Mauritius, which is officially known as The Republic of Mauritius, is an island located about 2,000 km off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodriguez and the outer islands of Agalega and St Brandon. The capital and largest city is Port Louis. It is a popular tourist destination famed for its sandy white beaches. Company registration process in Mauritius for foreigner is discussed step by step:
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Company registration in Mauritius (private limited)
Accounting and audit
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Mauritius is also an attractive destination for businesses looking to set up companies to take advantage of its low corporate tax rate. Coupled with a stable political environment, it has encouraged more businesses to set up companies in the country.
Foreign company registration in Mauritius
These are the common ways foreign company registration in Mauritius.
They can appoint 2 persons who act as agents for the company and are residents of Mauritius. They will then register a company as a branch of a foreign company with the Registrar of Companies.
A foreign company can also set up a subsidiary company in Mauritius. However the company must have at least one Mauritius resident as a director. The accounting records must also be kept in Mauritius. A company secretary must also be appointed and must be a resident of Mauritius.
A foreign company can also set up a Joint Venture company with a local company in Mauritius. The new company can be a limited liability company.
As for a Representative Office, Mauritius’s regulations doesn’t provide for the registration of this type of company. The foreign company can register a local company in Mauritius and this company can only be involved in marketing and promotion activities. They cannot be involved in commercial activities or production related.
Type of business structure for a foreign company
There are basically 2 types of business structures of companies that a foreign company can set up in Mauritius. They are –
Company holding a category 1 Global Business Licence – This type of company is also known as a resident company. It is set up mainly to take advantage of the low corporate tax rate in the country. This type of company can also do business with other local Mauritian companies or its residents such as financial or insurance services provided that they obtain the necessary approvals and permits to conduct the business.
Company holding a category 2 Global Business Licence (GBC 2) – GBS 2 are considered as foreign companies or offshore companies. This type of companies mainly conducts their business dealings outside of Mauritius. The main purpose of setting up a GBC 2 company is also for tax purposes as they are not subject to the country’s corporate tax.
As Mauritius foreign company registrationadvantage, foreign company can also acquire interests in a local company in Mauritius. However the main restriction to this is that the foreign investor cannot acquire interests in a Mauritian company that is producing sugar which is listed on the share market.
Business registration Mauritius
Steps of business registration Mauritius as follows-
Reserving a company name – First and foremost you need to come up with a name for your company and you would need to register this name with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). The ROC can refuse the name if-
It contravenes a legal enactment
There is another company with the same name
The name is deemed offensive by the ROC
The application of company registration process in Mauritius can also be done online but you must first register with the Mauritius Network Services.
Submit the application – The application form must have the following information –
a) Name of the company
b) Details of the director and secretary such as their full names, residential address and service address
c) Any business occupation of the directors in any other company.
d) Details of the shareholders.
e) Type of company whether it’s a limited or unlimited.
f) Structure of the company whether it’s public or private
g) The registered office of the company
h) The business activity and location of the business
i) Full name of the applicant
Once the application complies with the Companies Act and payment of the prescribed fees, the Registrar will issue the Certificate of Incorporation and issue a unique company number.
Once the ROC updates the company’s information in the Central Business Registration Database, the Mauritius Revenue Authority, Local Authority (Municipality) and the Ministry of Social Security are all notified of any newly incorporated company. As such the new company is automatically registered for taxes and doesn’t need to file a separate application at the tax office.
Inspection by local authorities – The next step is the inspection by the Sanitary Authority, the Police Department, Fire Services Department, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Security. These authorities will inform the new company of the relevant fees, guidelines and other provisions.
Pay licence fees – The newly established company then needs to pay the licence fees. This must be done within 15 days upon starting the business operation. Thereafter for every subsequent financial year, it can be paid in 2 equal installments.
The company would then need to register with the Social Security Office. The new company should submit a monthly return of contributions to this office.
Make a company seal – The company seal must be used in the normal business operations.
Advantage of company registration process in Mauritius as GBC 1 and/ or GBC 2 is choice of entrepreneurs.