The Global Business segment of the Mauritius IFC provides convenience, fiscal efficiency and risk mitigation for companies engaged in international operations. Domiciled in Mauritius, the two limbs of the Global Business Segment, the GBC1 and GBC2 (see below), have been instrumental in driving investments and growth across continents.
Starting from modest beginnings in 1992, the global business has grown significantly over the years to become one of the main pillars of the economy, offering sophisticated products such as global collective investment schemes, close-ended funds, expert funds, specialized collective investment schemes, CIS management, investment dealers, amongst others. By December 2015, there were more than 21,437 vehicles established in Mauritius (GBL 1 and GBL2), including some 958 funds.
The emergence and steady growth of the Global Business sector has been achieved through the setting up of necessary fiscal incentives, flexible regulatory and legislative framework. Mauritius also benefitted from its strategic location and asserted itself as a gateway to Asia and Africa. This sector employs around 5,100 young graduates and professionals and generates considerable business to stakeholders in the industry.
Global Business Companies (GBCs) offer investors an efficient vehicle for tax structuring and planning and is supervised and regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC). There are two types of GBCs based on the category of license, namely Global Business Category 1 companies and Global Business Category 2 companies.
Global Business Company (GBL1)
The Category 1 Global Business Company (GBL1) is a tax-resident company managed and controlled from Mauritius. The GBL1 is commonly used as holding companies for international operations. It is also notably used for holding intellectual properties and for the management and administration of Global Funds.
A GBC1 may be structured as a Limited Life Company, a Protected Cell Company or a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS), and may be unlimited or limited by shares or by guarantee. It can also undertake business in any foreign currency (subject to approval), and must have at least 2 Directors who are resident in Mauritius, maintain its principal bank account in Mauritius and maintain its accounting records at its registered office in Mauritius.
The Protected Cell Company (PCC) is a special structure made up of cells which provide optimum legal segregation and protection of assets attributable to each cell of the company, whether owned by individuals or body corporates.
A PCC in the Mauritius IFC is made up of a core and various classes of cells, which may invest collectively in one or more portfolios or separately in distinct portfolios. PCCs may be used for holding assets and for structured finance businesses, as well as for collective investment schemes and close-ended funds. Where a PCC is an investment Fund, its management may be transferred or shared through a management contract with an Investment Manager.
Global Business Company (GBL2)
The Category 2 Global Business Company (GBL2) is a flexible structure of the Mauritius IFC which is designed to notably hold and manage private assets outside of Mauritius.
The GBL2 is not a tax resident in Mauritius and does not benefit from double taxation relief under tax treaties. A GBL2 may either be limited by shares or by guarantee, and may also be structured as a Limited Life Company. A GBL2 must have at all times its Registered Agent in Mauritius.
Over the last few years, Mauritius has reviewed and adopted a number of new legislations in view of enhancing its competitiveness as a high value added services platform. The jurisdiction is an ideal choice for investment funds, investment holding, asset management and other collective investment schemes and vehicles.
The Financial Services Commission, Mauritius (the ‘FSC’) is the regulator for the non-banking financial services and global business. Established in 2001, the FSC is mandated under the Financial Services Act 2007, to license, regulate, monitor and supervise the conduct of business activities in these sectors. The current regulatory framework has many strong elements, including reliance on solvency monitoring, prudent asset diversification, international accounting standards, and actuarial methods.