Starting and planning a Business in Mauritius

Major Legislations

Companies Act of 2001

• It is a major revision of the 1984 legislation.

• Companies Act 2001 amended mainly through:-

- Securities Act of 2005
- Finance Act of 2006
- Business Facilitation Act of 2006
- Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 (Act No. 14 of 2009)
- Insolvency Act of 2009
- Finance ( Miscellaneous Provisions ) (No. 2) Act 2009 –Act No.20 of 2009
- The Economic and Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) of 2011 For more details, click here.

The Companies Act 2001 provides for several types of companies:

• Domestic company

• Company holding a Category 1 Global Business Licence

• Company holding a Category 2 Global Business Licence

A company can be:-

• limited by shares;

• limited by guarantee;

• limited by both shares and guarantee;

• An unlimited company.

A company may be either public or private: For more details, click here.

Business Registration Act 2002(amended, among others, by the Finance Act of 2006, 2007 and 2008)

• You must register your business with the Registrar to obtain a Business Registration Number and a Business Registration Card.

• A consortium, societe, partnership, joint venture, trust or firm must be registered.

• A craftsman working at home or a religious, charitable, an educational organisation or any person when cultivating land of less than 10 acres do not need to register.

• A company or commercial partnership is not required to apply for registration, but needs to furnish details of the business to the Registrar for a Business Registration Card.

Business Facilitation Act of 2006

• Provides guidelines for start-ups to adhere to regulations;

• Provides for ex post control;

• Enable small enterprises to start their business activities within 3 working days;

• Facilitate acquisition of properties by foreigners.

Legal framework for Intellectual Property Rights

Existing Intellectual Property Acts, as below, are being reviewed:-

• The Patents, Industrial Designs and Trademarks Act 2002 (In force as from 6 January 2003)

• The Protection against Unfair Practices (Industrial Property Rights) Act 2002 (In force as from 6 January 2003)

• The Copyright Act, adopted in 1997 (Ministry of Arts & Culture)

• The Layout Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits Act, 2002

• The Geographical Indications Act, 2002 (Not yet promulgated)

Other important legislations

Investment Promotion Act, Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax, Custom Act, Non Citizen Property Restriction Act, Non Citizen Employment Restriction Act, Land Acquisition Act, Employment Rights Act, Employment Relations Act, Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare Act, Environment Protection Act, Dangerous Chemical Act, Jewellery Act, Fair Trading Act, Legal Metrology Act.