Mauritius has proven to be a reliable and popular jurisdiction for foreign companies to establish a business. It boasts several attractive factors that encourage people to build a start-up, to expand their business or simply to live here. For instance, residents can benefit from a modern and state-of-the-art infrastructure coupled with natural landscapes, mountains and sunny beaches. Besides being a safe environment, several regulations have been established to ensure that those wishing to start a company in the island is protected and can benefit from various advantages. They can also benefit from a highly educated workforce which is both fluent in English and in French.
What about impact of the Covid-19 pandemic?
However, what about the Covid-19 situation? What impact does it have on new businesses? Despite the fact that the virus is contained on the island, the economic ramifications of a global shutdown should not be underestimated. Nonetheless, even if the containment has not been lifted, foreign investors can still set up a bank account in Mauritius without setting foot in the island. It offers a stable and welcoming environment to do business even during the Covid-19 turmoil. In fact, now people has much more time on their hands to focus on things that they have been meaning to for a long time and they can trust that Mauritius has something to offer. It could be a trust to protect one’s estate, an investment in property that gives a permanent residence backup for the buyer and their family, personal banking moved to a stable jurisdiction for ease or to mitigate tax or establishment of an offshore bank account.
What is needed to set up an offshore bank account in Mauritius?
First of all, it should be noted that each bank has their own set of procedures to open an account. In all cases, there is the usual verification of individuals for their personal accounts, as there are for directors, shareholders and UBOs of companies. This requires certified copies of a passport and a recent utility bill. Reference letters from a current bank or substitute documents such as 6 months of current bank statements and a signed form allowing the Mauritian bank to contact the current bank are also needed.
The key focus is going to be on the funds that will be coming in the bank account. It must be shown where the money is coming from, none of it is from illegal activities and that the bank account or the company is not going to be used to launder money. As demonstrated by its OECD and EU status, Money Laundering obligations are taken very seriously in the island. As such, the business plan for any company account will be looked into in detail. Unlike certain jurisdictions, there are no exchange-controls in Mauritius and the hard thing is to bring money into the island. However, once it is here, it is easy to move it around. As such, it is a great banking jurisdiction for a trading company.