Doing Business in Mauritius
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How to register as self-employed if you are doing business in Mauritius
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:
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.
Thank you man, you are a life saver.
That was a well detailed article and i learned a lot.
Thanks for sharing, much appreciated.
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.
the yearly fee for compagnies is RS 500 @gices and registration fee RS 3500
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..
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
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.
a small issue
I can apply for a business license online?
if yes, how can I make her?
(sorry for my english )
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.
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 .
hi, shall i register for a self employed consultancy job? if yes how and where?
I have a question, i hope it does not sound dumb.
Is a sole trader the same as a self-employed?
Or are they different, If yes in what ways?
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
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...
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?
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 :)
helloo...am 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
That's a real catch 22 situation. You can do one of 2 things:
- 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
- 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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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 :)
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.
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.
Thank you for your quick reply.
But what if the spouse is employed?
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 :)
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.
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.
I wanted to know if it is not so private, but as a self-employed person, who asked you to show your trade licence?
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.
Oh my. I thought that it was the municipality :/
But from that, you had to stop trading?
No, I stopped trading because I was moving abroad :)
Oh okay. I see. Thank you very much for those information :)
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?
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.
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?
If you read my previous comments, you will see I faced the same problem. From what I gather, you need the trade permit.
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 ????
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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
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 :)
do you think electronics book sheet is enough proof ?
Electronic book sheet is good as long as you make them aware what system you are using.
Please check this link for more information: http://mra.gov.mu/download/CustomsUocr26...
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.
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,
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!)
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 ?
What is the address by the way?
P.S. Please post your further questions on the main page for more responses! :)
And you'll need a Trade licence to start doing business.
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.
How about you? Are you not interested in sharing your experiences by writing articles that's going to be useful to a wide audience?