Creating a company in Mauritius
- Incorporation time: 2 days
- Shelf companies: No
- Accounting: No
- Secretary: No
- Nominee Shareholder: Yes
- Nominee director: Yes
The countryMauritius lies in the Indian Ocean and constitutes the majority of the territory of the Republic of Mauritius. A former British Colony, the country has developed well since gaining independence in 1968. It now has approximately 1,200,000 inhabitants. Once mostly focused on agriculture, Mauritius has managed to evolve its secondary and tertiary sectors, thus increasing its wealth and that of its inhabitants.
An offshore centreRanked in first place in terms of economic development in 2008 by the World Bank, Mauritius is an offshore solution with a very favourable tax system and a good reputation. The main form of offshore company is the Global Business Company, and businesses are guaranteed zero taxation and high-quality banking secrecy.
Useful informationMauritius is an excellent jurisdiction for a stable offshore facility outside Europe and is a prized spot for doing business with Africa. The banks are of good quality and banking secrecy is reliable.
The different types of companiesThere are two types of companies in Mauritius: GBL 1 onshore companies (Global Business License 1-15% tax) and GBL 2 offshore companies (Global Business license 2-0% taxation). The creation of a society requires the establishment of statutes and a certificate from the authorised agent confirming the legality of the company. vIt also requires a legal certificate issued by a local lawyer as evidence that local conditions have been met.
The various tax rates
Corporation tax is 0% in Mauritius for companies which export, or reinvest their revenue in export. Otherwise, corporation tax is 15%. VAT is 15%.
France and Mauritius signed a double taxation agreement in 1980.
Mauritius accounting rules depend on the nature of the company:
- onshore GBL1 companies, which are taxed at 15%, must keep up-to-date records and have a bank account in Mauritius
- offshore GBL2 companies, taxed at 0%, have no accounting obligation and may hold a bank account anywhere in the world
|Personal income (MUR)||Tax rate|
|0 to 240 000||0%|
|240 001 to 500 000||15%|
|500 001 and +||22,5%|
Global Business License 1 – onshore company
Global Business License 1 (GBL1) can be created with the permission of the FSC (Financial Services Commission) to perform offshore activities. A GBL1 can become resident in Mauritius and thus benefit from the country’s double taxation agreements. However, a GBL1 cannot conduct financial transactions with residents or invest in real estate. It can carry out banking, insurance and fund management activities. A GBL1 is taxed at 15% except on capital gains, and is not subject to a withholding tax.
A GBL1 consists of at least two natural or legal persons and must have two resident directors. Its headquarters must also be in the country and the license to operate costs 1 500 USD/year; accounting is mandatory, as is the possession of a bank account for the company in Mauritius. A GBL1 can obtain a work/residence permit for Mauritius and open a bank account.
Global Business license 2 – offshore company
A Global Business license 2 (GBL2) must also receive authorization (issued by the FSC), and, unlike the GBL1, it cannot be considered to be resident in Mauritius. Therefore, it does not benefit from double taxation agreements and must be registered with a registration agent. A GBL2 can perform any kind of activity (except banking, insurance, Trust or investment funds), is not subject to tax or any withholding.
A GBL2′s holdings are registered, like shares, and the annual licence is 200 USD. A GBL2 may possess a bank account anywhere in the world and is not obliged to keep accounts.
The Jurisdiction in detail
Following its independence, Mauritius has experienced a long period of growth, achieving a rate of 6%, through a policy of economic diversification. Agriculture, which was formerly very important, has seen its share of GDP decrease (but not disappear) in favour of industry and services. This transition has resulted in an increase in the standard of living and an improvement in infrastructure, with the island becoming a “middle income” country.
Mauritian agriculture employs 14% of the workforce and focuses mainly on sugar cane, which occupies no less than 90% of the total cultivable area. It also generates 25% of total export revenue. Industry accounts for 36% of the workforce and its most important sector is textiles, although it has slowed down in recent years faced with Chinese production.
Finally, services account for the rest of the workforce (50%) and constitute the majority of the country’s GNP. Call centres and tourism are the flagship activities, but the country is also well-known as a popular offshore destination, with more than 9,000 companies of this type registered in the country.Advantages of investing :
- tax advantages
- high-quality offshore destination
- good economic development
- political stability
Access to and functioning of the market
Mauritius is a member of the World Trade Organization and trades a lot with foreign countries. Consequently it has a policy of open trade, without customs barriers. Customs duties are relatively low, and the country’s main trading partners are the European Union, India and the United States.
Mauritius’ retail sector is diverse, since it mixes local small shops with markets and superstores. However, the two main types of retail outlets are isolated stores (40% market share) and supermarkets (50%). The latter have seen strong growth since 1994 and have had great success, due in particular to the quantity of products offered, knock-down prices, better access and credit facilities. The main stores are Leader Price, GSR, Jumbo Score, Spar, Monoprix, Shoprite, Super U, Supercash, Way and Winner’s.
In terms of the transport of goods, the island’s road network is made up of 2,000 kilometres of paved roads and a highway linking the north and south of the country. However, the roads are poorly maintained and of poor quality, while the highway is used by vehicles of all kinds and often crossed by animals.
The duration of the working week is usually 45 hours and wages are on average 5 times lower than in France.
The President of the Republic of Mauritius (Kailash Purryag) is the head of State, but executive power is held by the Prime Minister (Navin Ramgoolam). Legislative power is held by the Parliament, the members of which are elected for five years.