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Although the Mauritius International Financial Centre (IFC) has a diverse offering of financial products, competition is fierce in the global world of financial services and smaller IFC’s like Mauritius have to be continuously innovative to uphold its competitiveness.


Trust is a legal arrangement which is governed by the Trusts Act 2001. As defined under the Trusts Act 2001, a trust exists where a trustee holds property of which the latter is not the owner in his/her own right, with a fiduciary obligation to hold, use, deal or dispose of it:

  1. for the benefit of any person (“beneficiary”); or
  2. for any purpose, including a charitable purpose; or
  3. for both (a) and (b).

The registration of a trust is not compulsory as per the current regulations.

Types of Trust

  • Discretionary Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts, meant solely for the benefits of charitable bodies.
  • Purpose Trusts, formed for specific, reasonable and certain purposes. Such trusts will normally have no beneficiaries.
  • Foreign Trusts

The main benefits of forming a trust in Mauritius include:

  • Full confidentiality of trustees’ identity, deliberations and beneficiaries.
  • Charitable trusts are tax exempt
  • Freedom to choose proper law of trust (i.e. may not be Mauritius Trust)
  • Migration
  • Duration

Uses of Trusts:

  • Estate, succession planning and family office services
  • Accumulation and Preservation of wealth
  • Asset Protection
  • Tax Planning
  • Off Balance Sheet Transactions
  • Corporate Finance/Asset Financing
  • Used as a Special Purpose Vehicle

Key facts

  • There is no requirement for the trust deed to be filed with any governmental body. Nonetheless, it is advisable to register the trust at the office of the Registrar General in order to get a ‘date certaine’ that will be evidenced of the existence of the trust on the date of registration.
  • The number of trustees of a trust cannot exceed four. Every trust must have at least one qualified trustee which is authorised by the FSC to provide trusteeship services.
  • Confidentiality is enshrined in the provisions of the Trust Act 2001. Trustees are not required to disclose any confidential information to any person not legally entitled to it.
  • The Trust Act allows for a split in trusteeship between a Custodian and a Managing Trustee.

Useful Links

Financial Services Commission
List of Management Companies
Trusts Act 2001



A Foundation is a wealth management vehicle which possesses some hybrid characteristics of a trust and a company. It is a legal entity in its own right and can therefore own assets directly. It is increasingly being used across the globe, especially in civil law jurisdictions where the concept of trusts is less well known.

Governed by the Foundations Act 2012, a Foundation may be formed in Mauritius or elsewhere, for such purposes as may be provided in its charter, including the carrying out of the objects specified in it. Similar to a Trust, a Foundation can be established by will or by charter, executed by a founder who may be a natural or legal person.

Every Foundation shall have a registered office in Mauritius to which all communications and notices shall be addressed and which shall constitute the address for service of legal proceedings on the Foundation.

Every Foundation shall have a Council which shall administer the property of the Foundation; and carry out the objects of the Foundation.

The objects of a Foundation shall be valid and enforceable, except where they are contrary to the laws of Mauritius.

The objects of a Foundation may be:

  1. charitable or non-charitable, or both;
  2. for the benefit of a person or a class of persons, or to carry out a specified purpose, or both.

However, unlike a trust, the administration and operation of the Foundation is carried out in accordance with its statutes or articles of association rather than fiduciary principles.

Uses of Foundations:

  • Accumulation & Preservation of Wealth
  • Succession & Estate Planning
  • Asset Protection
  • Tax Planning
  • As Special Purpose Vehicles in off balance sheet transactions
  • Corporate finance/asset financing
  • Securitisation

Registration and Application Fees - Foundation (including redomiciliation)

A founder or, in the case of a Foundation established by will, the executor may, subject to this Act, apply for registration of a Foundation under section 23 of the Foundations Act 2012.

A Foundation shall not have legal personality unless it is registered and has been issued with a certificate of registration by the Registrar in accordance with section 24 of the Foundations Act 2012.


  1. First year: MUR 9,000
  2. Subsequent year: MUR 13,000

Essential Features

The features of a Foundation vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the following are the common structural elements:

  • There will generally be a ‘founder’ who is the person who gifts assets to the Foundation;
  • There will be ‘beneficiaries’ who are the persons who benefit from the Foundation’s assets;
  • The Foundation  would normally have to be registered and have a registered office;
  • There would normally be minimum capital requirements;
  • It would allow the reservation of powers to the founder including the ability to revoke the Foundation, amend the charter itself or add or remove beneficiaries;
  • There would normally be a Foundation Council or Board which will be empowered to control and administer the Foundation;
  • There would normally be limitation of claims against the founder;
  • The Foundation instrument, along with the Foundation board, may provide for the appointment of supervisory organs (auditors, custodians, or other similar persons);
  • They are normally of indefinite duration.


Useful Link

The Foundations Act 2012