Register company in Cyprus
To register company in Cyprus is hassle-free if you are familiar with the process. With Tetra Consultants at the wheel, you will be able to channel your time and energy into other more important aspects of your global business.
With our lean-and-mean mentality, you can rely on our team of experts to provide you a seamless experience throughout the whole process of to register company in Cyprus. Our ultimate goal is for your Cyprus company to be operationally ready within the stipulated time frame.
Situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Republic of Cyprus is one of the most populous islands in the Mediterranean. Steadily advancing, the nation is proclaimed for its high-income economy offering foreign investors a business-friendly environment with low corporate tax rate.
Our service package includes everything you will require to do business in Cyprus:
- Cyprus company registration with the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver
- Local company secretary and registered address
- Opening Cyprus business bank account
- Financial license application (if required)
- Annual accounting and tax services
Is Cyprus an offshore haven?
- Cyprus indeed offers many incentives and benefits for offshore companies and has low tax rates, making it a fairly popular choice for offshore company set up. However, it is not a tax haven or offshore haven like the British Virgin Islands or Cayman Islands, as unlike those jurisdictions, Cyprus offshore companies are still required to undertake yearly shareholder meetings as well as financial reporting, and the registration process does not have the minimal requirements that it does in the BVI or Cayman Islands.
- However, this also means that Cyprus has a much more pleasant reputation internationally, instead of being blacklisted as a haven for tax evasion or fraud like other more famous offshore jurisdictions. Hence, Cyprus is still a good choice to start an offshore business in.
When can I expect to start business?
- Tetra Consultants will complete the process to register company in Cyprus within 2 weeks. After receiving due diligence documents of the directors and shareholders, our team will search for the availability of your preferred company name and prepare all required incorporation documents.
- Throughout the process to register company in Cyprus, you will not be required to travel overseas.
- After Tetra Consultants has registered your Cyprus company, you can expect to receive the documents of your new company including the certificate of formation, Memorandum and Articles of Association as well as register of directors and shareholders.
- Within 4 weeks upon Cyprus company formation, we will proceed to open a Cyprus business bank account. If required, Tetra Consultants will assist you to open an international offshore bank account if this suits your business needs.
- As such, you can expect your company to be fully operational and ready for business within 6 weeks from engaging Tetra Consultants.
- If you are keen to know more about the process, Tetra Consultants has prepared a step by step explanation of all steps required to register company in Cyprus.
What types of companies are there?
There are many types of business structures in Cyprus. When deciding the most suitable entity type, it is important to consider various factors that include but are not limited to the availability of personal liability protection, tax ramifications, ownership and management flexibility as well as compliance requirements.
Each business entity will come with its distinctive features. Before the start of the engagement, Tetra Consultants will fully understand your business before recommending the most optimum business entity in Cyprus.
Some considerations we take into account include the type of business activity, tax obligations and nationalities of shareholders and directors. Our consultants will also offer more information on the requirements imposed to set up these entities.
Cyprus Limited Company
- If you are looking to register a company in Cyprus, our recommendation will be to set up a Cyprus Limited Company. Also known as a limited liability company, this type of business entity is commonly registered by foreign investors. A Cyprus Limited Company is viewed as a separate legal entity from its owners.
- As such, in the event of a winding-up, you will not be personally liable for your Cyprus limited company’s debts and obligations.
- To form a Cyprus limited company, you are required to have a local agent and a registered office. This is to ensure that all official documents and notices can be reached.
- With minimally 2 members, there are no restrictions imposed on the nationality of the members. It is also required that at least one director is appointed. The director does not have to reside in Cyprus, however, its residency will determine the company’s tax liabilities. A secretary is also mandated under Cyprus’ laws.
- For a Cyprus limited company, there is no minimum paid-up share capital.
- Jointly shared between two or more partners, general partners and the business are seen as one and the same by the law. In the case of a winding-up, the general partners can be personally liable for all debts and obligations incurred by the business. There is no minimum capital requirement imposed by the government. Generally, even a verbal agreement can be used to form a partnership.
- General Partnerships have to be registered with the Registrar of Partnerships within 1 month prior to its formation. Under Cyprus’ laws, foreigners are permitted to enter and be involved in a General Partnership. Typically, audit requirements are exempted from these businesses. Further, partnerships are also regarded as one and the same. Therefore, profits generated are taxed as income received.
- With shared characteristics of both a limited liability company and a general partnership, a limited partnership includes both the general and limited partners. General partners are owners entitled to manage the company.
- As such, general partners also bear unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. Meanwhile, limited partners are not entitled to manage the company. Their liability only extends to the amount of their investment.
- Limited Partnerships have to be registered with the Registrar of Partnerships within 1 month prior to its formation. Generally, a Limited Partnership is often used in conjunction with offshore companies to provide greater tax benefits.
- Primarily formed to act as a vehicle for international tax structuring, Cyprus International Trusts allows complete foreign ownership. Generally, with no income or estate taxes imposed on International Trusts, these entities are highly attractive.
- To qualify for a Cyprus International Trust, you will have to be a non-resident in the year prior to forming your International Trust. However, minimally, there should be 1 trustee who is a permanent resident in Cyprus. Beneficiaries of the Trust can be foreigners or residents of Cyprus.
- A branch office acts as an extension of its parent company. By setting up a branch office, you can gain opportunities to explore and expand into Cyprus’ market. With the same name as your parent company, all debts and obligations incurred by your branch office will be made liable to your parent company.
- Generally, to start up a branch office, you will have to submit a copy of your parent company’s good standing in its home country, information about the company and proof of registered address in Cyprus.
- The simplest form of business structure, Sole Proprietorship does not include the separation of legal personalities between the owner and the entity. As such, the owner and its entity are seen as one and the same. While this simplifies operations, it can lead to frustrations in the event of a winding-up.
- In the case of a winding-up, the proprietor can be personally liable for all debts and obligations incurred by the business. Any transfer of business is not allowed and hence, there is no continuity. Unlike other business structures, Sole Proprietors are required to report their business income under their personal income. For Sole Proprietorships with turnovers less than €70,000, there is no statutory requirement for an audit.
- If you are looking to set up a small business (minimart, art studio, bakery, etc.) yourself or within your family that includes the advantages of an easy startup and complete control, Sole Proprietorship may be the business form for you.
- Generally, most Sole Proprietorship businesses must be owned by residents in Cyprus.
How to register a company in Cyprus?
Step 1: Choosing an optimum business structure
- Prior to company formation, it is essential to choose the correct type of company. Tetra Consultants will advise you on the most optimum business entity to suit your needs. Generally, the most common type of company in Cyprus is the limited company, which is also known as a company limited by shares.
Step 2: Reservation of company name
- Tetra Consultants will conduct an electronic name search to confirm the availability of your company name through the Business Register and Trademarks Register, respectively.
- Once the availability of your company name has been verified, Tetra Consultants will register for your company’s name through the e-name approval service provided by the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver.
- Our team will reserve your company’s name for up to 6 months.
Step 3: Preparation and submission of relevant documents
- Once your company name has been approved, Tetra Consultants will proceed to prepare the relevant corporate documents such as the Form HE1 and the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
- After the relevant documents have been prepared, Tetra Consultants will proceed with e-company registration with the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver.
- Upon successful registration of your company, you will receive the Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Shareholders, Certificate of Directors and Secretary, Certificate of the Registered Office Address and certified copies of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
Step 4: Corporate bank account opening
- After you have registered your company, you can proceed to open a corporate bank account.
- Tetra Consultants will assist in consolidating the documents and opening a corporate bank account with a reputable bank of your choice.
- Typically, directors and shareholders are not required to travel to Cyprus to open the corporate bank account. However, if travel is required, we will have a representative accompany you to the bank meeting. Alternatively, our team will negotiate with the banks to conduct a conference call instead or to request for a waiver.
- Once the bank account has been successfully opened, Tetra Consultants will courier the internet banking token and access codes to your preferred address.
Step 5: Tax registration
- Tetra Consultants will proceed to obtain a tax number from Tax Department within 60 days. Tetra Consultants will assist your company in applying for VAT if necessary. Any company that has made or will make taxable supplies of goods and services exceeding €15,600 in one year are required to register for VAT.
- All Cyprus entities are required to stay compliant through regular financial reporting. Annual tax returns, financial reports and audited financial statements must be sent to the Tax Department, with the financial report translated to Greek and to be sent to the Registration Chamber. A yearly report with details of key stakeholders of the business must also be submitted.
- The corporate income tax rate in Cyprus is relatively low, at 12.5%. The VAT rate is 19% and property transfer tax is up to 8%. There are no taxes levied on real property, municipal taxes, net wealth, inheritance, or income derived from securities exchanges and dividends.
- Once your company has been registered for tax, Tetra Consultants will continue to aid your company in meeting its annual accounting and tax obligations.
Step 6: Registration with Social Insurance Services
- Every employer will be required to register with the Social Insurance Services. Tetra Consultants will assist in the registration of social insurance schemes for your company’s employees.
Cyprus due diligence and compliance measures
- In recent years, Cyprus has updated its due diligence and compliance requirements in accordance with the updated anti-financial crimes laws of the OECD, EU and other international economic organisations. Tetra Consultants will assist your company to stay fully compliant with all these measures both pre- and post-incorporation.
Compliance requirements before registration
- Documents of the individuals in the company need to be verified thoroughly through comprehensive KYC and due diligence checks, which Tetra Consultants will conduct and make records of. These due diligence checks are also legally mandated to be repeated yearly or otherwise regularly.
Compliance requirements after registration
- After registration, shareholder meetings must be held at least once every year, in which shareholders vote to make decisions regarding the governance of the company. For offshore entities, the annual meetings should take place outside of the country, while resident companies should hold them within Cyprus. The meetings must include the discussion of the company’s balance sheets and annual returns, and shareholders are allowed to limit the director’s powers by consensus if desired or needed.
Pros and cons of incorporating in Cyprus
- According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Cyprus is ranked 41st among 180 countries when it comes to the degree of public sector corruption. This suggests that Cyprus is a relatively corrupt free country.
- The economic crisis faced by Cyprus between 2012 to 2013 was largely linked to the close relationship between bankers, businesses and politicians.
- The Cyprus dispute continues between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, leading to a division in leadership with one part of the country being controlled by the Cypriot government and the other under the administration of Turkish Cypriots, highlighting the potential political instability within the country.
- According to the 2020 Index of Economic Freedom, Cyprus is ranked 37th, suggesting that the island’s significant steps to reform its business framework are effective.
- According to the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Survey, Cyprus was placed in a relatively high position when it comes to resolving insolvency issues and protecting minority investors.
- Cyprus has established over 45 double taxation avoidance treaties with other countries. The OECD-modelled treaties exempt foreign investors from additional tax liabilities in their home country.
- Cyprus adopts both Greek and Turkish as its official languages. Nonetheless, the island was previously ruled under the British colony, which allowed the country to be greatly exposed to the English language and adopted it as a medium for its instructions.
- According to the 2017 Press Release on At Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion published by the Ministry of Finance, 25.2% of the country’s population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
- According to the Cyprus 2020 Crime & Safety Report published by the Overseas Security Advisory Council, Cyprus is assessed and reviewed to be a generally safe country that experiences less violent crime when compared to other European countries. This highlights that the country is generally safe.
- Cyprus has initiated various programs to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. This includes the ARIS program which is funded by the Bank of Cyprus and Deloitte to promote innovation among emerging entrepreneurs.
- Cyprus is involved in many ground-breaking research projects such as the Join-MED project.
- The Cyprus government encourages foreign investors to build up their tech space. This includes distributing and promoting its Startup VISA which allows talented entrepreneurs to enter, reside and work in Cyrus.
- Cyprus owns extensive legislation to protect against corruption. Its strong stance against corruption can be seen in the country’s ratification of the COE Criminal Law Convention on Corruption.
- Modeled after English Common Law principles, Cyprus’ legal system Is pride for its business-friendly and effective system.
- Cyprus’ legal system follows and remains fully compliant with various directives set out by the European Union, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, and more.
- To protect the environment, the Cyprus government has introduced several environmental policies that are subjected to fundamental review since 2004.
- Incorporating the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, Cyprus legislation aims to make available all environmental information to properly educate the public.
- To effectively manage waste, businesses looking to dispose of the waste are subject to environmental permits that will help regulate their waste.
Contact us to find out more about how to register company in Cyprus. Our team of experts will revert within the next 24 hours.
Can a foreigner register a company in Cyprus??
- Yes. Furthermore, if you are an EU citizen, there is no minimum investment or a local Cypriot partner required, except for financial services, which are subject to stricter criteria. As with registering in other countries, you must have a local registered address. Single-member ownership is permissible.
Is Cyprus good for business?
- Cyprus boasts a 12.5% corporate tax rate, which is one of the lowest in the European Union. Cyprus only taxes income that is earned locally and has Double Tax Treaties with more than 60 other countries.
- In addition, the country provides 100% tax exemptions on withholding taxes, capital gains, dividends and profits from the disposal of securities.
How do I start an offshore company in Cyprus?
- Most foreign investors choose to set up either a limited liability company or a branch office in Cyprus. These types of companies can be managed from overseas and are suitable for setting up holding structures or trading companies.
How much does it cost to register a company in Cyprus?
- This depends on the exact services required from Tetra Consultants. Our fees are inclusive of government fees and all fees are transparently quoted prior to the start of the engagement. Contact us to find out more, our team of experts will revert within the next 24 hours.