Creating a company in Mauritius is easy, straightforward and efficient; only a maximum of 3 working is required. The government has smartly set up a business-friendly environment promoting investment and supporting growth. Below is a complete list of the required steps to create a company in Mauritius.
In line with its policy of opening up the country frontiers to foreigners, visitors should fulfill the following requirements:
- Be holder of a travel document where its validity extends beyond the proposed stay duration
- Be holder of a valid visa prior to visiting Mauritius (where applicable)
- Have sufficient amount of money for the intended stay period in Mauritius (approximately USD 100 per day- indicative figure)
- Confirmed return air ticket (or towards next destination)
- Entry authorisations related to onward destinations (e.g. visas)
Non-Mauritian citizens are eligible for two types of visa: a Tourist Visa or a Business Visa. According to the established criteria of the Board of Investment Mauritius, foreigners coming to the island for business purposes or applying for an Occupation Permit are granted a Business Visa issued for a maximum duration of 120 days per calendar year. However, the stay during each trip on a Business Visa should not exceed 90 days.
A Tourist Visa is issued for a maximum duration of 180 days per calendar year. It is important to note that holders of a Tourist Visa should in any case be engaged in whatsoever form of business or paid employment in Mauritius during their stay.
Note: Application form for a visa can be obtained at the Mauritian embassy or consulate.
Starting your business
The incorporation and registration of a company in Mauritius are governed the provisions of the Companies Act 2001 and those of the Business Registration Act 2002, while each and every business activity in the country should be registered with the Registrar of Companies.
Each company is organized according to its structure, category, nature and type. It is of utmost importance to have a solid knowledge of the type of company in which you are ready to invest in Mauritius. A company incorporated in Mauritius can be 100% owned by foreigners without minimum capital. However, an individual wishing to start a business as a self-employed will have to register only his business activity. For additional information, visit the website of the Financial Services Commission.
Choice of your business location
Various options are available to investors in the choice of their business locations. In terms of choosing a business location, investors have the choice in Mauritius. They may turn to rental of office space (business or industrial parks), whether furnished or not. Another option would be to construct their own premises or simply work from home. Moreover, according to the Non-Citizen Property Restriction Act, a non-Mauritian citizen is authorized to acquire immovable property for business purposes. If a company wishes to construct a commercial building or perform modifications to an existing one, the project promoter should apply for a Building and Land Use Permit (BLP).
Mauritius boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the region and the fact that the governing bodies have invested massively in education and training to encourage the young Mauritian population to access new technologies to meet global standards. The country provides a young, highly competent, productive, well-educated and bilingual workforce.
Develop your business
Over the years the Mauritian Government a series of business development programs to assist entrepreneurs in their business activities and growth:
- Mauritius Business Growth Scheme
- SME Partnership Fund
- Leasing Equipment Modernization Scheme
- AFD Green Lending Scheme
- Schemes under the Development Bank of Mauritius
Mauritian Tax System
Mauritius is a low-tax jurisdiction within an investor-friendly environment which remains a powerful argument in encouraging local and foreign investors to set up their business in Mauritius:
Income tax (personal tax): 15%
Value-Added Tax (VAT): 15%
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR tax): 2% on book profits
Land Transfer tax: 5%
The cost of doing business in Mauritius
As it should be the case for any type of business structure, it is vital to understand and consider the cost of doing business in Mauritius (salaries, rent and overhead costs). For more detailed information about the costs, click on the following link: http://www.investmauritius.com/media/222631/Indicative-cost-of-Doing-Business-Jan2015.pdf
Related article: Doing business in Mauritius