The Republic of Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 km off the south east coast of the African continent. The area of the country is 2040 km2, its capital is Port Louis. Due to its past history as a colony of both France and Britain, the population is largely bilingual in English and French. The official language is English but "Creole" is widely spoken in the island. Mauritius is one of the few countries with a hybrid legal system based on English and French law. The procedural law both in criminal and civil litigation is mainly English whilst the substantial law is mainly based on the French Napoleonic code. The Company Law is modeled on the English and New Zealand law.
There are two types of Mauritius Companies available, which are:
Category 1 Global Business License ("GBC1")
A GBL1 is a tax resident company and can hold funds or deposits on behalf of the general public. These companies are more complex in their statutory requirements, however they can benefit from a large number of tax treaties that Mauritius has with various countries such as Belgium, Singapore, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, China, Luxembourg, India, among others. GBC1 are used for volume trading as it has access to a network of Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties.
Category 2 Global Business License ("GBC2")
A GBL2 is very flexible and provides for minimum disclosure. Meetings can take place anywhere in the world. It provides for greater confidentiality and is suited for holding and managing private assets. It is however not allowed to raise capital from the public. The GBL2 is not resident for tax purposes and therefore is debarred from benefiting from double taxation relief under the tax treaties. The GBC2 may either be limited by shares and guarantee or simply unlimited. Foreign investors prefer this type of company.
All Global Business Companies are governed by the Companies Act 2001 and the Financial Services Development Act 2001.
All information and documentation for GBC2 are to be kept secret and confidential. There is a fine penalty of up to 1,000,000 Rupees and imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years for failure to comply.
Movement Of Funds
There is complete exemption freedom from exchange control and fee repatriation.
For both GBC1 and GBC2, the following words cannot be used in English or any other language: Assurance, Bank, Building Society, Chamber of Commerce, Chartered, Cooperative, Government, National, Regional, State, Authority, Imperial, Insurance, Municipal, Royal, State and Trust. International companies are prohibited from carrying on those activities engaged in the provision of financial services or acting as a financial intermediary.