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MAURITIUS CHARITABLE FOUNDATIONS

Introduction

The Foundation Act 2012 (”Act”) was established on the 1st July 2012, creating a legal framework for the registration of foundations in Mauritius, adding to the existing global financial services laws, including trusts. The efforts to broaden its private wealth offering for the African market are increasing at an incredible rate since Mauritius foundation can be classified as ”charitable or non-charitable”. This vehicle is extremely attractive for high-net-worth individuals and businesses seeking to channel their philanthropic and charitable endeavours.

Charitable Foundations – The answer to sustainable development

The main concept of philanthropy is built on a desire to help mankind or a simple charitable act devoted towards love, but experts say that this is a difficult time for philanthropy. Challenges like global warming or climate change are tipping the scale toward an unfavourable outcome.

For those who believe in the power of philanthropy – the idea that private assets used for public good can be a powerful force to shape society for the better and for the future generations. The answer today, is charitable foundations.

The Foundation Act 2012 (”Act”) mentions Charitable Foundation at large and same must fulfil below to be classified as charitable:

A Foundation shall be a charitable Foundation where it has as its exclusive purpose or object:

(a) the relief of poverty.

(b) the advancement of education.

(c) the advancement of religion.

(d) the protection of the environment.

(e) the advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms; or

(f) any other purpose beneficial to the public in general.

Key features of a Charitable Foundation

Application and Registration

  • An application for registration of a foundation shall be made to the Registrar.
  • The Registrar of Foundations will Issue a Certificate of Registration as proof of the validity of the Foundation’s registration.
  • A foundation maintains a separate legal personality.
  • Either the founder or legal representative can apply to register a foundation.

Charter

  • A foundation’s charter is mandatory written document setting forth the rules and procedures, administration, management, appointment of interested parties, acceptance of assets, distribution of income and assets to the beneficiaries, and all other important functions.
  • Charters must be written and signed by the founder (if natural person) or by an authorized signor for a legal entity
  • Charters may be amended according to the terms of the charter
  • Charters can have articles (bylaws) but those are optional

Founder

  • A Founder is a person who empowers a foundation with its initial assets
  • A Founder can be a beneficiary and has no obligation to reside in Mauritius.

Council

  • Foundations must appoint a council who will manage and administer all assets and carry out the foundation’s purposes
  • At least one member of the council must be ordinarily resident in Mauritius

Founder Control

  • The Founder will be permitted to appoint his close aides on the Council and thus retain full control over the Foundation’s assets

Secretary

  • A secretary is required to be appointed by every foundation
  • Secretaries must be local residents who will either be a Management Company, or an individual authorized by the Financial Services Commission.

Registered Office

  • Foundations must have a local registered office to receive all legal notices
  • Any change of registered office address must be filed with the Registrar

Protector

  • The founder has the option to appoint a protector with powers to oversee the Council and protect the fulfilment of the foundation’s purposes.
  • The protector can be one or more persons or legal entities (Committee of Protectors).
  • The Charter should highlight the relationship of Protector or Committee of Protectors with the Council whilst in office.

Taxation

All Charitable institutions, foundations and trusts are exempt from taxes under the Income Tax Act 1995 (”Act”).

Set up your Charitable Foundation in Mauritius with DTOS Ltd

We can assist you with the following:

  • Advisory services in relation to foundations
  • Drafting of charter
  • Application for registration of the foundation
  • Acting as councillor (at least a councillor to be resident in Mauritius)
  • Acting as secretary (must be local resident who can either be a Management Company or an individual authorised by the FSC)
  • Provision of Registered office
  • Accounting and bookkeeping services
  • MIL Risk mitigation

Get in touch with us for more information

Mrs Chaya Subramanien: Head of Compliance, Sustainability, and Innovation at DTOS Group. CSubramanien@dtos-mu.com