment in Mauritius
One of the best aspects of using a registered agent for starting a business in Mauritius is that the foreign investor can wait for most or all formalities to be completed before coming here. This implies not only obtaining the Certificate of Registration of the company, but also its registration for taxation and employment purposes with the relevant authorities.
This way, the business owner can come and start the operations of the company directly.
With the help of our business registration advisors in Mauritius, you can start a company here quite easily. We also invite you to watch our video:
The registered agent and the offshore company in Mauritius
Most of the times, foreign investors who come to Mauritius open offshore companies. As non-residents, they must also comply with various regulations, among which the appointment of registered agents. For this purpose, they must choose the management company or natural person carefully and make sure they meet the requirements imposed by the law.
When opening an offshore company in Mauritius, a foreign investor must consider the following:
- the reservation of a unique trading name,
- drafting the incorporation documents which imply the Articles of Association,
- the setup of the corporate bank account in order to deposit the capital,
- filing all the relevant documents with the Trade Register,
- registering with the Revenue Authority, however, the information is sent directly from the Trade Register.
When it comes to the Mauritius registered agent, the future business owners must submit the company’s or person’s details with the Trade Register. Also, in certain cases, the agent must be granted a power of attorney in order to represent the company in various matters.
The creation of an offshore company will also imply applying for certain licenses, depending on the activities it will undertake. These permits are specially created for the operations to be undertaken outside Mauritius.
If you need information about the creation of an offshore company, we also have a team of lawyers in Mauritius who can help you.
The main requirements related to starting a business in Mauritius
There are several types of companies that can be created in Mauritius, among which there is also the limited liability company. It should be noted that offshore companies can also be employed as limited liability companies, however, they will lose their tax benefit and will be levied the 15% corporate tax.
No matter the type of company one wants to start in Mauritius, there are specific steps to complete, as mentioned above, and requirements to comply with. Among these, it is well-known that no matter if one decides for a domestic or offshore company, the business will need a registered address. In this case, the address can be provided by the registered agent in Mauritius. Later, the first address can be altered.
Another requirement that must be completed when setting up a business in Mauritius is the preparation of the statutory documents that must be filed with the Companies House. These can be prepared by our specialists who can offer registered agents services. However, if you decide for us, you should note that our services do not include management.
When it comes to the directors of the company, these can be Mauritius residents or non-residents. For the latter, there is no specific requirement to relocate here, however, they can also apply for residence permits if they want to administer the business from the insular state.
Meeting all the requisites for starting a company in Mauritius is not complicated, and for those who do not want to travel here and handle the incorporation process, our specialists can provide the necessary support.
If you have any questions about setting up a Mauritius company, our representatives are at your disposal. We can also offer registered agent services for specific aspects related to opening a business.
Why start a business in Mauritius?
Mauritius is one of the emerging economies among African countries, as it had a slow but constant Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the last few years. According to recent data:
- the average economic growth between 2015 and 2019 was 3.8%;
- even if in 2020 the GDP is expected to decrease because of the pandemic, in 2021 it is expected to reach a 5.9% growth in 2021;
- the industrial sector is the most important contributor to Mauritius’ economy, representing 21% of the GDP;
- it is followed by agriculture which represents 3% of the country’s GDP.
FAQ on the registered agent in Mauritius
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the registered agent in Mauritius and their detailed answers:
- Are registered agents regulated by any law in Mauritius?
Yes, in the case of offshore companies, these are regulated by the Financial Services Act, but also by specific rules imposed by the Financial Services Commission.
- Can a company obtain both types of management company license?
Yes, it is possible, however, the management company license also encompasses the services that can be provided under the simple management license, therefore there is no need to apply for both permits.
- Can I obtain a registered agent license as a foreigner in Mauritius?
Yes, it is possible for foreign agents to provide their services in Mauritius, as long as they apply for a license with the Financial Services Commission.
- Can I obtain a registered agent as a private individual?
Yes, you can. For offering registered agent services as a natural person you need to apply for the management license, however, this comes with certain restrictions when it comes to the services that you can provide.
- How long does it take to obtain a registered agent license?
The licensing process for a Mauritius registered agent can take several weeks to complete.
If you want to set up a Category 2 IBC company and need to appoint a registered agent in Mauritius, do not hesitate to contact us for these services.