In order to widen the spectrum of available instruments and to further promote Mauritius as a platform for wealth management, succession and estate planning, the Foundations Act was enacted in June 2012 and came into force on 1 July 2012.
The foundation is appealing to high net worth individuals from Civil Law Jurisdictions who are more familiar with this type of entity than with trusts.
The foundation has all the advantages of a trust but contrarily to a trust, it is a legal entity in its own right and can own assets directly. The foundation can, inter alia, be used for asset protection, Shari’a compliance structures, asset holding and succession planning and investment structures.
Some of the unique features provided by the Foundations Act 2012 include:
- Registration of a foundation with the Registrar of Companies so that it has legal personality
- Possibility for a foundation to be established by will
- Re-domiciliation of foreign foundations to Mauritius
- Protection from forced heirship rules
A Foundation will be treated as tax exempt upon filing of a declaration of non-residence in the case where the founder is a non-resident or holds a Category 1 Global Business Licence and all the beneficiaries appointed under the terms of a charter or a will are, throughout an income year, non-resident or hold a Category 1 Global Business Licence.