Business entities in Mauritius
Mauritius company setup is an interesting option for our Clients willing to reduce taxation over their global earnings. The most common option for that purpose is a Global Business License type 2 company with a (GBC2 company). However, Global Business License type 1 companies (GBC1 companies) should not be overlooked: while such Mauritius business setup requirements include higher government fees than GBC2 and the need for resident directors, such companies have access to Mauritius double tax avoidance treaties.
The Mauritius offshore company (Global Business License type 2 companies)
- This type of Mauritius offshore business entity can be setup with i) a minimum capital of US$1 ii) one shareholder and iii) one director, who both do not need to be residents in Mauritius. Setting up a Mauritius GBC2 company requires a resident registered agent, in charge of maintaining company records;
- GBC2 companies are legally exempt from taxation in Mauritius, including i) corporate tax ii) capital gains tax and iii) withholding tax on earnings, dividends and interest paid to individual and corporate shareholders. They also do not need to file annual financial statements, provided a financial summary is filed with the Mauritius Financial Services Commission;
- GBC2 companies are not allowed to trade with Mauritius individuals and businesses and cannot use the local currency, but can conduct any kind of activities outside of the country, except financial, insurance and banking services.
The Mauritius Global Business License type 1 company (GBC1 company)
- The Mauritius GBC1 company can be setup with i) a minimum capital of US$1 ii) one shareholder and iii) two directors, who both must be ordinarily residing in Mauritius. The Financial Services Commission also frequently requests additional evidence that the company is managed from Mauritius, including a local corporate bank account;
- Similarly to the Seychelles CSL company, the Mauritius GBC1 company can trade with locals after prior approval from the Mauritius FSP. It is also allowed to provide financial and insurance services, provided a license has been granted by the local authorities for such purpose.
- The Mauritius GBC1 is considered as a resident entity and will hence have to pay tax in Mauritius over its global earnings, but at an attractive rate of 3% compared to 15% for other resident companies. Such scheme can allow the company i) not to pay corporate tax in other countries and ii) to benefit from withholding tax exemption on dividends and interest remitted from one of the 42 countries which have signed a double tax avoidance agreement with Mauritius.
The Mauritius limited liability company (proprietary company)
The Mauritius LLC requires i) at least 1 shareholder at incorporation, who can be of any nationality and country of residence and ii) only US$1 of share capital and iii) one director, who must be resident in the country. Such company is subject to tax and annual financial statements filing requirements. Kindly note that foreign ownership is furthermore restricted in the tourism industry: foreigners willing to invest in Mauritius cannot own more than 49% of hotels with less than 100 rooms. They also need to make an initial investment of at least US$300,000 to open a restaurant.
The Mauritius branch
Mauritius corporate law allows foreign companies to open branch offices, provided they have 1 resident representative and a registered office in the country. The scope of operations for this entity will be defined by the parent company. Branch offices in Mauritius are subject to standard corporate tax rate of 15%. They must also file annual financial statements.
The Mauritius representative office
- Mauritius regulations do not provide for the registration of representative offices. Foreign companies can register a local office of their company only involved in marketing and promotion activities, but such office will be subject to standard requirements applicable to a branch.
- A representative office not allowed to pursue production-related or commercial activities. Consequently, this entity can only engage in i) market research and ii) promoting the business of the parent company.
Different types of Mauritius business entities
|Also known as:||Offshore company||Offshore company||Private Company||Branch|
|How long to set the company up?||2 weeks||3 weeks||2 weeks||3 weeks|
|How long to open company bank account?||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Wholly foreign owned?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum share capital?||US$1||US$1||US$1||N/A|
|Corporate bank account options?||HSBC||Barclays||SBI||Standard Chartered|
|Mauritius bank account mandatory?||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Does our Client need to travel?||No||No||No||No|
|Resident director required?||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Resident company secretary or authorized agent required?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Minimum number of resident directors?||0||2||1||0|
|Minimum directors allowed?||1||1||1||N/A|
|Corporate shareholders allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Corporate director(s) allowed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A|
|Tax resident in Mauritius?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Access to Mauritius DTAs treaties?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mauritius corporate tax rate?||0%||3%||15%||15%|
|File annual tax return?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Annual financial statements required?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Statutory audit required?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to issue sales invoices in Mauritius?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to sign contracts with Mauritius entities?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allowed to import and export goods?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can rent an office in Mauritius?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can buy Mauritius property?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can own equity in other Mauritius companies?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Total Mauritius business setup costs in Yr. 1||US$8,485||US$16,600||US$9,415||US$8,485|
|Subsequent annual costs (excl. accounting and tax fee)||US$1,635||US$9,650||US$1,455||US$1,435|
|Draft of invoices|