- November 15, 2023
- Posted by: Aurélie
- Category: Investment
Renowned for its diverse culture and landscapes, Mauritius has been attracting foreign investors from all over the world during the past decades. But while the country provides a business-friendly environment along with various investment incentives, it’s important for investors to consider the legal aspects of doing business here. Blue Azurite is here to guide you.
Deciding on the type of business you want to start
The first thing, and probably the most important, is to decide on the type of business you want to create in Mauritius, whether it’s an existing business or a brand-new activity. Make sure that this activity is compliant with the local laws. Check whether there are any restrictions on such types of businesses for foreigners, as locals may have priority.
Choosing the company structure
Once you have decided on the type of business you want to run in Mauritius, the next step is to choose the ideal entity. Mauritius offers different types of business structures, each with its set of requirements:
- Authorized Company (activities and management outside of Mauritius)
- Protected Cell Company (a Special Purpose Vehicle that authorizes the lawful separation of assets owned by each cell of the company)
- Variable Capital Company
- Limited Liability Partnership (a private company limited by shares)
- Domestic Company (a company whose activities are destined to Mauritius residents
- Global Business Company (a company that has its business operations carried out from Mauritius but carries out its activities principally outside of Mauritius)
- Offshore Trusts
- Private Trust Companies
- Freeport Companies, and more.
Each of these business structures has specific features regarding liability, governance and tax implications, so make sure to research properly.
As anywhere else, you will be required to register your company before starting to run your business. This requires the submission of all relevant documents, including the company’s constitution, a unique and authorized business name, a registered office address, as well as details about the director and shareholders. For a smooth registration process, make sure to produce authentic information and documents.
Foreign investors in Mauritius also need to ensure compliance with regulatory bodies, depending on their activity. These regulatory bodies include the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Mauritius. Depending on the type of business you are setting up, you may also require specific licenses or operation permits to be able to operate legally.
Depending on the type of business you are creating, you may be entitled to a series of tax incentives, such as low corporate tax, tax exemptions, tax holidays and reduced taxes, etc. You may also benefit from tax treaties between Mauritius and your country of origin or residence. While all these measures have been introduced to facilitate business creation and attract foreign investors, you need to ensure that your business meets all the set criteria to benefit from such incentives.
Once you have successfully started your business in Mauritius, you may need to hire local and foreign staff. Make sure you are well versed with local employment laws, especially regarding wage requirements, working hours, leaves, employees’ rights, etc. When it comes to hiring foreign employees, you will also need to obtain the appropriate permits and their eligibility criteria. Also, check whether any local-to-foreign employee ratio applies to your activity sector.
Intellectual Property Rights
Registering trademarks, patents, and industrial designs in Mauritius assures legal protection against unauthorized usage or replication of your company’s innovations. This process aims to prevent unauthorized individuals or entities from misappropriating these innovations, thereby safeguarding your company’s reputation and competitive advantage. It’s worth noting that Mauritius actively participates in various international treaties and agreements dedicated to promoting and upholding intellectual property rights. Therefore, make sure your business is compliant with current legislations such as the Industrial Property Act and the Copyright Act.
Understanding challenges and finding solutions
While Mauritius provides an investment-friendly environment, the regulatory landscape is subject to changes. It’s, therefore, important to stay updated and to consult experts who can help your business grow while remaining compliant with the Mauritian regulatory framework. Blue Azurite is here to guide you, from choosing your business structure to providing long-term practical and operational services, including administration, compliance, bookkeeping, payroll, filing of returns, accounting, etc. Contact us now for more information and request a quote to get started.