Cyprus has long attracted the interest of investors and businessmen that wish to expand their business abroad. In this brief article you will find all the information you need on how to start and run a foreign company in Cyprus.
The foundation and operation of a business entity in Cyprus is mainly regulated by the Cyprus Companies Law, Cap. 113 of 1951. The advantages of setting up a foreign business in Cyprus are many, but the most important are:
• The tax rate on profits, that is no more than 12.5% – one of the lowest in Europe.
• Cyprus has signed numerous double tax treaties (around 50), thus protecting the entity from being taxed twice on both countries.
Types of Corporate Entities
1. Public Companies
Starting a Public Company in Cyprus requires at least 7 founding members, entitled to invite the public to subscribe for the company’s shares.
2. Limited Private Company
Limited Private Companies is the most preferred type of business entity in Cyprus.
3. Company Limited by Guarantee
This type of entity is usually preferred by non – profit organizations.
4. Branch of a Company Incorporated Abroad
Setting up a branch of a foreign company in Cyprus is quite simple and straightforward. Of course, the company’s documents (articles of association etc.) must be translated in Greek.
5. European Society
This type of entity is nothing more than an EU public company, with the right to register in any EU country and transfer to another.
The Process of Registration
Although registering a company in Cyprus is a lot less complicated than in most European countries, it is wise to consult a law firm, where you will have to provide the following information:
• Proposed corporate name.
• Aimed industry or economic sector.
• The company’s issued share capital – at least a relatively accurate estimation. The Law does not determine minimum share capital, but most firms recommend nothing less than 1, 7 million Euros.
• The shareholders’ and directors’ personal data.
• A notarized copy of the owners’ passports.
• A notarized copy of a recent utility bill for the owners.
Requirements for Directors
• The entity must have at least 1 director.
• The director or directors can be either persons or other entities.
• It works best when most of the directors reside in Cyprus, because the entity will qualify as a resident in Cyprus and enjoy certain advantages in taxation.
Usually most law firms are able to provide their foreign clients with nominee directors so as to execute board meetings and resolutions in Cyprus, as well as for the tax planning to be more effective. Of course, the beneficial owner holds as guarantee undated letters of resignation of all nominee directors.
Requirements for the Secretary
• The entity must have a Secretary appointed by the Board of Directors.
• It serves better when the Secretary resides in Cyprus and if that is not possible, your law firm can provide again a nominee secretary.
Requirements for Shareholders
• The company is required to have at least 1 registered shareholder.
• The shareholders can be either physical persons or companies.
• Again nominee shareholders can be used as representatives of the beneficial owner.
Registered Office Requirements
• The registered office must be in Cyprus. The company’s statutory books and the seal of the company should be kept there.
• Most foreign entities use their law firm’s offices as their registered office address.
1. An application is filed to the Companies Registrar for approving the proposed corporate name.
2. The Memorandum and the Articles of Association are submitted to the Companies Registrar.
The whole procedure is concluded in around 5 days with the issuance of the corporate certificates.
Next, the law firm provides the owner with these documents:
• Apostilled Certified Copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
• Apostilled Certificate of Incorporation.
• Apostilled Certificate of Registered Office.
• Apostilled Certificate of Directors and Secretary.
• Apostilled Certificate of Shareholders.
• Declaration of Trust by all nominee shareholders (if they exist).
• Undated, signed instrument of share transfer from the nominee to the beneficial owners.
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Bank Account Information:
Next, the new founded entity has the right to create its bank accounts in local or foreign banks. Law firms usually handle the whole procedure on behalf of the beneficial owner.
The required documentation includes:
• copies of all basic corporate documents,
• certified copies of the passports of the signatory and nominees,
• the Resolution of the Board,
• the signed application opening forms.
If you want to work with professionals who provide exceptional quality standards of services in Cyprus, the simplest way is to fill in this contact form.
We will analyze your case and advice you on:
- What company structure suits you best,
- What is the best Tax solution(s) for your business,
- What Banking and cash flows arrangements available.
We will take you through a step by step process from A to Z in creating the perfect business in Cyprus.
Can’t wait any longer? Fill in the form and submit your inquiries make your first step and we will deal with the rest.
Become even more successful by working with accountants you can count on and be among the thousands that already did.
If you want to work with professionals who provide exceptional quality standards of services in Cyprus, the simplest way is to fill in the contact form below.
We will take you through a step by step process from A to Z in creating the perfect business structure in Cyprus.
Can’t wait any longer? Become even more successful by working with accountants you can count on and be among the thousands business that already did.