Mauritius is a sub-tropical volcanic island situated in the Indian Ocean, 2400 kilometres off the South East Coast of Africa and covers an area of 1,865 square kilometres. The population of the island is approximately 1.1 million comprised of people of Indian, African, European and Chinese origin. Due to its past history as a colony of both France and Britain, the population is largely bilingual in English and French. The official language is English but "Creole" is widely spoken in the island.

The Republic of Mauritius is a Westminster style democracy headed by an appointed President who is the Head of State. The sixty members of Parliament are elected every five years by popular vote. Parliament is the legislative authority in Mauritius and is headed by the Prime Minister who is the Head of Government.

Mauritius is one of the few countries with a hybrid legal system based on English and French law. The procedural law both in criminal and civil litigation is mainly English whilst the substantial law is mainly based on the French Napoleonic code. The Company Law is modeled on the English law. The highest court of appeal is the Privy Council in England.

GBC1 (Global Business Company) companies structured to take advantage of the taxation treaties signed by Mauritius must have the following characteristics:

Prior to the 1st July 1998 a Mauritius GBC1 company could elect to pay whatever rate of tax it chose up to a maximum of 35%. In practice most offshore companies elect to pay 0% tax. GBC1 companies incorporated after 1st July 1998 are subject to 15% tax on profit but the company is entitled to a deemed foreign tax credit of 90% of the tax payable i.e. the net effective rate after deduction of the deemed foreign tax credit is 1.5%. The deemed foreign tax credit of 90% will be reduced to 80% as from the year of assessment 2003/04.
The company can be wholly owned by 1 shareholder. Bearer shares are not allowed. Details of the shareholders must be reported to the Companies Registry and to the Financial Services Commission . Only shareholders have a right of inspection. Please note that references, details on the track record and copy passports of the beneficial owners must be given to the Financial Services Commission. Where the beneficial owners are body corporates, latest audited accounts and corporate profile must be submitted to the Financial Services Commission.
A company shall have at least one director who shall be ordinarily resident in Mauritius. Corporate directors are not permitted. A director is required to give his consent to act as director by filing form 7 with the Registrar of Companies. Shareholders have the right of inspection. The Registrar shall be notified within 28 days of any change in Directors. It is important to note that if the company wishes to access the taxation treaties then 2 Mauritius resident directors, who are approved by the Financial Services Commission, must be appointed.
A GBC1 Company must file audited accounts within 6 months of the close of its financial year. Non-compliance may result in revocation of the offshore license. A GBC1 may prepare its financial statements in accordance with the International Accounting Standards or with any other internationally accepted accounting standards.
Subject to name approval a GBC1 company can be incorporated within 10 working days. Ready Made companies are not available because of the need to report the details of the beneficial owners to the MOBA Authority.
The following words cannot be used in English or any other language: Authority, Bank, Chamber of Commerce, Chartered, Cooperative, Fund, Government, Insurance, Investment or Management Services, Mauritius, Municipal, National, Regional, Presidential, Republic or State. Names should end with Limited or Corporation.
The Financial Services Development Act 2001 requires that all information and documentation received be kept secret and confidential except on proof beyond reasonable doubt that the confidential information is bona fide required for the purpose of any enquiry relating to drug and arms trafficking or money laundering under the Economic Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2000.