The Foundation Act 2012 (the "Act") came into force on 1st July 2012. This new legislation allows for the incorporation of foundations in Mauritius and offers flexibility in terms of structuring options.
Foundations are appealing to clients who are in civil law countries and who may not be familiar with the concept of trusts and may be used for, inter alia, private wealth management and estate planning by high net worth individuals.
A Mauritian foundation is an incorporated vehicle capable of carrying on or undertaking any business or activity in or outside Mauritius, entering into any transactions and holding assets. A foundation may be set up to achieve both charitable and non charitable objects and can be either to benefit a person or class of persons or to carry out a specified purpose. It acts through its council, which is the body charged with the administration of the foundation's assets and the attainment of its objects.
It may also, upon application to the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, hold a global business licence and may elect to be tax resident in Mauritius to benefit from the network of tax treaties which Mauritius has with 36 countries.
The key features of the Act specifically relate to the following areas:
- Registration of a Foundation
- The Founder
- The Foundation Council
- The Beneficiaries
- The Secretary
- The Protector
- The Charter
- Articles of Foundation
- Termination of a Foundation