Setting up a Business in Mauritius
Setting up a business in Mauritius is an excellent idea, given the abundance of benefits, you will most probably enjoy. However, in a country like Mauritius, where foreign investment has been continuously increasing for the last few years, and public investment has also taken a growing trend with the government’s continuous initiatives to make business-friendly policies, the number of company registration has increased tremendously.
However, every step in business is taken with proper diligence and deliberation Similarly, you should not be hasty in company incorporation in Mauritius. Setting up a business in Mauritius might seem daunting to someone who is a foreigner, but to be honest, it is entirely hassle-free if you follow the proper steps and get help from the right people.
The procedure of Business Registration in Mauritius
These steps will help you register your business in Mauritius.
- Decide what kind of business structure will be appropriate for your business operations. For example, according to the Companies Act 2001, there are three types of companies based on the scope of business operations in Mauritius: Domestic companies, companies with a Category 1 Global Business License, and companies with a Category 2 Global Business License. Now, depending upon the legal structure, there are three types of companies: Limited by Shares, Limited by Guarantee, and Limited by Shares and Guarantee.
- Choose a name for your company before you go for company incorporation in Mauritius. Make sure that the name is neither offensive nor taken up by any other business already set up in Mauritius.
You can reserve your company name by completing Form 11- Application for Reservation of a Company Name which is available at the Registrar of Companies and must be submitted.
- Submit the following documents to the Registrar of Companies Mauritius-
- Form 1- Application of company incorporation
- Copy of application for reservation of a company name issued by the registrar of companies.
- Form 7- A declaration by every director of the proposed company.
- Form 8- A declaration by every secretary of the proposed company (if any).
- Form 9- A declaration by every shareholder of the proposed company.
- A certified original copy of the constitution of the proposed company by a lawyer.
- Submit your application for Business Registration and make sure that everything is filled correctly in the application. Here is a checklist of what must be stated in the application-
- Name of the proposed company
- Company file number
- Nature of business
- Proposed date of commencement of business
- Address of the principal place of business operations
- Postal address
- The workforce of the company
- Contact information such as telephone number, fax number, and email address
- Registration can be done at the office of the Registrar of Companies or online.
- You can also apply for National Business Registration Number either at the office of the Registrar of Companies or online via its website.
Domestic companies are usually incorporated within a day of submitting the business registration application, all other required documents, and the stipulated fee. However, if you are going for category one global business company registration, the certificate of incorporation is delivered on the same day, pending approval from the Financial Services Commission.
Once you are done with the registration process and have received your company incorporation certificate, you should not delay opening a corporate bank account for your business. With a current bank account, your day-to-day banking will help you maintain your finances and keep track of all the business transactions from the very beginning.
You can also avail yourself of company secretarial services in Mauritius from the very beginning to assist in opening a corporate bank account.
Depending upon the scale of your business operations, you can either erect a building of your own or use an existing building. In either case, you have to submit a building and land use application to the local municipal or district council before you start constructing a building or using an existing one.
A payment of trade fee must also be made along with the building and land use application. The trade fee varies from city to city and depends on the type of business you want to engage in and the principal place of business operations within that city.
If your proposed business is going to be engaged in regulated activities, you must apply for a license before your business registration application. Here is a list of licenses required for the following business activities.
- License for banking services from the Bank of Mauritius
- License for non-bank financial sector from the Financial Services Commission
- License for an internet service provider from the Information and Communication Technologies Authority
- License for Freeport activities from Mauritius Revenue Authority and a certificate from the Board of Investment
- License for tourism activities from the Tourism Authority of Mauritius
When you start your business operations in Mauritius, you will surely start employing some people, making you an employer. Every employer in Mauritius should register himself within 14 days with the Director-General by submitting a PAYE guide on Pay as You Earn.
It would help if you also got yourself familiarised with Mauritius’s taxation structure. If you have come up with a trading name or any other kind of trademark, you should also go for intellectual property services in Mauritius.