The company may either be locally incorporated or be registered as a branch of a foreign company (i.e a company established in a jurisdiction other than Mauritius). A foreign company may also be redomiciled in Mauritius provided it is so authorised by the laws of the country where it was originally incorporated.
a) Save and except with the express approval of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) a Category 1 Global Business Licence Company may not:-
• deal or transact business with residents of Mauritius.
• hold immovable property in Mauritius or any share, debenture or any interest in any domestic company.
• hold any account in a domestic bank and carry on dealings in Mauritian Rupees except for the purpose of its day to day transactions arising from its ordinary operations in Mauritius.
b) Category 1 Global Business Licence Companies may operate in the Mauritius Freeport Zone and may take advantage of Double Taxation reliefs available under the various DTA’s in force in Mauritius. To benefit under DTA’s, however, the company must be resident in Mauritius for tax purposes. A company will be deemed to be resident in Mauritius if the central management and control is within Mauritius. The criteria generally applied for tax residence are:-
• Board meetings are held regularly in Mauritius
• A quorate number of Mauritian resident directors who are capable of taking decisions on behalf of the company.
• The company has a registered office in Mauritius where all accounting and statutory records are kept.
• Banking transactions are channelled through bank accounts in Mauritius.
• The company has local secretary and auditors.
A Category 1 Global Business Licence Company is assessable to tax on its chargeable income at the rate of 15%. However, ample provisions are contained in the Income Tax (Foreign Tax Credit) Regulations of July 1996 for calculating net foreign source income and claiming foreign tax credits.
The present tax system does not impose any capital gains tax or withholding tax and there is complete exemption from stamp duty and similar duties and taxes.
Category 1 Global Business Licence Companies are not subject to any exchange control and money can be remitted and repatriated without any form of control. .
An application for a Category 1 Global Licence must be made through a licensed management company and involves three stages:-
• a detailed business plan and the activities to be undertaken by the company
• bank reference on the beneficial owners
• track record of the beneficial owners and
• a certificate from a law practitioner certifying that the application complies with the laws of Mauritius.
The main documents that are required for incorporation are:-
• the Constitution of the proposed company
• The Notice of First Directors, Secretary and Location of Registered Office Form
• Consent Forms of Directors and Secretary
The Category 1 Global licence is issued upon acceptance of the proposed licensing conditions.
Fees payable to FSC are:-
Processing fee - US$ 500
Annual Licence fee - US$ 1,750
Registration Fees - Rs. 9,000 – Rs. 13,500 (US$ 350 – US$ 525)