Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius Offshore Trusts are set up under the Trusts Act 2001 (they used to fall under the Offshore Trusts Act 1992); the regime for trusts is based on English common law. Offshore trusts are subject to the following conditions:
The settlor must not at any time be a resident of Mauritius, although an offshore company can be a settlor;
At least one trustee must be resident in Mauritius; offshore companies (which are deemed to be resident) can be trustees if authorised;
Trust property must not include real property situated in Mauritius.
Trusts pay a one-time registration fee; there are no disclosure or annual reporting requirements.
The Trusts Act 2001 incorporated a thorough modernisation of Mauritian trust law. The Trusts Act 2001 replaced the following Acts which were repealed:
The Trusts Act 1989;
The Trust Companies Act 1989; and
The Offshore Trusts Act 1992.
The 2001 Act sets a maximum duration of 99 years for trusts other than purpose trusts (25 years) and charitable trusts (may be perpetual), and permits the accumulation of income (limited to 25 years if immovable property in Mauritius is involved).
A settlor may also be a trustee, a beneficiary, a protector or an enforcer, but may not be the sole beneficiary of a trust of which he is a settlor.