Foundations are commonly used in common law countries and can be described as a blend of Trust and Company. In Mauritius the concept of Foundation emanates from the Mauritius Foundation Act 2012. Interestingly a Foundation is in many respects similar to a Company on one hand and also benefit from the protection and continuity derived from the use of a trust on the other hand.
A Foundation is a very good alternative vehicle to Trust and is convenient for succession planning and private wealth management. Foundations are an important tool when structuring the ownership of family and corporate assets and are crucial in countries where trusts are not generally recognized. In jurisdictions where the concept of trusts is less well known, Foundations are being used increasingly.
A Foundation has no members or shareholders as a company but is in most cases established to reflect the wishes of the founder, who may be an individual or a corporate entity. These wishes are included within its statutory documents, called the Foundation’s Charter and Regulations. Foundations can be established for a fixed or indefinite period of time and can be used for charitable, commercial or family purposes. A Foundation may upon application to the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, hold a global business licence and may elect to be tax resident in Mauritius to benefit from the wide network of Double Taxation Agreements (“DTAs”) in force in Mauritius.