In its latest 2019 Doing Business report, the World Bank ranks Mauritius in the Top 20 countries out of 190 countries in terms of ease of doing business with a score of 94.34 out of 100.While it is not necessary to use a company to carry on a business or trade, companies remain a very popular commercial vehicle in Mauritius. As the World Bank report suggests, one of the reason for this probably lies in the fact that the Mauritian company law and regulations provide for flexible and efficient procedures for small and medium sized limited liability companies to start up and operate their business.
So what are the requirements to set up a company in Mauritius?
The essential step towards setting up a business is to incorporate the company which can be effected either online or directly at the Registrar of Companies by submitting the prescribed documentation. An application form must be filled in by either the applicant or his representative(usually an accounting firm or law firm/chambers) containing, inter alia, the following information:
- The name of the company (one that is available for use);
- The full names, residential address and service address of every director and secretary of the company;
- The particulars of any business occupation and directorships in any public company or subsidiary of a public company held by each director;
- The full name, the usual residential address and the service address of every shareholder, the number of shares to be taken and the amount to be paid for those shares;
- Whether the company is limited or unlimited;
- Whether the company is a private or a public company;
- The registered office address of the company;
- In the case of a single-member company, the full name, the usual residential address and the service address of the person nominated by the proposed director to act as secretary;
- The business activities and the location of the business; and
- The full name of the applicant.
In addition, supporting documents must be provided along with the application form and they include:-
- A certified copy of the constitution of the company, if any;
- Consent and certificate of every director (Form 7);
- Consent and certificate of the secretary (Form 8);
- The shareholders’ consent (Form 9);
- In the case of a company limited by guarantee, a document signed by each member, recording their consent to be member and the amount to be contributed in the event of the company’s winding up (Form 10);
- Written authority of the agent that signed the form of consent, if applicable;
- The notice of reservation of name, if applicable;
- A copy of the passports for non-residents, if applicable;
- A copy of the Residence Permit if there is only one director who is a foreigner;
- A proof of the director’s address;and
- A proof of the secretary’s address (for single member company).
It has to be pointed out that the Companies Act 2001 provides that at least one director of a new entity incorporated and domiciled in Mauritius be a resident in the Republic of Mauritius. Finally there is the payment of applicable fees that must be made and once the company registered, the Registrar of Companies will issue:-
- a certificate of incorporation;
- enter the particulars of the company in the online Central Business Registration database; and
- Issue a Business registration card (BRC).
Aspiring entrepreneurs will appreciate that a domestic company can be incorporated within 24 hours as from submission of a duly completed application and aspiring entrepreneurs will also note that as at the date of publication of this article the Corporate Tax is at a flat rate of 15%.