Cyprus has a modern, free-market, service-based economy giving international investors and domestic businesses confidence to invest, grow and prosper. The tertiary sector of services is considered the backbone of the Cyprus economy and with a high income per capita, the consumer market is particularly strong.
B. Reasons why Cyprus is one of the best options for your business
- Many Investment Opportunities
Cyprus offers many investment opportunities.It is one of the most touristic countries in the Mediterranean and Europe as a whole; it is one of the global shipping powers; it has a thriving real estate business, and its financial business still has a ton of room to grow.There are also other opportunities in gas, agricultural and fishing.
- Entryway To Europe
Cyprus is a popular destination for businesses that are starting to operate in Europe. In a continent where there’s so much fiscal and bureaucratic pressure, Cyprus is a breeze of fresh air.Starting and running a business is simple. If you wish to start a financial business, financial licenses in Cyprus are reputable offering peace of mind for investors and have passporting rights.It means you can choose Cyprus as your European headquarters to operate your business without any additional licensing requirements for other EU members or needing to establish branches or offices.
- Cyprus Is Business Friendly
The government took many business initiatives. For example, it introduced many tax incentives, opened the country to investors, established an attractive non-dom status for foreigners and provided tax credits for fund managers.It also created citizenship and residency by investment programs, and reformed banking laws so that banks could securitize loans, reducing their NPL exponentially.
- Bilingual Population And Workforce
More than 70 % of the Cypriot population speaks English, and the island has a well-established expat community.More than half of the Cypriot residents hold tertiary qualifications as well. This means the island has an apt public sector and top-notch service providers of all kinds (accounting, legal services, tax planning, and more) that can help you start operating in Cyprus.
- Quality Low Cost Of Living Environment
When compared to the services and easy life offered by the country, its cost of living is among the lowest in the European Union.The country has a modern infrastructure with great telecommunications. All this led to Cyprus being named the 5th best relocation destination in the world by a Knight Frank report, one of the world’s leading real estate consultants.This is why the country has the second-highest percentage of foreigners in the EU, with almost 20%.
C. Benefits of doing business in Cyprus
Our Clients looking to set up a business in Cyprus will enjoy a fast, stress-free and cost effective process because:
- A Cyprus Limited Liability Company can be 100% foreign owned and required only 1 shareholder and director of any nationality who can either be an individual or a corporate entity and must not be resident in Cyprus; It would be worth mentioning that all shareholders and director’s details of a Cyprus company are available for public viewing on the Cyprus Department of Registrar of Companies website; which may not be ideal for foreign investors seeking anonymity;
- The share capital of the company does not have to be fully paid in cash at the time of incorporation. You can pay it up later at any stage.
- Foreign owned companies are permitted to invest in every business sector in Cyprus without any restrictions or stringent licensing requirements except for a few regulated sectors such as banking and financial services and media;
- Using our Law Firm, our Client can obtain a Cyprus company registration number and tax number and commence the operations in Cyprus within a period of 2 weeks;
- Following business registration, our Law Firm can open a corporate bank account with one of the leading banks in Cyprus, including Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank without our Client traveling to Cyprus;
- You can open a bank account for a Cyprus company in any country you want;
- Entrepreneurs registering business in Cyprus will enjoy considerably lower administrative and operational costs compared to most of other countries in the EU region.
Our Client doing business in Cyprus will benefit from various tax incentives including:
- The standard corporate tax rate in Cyprus is 12.5%, which is one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe, if generated within Cyprus, otherwise its corporate tax is 0%. Cyprus is a low tax jurisdiction not a Tax Haven.. Additionally, the government does not impose any capital gains tax; For a company to tax advantage of the multiple Cyprus’ tax treaties and the 12.5% corporate tax rate, a company is required to appoint at least one director who must be resident in Cyprus;
- A Cyprus holding company enjoys exemption from withholding taxes on dividends paid to a resident company whether they are received from a foreign company or another Cyprus resident company;
- Local companies will benefit from a wide network of double taxation treaties. The government of Cyprus had signed over 55 DTAs with at least 47 countries, including China, India, Ireland, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States;
- Companies will enjoy exemption from corporate income tax on income sourced from operations abroad as well as exemption from capital gains tax and estate duty on income from immovable property outside Cyprus.
Other advantages prompting foreign entrepreneurs and investor to consider doing business in Cyprus include:
- Up to 80% of income generated by Cypriot companies engaged in activities related to Intellectual Property (IP) is exempt from taxes; only 20% of the total profits is liable for taxes;
- Although seen as a safe haven for taxes, Cyprus is listed on the OECD ‘white list’ of global jurisdictions that are fully compliant with the international standards of tax;
- Tax resident companies can carry forward their tax losses incurred within a fiscal year for the subsequent 5 years and the same can be offset against the taxable income;;
- As a member of the European Union, Cyprus enjoys all the benefits of the EU regulations and treaties including, and particularly, the free movement of capital within and outside the EU region.
Cyprus laws are investor friendly due to the reasons given below:
- An opportunity to acquire Cyprus citizenship is offered to all the investors in Cyprus. A Cyprus citizenship has all the benefits that an EU citizenship has, i.e. the right to live, work, and move freely within the entire EU area; In October 2020, the Cypriot government abolished its golden visa program for wealthy investors. Therefore, the foreign investors cannot currently acquire citizenship by investment, but there are other options we could discuss and advise you further.
- Incorporation of a Cyprus company gives the right to the Real Owner and his family members to a long stay visa for two years (renewable) and work permit. In 7 years to a Cyprus, they can apply for a Cyprus citizenship and get an EU passport;
- A Cyprus company can be re-domiciled abroad to any other country;
- Cypriot laws allow the investor to retain their anonymity and hold their property under an international trust; 100% tax exemption on inward and outward dividends.
Cyprus is an ideal location for establishing a regional headquarters for a company with a global presence. Located int eh easter Mediterranean between Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Cyprus is an optimum jurisdiction to centralise and coordinate a company’s intercontinental operations;
Additionally, for Clients looking to establish abroad to minimise tax implications, Cyprus is a good choice of jurisdiction for legal tax optimisation;
Cyprus is an attractive place for new entrepreneurs aiming to engage in young and innovative businesses. These innovative start-up companies are provided with numerous tax benefits including a deduction of the qualified expenditure incurred from the investor’s taxable income of up to 50% of the taxable income or €150,000, whichever is lesser.
If you need to settle in Cyprus, you will enjoy a beautiful country with a mild climate, no crime rate, hospitable population, plenty of human recourses for your needs, a fantastic cuisine and tasty fruits and vegetables.
E. AP Law Firm
Andria Papageorgiou Law Firm can assist you with any matter relevant to the below:
- Corporate and Commercial;
- Real Estate;
- Intellectual Property;
- Data Protection;
- Banking and Finance;
- Regulatory and Licensing Advisory
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter. Andria Papageorgiou Law Firm is not responsible for any actions (or lack thereof) taken as a result of relying on or in any way using information contained in this article and in no event shall be liable for any damages resulting from reliance on or use of this information.