Register your business activity and incorporate your company with the Corporate and Business Registration Department (CBRD) within 2 hours. A company can be 100% foreign owned with no minimum capital requirement. Once registered, a Business Registration Number (BRN) is issued.
The Companies Act provides for a variety of options available to Investors in terms of category, nature, and type of company.
Types and categories of companies:
- Domestic Company
- Category 1 Global Business (GBC 1)
- Category 2 Global Business (GBC 2)
These companies may be:
- Limited by shares
- Limited by guarantee
- Limited by shares and guarantee
- Foreign company
- Limited Life Company
- Public Company
- Private company
- Small private company (turnover less than MUR10 million)
- One-person company
Registration of a business or incorporation of a company can be completed within 2 hours on the Companies and Business Registration Integrated System (CBRIS).
Before registration/ incorporation:
- Selecting the company name:
Availability of a name can be checked online and is free of charge. Please note that reservation of names is not mandatory to incorporate and register a business.
- Prepare the items as per Checklist:
Documents to be uploaded and fees payable are available on the website of the Corporate and Business Registration Department.
Register a business / Incorporate a company:
Step 1: Register with the MNS online to obtain a username and password.
Step 2: Register the business and incorporate your company by filling in the relevant application form and by uploading required documents.
- Incorporation of a Company
Prescribed form 1: "Application for incorporation of a company"
Prescribed forms 7, 8 and 9 (Where necessary)
- Registering a business
BRF1 for individual
BRF2 for company/commercial partnership
BRF3 for “société”
Step 3: Payment
Payment can be done by Credit Card online or by electronic transfer via local banks.
Step 4: Issue of an Electronic Certificate of Incorporation and a Business Registration Card (BRC).
Businesses engaged in unregulated activities may start operations immediately after registering with the CBRD. Investors should ensure that they hold the appropriate licence before starting a regulated activity.
Examples of regulated activities :
- Banking: Licence from Bank of Mauritius
- Financial services: License from Financial Services Commission
- Freeport Activities: Freeport Certificate issued by Economic Development Board
- Tourism related activities: Licence from Tourism Authority
- Telecommunication Operations: License from Information and Communication Technologies Authority
- Education and Training: Licenses from Early Childhood Care and Education Authority, Private Secondary Education Authority and/or Tertiary Education Commission.
- Healthcare activities: Licenses from the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life
- Gambling and Gaming activities: Licences from the Gambling Regulatory Authority
Once registered, a business can open a business bank account. The list of registered commercial and corporate banks operating in Mauritius is available on the website of the Bank of Mauritius.
The following documents are generally required by banks:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business Registration Card
- Certified copy of the company’s board minutes authorising the opening of the account(s)
- Latest annual return applicable for companies being incorporated at least 18 months of operations
- Business plan mentioning source of funds
- Other documents.
Additional documents may be requested by banks on a case-by case basis. In addition, banks reserve the right to reject the business account application.
- Companies Act 2001
- Business Registration Act 2002
- Local Government Act 2011
Running your business
Several business parks, located in strategic places are available in Mauritius. These parks provide modern office amenities to suit specific needs of businesses.
A non-citizen investor can lease properties in Mauritius for business activities. An application in that respect should be made to the Economic Development Board (EDB) or to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) if the lease period exceeds 20 years. However, no authorisation is required if the lease period is less than 20 years.
1. Acquiring Property :
A non-citizen can hold/ purchase/ acquire immovable properties in Mauritius provided approval is sought from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). A non-citizen registered as investor can seek approval from the Economic Development Board (EDB).
- A non-citizen who wishes to hold/ purchase/ acquire immovable properties in Mauritius shall make a written application to the Prime Minister.
- The following documents (where applicable) shall be attached to the application.
- the precise location of the property;
- a site plan showing its extent and precise location;
- the nature of the interest intended to be purchased or otherwise acquired or held;
- the reasons for which the application is made;
- such other information as the Minister may require.
- On receipt of an application the Minister may issue to the applicant a certificate authorising him/her to purchase, acquire or hold the property, subject to such terms and conditions as the Minister may impose.
2. Registering Property:
Mauritius has a deed system whereby the notary has the legal obligation to draft the property deed and to ensure that the property is free from any encumbrances and all documents are in order. The buyer is free to choose the notary of his/her choice.
The following taxes and duties are applicable:
Registration Duty Payable by purchaser
5% of the transaction value
Land Transfer Tax Payable by vendor
5% of the transaction value
Scalable up to a maximum of 2% of the transaction value
Anybody can hold, purchase and sell shares, deal with shares or other securities of a company which are desirous of being admitted for quotation on the Official List of the Stock Exchange through a public issue, offer for sale of shares and for private placement of shares.
Starting a construction
- Where a plot of land is classified as agricultural land and is to be used for non-agricultural purposes, an application for a Land conversion permit should be made to the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security
- A Morcellement Permit is required from the Ministry of Housing and Lands for the division of a plot of land into two or more lots
- For some specific projects, an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) or a Preliminary Environmental Report (PER) is required from the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Environment and Sustainable Development
Application for a Building and Land Use Permit
- An application for a BLUP should be made to the respective local authority
- For construction above 150m2 of floor area, application is made online by the principle agent who is either a registered architect or a registered engineer.
- Upon receipt of a complete application, an effective date is issued and the BLUP is determined within 14 working days
Guidelines / Fees
- Local Authorities would automatically seek clearance from the Central Water Authority (CWA), Central Electricity Board (CEB) and Watewater Management Authority (WMA) upon application.
- No clearance from CWA, CEB and WMA is required for plots found in Morcellements.
- It is advisable that a clearance from the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Services (MFRS) is sought prior to start of construction to ensure adherence to safety guidelines.
Post construction: Once construction is completed
- The Local Authority needs to be notified of completion of construction.
- A compliance certificate is issued within 5 days by the principal agent who is either a registered engineer or a registered architect.
- An Occupation Certificate is issued within 5 days following submission of the Clearance certificate issued by the principle agent.
1. Connection to the electric supply
Application for connection to the electricity grid is made either online or to any customer walk–in service of the central Electricity Board (CEB). Documents required and fees for commercial and industrial buildings are available on the CEB’s website under the tab customer services.
2. Connection to the water supply
Application to connect to the water network is made at the Central Water Authority (CWA) through a customer walk-in service. Water connection is effected within 10 working days.
3. Connection to the sewer network
Application is made online to the Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) and the following documents should be uploaded: Applicant ID card, CWA Invoice, Title Deed, Site/ Location Plan, Building Permit (optional) and Agreement Papers (if any). Sewer connection is completed within 30 days.
Note: Any sewer connection cost below MUR 175,000 is conducted free of charge.
Employers can recruit both local talents and foreign nationals to work in Mauritius. Employers can post an advertisement in local press or specialised website or use the expertise of recruitment agencies.
- Recruitment agencies
Employers may choose to outsource their recruitment needs to a recruitment agency. Some of the licenced recruitment agencies can recruit talents both locally and overseas.
- Advertisement of posts in specialized websites or newspapers
- Running adverts in local newspapers and specialized websites is a popular way of attracting potential employees.
- Employers can also post job adverts on mauritiusjob.mu, a specialised website jointly managed by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Training.
- Recruit foreign nationals
The Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) is responsible for the collection of taxes in Mauritius. The income year starts from 1st July to end on 30th June of the next year. Both individuals and companies (including any other taxable body corporate) are taxable at a single rate of 15%.
1. Tax residency
- As per the Income Tax Act, an individual is “Resident” in Mauritius if:
- The domicile is in Mauritius unless the permanent place of abode is outside Mauritius,
- The individual has been present in Mauritius for a period of 183 days or more in an income year or has been present in Mauritius for an aggregate period of 270 days in an income year and the 2 preceding income years.
2. Corporate tax Returns
3. Value Added Tax (VAT) Returns
- The VAT rate is 15% in Mauritius. Companies can submit their VAT returns online.
- The MRA has also introduced an automatic VAT refund facility to ease claims and refunds.
4. Personal tax and charges
As a business is registered at the CBRD, the applicant should indicate in the application form that he will have employee/s in the business and the MRA will automatically register that person as an employer for payment of NPF/NSF contributions and PAYE, if any. The MRA will communicate to that person, his: -
- Employer Registration Number (ERN);
- Password for filing of the monthly return;
5. Payment of social contributions
Employers are required to contribute to the National Pension Scheme, the National Savings Fund and a Training levy payable to the Mauritius Revenue Authority.
1. Payment of Trade fees
A trade fee is payable to the Municipality or District Council relevant to the location of the business, within 15 days AFTER start of operations.
Trade fees can be paid either twice a year in equal instalments or on a yearly basis to the local authority. Online payment is possible via the portal of the Local Authorities of Mauritius: http://la.govmu.org . In order to avail of the e-service, economic operators have to register for e-payment facility with the Council. The registration form is available at the Public Health Department (Licence Section) or may be downloaded.
Over the counter payment of trade fees facilities are available at the respective local authorities.
Trade fees are less than MUR 5,000 are exempted from paying same for 3 years starting January 2017.
2. Annual registration fees
All businesses registered with the CBRD should pay a yearly registration fee.
Payment of registration fees for companies, “sociétés”, limited partnerships and foundations must be effected yearly as from 3 January to 20 January inclusively. After the 20 January, a higher rate is applicable. Online payment facilities are available on the CBRIS platform.
Mauritius has streamlined its tariffs and undertaken measures to simplify cross-border trading. 53% of the tariff lines do not require an import/ export permit and 89% of the tariff lines in Mauritius are zero-rated.
Application for an import/export permit can be made online through TradeNet for permits from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection, the Mauritius Standards Bureau, the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, the Radiation Protection Authority and the Film Classification Board. Application for import/export permits from other agencies should be made on site.
- Non-citizens (Employment Restriction) Act 1973
- Business Facilitation Act 2017
- Local Government Act 2011
- The Immigration Act 1970
- The Mauritius Revenue Authority Act 2004
- The Income Tax Act 1995
- The Employment Rights Act 2008
- Environment Protection Act 2002
- Registration Duty Act 1804
- Land (Duties and Taxes) Act 1984
Invest, Work and Reside
Foreign nationals coming to Mauritius should enter Mauritius under the appropriate visa that best reflects his/her purpose of visit.
Investors, businessman, entrepreneurs, professionals who willing to work and live in Mauritius should request for a business visa, valid for 120 days in a calendar year. Tourists, foreign nationals applying for a residence permit as Retired Non-Citizens or as dependents should enter Mauritius on a Tourist Visa which is valid for a maximum of 180 days in a calendar year.
Useful Contacts :
There are several options for a foreign national to invest, work and reside in Mauritius.
1. Work Permit
Application for a Work Permit is made to the Ministry of Labour, Industrial relations, Employment and Training by the employer.
Companies recruiting foreign labour in bulk and which do not qualify for an Occupation Permit need to obtain a permission in principle in a first instance from the Ministry to be able to apply for a Work Permit.
2. Occupation Permit
The Occupation Permit (OP) is a combined work and residence permit which allows a foreign national to work and live in Mauritius for a period of 3 years, renewable. There are 4 categories of Occupation Permit: Investor, Professional, Self Employed and Innovator.
Foreign nationals respecting the following criteria are eligible for an Occupation Permit.
- Initial investment of USD100,000
- An annual turnover > MUR 2 million for the 1st year and cumulative of at least MUR 10 million for subsequent 2 years
Existing Investors :
- Net asset value of at least USD 100,000
- Cumulative turnover of MUR 12 million during the preceding 3 years with a turnover of at least MUR 2 million in any one year.
Beneficiary (Individual who has inherited a business, in case of death or incapacity of the previous investor) :
- Net asset value of the business is at least USD 100,000
- Cumulative turnover of MUR 12 million with a turnover of at least MUR 2 million in any one year
Investor : Machinery and Equipment
- Initial investment of USD 25,000
- Investment of remaining balance (USD 75,000) as high-tech machinery and Equipment
- Initial investment of USD 50,000
- Minimum operational expenditure of 20% in Research and Development
Basic monthly salary > MUR 60,000 (> MUR 30,000 for those employed in the ICT sector)
Self Employed :
- Initial transfer of USD 35,000
- The business should generate an annual income > MUR 600,000 in the first 2 years and MUR 1,200,000 as from the third year.
3. Residence Permits
Retired non-citizens over the age of 50, their dependents and dependents of Occupation Permit holders can apply for a Residence Permit.
Criteria for Retired non-citizen
- Above 50 yrs. of age
- Annual transfer of USD 30,000 or monthly transfer of at least USD 2500 in a local bank account.
4. Permanent Residence Permit
A holder of an Occupation or Residence Permit or a foreign national is eligible to apply for a 10-year Residence Permit provided specific conditions are met.
Holder of Occupation Permit:
- Investor: The aggregate turnover should exceed MUR 45 million for the 3 years’ period.
- Professional: The basic monthly salary should exceed MUR 150,000 for 3 consecutive years.
- Self-Employed: The business Income of the applicant should exceed MUR 3 million per annum for the 3 consecutive years.
Holder of Residence Permit as Retired non-citizen:
Retired Non – Citizen: Transfer of USD 40,000 annually to his/her local bank for 3 consecutive years
Foreign national investor :
A foreign national who has invested a minimum of USD 500,000 into a qualifying activity is also eligible for the 10-year residence permit.
Qualifying activities are Agro-based industry, Audio-visual, Cinema and Communication, Banking, Construction, Education, Environment-friendly and green energy products, Financial Services, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Freeport, Information Technology, Infrastructure, Insurance, Leisure, Manufacturing, Marina development, Tourism and Warehousing, Initial Public Offerings.
Your options vary from luxurious villas to lifestyles apartments and flats. Non-Citizens are allowed to purchase apartments in condominium developments of at least two levels above ground (G+2) with the prior approval of the Economic Development Board provided the purchase price of an apartment is not less than MUR 6 million or its equivalent in any other hard convertible foreign currency.
Mauritius is free from most diseases and epidemics affecting other countries. Residents can either opt for a public health system or private healthcare with option of a medical insurance.
Mauritius has both public and private school offering Cambridge University A levels, the French Baccalaureate and the International Baccalaureate as well as Tertiary Institution offering internationally recognized qualification.
Useful Contacts :
- Occupation Permit Unit
- Passport and Immigration Office
- Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relation, Employment and Training.
Enabling Legislations :
- Investment Promotion Act
- Immigration Act
- Non-Citizens (Employment Restriction) Act
At the end of the lifecycle of a company, you may need to wind up the company and require the company to be removed from the registers of the Registrar of Companies and close the company.
Factors which need to be considered prior to closing the company are as follows:
- The company has ceased to carry on business and there is no other reason for the company to continue in existence.
- The company has discharged in full its liabilities to its creditors and has distributed its surplus assets
- No creditor is seeking to liquidate your company. The company is not in receivership or liquidation or both.
- All outstanding taxes and other fees have been paid.
- The company is not a party to legal proceedings.
The procedures for removal of a company from the register of companies is defined in the Companies Act 2001 under Part XXVI. A company may be removed from the register for one of the following grounds:
- As a result of an amalgamation
- The company has ceased to carry on business
- The company has failed to pay its registration fees
- The company has not filed its annual returns
- At the completion of a liquidation
An application to remove a company from the register is made to the Corporate and Business Registration Department (CBRD) on the grounds that:
i. the company has ceased to carry on business
ii. the company has no surplus assets after paying its debts or no creditor has applied for liquidation.
On receipt of the application, the CBRD will give notice of request in the Gazette.
An objection to the removal shall be delivered to the Registrar not later than the date specified in the notice. Where a person delivers an objection, he shall file proof of the ground of objection with the Registrar within 1 week of the date of the objection and shall, at the same time, serve a copy thereof on the company.
Once the notice of intention to remove the company has been advertised, the public has a maximum 28 days and not later than the date specified in the notice to object to the removal of the company. The proof of the ground of objection shall be filed within 1 week of the date of the objection.
If no objections are received within that 28 working days, the company will then be removed from the register.
The request that a company be removed should be accompanied by a written notice from the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) stating that there is no objection to the company being removed from the registers.
A company will be removed from the register of companies if a notice stating that the company is removed from the register, is signed by the Registrar.
The Insolvency Act 2009 is a legislation which helps to better manage companies during periods of distress. It provides for a four-phased process: i) Restructuring and Work outs, ii) Administration, iii) Receiver/Manager and iv) Liquidation and ensures the following:
- Alternatives to liquidation such as workouts, restructuring and voluntary administration
- Sufficient protection for all the stakeholders involved
- Judicial or other supervision to ensure that the process is not subject to manipulation.