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Doing Business in Mauritius
 
 
 

General

The new Companies Act 2001 of Mauritius replaced most of the Companies Act of 1984, other than sections dealing with insolvency and public companies, which remained in force until new legislation was brought forward in separate bills in 2004.

The Mauritian government's starting point for the new law was the New Zealand company law, which is widely regarded among English-speaking jurists as representing the best available compromise between the various modern trends in corporate legislation, now that English law has been so influenced by EU law as to be no longer satisfactory as a model for common law jurisdictions.

The incorporation and management of Offshore Companies and International Companies, which were previously constituted under the separate International Business Companies Act 1994, have been brought under the Companies Act 2001, and the two types of company are now known as Global Business Company 1 (GBC1) and Global Business Company 2 (GBC2).

Legislation introduced by the Financial Services Act 2007 has redefined the concept of global business in Mauritius. Under the new provisions, all resident companies conducting business outside Mauritius may opt for an alternative legal regime. In addition, the former restrictions on activities conducted by Category 1 Global Business Companies are being removed.

Forms of Business Organisation

Sole Proprietorship

This type of structure is widely used in the jurisdiction and is regulated by the Code of Commerce. The name of the sole trader is registered in the Registrar of Companies, and a company owner has unlimited liability for its activities and debts. Annual tax return must be submitted with the tax authorities.

Private Company Limited by Shares

Shares of this type of company cannot be transferred to the general public. At least one and a maximum of 35 members can be registered in this type of company. Such companies can be exempted and non-exempted from paying taxes. Exempted companies must issue and reserve share capital below 1 million rupees, and their turnover must be below 2 million rupees.

Private Company Limited by Guarantee

This type of company may be solely used for non-profit organisation purposes. Liability of every company member is limited to their contributions. A minimum of 5 million rupees is an obligatory requirement.

Private Company Limited by Shares & Guarantee

This type of company can no longer be incorporated.

Public Company Limited by Shares

The name of a public company ends with “Public Limited Company” or “PLC”, and its shares can be offered to a general public. At least two members is an obligatory requirement for a public company.

Foreign Company

A foreign company may be registered in Mauritius by submitting all the requested documents to the Registrar of Companies, after what it is treated as a local company. Direct foreign ownership of a company is not automatic, but must be approved by local authorities.


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