Nestled in the Indian Ocean, at the crossroads of Africa and Asia, Mauritius is increasingly attractive to foreign investors from all over the world. Of course, investing in Mauritius, as in any country, requires proper budgeting. In this article, Blue Azurite gives you an overview of the key costs to consider when setting up and running a company in Mauritius as a foreigner.

The main costs of starting a business in Mauritius

Investment funds

First and foremost, deciding on the type of business you want to set up in Mauritius and the sector is crucial. Depending on the company structure you have chosen, whether it’s a Private Limited Company (Ltd), a Public Limited Company (PLC), a Global Business License (GBL) Category 1 or 2, a Limited Life Company (LLC), a Limited Partnership (LP), a Trust, a Société (partnership), a Branch Office or a Representative Office, an initial investment amount might be required. It’s interesting to note that the government has set up a range of schemes for foreigners looking to invest in Mauritius. These include:

  • Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs);
  • Mauritius Freeport Scheme;
  • Global Business License (GBL) Category 1 and 2;
  • Mauritius Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Scheme;
  • Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS);
  • Real Estate Scheme (RES);
  • Property Development Scheme (PDS);
  • Smart City Scheme;
  • Agricultural Investment Scheme;
  • Public Private Partnership (PPP);
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Support Schemes.

Therefore, make sure to inquire about the investment requirement of your targeted scheme when planning your new entrepreneurial adventure in Mauritius.

Incorporation costs

Once you have decided on the type of business you intend to create in Mauritius, there will be incorporation costs to consider. These costs usually vary on the type of company, as mentioned above, the nature and the size of the business, as well as the amount of share capital invested and the complexity of the registration process. For example, some types of companies in Mauritius, such as a PLC, may involve fees for name reservation, registration, etc.

Legal and regulatory compliance costs

Starting a business in Mauritius, as anywhere else, might not be as straightforward as it seems, so it’s always recommended to seek the assistance of experts, such as Blue Azurite. These experts can help you understand local laws and regulations relating to your specific industry. Their mission is to ensure that your business is compliant with all statutory requirements, such as understanding and signing contracts, obtaining necessary permits, etc. Some sectors might require special permits and licenses, so you have to factor in additional costs. While all these costs might sound like a constraint to you, they are essential for your business to avoid any legal complications in the long run.

Taxes and customs duties

While Mauritius offers a range of tax incentives to foreign investors, you might have to pay certain taxes when starting a business in Mauritius. In fact, the Mauritian jurisdiction provides a very low corporate tax rate, and foreign investors might be eligible for tax exemptions in some cases. However, as a foreign investor, you need to consider other types of taxes, such as income tax, value-added tax (VAT), customs duties, and any other taxes that might be applied to your specific industry. On the plus side, it’s worth noting that Mauritius has signed double taxation avoidance treaties (DTA) with several countries.

Infrastructure and utility costs

Once you have started your business in Mauritius, you will need to factor in other costs, such as renting or building office space. In this regard, costs will depend not only on the type of infrastructure but also on the size, location and facilities available. Besides rent or mortgage payments and maintenance fees for your office space, additional costs like utilities (water, electricity, Internet, etc.) will add up. Depending on the type of company and activity, you will also have to invest in technology and other necessary infrastructure, such as IT systems, hardware, software licenses, etc.

Employment costs

Before getting started, you might need to hire local or local staff. While Mauritius has a highly skilled workforce, you will be faced not only with the cost of hiring, including salaries and employee benefits, such as health insurance, but also registration with the Contribution Sociale Généralisée (CSG) and the National Savings Fund (NSF). Add to that the cost of hiring foreign professionals, including Occupational Permit applications, depending on the nature of your business.

Other costs involved in starting a business in Mauritius

Besides the main costs mentioned above, you should also consider the following:

Marketing and advertising costs: To build brand awareness and reach your target audience in a competitive market. This includes marketing campaigns, branding, digital marketing, public relations, etc.

Insurance costs: Depending on the nature, size and location of your business and the type of activity you will be carrying out, you will probably need insurance policies covering property, liability, and other specific needs.

Logistics costs: For businesses import and export businesses, the cost of transportation and logistics should be factored in, including shipping, customs clearance, warehousing and distribution.

Training and development costs: To make sure you’re surrounded by the right professionals, you might want to invest in training programs, workshops, and other skill development initiatives for your employees.

Where to get help

Starting a new business venture in Mauritius can be a rewarding experience for foreign investors, although this involves certain costs. The key to overcoming these challenges is to work with experts. Blue Azurite is here to assist you, from deciding on the type of business you want to create to accompanying you on every step until you are fully operational and beyond. Contact us now for guidance on how to get started.

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