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Company Formation in Mauritius

Overview :

Mauritius has witnessed a massive development in the last decades. From a monocrop economy, depending mainly on sugar, it has diversified its economic activities into textile and apparel industry, tourism and financial services. The country is equipped with a highly skilled labour force and a very good infrastructure thereby attracting Foreign Direct Investment. To face globalisation and a new economic environment, the Government has taken several steps. High value-added, capital intensive and knowledge-based activities are on the priority list. The Information Technology sector is undergoing rapid changes so as to be fit for the next millennium. The aim is to make Mauritius a centre for high-tech and software services, which can be exported.

Advantages of incorporating Business in Mauritius :
  • Democracy and a stable Government.
  • A very good infrastructure with superb communications.
  • An excellent network of sea and air transport.
  • A free market economy anchored on export oriented activities.
  • A highly literate, bilingual and friendly labour force.
  • High standard of living, good international schools.
  • Favourable market access and very good incentives.
  • An experienced financial sector providing excellent services.

Attractive Tax Regime :

The rate of corporate income tax in Mauritius is currently 15% on chargeable income. The government introduced the following new taxes :

  • A solidarity levy on the providers of fixed and mobile telephone services to be payable until the end of December 2012. A levy of 5% of profits and 1.5% of turnover applies to all profitable companies.
  • The special levy on profitable banks increased to 1% of turnover, plus 3.4% of profits over the course of the next two financial years. This will reduce to 1.7% on book profit and 0.5% on operating income from 1 January 2013.
  • Profitable firms are required either to spend 2% of their profits on government-approved Corporate Social Responsibility schemes, or to transfer these funds directly to the government to be used in the fight against poverty.
Types of Entities
Company by shares :

Company limited by shares means a company formed on the principle of having the liability of its shareholders limited by its constitution to any amount unpaid on the shares respectively held by the shareholder.

Company Limited by guarantee :

Company limited by guarantee means a company formed on the principle of having the liability of its members limited by its constitution to such amount as the members may respectively undertake to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of its being wound up.

Company Limited by both shares and guarantee :

The liability of members of this type of company is as follows – who are shareholders, limited to the amount unpaid, if any, on the shares respectively held by them, who have given a guarantee, limited to the respectively amount they have undertaken to contribute, from time to time, and in the event of it being wound up.

Public Company :

A public Limited company may offer shares to general public. A public limited company may have more than 25 shareholders and is subject to significantly more stringent rules and regulations since they have power to raise fund form public. Usually public limited company is listed on stock exchange.

Private Company :

A private company cannot make offers to the public for subscription of its shares. It cannot have more than 25 shareholders and may impose restrictions on the transfer of shares.

Unlimited Company :

A company formed on the principle of having no limit placed on the liability of its shareholders.

Limited Life Company :

Company where constitution limits its life to a period not exceeding 50 years  from the date of its incorporation. However, this period may be extended to a maximum of 150 years. Its constitution contains the specific matters as laid down in the law.

Sole Proprietorship :

A sole proprietorship is the simplest but the riskiest type of business form in Mauritius. A Sole Proprietor is not a separately incorporated entity and therefore the owner and the business are one and the same. The owner personally owns all assets and liabilities of the business. A Sole Proprietor has unlimited liability and there is no protection of personal assets from business risks and liability.

Partnership :

A partnership structure attempts to address the limited-expansion constraint faced by sole proprietorship by allowing two or more person to establish and co-own the business. A partnership firm has no separate legal status separate from its members. There can be 3 types of Partnership in Singapore:

General partnership :

A general partnership is like a sole proprietorship business where partners are personally liable for debts and liabilities of the business and partners can be held responsible for the actions of the others.

Limited Partnership :

Here the liabilities of the limited partners are limited to their investment in partnerships and companies. However such partners are unable to participate in management of the business in a limited partnership.

Usually, Incorporating a Company takes about 1-15 days in Mauritius.