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How to register as self-employed if you are doing business in Mauritius

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For the majority of people, being their own boss is a dream come true. You can work your own hours and the amount of effort you put into your business will determine how much profit you’ll be making afterwards. Usually when you work for somebody else, no matter how much you give to your job, you’re only going to get a fixed salary but when working for yourself, you will reap the benefits of hard work.

You have 2 choices when it comes to registering your business in Mauritius: you can either set up a company or register as self-employed. Although you can set up a one-man company, if your expected turnover is going to be below Rs2M (2 million rupees), you’ll save more by going down the route of self employment rather than forming a company. This is because you need to pay a yearly fee of Rs2000 every year to own the company name and although income and corporation tax is payable at a flat rate of 15% on your profits, you’ll have to pay an additional 2% of your book profits under what’s called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) if you trade under a company.

Procedures to declare you’re now self-employed

There are two steps. You should first go to the Registrar of Companies which is located at this address:

Companies House
One Cathedral Square,
Jules Koenig Street,
Tel : 208 4539

The office is situated next to KFC on the road that leads to Champ de Mars and as soon as you enter the building, you’ll see stairs going downstairs on the left and that’s where you need to go.
You will have to fill in the Application form for Individual (BRF ):

Once this is completed, you will need to pay Rs100 for a Business Registration Card when you submit the form. This is a one off fee and you’ll get the business card will not bear any expiry date. Note that on one counter, the details of the form will be entered on their computer system and you’ll be asked to go settle the fee at another counter and return before being issued the business card. You’ll only need your Identity Card to complete the formalities.

As soon as you get your Business Registration Card, you should go to the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) building to get a Tax Account Number (TAN) if you don’t already have one. The address is as follows:

Ehram Court, Cnr Sir Virgil Naz & Mgr Gonin Streets, Port Louis

If you’re going up Deforges Street from the municipality, you need to turn right just before Jummah Mosque (before the bus stop) and the offices will be on your left.

Once inside the building, you have to go on the first floor and you will need to have your Business Registration Card and Identity Card at hand. There’s no fee to pay and you’ll receive a nice little card with your TAN on it.

How much allowance are you entitled to before being taxed on your income

The tax year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. You are however given income tax exemption based on the following:

Individual with no dependent : Rs255,000
Individual with one dependent : Rs365,000
Individual with two dependents : Rs425,000
Individual with three dependents : Rs465,000
Retired person with no dependent : Rs305,000
Retired person with one dependent : Rs415,000

This means that if you earn Rs300,000 in a tax year and you have no dependents, you’ll pay tax as follows:

Chargeable income = Rs300,000 – Rs255,000 = Rs45,000
Tax owed = 15% of Rs45,000 = Rs6750

And that’s why Mauritius is considered a tax haven because you pay less tax than in most countries.

gices Published 03 Apr 2012
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


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430 members . 376 topics . 1136 posts
skyinnovation 04 Dec 2015

Thank you man, you are a life saver.
That was a well detailed article and i learned a lot.
Thanks for sharing, much appreciated.

sadhna 23 May 2012
Yes! O.k Thank You very much for the advice. I will get it done from my parents` permission. Hmmm.. Ayo! Ki Tout ca complication doh? Bon, mo ava essayer ene coup! MERCI encore ene fois!
kishan2979 30 Apr 2014

Hi Sadhna,
Hope you are already settled in your business now. It's my turn now, gonna start a business now after having been in the UK for the past 19 yrs. Wish me luck.

sadhna 23 May 2012
What is mean by development permit?
Khush_Mendossa 23 May 2012
A Development Permit and Building Permit are required before you start any new construction or structural changes to your house. It is your responsibility to obtain all relevant permits.
rajiv 23 May 2012
yes :)
sarah_7 03 Dec 2019

the yearly fee for compagnies is RS 500 @gices and registration fee RS 3500

Zee786 22 Oct 2016

Hi dr..
I'm thinking of making my own Mehendi business,preparing & selling my own Mehendi cones.
Do I really need a permit for that?
Do I need to go through all the above steps you mentioned above?

Thanks in advance..

charldav 26 Apr 2016

hello gices,
i have already register for the registration card.i have a home based business which is more about craft like box for event like holy communion,invitation card and so on. i would like to know if i need to register for a TAN. i also heard about SMEDA, how to register and what about the fees please. give me aa much as information as you can cause i'm new and have no notion for it please


vishalnayan 03 Mar 2016

Hi There,

I'm an Indian expat and already employed with a Mauritian company on Occupational Permit.

Can i register myself as self employed OR open a company ( I prefer to register as self employed), as i keep getting software works but the issues is sometime the project is big and client ask for TAN number for their PO requirement.

Kindly advice.

jasonalex 09 Feb 2016

a small issue
I can apply for a business license online?
if yes, how can I make her?

(sorry for my english )

savita1982 09 Feb 2016

hello i want to know how can i start a magazine in mauritius. its a one man business like i will collect all material and designing and will print in some press. can i come under OP as self employed? and so i need land use permit while registering company as i will do everything on my PC. thanks pls guide.

chronic213 23 Oct 2015

Hi Gices , first of all i would like to thank you for this website , i just came across it by last week at work while i was searching for a similar post , however i read the other posts as well i think you guys ( all website members )are doing a good job , thanks alot for those useful information . I went on Wednesday to Port Louis to get a business card as a job contractor , i already paid Rs125 however i asked the agent if i'll have to go to MRA to get a tax account number , he replied by telling me that I'll have to get a permit first . so i'm a bit confused now .

rapace 25 Sep 2015

hi, shall i register for a self employed consultancy job? if yes how and where?

kraken 29 Aug 2015

Hi all,

I have a question, i hope it does not sound dumb.

My question:
Is a sole trader the same as a self-employed?
Or are they different, If yes in what ways?


jsun 26 Aug 2015

Hi. my husband just open his electrical company. he already did the incorporation and already has his BRN and TAN. He does electrical work and sell materials as well but its only "sur commande". no one will come to buy his products at place. and there will be no lorries to deliver the products as he himself will go to purchase his materials in his van. Does he need to have a licence for this? thanks

sagitariankhan 19 Aug 2015


I hv already registered my company in Mauritius n i m a foreigner now i want to get a residence in Mauritius. so plz tell me how it can b possible...

markshumpetr 19 Mar 2015


I had issued a business card and a one-year permit at the District Council but I did not go to the MRA. The business permit has already expired. Will the MRA seek me in the future? Should I let them know?

littleakhi 15 Feb 2015

Hello, I want to get some clarification on the following:

1) concerning the details to put in the Business registration form.
If I dont yet have a building/shop to operate, what do I insert in the section
"Address of principal place of business" ?

2) May I know exactly what documents I need to have for customs clearance of small gadgets imported for reselling.

Thank you :)

sanjeetdhunnoo 28 Jan 2015 trying to get a permit for contract van(15 seaters)..I have been to the NTA, they told me to get some papers from the hotel or others textile factories indicating that they are hiring me to work with them. But when i go to the requested place, they told me they cant give me any contract till i dont have a permit. So where should i go or which door should i knocked to have it.. Thanks for ur help

gices 29 Jan 2015

That's a real catch 22 situation. You can do one of 2 things:

  1. Explain the situation to the hotel or NTA and tell them you're unable to start work unless one of them gives you the paperwork
  2. Try to get a contact in the hotel to get you the document you need (on the basis of you scratch my back and I 'll scratch yours)
Jess_2 20 Dec 2014

Interesting article.

Please do tell me something, what is a trade licence? Do we need one for a garderie et ecole maternelle? Thank you

gices 25 Dec 2014

A trade licence allows you to do business; if you're making money without one, it's illegal. So you need one.

juliorave-jr 25 Nov 2014

hi !im a musicien i have done a musical job for a company for only once that cost less than rs 60000 but they ask me a brn (which i do not have) for my payment i want to know what the procedure i have to do so as to receive my payment

gices 30 Nov 2014

The process is well documented above. What are you having problem understanding?

sophialenferna 29 May 2014

Hello Gices,

Thanks for the info! Its hard to find anything straightforward on the government websites!
Just a quick question - after all this when would I need to apply for VAT? Or do I even need to?
I am wanting to import items from East Africa and resell to select retail outlets.
Thanks :)

gices 29 May 2014

The general rule is

If in the course or furtherance of his business he makes taxable supplies and the turnover of the taxable supplies exceeds or is likely to exceed Rs 2,000,000

However there are some professions which require you to be VAT registered even if your taxable supplies does not meet the criteria above (eg account, engineer, optician).

Please check this link for further information.

priyamalla 25 Apr 2014

Great article....I wanted to find out about registering myself for a consultancy service and your article came up! to the point and so easy to understand. Especially when I was wondering where is the registration office and the way you said : "The office is situated next to KFC on the road that leads to Champ de Mars and as soon as you enter the building, you’ll see stairs going downstairs on the left and that’s where you need to go. " I found it so direct and I laughed because very few people can do such detailing when giving instructions on going somewhere...Thank you so much for making our life easier ! Keep the good work on.

gices 25 Apr 2014

Thank you for the nice comment. I had to learn it the hard way and didn't want other people to face the same problem, hence I gave as much detail as I could.

Good luck with your consultancy service :)

priyamalla 29 Apr 2014

Hey ! Been to the registrar today.Was so easy and now I have my BRN card yay ! I am so happy to finally be my OWN BOSS :)

sam0 07 Mar 2014

Hi gices, could you possibly help me too, one of my brother has to pay MRA tax each month from his salary around Rs 3000-5000, he said it because sometimes his salary exceeds Rs28000. Above you wrote on the amount of allowance one is entitled to before being taxed on your income, when you say income is it the salary obtained from another firm as a simple employee or the one obtained from a personal business, i.e., being your own boss?
He says that he could pay less or maybe nothing if he had been married, so that mean his wife would be his dependent, but doesn't his unemployed mother and sister becomes his dependent ones?
Please clear this confusion of me.
Hoping to hear from you soon.

gices 07 Mar 2014

Income is any money you receive, so it can be your wages from full time employment + money from a business + dividends/shares etc. It's everything combined.

Here's MRA definition of dependent:

"Dependent" means either a spouse, a child under the age of 18 or a child over the age of 18 and who is pursuing full time education or training or who cannot earn a living because of physical or mental disability.

So mother and sister don't count.

Hope that helps.

sam0 07 Mar 2014

Thank you for your quick reply.
But what if the spouse is employed?

gices 07 Mar 2014

If the spouse is employed, then only one can claim relief for a dependent. For example, if both your brother and his wife are earning money, then your brother can list his wife as a dependent and get the first Rs385,000 tax free but the wife can only get the first Rs275,000 untaxed.

You can find this information on the MRA website itself.

Hope that clears your doubt now :)

shimmeringgems 09 Jan 2014


I'm self-employed and i sell my products via facebook. I just want to know if I have to pay a trade fee to the Municipality? when I enquired, they said that anyone doing any business has to pay the trade fee. For me, it is supposedly Rs 9000.

gices 09 Jan 2014

Making money online in Mauritius is not yet regulated, so people who only use their computers with an internet connection to trade should not really have to pay for that trade licence as this is more for people who have a business front (eg a shop/garage).

The municipality told me the same thing but I thought it was stupid and didn't apply for that licence. However I encountered some problems afterwards where as a self-employed person, I was asked to show the trade licence as one of the important documents.

I've also been asked to get a licence from ICTA but they don't even understand the online trading model and have never replied to me (been 6 weeks now). In the end, I've decided to stop trading altogether.

If you don't want to get into any problems, then you're probably best off complying.

xuser5620 29 Jan 2014


I wanted to know if it is not so private, but as a self-employed person, who asked you to show your trade licence?

gices 29 Jan 2014

Strangely enough, it was my bank who asked me for the trade licence as they were doing the Know Your Customer (KYC) thing which helps combat money laundering.

xuser5620 29 Jan 2014

Oh my. I thought that it was the municipality :/
But from that, you had to stop trading?

gices 29 Jan 2014

No, I stopped trading because I was moving abroad :)

xuser5620 29 Jan 2014

Oh okay. I see. Thank you very much for those information :)

arushukansya 15 May 2014

I am really confused right now, me too i earn via Internet and i don't deal with public and i get payment in term of freelancer from companies (sometime local sometime International) approximately Rs15,000 monthly, tomorrow i am going to open an Individual person BRN. Should i or should i not register myself for a Trading license. Rs7000 yearly for Trading license plus accountant fees approximately is Rs5000. For the accountant fees, i guess its affordable but i am being hesitant for the Trade license. My question is (If/ever/Any) what can be the consequence for not having a trade license?

gices 15 May 2014

Here's what it says on the Municipal Council of Port-Louis website:

Any person who uses a premises for the purpose of a classified trade without being granted a licence for it shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than Rs 2,000 and not more than Rs 5,000 and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

arushukansya 15 May 2014

Since a premise is define as land and building together, If the business is carry online, does a laptop and Internet will need a trade permit?

gices 15 May 2014

If you read my previous comments, you will see I faced the same problem. From what I gather, you need the trade permit.

arushukansya 04 Jun 2014

The BRN number and the Trade permit is ok... But since i will be locally and internationally accept payment online via E-wallet (Skrill Moneybookers), i was told by the bank that i need an ICTA licence. I called ICTA and exlain my project of a small self employed online business, HERE I WAS SHOCK THAT THEY TOLD ME THAT I HAVE TO PAY RS50,000 ON A YEARLY BASIS FOR GETING A COMMERCIAL ICTA LICENCE!!!! ARE WE REALLY IN CYBER ISLAND ????

anonymous_4 10 May 2013

hi am a mauritian..i want to open a small canteen at my place to sell fried snacks,,,so please let me knw what are the permits needed and what are the procedures to follow.hope to hear your comment soooooooooon

abhinavb 27 Apr 2013


I am an Indian and planning to settle in this beatific place Mauritius.I am planning to open a consumer durable outlet (TV,LCD,LED,Plasma,AC etc: )here in Mauritius.Currently working in the same industry in India,but now want to open own outlet in Mauritius.Kindly guide me through proceedings I have to go through and what are the prospects of the stated business here in Mauritius.

anxiously waiting for the response.

Mojca_Jan 08 Apr 2013

I'm moving in Mauritius. Don't have permit for living there. I wish to open Self Em. to get it.
Is this possible?
Is it true that foreign people need to have 2000 MUR plus every month?

Sameena_Alidina 07 Jan 2013

I would like to offer web designing services online in Mauritius. I am a Mauritian but will be working online from another country and designing small websites for the people in Mauritius. Can they pay the web designing fees in my personal bank account or I need to register for a Self Employed BRC. I am confused as I will not be having any working premises in Mauritius.

gices 07 Jan 2013

You just need to register as self-employed in the country you'll be carrying out the work from. You will then need to have an Online Payment Gateway to collect money from your customers (Paypal, 2CheckOut etc) or offer Bank Transfer (Bank Wire) to them.

One thing you might want to enquire further though is regulations about Double Taxation in the country you're living in. Good luck.

nelvan08 01 Jan 2013

Thanks for this wonderful article, great information. For own business and for import purpose as well distributor what are the procedures to follow. Thanks again

gices 07 Jan 2013

I'm not familiar with import & distribution procedures, so I suggest you give Small & Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) a call to get this information. Their contact number is 233 0500. Good luck.

rkg 06 Dec 2012

Very nice article.

If i am opening an online business. im guessing i would file under self employed..?

Hello, very informative post indeed, but i have a series of questions, i just hope you have some of your precious time to answer those since they will be very useful to me.
Infact I am going to create a website and would like to obtain money from that by making people's advertisement on that.
I am thinking of making them paying to my private bank account or my company's bank account if I get registered as a company.
For this type of business,do i have to register as a self employed or Company?
Another question is that suppose I am employed by another company disregard of whether I am registered as a company or self employed, What should I do concerning the tax since my income will increase as an individual.
Moreover, if you suggest me to register as a company, does it take long?
And, how will this process happen? Since I won't have a land or office, the business will be on the web, so how will it be processed? Can I register for Company though I dont have land, and if however i get to register does it take long?

And a last question :P
I don't think to have an accountant for my business, if it gets registered as a company, how will they track my earnings, should I just show them my receipts?
sorry one more last question, you mentioned about TAN(Tax Account Number) in your blog, is it same as VAT number??

Hey I just hope you answer all of my questions since am in a great worry. Please dr..Hoping and counting on your cooperation.
Hope to hear from you soon. thanks :)

additonal note: I am the sole employee in the website company.
I have no other employee.

gices 05 Dec 2012

It's up to you whether to register a company or trade in as self-employed. Say you're an individual with no dependants and you get Rs20,000 a month by working full time for a company. You will not pay any income tax because you'll be earning under the threshold of Rs255,000. Your total comes to Rs240,000. If the website business draws more than Rs15,000 in a year, then you'll have to pay tax on the difference. You would already have a Tax Account Number (TAN) from your main job but will have to get a Business Registration Card (read the main article above for more info).

If you want to register a company, it takes only a couple of days and you don't need to have land/office. All you need is a business address. Whether self-employed or for a company, you need to have receipts or proof of payment. Your bank statement showing the transactions on your account is good enough. You only need an accountant when things get complicated. For your type of business, you should be alright.

TAN is about taxation on income or profit. VAT is Value Added Tax on services or products and is something that a business passes on to its customers. Tax is something that we have to pay to the revenue authority (MRA).

Please note I am no accountant and you should seek proper legal advice if you're serious about starting your own business.

Thank you very much. This was enlightening. I think of being 'self employed' first then will try registering as a company. Good work boss.. ;) carry on..hihi :)

anonymous_4 28 Jul 2012

hi, i want to open a school for therapist (massage) at my home and should it be MQA approved. please tell me all the step possible to open the business and it is necessary to declare the capital am startin with.

please help me. i live in the north and want to open it at my house itself. should i take permission from the neighbours for this..

thanks to reply back asap.

Minashou 15 Jun 2012


I found your article really interesting. I have a few questions. I want to start a business but I am working in the private sector. I want to open a puja shop. My parents are giving me the authorisation to build a small building in our front yard.

-Can I apply for a self employed BRC?
-If yes, can I use that business card to apply for a land and building permit?

Many thanks for your answer



gices 16 Jun 2012

Can I apply for a self employed BRC? Yes
If yes, can I use that business card to apply for a land and building permit? Yes

I hope things are much clearer for you now. Good luck with your shop :)

sadhna 23 May 2012
O.k BUT i have my own house where i am going to open a small business. It is of my parents in an existing house. Is it important to produce the building permit on formality?
Khush_Mendossa 23 May 2012
If I understood what you said (the building belongs to your parents), you need to have written permission/contract with the parent and then you will be able to have a permit for small business.
rajiv 23 May 2012
after plan of building gets approved at district council they give a permit to start constructiion i think :)
rajiv 23 May 2012
thanks :) will read this one ^^
Khush_Mendossa 23 May 2012
Welcome. And hope in the future you can answer some questions regarding computers that our users have ;)
rajiv 23 May 2012
electronically i record everything :) but they might not present in receipts issued cause some items worth 100 rps like bluetooth dongles i dont issue :P

do you think electronics book sheet is enough proof ?
Khush_Mendossa 23 May 2012

Electronic book sheet is good as long as you make them aware what system you are using.

Please check this link for more information:
2. In these regulations —
“Act” means the Customs Act 1988;
“approved computer system” means the computer system of a TradeNet
user operated by the TradeNet software, duly approved by the

Perhaps this applies to you. But you should contact the MRA for further queries in my opinion.

rajiv 23 May 2012
Just started, its my first working year :)
smaller items like pendrives, other accesories people dont rely demand recepts etc but for larger items like laptops receipts used :) dont have cash book for now, cause just started,
Khush_Mendossa 23 May 2012
Even for pendrives they can put you in illegality if their mood is not good lol. As far as you personally record every transaction you are safe (they can check your accounts after several years and decide that you have large amount of tax to pay if you tried to hide something - as it happened when Mr. Sithanen was Minister of Finance!)

Anyways, hope you are successful and will attend to clients well when they have problems (not like some big stores who just don't care, if you see what I mean!)
rajiv 22 May 2012
i have a question its rather stupid but a bit confused :( currently am working, falling on the Individual with no dependent : Rs255,000 and just started part time activity home based, sales of computer and other electronics stuff.

already registered for a self employed BRC, so at the end of a 30 june how does the MRA know how much i earned for this taxable year ?? i mean my tearly salary is below 255k this one they aware, but about my part time business will they be aware of exactly how much sales i did ?
Khush_Mendossa 23 May 2012
I guess they will rely on your "cash book".

Else, they will examine you receipts because receipts are registered and fool-proof.

Is it your first working year?
sadhna 16 May 2012
Hi, i want to know if i am opening a small business inn my home itself, for e.g a beauty saloon. Is it necessary to have a permits licence to operate it? My house not found at the main road but few distances. What should U suggest me?
Khush_Mendossa 16 May 2012
Of course you need permit! Else you would be operating in illegality. 'Beauty saloon' forms part of the businesses that need permit/license as you engage yourself with the public. It would be a different case if you would have done it on a private basis, i.e., going in home of persons you specially chose.

What is the address by the way?

P.S. Please post your further questions on the main page for more responses! :)
sadhna 16 May 2012
My home address is Royal Road but only 25 steps tp land your feet on the main road. That`s why feel confused how to start my beauty saloon. Thanks anyway for the advice!
gices 17 May 2012
You may need a Building and Land Use (BLP) permit. Get in touch with your local authority (municipality where you live) to find out if you are exempted.

And you'll need a Trade licence to start doing business.
Khush_Mendossa 04 Apr 2012
Hey gices nice article.
But can you write one about business licenses? For e.g. about how to get license of a restaurant or in general. That would be great. Thanks.
gices 11 Apr 2012
I usually write from my own experience but I can research the topic and write about that one as well. Time is the only problem but I'll let you know when I write about it.

How about you? Are you not interested in sharing your experiences by writing articles that's going to be useful to a wide audience?
Khush_Mendossa 11 Apr 2012
That's why I said 'many things in my mind' on the other post hehe.