A Foundation is governed by the Foundations Act 2012 and is regulated by the Registrar of Companies (ROC). A foundation is created by transferring ownership of the assets to the Foundation by the founder(s) to achieve a specific purpose.
The name of a Foundation registered under the Act shall end with :
- The word “Foundation”
- A word in a foreign language which has the same meaning as the word “Foundation”
The main document of a Foundation is its charter. The charter of a foundation must contain the following details as shown by the Foundation Act 2012:
- The name of the Foundation
- The particulars of the founder
- The purposes and objects of the Foundation
- The endowment of the property which shall be the initial assets of the Foundation
- The beneficiary of the Foundation or the manner in which he may be appointed and, if applicable, the manner in which he may be removed
- The period, if any, for which the Foundation is established
- The name and address of the secretary
- The address of the registered office of the Foundation
- The procedure for the appointment of the Council or of a protector
- Committee of protectors and its or his powers and duties
Objects of a Foundation
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.
Where a Foundation is established by means of a will, a reference to its charter shall, where appropriate, be construed as a reference to the will.
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:
- Charitable or non-charitable, or both
- For the benefit of a person or a class of persons, or to carry out a specified purpose, or both
A Foundation can have one or more individuals as “beneficiary”. He or she is entitled to benefit under the said Foundation.
However, the position of the Foundation beneficiaries are different to that of trust beneficiaries, since they do not have any legal or beneficial interest under the Foundation assets. The beneficiaries shall receive the Foundation assets only if distributed in the manner spelt out in the Foundation Charter.
Property of Foundation
A Foundation shall, from the time of its establishment, hold all property effectively transferred to it for the purposes and objects, and that property shall constitute the initial assets of the Foundation.
Any property so transferred shall become the property of a beneficiary only after any distribution made in accordance with the provisions of the charter or Articles, if any, and the Act.
A Foundation of which:
- The founder is a non-resident or holds a Global Business Licence under the Financial Services Act
- All the beneficiaries appointed under the terms of a charter or a will are, throughout an income year, non-resident or hold a Global Business Licence under the Financial Services Act, shall be exempt from income tax in respect of that year.
Any distribution to a beneficiary of a Foundation shall be considered to be a dividend to the beneficiary.
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