Doing Business in Mauritius

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Doing Business in Mauritius
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Tour Operator Licence & Self-Employment

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annerajoo 08 Nov 2016

Hi, I came across your article on self-employment. I have a business idea and I'm not sure what to do. It turns out for my idea I may need a tour operator license, which makes things super complicated. Do you know where I can find out who actually needs a tour operator license? I would sell activities but not execute them myself. I would work with local tour operators and only sell their services. Like an agent...

To avoid going through the lengthy license process, I was thinking to become self-employed. My business will only be small and self-employment will probably be more cost effective also. Now I'm wondering are there restriction as to what business you can do working self-employed? Also I want to start while working full time. Can I be full time employed and part time self-employed at the same time?

Lastly I've been reading about permits when you run a business from home. When self-employed, is a permit also needed?

Very much appreciating your comments and help!

2 Comments

gices 09 Nov 2016

It is not so straightforward. So let me try to address the questions you've asked.

  1. Do you know where I can find out who actually needs a tour operator license? Get in touch with the Mauritius Tourism Authority but from what I can tell you would need one.

  2. Now I'm wondering are there restriction as to what business you can do working self-employed? Not that I know of. There are however differences between being self-employed and forming a company. If you are self-employed, are will be liable for any financial loss. If someone gets hurt while doing any tourist activity and sues you, the court can take possession of your house and other belongings to pay for the damages. With a company, you are safe in this regards.

  3. Can I be full time employed and part time self-employed at the same time? Yes. Just make sure you are paying your taxes properly (and VAT if applicable)

  4. When self-employed, is a permit also needed? Yes. You need to have a trade licence. You also need other types of licences depending on what business you are doing.

Here's what you'd need to get a Tour Operator Licence:

  • A business plan to submit along with your application to the Mauritius Tourism Authority
  • Public Liability Insurance

Further information can be found on this blog post.

1
annerajoo 10 Nov 2016

Thanks! Very helpful indeed. Selling activities would be a very small part of my business and I think, I will just change my idea slightly. Do you know if there any licenses needed for event planning? And how about online sales of products?

Very good point about liability, thank you! Is there an insurance for self-employed? If yes, what would be the best insurance company for that?

Great work and super helpful! :)