In 2020, the government established the following mechanisms beneficial to opening and running a business enterprise in Mauritius:
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Business facilitation in one hub
To further ease new business registrations, the Economic Development Board (EDB) geared up its Corporate and Business Registration Department into a one-stop-shop. This department now accepts payment of trade fees, registration of ultimate beneficial owners, and VAT Registration.
The EDB reduced the fees for construction permits and streamlined permit application filing. For convenience and health safety, the board also ruled that applications for construction permits and deed registrations must be done online.
More incentives for innovators
New companies engaging in smart and innovative activities benefit from the Smart Mauritius Innovative Development Scheme (SMID). This programme grants these ventures VAT exemption on their construction of buildings and related infrastructure. Their purchase of plant, machinery, equipment and materials are VAT-exempt also.
Besides the SMID, Mauritius has also introduced the Innovator’s Occupation Permit (OP) and the e-Commerce Scheme. The latter programme grants a 5-year tax holiday to companies setting their e-commerce platforms in Mauritius.
To get an Innovator’s OP for foreign nationals, one option is to secure EDB approval of an innovative project; no minimum investment is required. Another path is to register with an incubator accredited with the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council.
New opportunity areas
In addition to e-Commerce, Mauritius is developing other clusters in innovation technology that open opportunities for foreigners to invest in Mauritius. These newer clusters include fintech, blockchain, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and IoT (Internet of Things).
To attract foreign ventures in these areas, Mauritius is developing a new Data Technology Park in Côte d’or. This new tech hub on the island bids to duplicate the success of Ebène Cybercity, one of the leading business parks in Mauritius.
Besides ICT companies, Ebene Cybercity now also hosts the island’s major financial institutions, accounting and consulting firms, and offshore companies. All told, this business park has more than 45 office blocks and employs over 30,000 workers and professionals including expats.