My Business advise on Mauritius
Latest News on Corona Virus (Covid-19) in Mauritius
Mauritius is Covid-19 free, but Until 31 March 2021, no passengers, including Mauritian Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Visitors, will be allowed entry or transit in the Republic of Mauritius unless they are willing to undergo a mandatory quarantine in a state-designated facility.
Everything You Need to Know About Mauritius
Known for its sapphire-blue waters, white-sand beaches, warm weather, and legendary hospitality, Mauritius is an island that has more to offer than what meets the eye, Mauritius Business is a land of opportunities.
Where Is Mauritius Located?
Mauritius is a republic nation located in the southwest Indian Ocean, far off Africa’s southeast coast. It is situated about 900 km east of another island nation, Madagascar. With beautiful beaches and numerous attractions, the Republic of Mauritius comprises more than 25 islands and islets such as Rodrigues, Agalega, Carajos, and Cargados.
The island nation is bliss for the traveller and a treat for the ordinary visitor and first-timer. Mauritius’s closest neighboring country is Madagascar and Seychelles, about 900 km and 1,824 km away. The island nation’s capital city is Port Louis, located on the country’s main island. The town is situated between a well-constructed deepwater harbor that makes it a strategic location for trade and commerce with the outside world.
Also the strategic location, Port Louis is Mauritius’s economic center-point that prides itself on handling extensive trade activities and small-scale trades. The city has over 200,000 inhabitants.
Some key facts about Mauritius include:
- It is located in East Africa
- Its landmass is about 2,040 square kilometers
- It has a population of about 1.3 million people as per current estimates
- Port Louis is the island’s capital city
- The country was colonized by France and Great Britain
- It attained independence in 1968 from the British and joined the Commonwealth the same year
- The Mauritian Rupee is the official currency on the island
More About Mauritius
Despite having more than 100 islands, Mauritius is a small island country in East Africa comprised of two main islands, Rodrigues and Mauritius. Also known as Île Maurice in French, the island of Mauritius is the largest of all islands under the Republic of Mauritius. According to research, Mauritius surfaced from the Indian Ocean due to volcanic activity some 8 million years ago.
Known for its breathtaking white sandy beaches and stunning scenery such as the Le Morne, Mauritius prides itself on having an expansive coastline of about 150 kilometers. Although Mauritius is five times smaller than the smallest country in continental Africa, Gambia — it has a vibrant economy that competes with much larger countries.
Suppose we were to compare the island’s landmass with countries and cities in North America or Europe. In that case, Mauritius is a bit smaller than the state of Delaware in the US. However, it is more significant in size than Andorra, the Vatican City, Malta, and Liechtenstein combined. It takes a 13-hour flight from London, a 12-hour flight from Paris, and a 4-hour flight from Johannesburg to reach Mauritius.
At present, the island of Mauritius is divided into nine districts, namely:
- Port Louis
- Black River
- Rivière du Rempart
- Plaines Wilhems
- Grand Port
Soil and Climate
Most of the country’s landmass is covered with arable land, almost entirely planted with its number one export, sugarcane. Other cash crops, such as tea and vegetables, are also grown widely for local consumption.
The climatic condition of Mauritius is mostly maritime subtropical, with reasonably warm temperatures all year round. The island witnesses two climatic seasons: a cool season that runs from June to September and a hot season that runs from December to April.
Additionally, annual rainfall varies from around 200 inches on the central plateau, 60 inches on the southeast coast, and about 35 inches on the west coast.
The People of Mauritius
According to research, about two-thirds of the island’s population is Indo-Pakistani ancestry, most of whom are offsprings of slaves who were shipped to work in the sugar plantations during the 19th and 20th centuries. A significant percentage of the population is a mixture of French and African descent, better known as Creole. At the same time, a small number is a mixture of Franco-Mauritian and Chinese descent.
Although the government of Mauritius acknowledges English as the official language, not many people fluently speak it. Most of the country’s inhabitants communicate in Creole, the country’s lingua Franca that happens to be a French-based patois. Bhojpuri is another language used in the country. It is an Indo-Aryan language that is spoken by about one-tenth of the population. Other languages commonly spoken on the island include French, Urdu, Chinese, Telugu, Tamil, and Marathi.
As a result, most Mauritians speak three or more languages as their educational system allows them to incorporate a wide range of languages in their day-to-day life.
When it comes to faith and religious affiliations, it varies. About one-third of the population is Christian, most of whom are Roman Catholics, while almost half of the population is Hindu. The rest comprises of Muslims and Buddhists.
Also, Mauritius has a below-average birth rate and a world average death rate, about two-thirds of its population is younger than 30 years. The country has a life expectancy of about 75 years for women and 70 years for men, higher than in most countries globally and above the average for African countries.
Mauritius Economic Facts
Mauritius has a diverse economy that relies on agriculture, financial services, manufactured exports, and tourism. Since its independence, Mauritius’s efforts to diversify the economy have been successful as it has managed to break free from sugar production dependency as the primary source of income. During the 1990s and 2000s, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was among the highest in Africa as it managed to grow more rapidly than the population.
Mauritius Agriculture Sector
Although the Mauritius government has been working to diminish the agricultural sector’s over-reliance by diversifying the economy, the farm sector remains significant. As a result, sugar production generates about a sixth of the country’s export earnings while occupying more than half of the total arable land.
Mauritius’s export portfolio also comprises other cash crops such as tobacco and tea. On the other hand, subsistence crops include bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes.
As for the livestock population, the country rears cattle, poultry, goats, pigs, and sheep that contribute to the economy.
Mauritius Natural Resources, Power, and Manufacturing
At present, Mauritius is not known to have vast mineral resources. However, Lime and Basalt are mined in the small island nation. Electricity and power are primarily generated from imported petroleum, with the country’s hydropower contributing a small percentage to the national grip.
And so Sugar companies usually use the remains of extracted sugarcane, bagasse, as fuel to produce electricity.
Since independence, Mauritius has witnessed a steady growth in manufacturing with the Mauritius Export Processing Zone, the institution tasked with overseeing the country’s export sector, securing attractive foreign markets. Economically, the Mauritius manufacturing sector boosts the economy by exporting chemical products, textiles, metal, metal products, and processed foods.
Finance and Commerce
As a result, many Mauritius Business financial institutions, such as offshore banking facilities, development banks, and commercial banks, call Mauritius home. The island’s central bank, The Bank of Mauritius, issues the Mauritian rupee, the country’s currency, while its stock exchange is located in the capital city of Port Louis.
Until now, Mauritius primarily imports foodstuffs, transport equipment, machinery, and petroleum, which outweigh exports, fish, sugar, textile, and clothing. Therefore some of the island’s significant trading partners include South Africa, France, Chine, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Mauritius Taxation Regime and Labor Force
Since the past few years, the tourism sector’s significant growth has seen the industry quickly emerging as the country’s top earner of foreign exchange. Also, ICT is becoming increasingly significant. As a result, In the early 2000s, the Mauritius government set up an ICT Authority to promote and supervise the expanding sector.
And so, more than half of the working population are employed in the financial services sector. The agricultural industry employs about one-tenth of the people, while the manufacturing and construction industry employs about one-third of the working population.
Mauritius and Taxes
In Mauritius, the government heavily relies on taxation as a source of funding. Therefore, nine-tenths of the government’s revenue is derived from taxes. Also, about half the country’s total tax revenue is derived from taxes on products and services. As a result, corporate income tax and trade taxes account for about one-eighth and one-fifth of the total tax revenue.
Mauritius State of Security
Since the island nation does not have an active military force. And so, it has a small paramilitary dynamic force (SMF) that includes a coast guard department. Thanks to the country’s open, free and democratic political system, Mauritius has enjoyed steady governance and peaceful transfer of power over the years.
Elections are held accordingly to the constitution, with the losing side paving way to the winners. Although the lack of military power may expose the country to external aggressions, its people have stayed away from military coups and unnecessary power struggles compared to other African countries.
Starting a Business in Mauritius For Residents and Foreigners
Until now, Mauritius is a very business-friendly country. And so, it offers seamless and streamlined procedures for everyone who wishes to open and manage a business in the tropical nation.
Therefore if you are a foreigner or a resident, an offshore company, or a local entrepreneur, company formation is the first step in opening a business venture. The company symbolizes the legal existence of any business.
Types of Business Companies Mauritius
And in Mauritius, there are different types of companies. However, I will focus on the most common and essential one: The Domestic Company. For the sake of outlining some, the other types include Companies Limited by Guarantee, Global Business Companies, Limited Life Company, etc.
Basic Requirements to Start a Company in Mauritius
The Companies Act of 2001 governs all companies’ operations on the island. Therefore, all provisions of this act have to be followed when opening a company.
A Domestic Company needs to satisfy the following requirements as per the Companies Act 2001:
- A registered and known office address in the country (not a PO Box address)
- The company has to have at least one director who is a resident of Mauritius
Also for foreigners who wish to open a company is the island, they need first to incorporate/register a domestic company. Foreigners can only apply for a residency permit only after their company is registered.
How to Register a Business Company in Mauritius?
There are two ways you can use to register a company on the island, first whether you are an offshore company or secondly a local entrepreneur:
- Call the Registrar of Companies and follow the guidelines they will give
- Register the company via Mauritius Cbris online system
- And you can also contact a registered professional to do all the hassles for you
The documents required include:
- Copies of the national identification card for locals
- Passport copies for all foreign shareholders and directors
- Certificate of Reservation of Business Name
- Proof of physical address of local directors
Finally, Mauritius is a beautiful country. In the first place however wants to visit the country for a vacation, seek employment, study, or start a business in Mauritius, be sure to have a good time.