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Does web freelance from home require a permit to operate?

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ekkusumaverick 22 Feb 2015

Hello,

I am currently trying to start working on my own (self-employed) as a web freelancer. I will be working with two clients (one foreign and one local) mainly with the aim to eventually target more clients later on. Basically it would be similar as working on oDesk I believe. My issue is that I have poor information on how to ensure that am conform to MU laws (specially for taxes) when working on my own behalf and having a random/non-fixed earning every now and then.

I've read an article on the site (http://www.cleverdodo.mu/how-to-register-as-self-employed-if-you-are-doing-business-in-mauritius/91) suggesting two steps in order to be able to register as self-employed. Though, I was advised at some point that before anything, I will require a 'permit' from the relevant municipality to operate (I plan to work from home and most probably on my own but yet I do not understand the relevance of requiring a permit despite that am not receiving clients at my home or anything, it will be purely teleworking).

Can anyone clarify regarding this if I really need a permit to work on my own behalf from home and if the two steps mentioned in the article are enough to settle and work conform to MU laws?

Thanks in advance

3 Comments

gices 23 Feb 2015

You will definitely need a permit (Trade Permit it's called) to operate from home, even if you're not receiving clients on site. Contact your local municipality for more information on this - there's a yearly fee to pay and from what I remember it was around Rs8,000 for Municipality of Beau Bassin Rose-Hill in 2012.

Follow the steps described in this article to obtain your TAN (Tax Account Number) and BRC (Business Registration Certificate).

That should be everything you need to do business legally in Mauritius.

ekkusumaverick 24 Feb 2015

Thank you for clarifying this. I'll be checking with the concerned Municipality.

I have one more question regarding the article providing the steps to obtain the TAN Number.

As mentioned in my context, my revenue will be depending on clients/projects I achieve through the year. I suppose it may happen as well periods where I will have no ongoing projects.

Based on that, what kind of figure/estimate I should provide when registering for the business? Is just a rough figure enough or does it have to be as accurate? Also, when it comes to tax repayment, I am the one to perform the calculation shown in the article or is there a concerned authority that will verify the annual revenue and determine the tax repayment?

Also, forgive me for my ignorance but, the tax repayment, is this a yearly or monthly cost?

Thanks in advance.

gices 24 Feb 2015

I've re-opened your question and unpublished your other comment (On Clever Dodo when you select a Best Answer, it means you've got the answer you needed and don't need any further information).

Anyway, a rough estimate is good enough but I don't remember having to put down a figure when I did mine. Part of doing business (or being self employed) means you're going to have periods of no income and that's fine.

You will pay tax at the end of the tax year (Jan - Dec) based on the revenue you received for the whole year (you only need to do quarterly reports to MRA if you expect a turnover of over a certain threshold, 2M last time I checked but this may have increased now).

You submit a tax return by either filling their form online or paper including your profit/loss and expenses and that's it. Based on the nature of your business, they have an idea how much you should be making.

I've done both e-filling and paper based ones and they've never asked me for any proof but you should keep receipts/invoices just in case MRA wants to do an audit on you.

Hope that helps.