Mauritius is a stable and recognised jurisdiction for the establishment of an offshore company, especially to invest, create and develop activities in Africa. With our wide expertise we are in a position to advise you on the choice of legal structure, assist you in the creation of your off shore entity with our partner approved by the FSC and proceed with all the administrative procedures.
An offshore company is a company based in a foreign country where it carries on its business, where it generates its turnover. The interest of an offshore company is to benefit from the advantageous taxation of its country of implementation, while continuing to do business with other countries. However, it cannot in principle carry on an activity in its country of residence at the risk of being considered as a "resident company" and be charged higher tax rates. For example, an offshore GBC 2 company based in Mauritius can do business around the world, except Mauritius. The creation of a company off shore is perfectly legal. "Any natural or legal person resident has the right to create a society in the country of his choice without the need to reside in a fiscal way ..."
An offshore company has many advantages and allows, among other things, to protect the estate of the beneficiary, by consolidating the assets held in several countries under the name of an offshore holding.It is also possible to transfer its assets to its offshore company in order to avoid any problems (seizure, commercial litigation, litigation, ...): This is the principle of Asset Protection. The offshore company is moving to Mauritius where taxation is very attractive, which makes it possible to increase profits. The off shore entity also provides privacy and confidentiality about the ultimate beneficial owner.
Choosing an offshore entity makes it easier to manage the company in particular in terms of accounting and financial management which is very flexible. The offshore entity is a legal entity in its own right, so the name of its director may not appear on any document, which ensures a perfect anonymity. An offshore company has operating costs which are below the overall costs of rental of premises, the employment of accountants, suppliers and other service providers.
Mauritius is known as a highly active off shore destination, with more than 9 000 companies GBC 1 and more than 15 000 GBC 2 registered in the territory, according to the figures of the FSC (Financial Services Commission). Mauritius is an excellent and stable offshore jurisdiction outside Europe, especially to create or develop activities with Africa. Ranked in the first position of economic development in 2008 by the World Bank, Mauritius is an offshore solution with a very advantageous tax and a good reputation. Its tax optimization strategy is effective and transforms the country into a gateway of choice to develop its business and make it shine beyond the Mauritian borders to Africa, Europe or Asia.
Can we speak of Mauritius as a tax haven? No, the transparency and cooperation shown by the Mauritian authorities reassure the international control systems and even if Mauritius has certain characteristics peculiar to tax havens, the control of the authorities on foreign companies prevent it from tipping into the list of countries officially recognised as a tax haven. Thus, to obtain a license on the Mauritian soil, companies must prove their contribution to the Mauritian economy. This strict legislation prevents any abuse or excess, and contributes to the development of Mauritius. Several other conditions need to be satisfied in order to have the right to develop its activity on the Mauritian soil and in particular a headquarters located in Mauritius, two minimum directors resident in Mauritius and the Bank Account or its accounting books must be registered on the island.
The main form of offshore company in Mauritius is the Global Business Company (GBC). There are two types of GBC companies (also known as GBLC for Global Business licence Company) in Mauritius: the company GBC 1 on shore (Global business licence 1 – 15% tax but which benefits from an effective relief of up to 80%) and the GBC 2 Off Shore (Global Business License 2 – 0% tax).
The Global Business Licence Company (GBLC or GBL) is a company whose activities are dedicated to offshore. However, GBL is a resident of Mauritius and can therefore benefit from the country's 40 double taxation treaties and all investment incentive schemes known as "Schemes". A GBL may not carry out financial transactions with residents and may only invest in real estate on an ancillary basis and under certain conditions. However, it may, subject to obtaining a special licence, carry on banking, fund management and insurance activities. GBL is ideal for cash flow generating investments in countries with which Mauritius has tax treaties (DTAs). The corporate income tax of a GBL is 15%, like domestic companies. But this rate is reduced to 3% on the following incomes:
For the time being, domestic companies also benefit from a 3% tax reduction, but only on merchandise exports. The FSC has announced that the exempt income will be applied to both the domestic and offshore regimes.
There are no capital gains taxes or withholding taxes on dividends paid or interest payments to non-residents. No minimum share capital is provided for. The GBL allows you to obtain an occupation permit (work or residence permit in Mauritius) and to open a bank account.
GBL files must be submitted to the FSC through Management Companies if they meet the following criteria:
GBLs are incorporated under the Companies Act (2001);
GBL is not considered to be resident for tax purposes in Mauritius but is required to file an annual tax return with the Mauritian authorities.
Until 31 December 2018, there are two statutes of offshore companies: GBLC1 and GBLC2 (the latter being eligible for a 0% tax rate). But from 1 January 2019, this second status will no longer be issued by the FSC, in order to comply with OECD tax treaties. Thus the new status will simply be called GBL, whose characteristics have been described in the previous paragraph.
However, an authorization may be issued by the FSC for companies wishing to establish themselves as non-residents. This alternative status, the "Authorised Company", can only be granted if the POEM (Place of Effective Management) of the company is outside Mauritius. An Authorised Company will be treated as non-resident for tax purposes in Mauritius and will therefore be eligible for the 0% tax rate. However, it will not be able to operate in the financial services sector or be the subject of a shell company.
GBLC 1 and 2 incorporated before 16 October 2017 are allowed to keep their status until 30 June 2021, when they will automatically be transformed into GBL, the new offshore company status. For GBLC 1 and 2 created after 16 October 2017, this operation will be carried out automatically on 1 January 2019.
The creation of an offshore company in Mauritius requires the establishment of the articles of association and the certificate of an agent approved by the FSC (Financial Services Commission) confirming the legality of the offshore company. The creation of the offshore company in Mauritius is also accompanied by a legal certificate issued by a local lawyer proving that local conditions have been respected. Overall, the administrative procedures are very flexible, light and fast. The registration of "global business companies" is done in a few days, without the need to travel, if necessary through our partner, a management company accredited by the FSC. Fees may vary depending on the specifics of the case.
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