Mauritius financial services

Amongst Mauritius offshore entities, only GBC1 companies are legally allowed to offer financial services. Such activities usually require to secure a financial service license with the relevant Mauritius administration, most often the Financial Services Commission. Please find below more information on business setup and licensing requirements for the most popular financial services entities:

  • The Mauritius forex brokerage company (currency derivatives licensed investment dealer)

    Mauritius financial services

    • Foreigners willing to run a forex business in Mauritius can do by i) registering a GBC1 company then ii) securing a investment dealer license with the financial services commission. The process require the appointment of i) a minimum of two directors including ii) two Mauritius residents and iii) two directors with at least four years of experience in the forex brokerage industry;
    • Licensing requirements also include: i) a minimum capital requirement of US$21,000 (MUR700,000) and ii) cash and cash equivalent assets corresponding to 10% of all outstanding liabilities and iii) submission of 3 years financial projections, business plan and a quality AML/CFT program;
    • While Mauritius used to be amongst the prime jurisdictions forex businesses, the Mauritius Financial Services Commission is reluctant to grant new licenses and has recently deregistered multiple offshore forex businesses for non compliance with AML/CFT obligations;
    • Best uses for a Mauritius forex company: Mauritius is an attractive jurisdiction for forex businesses which have already have several years in the industry and now want to serve their customers with a low cost / low tax licensed entity.
  • The Mauritius collective investment scheme fund (CIS licensed fund)

    • There are four broad categories of open-ended funds in Mauritius:
      • Fully regulated collective investment schemes, which offer their products to retail customers. These funds are subject to strict regulations in Mauritius and usually are onshore businesses with significant functions performed directly in the country;
      • Professional funds, which only offer investment opportunities to “sophisticated” investors that is to say i) Governments and Government bodies ii) other licensed funds iii) banks iv) insurers and v) licensed investment dealers;
      • Expert funds, which only offer their products to i) sophisticated investors and ii) investors making a minimum investment contribution of US$100,000;
      • Specialized Funds, which only deal in a subcategory of financial products (equity, bonds, derivatives, commodity) and for which the regulations applied by the Financial Services Commission are set on a case by case basis.

    • All of the above funds are i) usually registered a GBC1 companies or partnerships and ii) required to secure a global funds license with the Mauritius Financial Services Commission. Such license requires i) all funds to have a capital equivalent to 5% of the amount expected to be raised from investors and ii) the appointment of a CIS manager who must be a licensed entity, preferably in Mauritius although the FSC can approve overseas licensed CIS managers for professional, expert and specialized funds;
    • Additionally, fully regulated CIS are required to appoint a licensed custodian in Mauritius to hold the assets locally (when possible). This custodian must have a minimum capital of at least US$300,000 (MUR10 million);
    • Best uses for a Mauritius collective investment scheme fund: such funds are attractive corporate structure to offer investment management services to an international wholesale clientele.
  • The Mauritius captive re-insurance company

    • Mauritius GBC1 entities can be used for captive re-insurance purposes, that is to offer insurance products within the same group of businesses. As long as such products are not offered to third parties, such businesses benefit from lower licensing requirements, as they are only required to secure an external insurance business license with the Financial Services Commission;
    • To secure the above license, it is necessary for the business to i) have a minimum capitalization of US$750,000 (MUR25 million), to be maintained at all times ii) appoint at least 7 directors, amongst whom 2 must be resident in Mauritius and 30% independent directors and iii) submit draft compliance manuals, proposed re-insurance arrangements and detailed program in place to ensure the safety of all assets of the business;
    • After its registration, the business is required to submit annual actuarial reports, in addition to its annual financial statements;
    • Best uses for a Mauritius captive re-insurance company: Mauritius captive re-insurance companies are attractive vehicles for larger MNCs to save costs on insurance products issued by third party insurers. Operating such type of business however requires a deep knowledge and know how in the financial and insurance industries and is expensive to maintain.
  • Table of comparison between Mauritius financial entities

    Entity typeRetail FundInvestment FundInvestment FundForex companyRe-insurance company
    Also know as?Fully regulated CISProfessional FundExpert FundFX brokerage FirmCaptive re-insurance
    Type of Mauritius entity usually used?Local LLCGBC1GBC1GBC1GBC1
    Doing business in Mauritius permitted?YesYesYesYesYes
    Can only offer services within the same Group?NoNoNoNoYes
    Allowed to sign contracts with retails Clients?YesNoNoYesNo
    Allowed to sign contract with wholesale Clients?YesYesYesYesNo
    Local office premises required before registration?YesYesYesYesYes
    Allowed to hire staff in Mauritius?YesYesYesYesYes
    Accounting and tax
    Corporate tax rate?15%3%3%3%3%
    Statutory audit required?YesYesYesYesYes
    Annual tax return to be submitted?YesYesYesYesYes
    Access to DTAAs?YesYesYesYesYes
    Company and licensing laws
    Must appoint a qualified fund manager?YesYesYesNoNo
    Must appoint a resident custodian?YesNoNoNoNo
    Probability the FSC approves a non resident fund manager?0%50%50%N/AN/A
    Issued share capital required?5% of total funds raised from investors5% of total funds raised from investors5% of total funds raised from investorsUS$21,000US$750,000
    Minimum number of directors required?22227
    Resident director required?Yes, 2Yes, 2Yes, 2Yes, 2Yes, 2
    Must the directors be qualified to run the business?YesYesYesYesYes
    Independent directors required?YesNoNoNoYes, 30% of the Board
    Business plan and financial projections required before registration?YesYesYesYesYes
    Minimum number of shareholders?11111
    Public register of licensed entities?YesYesYesYesYes
    Immigration
    Can the entity hire expatriate staff?YesYesYesYesYes
    How long to get work permit approved?3 months3 months3 months3 months3 months
    Fees and timelines
    Estimate of engagement costsUS$37,340US$37,340US$37,340US$28,275Contact us
    Draft invoiceMauritius GBC1 with CIS license draft invoiceMauritius GBC1 with CIS license draft invoiceMauritius GBC1 with CIS license draft invoiceMauritius GBC1 with forex license draft invoiceContact us

Contact us

For additional information on our financial services company registration services in Mauritius, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon
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