The regulatory framework governing the Mauritius Global Business Industry comprises the following legislations:
Initially called the Category 1 Global Business Licence Company (commonly known as GBC1 / GBL1) until the promulgation of the Finance Act 2018, whereafter a new entity was introduced, namely the Global Business Corporation (GBC) with similar features as the GBC1:
Previously, the FSC allowed the incorporation of “Category 2” Global Business Licence Companies (GBC2/GBL2). However, further to the tax reforms published in 2018/2019, no new GBC2 licences have been issued by the FSC and by 30th of June 2021, all GBC2 Licence companies will have to be converted to either a GBC or a Domestic company.
As a result of the tax reforms, a new entity was introduced, namely the “Authorised Company” (AC). Both the old GBC2 and the new AC structures are exempt of corporate taxation in Mauritius. However, the AC has to be centrally managed and controlled out of Mauritius in order to be exempt from corporate taxation.
The AC can be used for trading or consulting services, or any authorized activity as determined by the FSA.
A Protected Cell Company (PCC) is a company that is a single legal entity, but which may be segregated into separate cells, such that the assets and liabilities of each cell are legally separate from the assets and liabilities of any other cell.
PCCs in Mauritius are governed by the Protected Cell Companies Act of 1999, and are mainly used for asset holding, structured finance business, collective investment schemes and closed-end funds, insurance business and external pension schemes. A PCC simplifies the overall administration of the entities and reduces the cost of operation.
A Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) will be incorporated under the laws of Mauritius as a private company with limited liability, and will have to be licensed as a “Global Business Corporation” by the FSC and in terms of the Mauritius Financial Services Act of 2007.
The CIS will also have to seek authorization from the FSC, under the Securities Act of 2005, to operate as a closed-ended fund and pursuant to the Securities (Collective Investment Schemes and Closed-ended Funds) Regulations 2008 to operate as a Professional Collective Investment Scheme (PCIS).
Any trust set up in Mauritius is governed by the Mauritius Trusts Act of 2001. A trust is created by way of a Trust Deed, and there is no obligation for the registration of a Trust Deed in a “Registry”. Every Mauritius Trust is tax exempt in Mauritius, unless the Settlor or the beneficiaries of the trust are tax resident in Mauritius.
A Mauritius Trust is managed by a corporate trustee, which trustee is regulated by the FSC under a Management Company licence.
The Mauritius Foundation was introduced through the Foundations Act of 2012 and unlike a Trust, has to be registered in the Mauritius Registry. The Foundation qualifies as a legal entity with all of the relevant key characteristics, which makes it a very efficient structure for succession planning, commercial activities or charitable purposes.
A Foundation can be tax resident or non-tax resident in Mauritius. A Foundation is not tax resident in Mauritius if the Founder and all the beneficiaries are non-tax resident in Mauritius.