Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean approximately 1,200 miles from the southeast coast of the African continent, is a democratic republic with a population in excess of 1 million. Mauritius has been, at different times prior to independence, colonised by the English and French, resulting in its legal system being a hybrid of both English and French law. The government of Mauritius has made a substantial commitment to the development of the financial services sector.
For further information, please visit the government website – http://www.gov.mu/
Law & Taxation
The new Companies Act 2001, which replaced both the Companies Act 1984 and the International Companies Act 1994, allows for two categories of companies, the GBL2 and GBL1.
The Category 2 Global Business Licence (GBL2) is similar in structure to an International Business Company (IBC). It is not subject to tax in Mauritius but only an annual government fee of USD235 which is payable to the Financial Services Commission (FSC) on 1 July and an annual registration fee of USD65 which is payable to the Registrar of Companies (ROC) on 20 January.
The Category 1 Global Business Licence (GBL1) may be used to access the extensive and growing network of international tax treaties which the Mauritius Government is continually developing. As a Tax Incentive Company, GBL1 companies are subject to tax at the rate of 0-3%. However, companies can structure their activities to take advantage of a series of tax credits which may significantly reduce the effective rate of tax, or they may elect to pay a higher rate to comply with foreign company legislation in the country of residence of the parent company. Companies and their officers which fail to pay annual fees to the government are considered in default and may be subject to prosecution in Mauritius.
Chinese character names are permitted and can be included in a company’s Certificate of Incorporation.
GBL2: A GBL2 company is only required to have one director and one shareholder. While corporate directors are permitted, GBL2 companies are precluded from issuing bearer shares. Following the Finance Bill 2000 enacted in July 2000, details of members, directors and officers of GBL2 companies must be registered with the FSC and ROC but are not available for public inspection which adds to administration costs of filing of each change is USD250. While there are no requirements to file annual audited accounts, a financial summary is required to be filled with the Financial Services Commission.
GBL1: The costs of establishing a GBL1 company are relatively high because of the additional compliance and residency requirements. To access treaties, a GBL1 company must have at least two local directors and one shareholder. At present, corporate directors are not permitted. A GBL1 company must also appoint a Mauritian resident as company secretary. Each year, the company must prepare audited accounts and file them within 6 months after the close of its financial year with the FSC. Non-compliance will result in a revocation of the GBL1 licence. GBL1 companies that wish to utilise Mauritius’ international tax treaties must demonstrate that management and control are exercised in Mauritius. Details of directors and members must be kept with the FSC and ROC.
Both GBL2 and GBL1 companies must have a Registered Office and Agent in Mauritius.
All the major international accounting firms are represented in Mauritius and there are an increasing number of international banks. There are, however, no established legal firms with all lawyers being sole practitioners. Communications are excellent and there are direct flights to Mauritius from both Singapore and Hong Kong.
How We Can Help You
OMC can incorporate a company with your choice of name and confirm the availability of names in advance. All GBL2 companies are provided with a complete company kit that includes share certificates, 5 copies of the Constitution, statutory registers, common seal, company chop and a certificate of guarantee of quality. In addition, OMC can assist clients in obtaining certificates of good standing and other certificates of corporate existence, as well as relevant post incorporation services.