How to Start a Business in Mauritius - Share
A straightforward guide for local and international businesses.
The government is supporting initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship.
The corporate tax rate is comparatively low, at 15% (or as low as 3% for offshore companies). Mauritius doesn’t impose foreign exchange controls, and the economy is continuing to grow.
This means Mauritius is the ideal place to start a business, for both local and international entrepreneurs.
If you’re thinking of starting a business in Mauritius, these are key steps to consider.
Choose a business name
You don’t have to reserve a company name to register a company in Mauritius. However, it’s a good idea to secure a name before you register.
You’ll need a name that’s not already taken. You can check whether a company name is already registered in Mauritius here.
Determine a company type
The main types of companies defined in Mauritius are:
- one-person companies, which have only one shareholder, who is the sole director, and trade as private companies by default
- private companies, which trade privately and can’t be offered to the public; they can’t have more than 25 shareholders
- public companies, which are listed on the stock exchange; no limit applies to the number of shareholders they can have
- global business companies, which are involved in offshore business and hold either a Category 1 Global Business Licence (GBC 1) or a Category 2 Global Business Licence (GBC 2).
A GBC 1 company is considered a resident for tax purposes and is subject to corporation tax. A GBC 2 company is considered non-resident for tax purposes.
For any of these companies, the liability of shareholders may be unlimited, limited by shares, limited by guarantee (that is, via a company’s constitution) or limited by a mix of shares and guarantee.
Other examples of company types are foreign companies, limited life companies and dormant companies.
A foreign company that wants to operate in Mauritius must register its Mauritian branch within a month of opening.
Register a domain for your business
Most businesses today rely on websites to attract customers. To use a particular URL for a website – ideally one that includes your company name – you’ll need to reserve a domain.
You can check if a particular domain is available (and reserve it) via a domain registration service such as WHOIS.
Choose business premises
You need to specify a business address when you register a business.
The premises you specify will be inspected by local authorities as part of the registration process.
Register your business
All businesses must be registered with the Registrar of Business in Mauritius, either at the Registrar’s Office in Port Louis or online.
To register, you’ll need to complete one of the following forms:
- BRF1 for an individual proprietorship
- BRF2 for a company or commercial partnership
- BRF3 for a “société”.
You can download the forms from http://companies.govmu.org.
Required information for starting a company in Mauritius
Information you’ll need to provide includes:
- the full name, address and national identification number of each applicant
- the company name, if any, and its type and structure
- the general nature of the business
- the principal place of business
- the date or proposed date of commencement of business
- the current number of employees in the company
- official contact details for the company
- copy of proofs of identity for the company director(s) and secretary
- name and contact details of shareholders.
Along with submitting required information and documents, you’ll need to pay a once-off registration fee. The fee depends on company size. Details are available here.
Registering a business online
To register your business online in Mauritius, you used to have to start by registering with the Mauritius Network Services (MNS). They would then email you login credentials for accessing the government’s online Corporate and Business Registration Department (CBRD) system.
As of April 2019, you can register directly with the CBRD.
You can then log in to the CBRD portal and choose to incorporate a company. Complete the process online and pay the registration fee by credit card.
What happens once you’ve registered
Once you’ve registered, you’ll be issued with a Certificate of Incorporation and a unique company number.
Your company will automatically be registered to pay taxes. There’s no need to register separately with the Mauritius Revenue Authority.
Also, your business premises will be inspected by local authorities, to verify that certain health and safety guidelines are met.
If necessary, obtain a building or land use permit
Some businesses require a permit from the government to make use of land or buildings for regulated business activities.
You’ll need to check with the Planning Department of your Municipality or from the District Council whether your business needs a Building and Land Use permit to operate.
If relevant, apply for a Global Business License
Certain companies that want to trade abroad may qualify for a Global Business License.
Once you’ve registered a company, you can open a company bank account and start trading as a business in Mauritius. Congratulations!
Business storage in Mauritius
There’s plenty to focus on as a business owner, from your products, processes and people to pricing and promotions.
If you’ve started a business in Mauritius, you may also need affordable storage space for inventory, supplies, equipment, document archives and more.
At Multibox, we provide secure self-storage units, ideal for business storage purposes. We have branches at Bagatelle Mall and in Bambous and Forbach, and our terms are flexible. Contact us online or call us on +230-468-1201 for more information.