The Mauritius Foundation is governed by the Foundations Act 2012 and is administered and regulated by the Registrar of Companies (ROC), described in the legislations as the Registrar of Foundations.
A Foundation is governed by the Mauritius Foundations Act 2012 and is a legal entity without members and with its own structure, the ownership of which is to achieve a certain specific purpose by means of contributions made.
A Foundation enjoys legal personality which fulfills related functions as those of a trust, but with the administrative flexibility of a company.
The objects of a foundation may be:
- Charitable or non-charitable, or both;
- For the benefit of a person or a class of persons, or carry out a specified purpose, or both.
- Foundation Council
A foundation shall be a charitable foundation where it has the following exclusive purpose or object:
- The Relief of Poverty;
- The Advancement of Education
- The Advancement of Religion;
- The Protection of the Environment;
- The Advancement of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
- Or any other purpose beneficial to the public in general.
Mauritius Foundation is required to be registered and issued with a certificate of registration by the Registrar of Companies (ROC).
The Foundation assets can consist of:
- Real estate (commercial or residential)
- Shares in companies, funds, unit trusts
Uses of Foundations
A Foundation created in Mauritius allows for, inter alia:
- Asset protection and tax planning
- Being recognised in all common and civil law jurisdictions
- Holding assets which can be passed on from one generation to the next (estate planning)
- Minimizing estate taxes or other inheritance taxes
- Avoidance of forced-heirship rules
- Maintenance of corporate control
Category 1 – Global Business Licence
A foundation may apply for a GBL1 with the Financial Services Commission should it wish to be tax resident in Mauritius for the purposes of accessing the network of Double Taxation Agreements.
A Mauritius Foundation can elect to be non-resident by the Council filing a declaration to that effect with the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) and be exempted from all income tax. All distribution made to non-resident beneficiaries of the Foundation are also exempt income tax.
Other Features of Mauritian Foundations:
The proposed name of a foundation must end with the word “Foundation” and must not include the words limited, company, partnership, societe or any abbreviations or translations thereof.
The main constitutional document of a Foundation is its charter. The charter of a foundation must contain the name of the Foundation, The name and address of the founder(s) including an address in Mauritius for service of documents, The object for which the foundation has been established, The initial assets of the foundation, its purpose if applicable, Details of the beneficiaries or the manner in which the beneficiaries may be appointed or removed, Period of establishment, Details of its secretary, The Foundation’s registered office.
- Purpose of a Foundation
The purpose of a foundation may be:
- Charitable, non-charitable or both
- For the benefit of a/many person or to carry out a specified purpose, or both
- According to provisions of its charter
- Shall be valid and enforceable except where contrary to the laws of Mauritius
- Objective of a Foundation
Every Foundation must have a Council which shall administer the property and carry out the objective and purposes of the Foundation.
A foundation can have one or more beneficiary. A beneficiary means a person who is entitled to benefit under a Foundation or in whose favour a power to distribute any Foundation property may be exercised. Foundation beneficiaries have no legal or beneficial interest in foundation assets.
It is permissible for a foundation to appoint a protector or committee of protectors in accordance with and having such powers, duties, functions and remuneration as may be specified in the charter.
- Registration of Foundations
The registered agent shall submit particulars extracted from the charter, accompanied by the registration fee set out (i.e. MUR 9,000 = USD 300) to the Registrar who shall retain and register it, if it is satisfied that all the requirements of the Act have been complied with and its objects are lawful. The Registrar shall allocate a registration number to the foundation and issue a certificate of registration.
Every Foundation shall have a secretary appointed by the Founder, with the Secretary being either a Management Company or who shall be such other person resident in Mauritius as may be authorised by the Commission.
- Registered Office
A Foundation shall have a registered office situated in Mauritius.
- Tax exemptions and concessions
A Foundation of which the founder is a non-resident or holds a Category 1 Global Business Licence under the Financial Services Act; and all the beneficiaries appointed under the terms of a charter or a will are, throughout an income year, shall be exempt from income tax in respect of that year.