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Navigating the Business Landscape of Mauritius


Global Payment and Compliance

Navigating the Business Landscape of Mauritius

Discover the benefits and opportunities of doing business in Mauritius, a rapidly growing business hub in the Indian Ocean. From its strategic location to its business-friendly policies, find out why Mauritius is the ideal destination for companies seeking to expand globally.

March 9, 2023
min read
March 9, 2023
8 min read
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Mauritius is one of the island countries in the Indian Ocean along the eastern coast of Africa. Most people know it as one of the most incredible destinations for holidays. However, it has more to offer. Mauritius’ developing and diversified economy is quite favorable for doing business in various sectors, from finance, agriculture, and hospitality to tourism.

How easily can one do business in Mauritius? Let’s explore various aspects of business, including requirements for opening a business in Mauritius.

Is Mauritius a Good Place to do Business?

Mauritius is one of the ideal countries in Africa to start or expand a business. According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report, it was rated the best in Africa and 13th globally. The regulatory framework, good tax laws, a sound-political system, and a stable economy favor this. Here are more details on these factors:

A. Business environment

Generally, Mauritius's business environment is pretty good, which is why it has attracted most foreign investors. The environment also supports international trade.

One could consider a wide range of business structures depending on the activities to be carried out. They range from Global Business Companies, Protected Cell Companies, Trust to Trading Companies, etc.

It’s worth noting that no minimum foreign capital is required to set up a company and start operations.

However, it’s possible to experience a few minor challenges when setting up the business due to the comprehensive paperwork involved. In such instances, you could always consider working with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR), especially when one needs staffing and payroll help.

B. Taxation in Mauritius

Mauritius has favorable tax rates for businesses and individuals. Additionally, it’s perceived as a global tax haven. Therefore, this has enabled foreign entities to invest in Mauritius due to the low tax liability.

Among notable tax benefits include the following:

·   No capital gain tax is levied

·   80% tax credits to offshore companies

·   Dividends are tax exempted

·   Free repatriation of dividends, capital, and profits

Read more details about taxes in Mauritius from the Income Tax Act 1995 and Income Tax Regulation 1996.

C. Regulatory framework

The regulatory framework in Mauritius is well-defined, thus making it easy to do business. Mauritius is guided by a hybrid legal system that entails civil and common laws practices. Most laws and requirements do not restrict foreign investments except for ownership in Mauritian sugar companies listed on the stock exchange.

Additionally, Mauritius has no restrictions on doing business with certain countries or jurisdictions except for countries banned by UN sanctions.

Mauritius enjoys social and political stability, and investor protection is a priority.

Here is a more comprehensive guide on the regulatory framework of doing business in Mauritius.

D. Stable economy

The World Bank classifies the Mauritian economy as an upper middle-income economy. It also ranks top as the freest economy in sub-Saharan Africa and scores above the world average.

The continuous structural and economic reforms have gradually promoted Mauritius to the global marketplace. Additionally, the open-market policies make this country a viable choice for foreigners to invest. Consequently, it has one of Africa’s highest GDP per capita.

Can a Foreigner Start a Business in Mauritius?

As outlined above, Mauritius’ economic policies support foreign investments, accommodating foreigners who want to invest in Mauritius. However, such foreigners must meet the minimum legal requirements, including having a Visa and the proper permit. Interestingly, the business registration process can be as short as 3 days to 6 weeks.

What are the Requirements for Opening a Business in Mauritius?

Here are simple steps for foreigners who want to start a business in Mauritius:

1. Start by applying for Occupation Permit, Residence Permit, or Permanent Residence Permit. It can be completed online via the National E-licensing system, supported by the Economic Development Board.

2. Determine the type of business you want to set up according to your business plan. Ensuring your business aligns with Mauritius business regulations is also essential.

3. Get an ideal location for your business.

4. Register your business with the necessary authorities. Please note that you’re also required to pay some fees depending on the total workforce of your business. After successful business registration, you should obtain a digital business registration card from the Corporate and Business Registration Department. You also get a physical copy of the same card from their headquarters.

5. Obtain the necessary land permit(s) from the Mauritius Business Licensing platform or your local municipality planning department.

6. Pay trade fees

7. Set up your business for operations.

Bottom line

Doing business in Mauritius is easy for foreigners. The regulatory framework is well-defined, and the investors enjoy significant tax benefits. Generally, Mauritius offers investors a conducive environment for doing business. All they need is to meet the minimum requirements, register their business and obtain necessary permits as outlined by business laws in Mauritius.

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