If you are planning on having a business in Mauritius – and you need offices or commercial spaces – these are easily available at a relatively good cost. But before thinking about office or commercial space – you need to know how to start up your business. First things first!
Invest in Mauritius
Mauritius is a popular destination, for short or long term. Being one of the most successful economies in Africa, the island is considered a very modern business jurisdiction, encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives. It is true that Mauritius is often cited as a tax haven, but far from this simplistic definition, the country offer much more in terms of incentives for business creation and development.
In addition to its avant-garde legal framework, in Mauritius one can expect a very pleasant living environment, notably through its climatic and political stability, its naturally welcoming population and, of course, its turquoise lagoons or its beauty Natural environment.
No doubt that Mauritius has become, over the years, a destination not to be neglected for those considering immigration or relocation. The residence permit remains the essential point of any immigration project. To settle in Mauritius, there is no exception to the rule; A residence permit is required.
Well-defined plans are in place and allow those who want to invest in Mauritius to do so under an appropriate legal framework.
The Occupation Permit is the official term of the residence permit. It is divided into three categories. Investor, employment & liberal professions. The Board of Investment (BOI) receives and processes applications under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office through the Passport & Immigration Office. This is the supreme authority that issues the Occupation Permit.
Residence permit of the investor
The word ‘investor’ refers mainly to the person who wishes to carry out a business project on the island. This project can be a pure creation, the redemption of a company or the redemption of certain shares of a company. Whoever is in this category will opt for an Occupation Permit, Investor category (investor).
Conditions related to this type of permit:
Be able to transfer USD100.00 to Mauritius for investment
Have a business project that can generate a turnover of Rs2 million for the first year and Rs10 million for the next two years.
There are many websites or documentation on Occupation Permit. All will give you the impression that it is very easy, giving you the impression that you are practically a guest. The reality on the ground is quite different. The whole procedure requires a certain chronology; An applicant may find himself in a complex situation (sometimes even obliged to leave the territory to re-enter, at his own expense) if the steps are not followed.
Note that you have a maximum of 90 days of visas ‘short stay’ on business trip on the island for the first visit. You still have 30 days but on a second visit.
In total 120 days for a year (calendar) and you must be physically present to complete your request for Permit Occupation. If the applicant fails to obtain his license during this period, he will have to wait until the next year to return and complete the procedure.
Investment in a business.
This cannot exist in a duly registered legal structure. It is necessary to set up this structure before proceeding to the request of the Occupation Permit.
The most commonly used structure is a domestic company (Domestic Company). The law requires that each Domestic Company have at least one Mauritian director and one head office address in Mauritius. At the time of this creation, as the applicant for the permit is not yet resident, you will need to find a resident director.
It is not necessarily required to have shares in the company (except in some areas where regulation requires it). Secondly, you have to show your investment, which is USD100,000. For this, of course, a bank account, on behalf of the company is required. A procedure that can extend over weeks, even months, depending on the level of documentary requirement of the bank.
For example, bank certificates, copies of certified passports, and many other things. For example, most banks require a Trade License from the company. The application for Trade License is processed by the town hall of the region where your company is located – and requires a fairly impressive list of parts to provide, namely: your lease contract, the identity documents of the owner, building permit (BLP) of the premises, site plan, building plan, etc. All this suggests yet steps that are not mentioned anywhere else.
A logic difficult to understand: you have to find a place, sign a lease contract … before you can open a bank account to transfer your investment. Normally the bank account was to be the second step after the creation of the company. It is this bank account that normally serves to confirm a lease, because we all know that a lease becomes effective only after payment of deposits and other sureties. How to do it without a bank account?
Besides the unforeseen events (non-compliant building, lease contract not to your expectations, etc.), we estimate the duration of these first procedures, in the best cases, as follows: 1 week for the registration of the legal structure ), 1 month to finalize his choice of local, 2 weeks for the signing of the bailen, 1-2 months to have his Trade License and 3 weeks to have his bank account.
The other points are chainings; You cannot start the next step without completing the previous one. So note the accumulation of delays. A summary is necessary.
Here’s where we are for the moment:
Creating a company
Finding your local and confirming your lease
Must apply for Trade License
Opening of bank account and transfer of USD100,000 (minimum)
Finding the best Office Place?
Well, another thing crops up – finding the best office place! The ideal place of your office should be near everything – if you need something it should be readily available and if you are to move back to your country or another country – having an airport close by would be ideal! Plaisance Business Park has been conceived for people like you – future investors who are always on the move.
How do you apply for an Occupation Permit?
You have to go through a procedure to do online. You will have to scan all the documents related and duly demanded, register on the online interface, load all the scans and place the request on the system. Then, through this interface, an appointment request is made. 1 week approximately, to have the appointment, being optimistic. Original documents (or certified copies) are deposited at this appointment, and it is also the moment when the applicant formally signs the application forms. During this appointment, the applicant must have at least 15 days remaining on his visa, he is always under the pressure of 90-120 days. It is appropriate to use professionals. You benefit from their expertise but especially from their experiences and knowledge of the terrain. Some of the procedures can be done remotely, even before your arrival on Mauritius
For example, some people can help you already register your company and put at your disposal a resident manager and a head office address. They can also open your bank account and help you transfer investments in the meantime. Prior to your arrival in Mauritius, the business plan and forecasts are also ready. In the meantime, you will have got answers to all your questions concerning the laws and regulations in force on the island and you would have benefited from advice and recommendations.
At this stage, for you, Mauritius is no longer a totally unknown terrain, the risks are reduced. Your project is validated by a team that will advise you on its feasibility, its eligibility for a Permit Occupation and will guide you on the necessary modifications.