Why Retain or Keep a Foundation?

Are you wondering whether you really need to keep/retain a Private Interest Foundation (“PIF”) as part of your Corporate structure?


In terms of why have/keep your Foundation you may recall a PIF serves two purposes:


(a)  It gets you around Controlled Foreign Corporation (“CFC”) laws (most countries have CFC laws)

(b)  In the event of a law suit or tax investigation or regulatory inquiry, if you have a valid Foundation in place to own/hold the shares of your Company, you can swear under oath “I am not the legal owner or beneficial owner of this Company”.


Retaining a Foundation to own your Offshore Company will do two things in effect:


  1. It should enable you to avoid having to report/pay tax on any income earned by the Foundation and any assets/Companies it owns, (ie assuming you are not the Councillor of the foundation and assuming the Company is seen to be managed and controlled from Offshore)
  2. In the event of a tax evasion investigation it gives you wriggle room. That is, it (ie having a valid PIF in place to hold the shares of/own your Offshore Company) gives you the chance to argue I’m not liable to report any income earned by the Foundation (or any Company it owns). Without a Foundation in place (ie in the event of a tax investigation) if you have an Offshore Company – and you haven’t declared that Company’s income where you live – you will almost certainly be found guilty of tax evasion and sent to jail… (call it a get out of jail free card in the game of life, if you like that’s what a Foundation is or should be, bottom line)


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Mauritius Tax Free Authorised Companies


Mauritius is a group of lush tropical islands in the south western Indian Ocean and is located northeast of Madagascar approximately 1,000 miles southwest of Seychelles. A former French and British colony, Mauritius offers:


  • A British system of law and parliament
  • Political/economic stability
  • A well-developed Financial Services Sector; and
  • A well-educated productive bi-lingual French/English speaking workforce


Since gaining independence from Britain in 1968 the Mauritian economy has grown steadily from one based in agriculture to a more diversified economy with Tourism, Financial Services and Agriculture (primarily sugar cane) as its 3 economic pillars. This has seen a resulting rise in standard of living from low to middle income delivering levels of economic and political stability which are the envy of the region.


Whilst better known as a Banking Centre (Mauritius boasts at least 3 world standard “Offshore” Banks) Mauritius offers two forms of nil tax Offshore Company ie the GBC1 ( a domestic designed to do business or hold shares in companies based in DTA Treaty partner countries) and the AC (Authorised Company).


Mauritius ACs ie Authorised Companies – General


An Authorised Company is governed by the Companies Act 2001 and The Financial Services Act 2007.


Permissible activities for an Authorised Company


This flexible business entity can carry out any lawful business activity except the following activities which are set out in the Fourth Schedule to the Financial Services Act 2007:


  • Banking
  • Financial services;
  • Carrying out the business of holding or managing or otherwise dealing with a collective investment fund or scheme as a professional functionary;
  • Providing of registered office facilities, nominee services, directorship services, secretarial services or other services for corporations;
  • Providing trusteeship services by way of business; and
  • Any other activities that the FSC may determine as being detrimental to the good repute of Mauritius as a centre for financial services or contrary to public interest.


Eligibility criteria to apply for Authorised Company status


An applicant for Authorised Company should meet the following conditions:

  • The majority of shares or voting rights or the legal or beneficial interest in the company, are held or controlled, as the case may be, by a person(s) who is/are not a citizen(s) of Mauritius;
  • The activity(ies) of the Company is/are being conducted principally outside Mauritius or with a category of persons as may be specified in FSC Rules; and
  • The company has its place of effective management outside Mauritius.


Authorised Company (Non-resident entity – Tax Exempted) – Key Features



Type of Entity: AC

Governed by: Companies Act 2001, Financial Services Act, 2007

Regulated Body: Registrar of Companies, Financial Services Commission

Type of Law: Hybrid

Shelf Company availability: No

Corporate Income tax: Non Resident for tax purposes

Double Taxation Treaty Access: No

Incorporation Time: One week


Share Capital or Equivalent

Standard Currency: USD

Permitted Currencies: Any except Mauritian Rupees

Minimum Paid Up Capital: 1 share

Bearer Shares allowed: No

No par value shares allowed: Yes



Minimum number: 1 (one)

Local required: No

Publicly accessible records: No

Location of meetings: Outside of Mauritius

Corporate directors Allowed: Yes



Minimum number: 1 (one)

Local required: No

Publicly accessible records: No

Location of meetings: Outside of Mauritius

Corporate Shares Allowed: Yes


Accounts & Taxation

Requirement to prepare & file Financial Summary with FSC: Yes

Audit requirements: No

Requirement to prepare/file Annual Tax Return with the Mauritius Revenue Authority: Yes

Publicly accessible accounts No



Re-domiciliation permitted: Yes

Company secretary required: Optional


OCI Mauritius AC Company Packages


At OCI we believe in giving you more for your money than would the average IBC formation service. Hence included in the incorporation package for your Mauritius AC Company is the following:




  • Unlimited name availability inquiries
  • Advice from an experienced International Corporate Lawyer on how to structure your company
  • Preparation (overseen by a lawyer) of application to incorporate the company
  • Preparation (overseen by a lawyer) of the company’s memorandum of association
  • Preparation (overseen by a lawyer) of the company’s articles of association
  • Attending to filing incorporation request with the company registry
  • Attending to payment of government filing fees
  • One year’s Registered Agent service in the country of incorporation
  • One year’s Registered Office service in the country of incorporation
  • Mailing address in the country of incorporation
  • Delivery of Incorp pack by international courier (ie DHL/Fedex/TNT etc)
  • Unlimited free legal consultations for 12 months


Documents included in your Incorp pack:


  • Certificate of incorporation
  • 2 sealed/stamped copies of the company’s Memorandum of Association
  • 2 sealed/stamped copies of the company’s Articles of Association
  • Resolution appointing first director/s
  • Resolution appointing first shareholder/s
  • Up to 5 share certificates
  • Resolution to open a bank account
  • Resolution to rent an office
  • Resolution/s to engage a Phone, Internet & Website service provider
  • Resolution to hire a staff member/s
  • Resolution to appoint a company lawyer
  • Resolution to appoint a company accountant
  • Resolution appointing you as the company’s authorised representative in commercial negotiations
  • Resolution issuing a Power of Attorney in your favour
  • Agreement authorising you to represent the company in commercial negotiations
  • Power of attorney authorising you to sign documents on behalf of the company
  • Register of directors
  • Register of shareholders
  • Expression of wishes (ie an “Offshore” Will)
  • Lawyer authored User Guide (“How to Use Your Offshore Company”)


Price (all inclusive): $US 2,100


With tax effective offshore company management (ie including Professional Corporate “Nominee” Director, Shareholder & Company Secretary): $ 2,500


From 2nd year $1,990 (+ Nominees as/if needed).


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