Start a business in Mauritius
Updated 2023-03-19 12:43

Mauritius is a world-renowned business center, ranked 1st in sub-Saharan Africa by the World Bank. It is the most relevant destination for foreign entrepreneurs wishing to create their company in a stable and dynamic environment. One can incorporate a company online at the Corporate and Business Registration Department. The capital of the company can be foreign, but the board of directors must be at least one resident or a domestic company.  

Choosing the form of the company in Mauritius

There are different forms of companies in Mauritius:

  • Global Headquarters: by choosing Mauritius to set up or relocate their regional administrative, accounting or procurement functions, multinationals obtain a global headquarters administration license, which makes them eligible for an 8-year tax vacation.
  • Global Business Company (GBC): based in Mauritius, the Global Business Company benefits from a wide range of double taxation agreements, essential for a smart tax strategy. This form of company allows to carry out business activities mainly outside Mauritius.
  • Authorized Company: by being directed and managed from abroad, where it has its commercial activities, the Authorised Company is considered foreign for tax purposes.
  • Protected Cell Company (PCC): few countries offer this form of company.  The PCC is governed by the Protected Cell Company Act 1999 and is a single legal entity consisting of a nucleus linked to a number of distinct and totally independent cells, including the nucleus. These cells are sometimes passive and sometimes active. The purpose of the protected cell company is to separate the business risks while protecting the assets and liabilities of each cell.
  • Variable Capital Company (VCC): this legal structure is relevant to the traditional and alternative investment fund markets. Flexible, it is used for outbound investments in Mauritius: investment fundraising, insurance generation, structured finance, asset holding. This type of company has no capital requirement.
  • Trust: governed by the Trusts Act 2001, this form of company concerns the management, transmission and protection of assets against several types of events (creditor claims, exchange control, commercial risk, etc.). Ideal for tax strategy, it protects not only assets, but also confidential information. The trust requires no formal registration and benefits from total confidentiality. Moreover, the flexibility offered by the trust law determines the applicable law in terms of governance.
  • Private Trust Company (PTC): Investors choose this form of company when they are looking for a way to preserve family assets as a Trustee.
  • Foundation: governed by the Foundation Act 2012, situated between the trust and the company, it allows for estate and inheritance planning, management and protection of private wealth and asset-holding strategies. When it is non-resident, the foundation is tax-exempt. 
  • Private Investment Fund: this structure allows investment managers and investors to send their investments to other continents. 
  • Trading Company: due to the geographical position of Mauritius, the trading company is an advantage for the exchange of goods and services with other countries in the region.
  • Freeport Company: Freeport provides its facilities to foreigners who set up their business in the export processing zone. They can use Mauritius as a center for repackaging or manufacturing products to be exported back out of the country according to the following quotas: 95% of products to foreign markets; 80% to African markets; 5% to the local market.
  • Regulatory Sandbox License (RSL): The Regulatory Sandbox License (RSL) allows investors to carry out a business activity without a legal framework or adequate provisions under the existing legislation in Mauritius. The RSL is granted by the Board of Investment to eligible companies with the objective of investing in innovative projects, under a set of agreed terms and conditions for a defined period. Any investor who has an innovative project for which there is no legal framework or adequate provisions covering the materialization of his project may submit a completed application for the issuance of an RSL. The applicant should be able to demonstrate the innovative nature of the project at the local, regional or international level. The conditions to benefit from the RSL program depend on the investment sector: FinTech or non-FinTech.

Good to know:

As of January 1, 2019, the Global Business License (GBC2) category company has been replaced by the Standard Global Business License (GBL) company. As a result, Global Business License (GBC1) Category 1 companies have been renamed Global Business License (GBL).

Registering the business in Mauritius

Any person carrying out a business activity in Mauritius and Rodrigues must register their business as provided for under the Business Registration Act 2002. 

Registration can be done online or by submitting the required documents to the Corporate and Business Registration Department.

For online business registration, visit the CBRD website.

After submitting the application form and making payment, you will receive an electronic business registration card. 

You can also download the forms from the Corporate and Business Registration website.

Incorporating a business in Mauritius

Incorporating a company can be done online or by filing the complete file at the Registrar of Companies office. Before proceeding, make sure that the name you have chosen for your company is available.

For online incorporation, start by registering on the CRBD portal.

To incorporate a company at the Corporate Business Registration Department office, complete the "Application for incorporation of a company" form (Form 1) and submit it to the Corporate Business Registration Department along with the other required forms, depending on the situation.

Good to know:

Companies are automatically registered as employers with the Mauritius Revenue Authority upon incorporation. 

The law does not require a seal for transactions with third parties, except for global trading companies, as required in other countries. 

Once registered, the BRC is assigned the Business Registration Number (BRN), a unique identification number for the company. 

The electronic certificate of incorporation is issued at no additional cost and is a valid KYC document. Its authenticity can be verified with local authorities.

Useful links:

Registrar of Companies - Corporate and Business

Registration Department – Downloadable forms

Economic Development Board

Financial Services Commission

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.