Mauritius, one of the most developed countries in Africa, is renowned as a favorable investment destination in the world business landscape. Although it welcomes all the investors and entrepreneurs, it is often said that incorporating a business in Mauritius can be challenging if one doesn’t have local help on board. The government of Mauritius has brought about a business-friendly environment promoting entrepreneurship and supporting growth. The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) is a parastatal body under the aegis of the Ministry of Business Enterprises and Cooperatives, which promotes and develops entrepreneurship in Mauritius.
Why Launch Your Own Business in Mauritius?
African countries are not known for being the easiest places for doing business, but Mauritius is one country bucking this trend. The tiny island country is frequently held as one of Africa’s success stories. Being closer to the developing economies of India and big markets like China and east Africa, the business savvy country has used its geographical location as a trading way to become a business hub. It requires a maximum of 3 days for opening a company in Mauritius, according to recent reports, due to its straightforward and efficient process. If you are looking to start a business in Mauritius, below are the 10 steps identified by SMEDA for making the process easier.
Steps to Launch Your Own Business in Mauritius
1. Business Idea Generation
Businesses might have the investment needed to start a business, but what type of business should one start is a cryptic question. Luckily for such investors, SMEDA has come to the rescue by helping them to generate ideas. A whole list of project profiles is available in the SMEDA database which can help an investor get a solid idea of what they want to start a business on.
2. Making a Business Plan
Any entrepreneur starting a business must make a proper business plan. This is done to attract investors so that they can get a basic idea of what the business is all about. The plan typically includes the name of the company, the number of directors, shareholders, type of business, management structure, and type of product or services offered, etc. The SMEDA website also has a format for a business plan, which can be utilized to start a business in Mauritius.
3. Type of Business
Commonly, a business can be a sole proprietorship, partnership firm, LLC or co-operative society. You have to also check on the benefits availed on the type of business you choose. The government has a list on the type of businesses you can start in Mauritius so that it can be easier for you to make a viable decision.
4. Choosing the Right Location
Choosing a location is a crucial task as Mauritius is an island nation and there isn’t much to choose from. It is advised to take local help before finalizing a location. Also, if you want to rent an office, there are a few steps to be taken while getting a tenancy contract.
5. Registering the Business
Coming to the focal point, after you go through all the aforementioned steps, you have to register your business. The business registration process in Mauritius is easy and gets completed in 4-5 steps without any fuss. The Registrar of Business is where companies can get registered. A couple of forms need to be filled out and a few businesses related documents need to be submitted before the business is registered.
6. Registration with SMEDA
Registering your business with SMEDA is the next step. SMEDA provides a certificate of Small Enterprise and Medium Enterprise depending upon the annual turnover of your company.
7. Obtaining Land Use Permit
If a company is a manufacturing firm, they would need land for production. To use such lands, companies in Mauritius require a special form of a permit from the government. The permit can be obtained from the Planning Department of Municipality or from the District Council. Once notified, officials will visit the place to inspect the production space. Subsequent to their approval, you can go further with the manufacturing activity.
8. Financing the Project
Coming towards the financial aspect, the banking institutions (Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd. (DBM), Commercial banks, etc.) in Mauritius, leasing companies and venture capitalists (Quasi-Equity, SME Partnership Fund Ltd., etc.) are ever-ready to fund the project. A documentation process should be done before you can get a financial aid for your company.
Once all the above steps have been taken care of, you are good to start your business. Further important steps like purchasing machinery, paying trade fee to the local authorities, hiring employees, and settling on a wage rate and the contract must be taken care of.
10. Planning and Organizing a Business Activity
- Sales/Marketing & Advertising
- Finance/Human Resources
- Office and Administrative Work
If you are planning on incorporating a business in Mauritius, you can follow the aforementioned steps apart from the initial research you have done. For foreign investors, setting up a business on a foreign land and in a country like Mauritius can be challenging. However, if one knows the proper steps and has sufficient knowledge beforehand then nothing to worry about. For any business-related queries or license related information, you can contact us – we’d be happy to help.