Foundation in Mauritius

Foundation

What is a Foundation ?

A Foundation is a vehicle designed to bring flexibility in the existing Mauritius corporate sphere and  may be used to carry on or undertake any business or activity in or outside Mauritius, entering into any transactions and holding assets or for private wealth management and estate planning by high net worth individuals.

A Foundation may be set up to achieve both charitable and non-charitable objects and can be either to benefit a person or class of persons or to carry out a specified purpose. It acts through its council, which is the body in charge for the administration of the Foundation’s assets and the attainment of its objects.

Salient Features

  • ­Has a legal personality upon registration
  • Must have a secretary in Mauritius which must be a management company
  • Migration from or to another jurisdiction is possible
  • Existence is successive until dissolution
  • Management is determined by the Charter
  • Must keep accounting records
  • Auditing of financial statements is optional unless the Foundation holds a Global Business Category 1 licence

Advantages

  • ­Setting up can be through a Will
  • Control may be maintained by the founder who may be the sole member of the Council
  • ­The Founder may be the sole beneficiary of the Foundation
  • ­Greater management flexibility through the Charter and the Council
  • ­Holding asset can be passed on from one generation to the next
  • Is the appropriate vehicle for inheritance tax planning

Taxation

Tax efficiency is a prominent characteristic of a Foundation.

A Foundation holding a Category 1 Global Business licence may elect to be tax resident in Mauritius to benefit from the network of tax treaties which Mauritius has with 36 countries. Under the tax treaties, a Foundation is eligible to benefit from the foreign deemed tax credit of 80% on foreign source business income thus reducing the payable tax rate to 0-3%.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why set up a Foundation ?

A Foundation is a hybrid of a Trust and a Company which enables perpetual succession and allows control to be exercised by the founder, as member of the council. The Foundation also offers the founder with the option of being the sole beneficiary.

What type of business activity can a Foundation undertake ?

A Foundation may carry out both charitable and non-charitable activities and can also carry out business activities outside Mauritius.

How to set up a Foundation ?

A foundation may be set up by means of a will or by a constitutive document referred to as a charter.

Does a Foundation have a lifetime ?

A Foundation can remain in perpetual existence but may have a lifetime which must be disclosed in the charter.

Can assets be added to the Foundation after registration ?

Assets can be endowed to the Foundation at any time after the registration by individuals other than the founder(s). Such individual shall however not hold the status of co-founders.

Is it compulsory to disclose the asset/s being endowed to the Foundation upon registration ?

The assets being endowed to the Foundation upon registration must be disclosed in the Charter upon submission of application for registration.

Who can be a Founder ?

The founder can be an individual or a body corporate but must not be in the process of winding up or insolvent and can also be a member of the council as well as a beneficiary of the Foundation.

Who can be a beneficiary ?

The founder, a person or class of person can be a beneficiary of a Foundation.

Can a Foundation be registered without a beneficiary ?

A Foundation needs to have a minimum of one beneficiary upon registration duly disclosed in the charter with the flexibility of adding other beneficiaries at a later stage.

Who is a protector ?

A protector is a person appointed by the founder, in accordance with the Charter, to direct or restrain the council in relation to the administration of the Foundation. A protector can have such powers and duties as stipulated in the Charter.

What is a Charter ?

The charter, signed by the founder(s), is the constitutive document used for registration and for the management of the Foundation.

A Foundation may amend its charter as per the Foundation Act 2012.

Who manages the Foundation ?

The Foundation is managed and administered by a council being the equivalent of a board of directors.

At least one member of the council needs to be resident in Mauritius. In the event that the Foundation will hold a GBC1 licence, at least two members need to be resident in Mauritius.

Who appoints the Council ?

Every member of a council is appointed in accordance with the Charter or by the Founder before registration or where the charter is a will, by the executor or administrator. After the registration of the Foundation, the Founder may through the Charter nominate a person to appoint additional members to the council.

What are the pre-requisites for setting up the Council ?

At least one member must be resident in Mauritius. Where the founder has nominated a person to appoint additional members to the council, such person may not appoint any officer or his spouse or a person in a direct or collateral line of relationship with him as member of the council.

Does a Foundation need to have a company secretary ?

A Foundation needs to have a company secretary who shall be a management company or other person resident in Mauritius as may be approved by the Commission.

Does the registered office address need to be in Mauritius ?

The registered office address of the Foundation must be in Mauritius as described in the charter to which all communications and notices shall be addressed.

About Us

Founded in 2010 and licensed by the FSC Mauritius, GFin Corporate Services Ltd., a Mauritius management company, provides legal, tax, fiduciary, investment and fund administration services to private, corporate and institutional clients. We provide administration, corporate secretarial, accounting and management services to Mauritius-formed entities.

We deliver tailor-made solutions to our privileged clients whether they are an entrepreneur or an established international group.

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