Getting a Forex brokerage license in Mauritius can be a daunting task in 2023. The small island in the Indian ocean is quickly becoming the top choice for offshore forex brokerage licenses due to the regulations that are in place. The license has a good standing and is not classified as high-risk, which comes with many advantages.
But of course, there are prerequisites that have to be met in order to obtain a license. For example, you are required to have a bank account in Mauritius and set up an office in the country.
To reveal all the challenges and pitfalls of Forex licenses in Mauritius, we talked to Alex Geralis and Andreas Georgiades, founders of the Limassol-based Forex consultancy ForexLicenses.com. The Forex specialists have helped more than 16 companies obtain a Mauritius license in the past year, and are known for providing one of the fastest routes to brokerage licenses around the globe.
So, how do you best go about getting a forex brokerage license in Mauritius, fast, in 2023?
Can I buy a company with a Mauritius Forex license?
Generally speaking, there are two ways to go about getting a license. You can either buy a business with an existing license or you can apply to create a new forex brokerage license for your own business.
While buying a business with an existing forex brokerage license is generally the fastest way to obtain a license, it is rarely the smartest. Even though it can reduce the total time needed by about 1-2 months, buying an existing license can cost up to 300% more and can also cause additional hurdles with compliance regulations.
As Geralis advises, “creating a new license is typically the better option, as it ensures compliance with all regulatory requirements, and helps avoid unexpected outcomes, while requiring a significantly smaller budget.”
However, just like buying a license, this comes with its own set of pitfalls. The financial world is moving fast, and time is money. So without further ado, here’s our expert-vetted step-by-step guide to get a new brokerage license in Mauritius in 2023.
Who can get a forex brokerage license in Mauritius?
If you are interested in obtaining a brokerage license in Mauritius, you first need to understand who is eligible to apply for one. On the most basic level, anyone who is not a convicted criminal or in a country that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) deems high-risk can apply for a brokerage license in Mauritius.
“OFAC is a U.S. government agency that administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted countries and individuals. Being from a high-risk country will severely limit your ability to obtain a brokerage license. Furthermore, individuals from sanctioned countries are not eligible to obtain a license,” says Andreas Georgiades.
While not technically ineligible, politically exposed persons may also have a hard time getting a license. To ensure that all applicants meet these criteria, they need to undergo a thorough background check to ensure that they have no criminal record or ties to any sanctioned individuals or countries.
Another factor that can be relevant is the location of your bank account, which can cause issues in some instances. However, good consultants can help you navigate this issue and find suitable banking options.
If you meet these conditions, you can try to get a license. However, it can be quite difficult to properly navigate the landscape and actually get one. But what exactly do you need to do if you want to get a forex brokerage license in Mauritius in 2023?
How to apply for a new forex brokerage license in Mauritius
If you want to obtain a new brokerage license in Mauritius, you need to complete various steps in order to adhere to regulations. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of some potential pitfalls that may arise, so it requires a lot of research. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
1) Choose a consultant
The first step to obtaining a forex brokerage license in Mauritius is hiring an experienced consultant, like ForexLicenses.com and similar firms, who will negotiate with a local agent, ensure compliance of your application, and organize all the paperwork. It’s essential to do thorough research on any potential consultants to ensure that they have a good track record, and are not malicious actors (which are quite common in this industry).
2) Develop a business plan
Next, you will need to develop a comprehensive business plan for your brokerage. This should include your business strategy, financial projections, and marketing plans. Since it needs to be provided when submitting your application to the regulators, it is important to have a solid business plan.
This business plan also needs to discuss your KYC procedures in place to properly assess the risk level of your clients and help you comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
As Geralis notes, “a good consulting agency will always help with creating the perfect business plan to ensure a successful application. This is a critical part of your application and it is paramount that the business plan includes everything the regulators want to see.”
3) Appoint investment dealers and local directors
When you have a business plan, you will then need to appoint at least two investment dealers, who need to have substantial experience in trading operations and are accepted by regulators, as well as two local directors. In order to adhere to regulations, you will also need to ensure that proper KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures are in place.
Among other things, this involves verifying the source of funds, checking customer identification, and assessing the risk level of your clients. “This whole process will probably take at least a month, which can be an issue if time is of the essence. But working with professional consultants can speed it up significantly,” adds Georgiades.
4) Obtain insurance quote and submit application
After you have done all of that, you will need to get a quote from an insurance company to buy insurance for your business to ensure that you have adequate coverage in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Insurance for your Forex business is also mandatory by law.
Once you have insurance, you can submit your application to the regulators and pay the initial fees, which are currently in the low five-figure range amounts but sharply increasing. The regulator will then go through everything and assess your application.
5) Open a local bank account
When your application is accepted and pending, you can open a bank account if your business has a physical presence in Mauritius. However, you will need to wait for the license application to be approved before you can start operating – which we will also circle back to later.
Once the license is approved, you can start operating your brokerage.
Geralis and Georgiades highlight that “it’s important to note that monthly expenses will arise even before you get your license, and you need to ensure that you have enough capital to sustain your business.”
Creating a new forex brokerage license in Mauritius can be a lengthy and complex process. It requires proper planning, due diligence, and a good understanding of the regulations, which is why it’s essential to work with reputable consultants to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.
How to buy a brokerage business in Mauritius
Instead of applying to have a new license created, it is also possible to buy an existing company that already owns a brokerage license. This can be an attractive option for entrepreneurs who want to enter the market quickly. However, it’s important to approach this process carefully and thoroughly since it can be difficult to find legitimate deals.
1) Find and hire a trusted intermediary
To buy a license, you will need to work with a consultant who has experience in the Mauritian financial services industry since there is severe price gouging and scams are not uncommon. In the words of Geralis, “a trustworthy consultant can help you navigate the process, find legitimate and active licenses, and provide guidance on regulatory compliance.”
2) Perform your due diligence
Once you have identified a potential license to purchase, you will need to perform due diligence to make sure that it meets your needs and complies with all relevant regulations. If you decide to move forward with the purchase, you will need to acquire the company that holds the license. This process will involve negotiating with the current owner, drafting and signing legal agreements, and transferring ownership of the company.
3) Complete KYC and obtain approval
After you purchased the company, you will need to complete the KYC process and obtain regulatory approval before you can begin operating your brokerage business. This typically takes around two months.
How much does a Mauritius Forex license cost in 2023?
The cost of obtaining a forex brokerage license in Mauritius can vary significantly depending on the route you take.
According to Georgiades, it can cost anywhere from approximately $60,000 to $140,000 to obtain a new license in 2023, while buying a company with an existing license can cost $200,000 to $400,000 or even more. “This is on top of regular business expenses such as directors and employees salaries, legal costs, and other operating costs,” Geralis adds.
In order to make the best deal, it’s important to work with intermediaries that provide transparent pricing and avoid hidden fees. This will help you budget effectively and avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.
How long does it take to obtain a Forex license in Mauritius in 2023?
One of the most important factors to consider when obtaining a brokerage license in Mauritius is speed. The process can be lengthy, and delays can be very costly in this industry.
Generally speaking, creating a new license can take anywhere from five to eight months, although a small selection of service providers such as ForexLicenses.com are often able to decrease this down to three to four months.
The buying process, on the other hand, can be another 4-6 weeks faster.
Again, it’s essential to work with a reputable consulting agency that can work quickly and efficiently to get your license approved as fast as possible. “A streamlined application process, proper documentation, and timely follow-ups with regulators can mean the difference between waiting four months or eight months,” Georgiades says.
How does a Mauritius license compare to other forex brokerage licenses in 2023?
If you are considering getting a forex brokerage license, you may be wondering how a Mauritius license compares to other licenses that are available in the market. There are many licenses to choose from, but Mauritius is considered one of the best options due to its various benefits and its credibility.
In the recent past, the demand for Mauritius brokerage licenses has increased tremendously. As a result, the regulatory requirements are becoming stricter and fees are increasing. However, in combination with increasing KYC standards, this has only strengthened the reputation of the license.
Further, a Mauritius forex brokerage license may enable lower payment service provider (PSP) fees, which can be a significant benefit for brokerage businesses. This is because the license is highly regarded and has a good reputation in the financial industry.
Mauritius is considered one of the best global licenses due to its many advantages. It enables businesses to easily buy ads and access good bank accounts and PSPs. Additionally, it has a great price point, and the process is fast if you are using a professional consulting agency. With its low ongoing operational costs, a Mauritius forex brokerage license provides the best ROI for businesses.
As Geralis suggests, “Mohéli, Vanuatu, and Labuan, might seem cheaper and faster to obtain at a surface level but have experienced problems with bank accounts and PSPs, which makes it difficult for businesses to operate efficiently. They end up costing businesses more time and money in the long run.”
In conclusion, a Mauritius forex brokerage license is highly regarded and considered one of the best brokerage licenses available. While there are other licenses to choose from, such as Seychelles or South Africa, Mauritius offers a competitive advantage for businesses. And, with the right consultant, the entire process can be streamlined to be as fast and efficient as possible. Those interested in learning more are advised to head over to ForexLicenses.com and book a free consultation with their specialists.