Category 1 Global Business Company (GBC 1)

A GBC 1 is a corporate entity used mainly to benefit from the network of double taxation agreements which Mauritius has concluded with a number of treaty countries. GBC 1's are regulated by both the Companies Act 2001 and the Financial Services Act 2007. For tax purposes, these companies are resident in Mauritius. Tax sparing credits are available for this special purpose vehicle. Under this regime the effective rate of taxation in Mauritius can be reduced. A long-stop provision exists whereby GBC 1 companies may elect not to provide written evidence to the Commissioner of Income Tax showing the amount of foreign tax charged and therefore enjoy a deemed taxation at 80% of the normal corporation tax rate of 15%. Thus, the use of this long-stop provision in isolation would reduce the effective rate of corporation tax in Mauritius from 15% to 3%. A GBC 1 company must have at least two local resident directors to access treaties and one shareholder. At present corporate directors are not permitted. A GBC 1 company must also appoint a qualified Mauritian resident as company secretary. A GBC 1 may conduct business in Mauritius with prior approval from the FSC. Each year the company must prepare audited accounts and file them within 6 months after the close of its financial year with the FSC. GBC 1 companies that wish to utilise Mauritius' international tax treaties must demonstrate that management and control are exercised in Mauritius.

Category 2 Global Business Company (GBC 2)

GBC 2's are regulated by both the Companies Act 2001 and the Financial Services Act 2007. The GBC 2 is a company that is totally exempt from taxes in Mauritius. The tax-exempt status means that a GBC 2 cannot benefit from the extensive Double Taxation Agreement treaty network. The GBC 2 company is only required to have one director and one shareholder. Corporate directors are permitted and there are no requirements to file annual returns. GBC 2 entities are required to file year-end financial summaries with the FSC.

Protected Cell Company (PCC)

The Protected Cell Company (PCC) is one of the products attracting significant interest in Mauritius. The Protected Cell Company Act 1999 provides for a Company incorporated for the purposes of carrying out a global business activity under the Financial Services Act 2007. The structure permits the creation of cells within its capital for the purposes of segregating the assets within that cell from claims related to the other cells or assets.  As provided under the PCC Act, a PCC can be used to carry out two types of global business namely global insurance business and investment funds (i.e. Collective Investment Schemes).

Limited Partnership (LP)

A Limited Partnership (LP) is a vehicle comprising one or more general partners together with one or more limited partners. LPs are legal entities distinct from their members. This means they can enter into contracts, hold investments, sue and be sued in their own name, making them more flexible than a company structure. The governance of an LP is set out in the partnership agreement. Following the enactment of the Limited Partnership Act and pursuant to Section 71 of the Financial Services Act, a LP can now apply for a category 1 Global Business Licence. When applying for a GBL1 licence, a LP must have at least one partner resident in Mauritius.  The laws also requires that the LP maintain at all times its principal bank account in Mauritius, its accounting records at its registered office in Mauritius, and prepare audited statutory financial statements in Mauritius.

Offshore Trusts

A Trust is an arrangement for the holding and administration of property under which property or legal rights are invested by the owner of the property (the Settlor) in a person or persons (the Trustees). The Trustees then hold the property for or on behalf of other persons (the Beneficiaries). The essence of the concept is the separation of legal and beneficial ownership, the property being legally vested in one or more Trustees but in equity for and on behalf of the Beneficiaries. The Trust will not be taxable in Mauritius if it qualifies as being 'non-resident'. A Trust will be non-resident where neither the Settlor nor the Beneficiaries are resident in Mauritius. There is provision for the appointment of Protectors, and Letters of Wishes are permitted under Mauritian law.