Key Company Features
Key Company Features
Type of entity
Type of law
Shelf company availability
Our time to establish a new company
Minimum government fees (excluding taxation)
Double taxation treaty access
Share capital or equivalent
Minimum paid up
Directors or Managers
No, but advisable for purposes of tax residency
Publicly accessible records
Location of meetings
Anywhere, but Cyprus advisable for purposes of tax
Publicly accessable records
Local or Qualified
No, but Cyprus advisable for residency and complia
Requirement to prepare
Requirement to file accounts
Publicly accessible accounts
Requirement to file annual return
Change in domicile permitted
Setup and Maintenance Costs
Incorporation (Setup) Costs - US$3
The fee is all inclusive, no hidden costs.
Our company kits are always delivered with the same documents but may vary slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Our corporate kits are delivered with the following documents:-
- Articles of Incorporation in English (Notarized and legalized by Apostille)
- Appointment of First Directors / Nominee Directors (if applicable)
- Nominee shareholders (if applicable)
- Shareholder certificates
- Minute Books
- Share registry books
- 1 Power of Attorney (Notarized and legalized by Apostille)
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Trust agreement (when applicable)
- Minutes and / or board resolutions when requested.
Annual Maintenance Costs
Annual Maintenance Costs - US$1
The fee is payable after the first year and covers annual taxes, registered agent and nominees. No hidden costs.
Authorised and Issued Share Capital.
The share capital must be expressed in Cyprus pounds. The usual authorised share capital of a Cyprus IBC company is CYP 5,000 and the minimum issued and paid up capital is CYP 1,000. For companies wishing to establish a physical presence in Cyprus, the minimum is CYP 10,000.
Classes of Shares Permitted.
Registered shares of par value, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with no voting rights.
By virtue of special provisions in the Cyprus Income Tax Laws, the net chargeable profits of Cyprus IBC Companies are taxed at a rate of 10%.
Double Taxation Agreements
Cyprus' a well established international centre, has been critically assessed of constituting an attractive location for holding companies from a tax perspective, among others. This is due to the accession of Cyprus to the European Union (EU) and the enactment of the new Cyprus tax legislation, which is now compatible with the acquis communautaire. Cyprus laws and practices are now harmonised with the EU Laws and Directives, the Code of Conduct and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's recommendation on Harmful Tax Corporation.
Unlike other countries in Europe, a Cyprus Holding Company must only hold at least 1% of the share capital of a foreign subsidiary in order to receive the tax benefits awarded by the new tax reform.
New Tax Legislation
A uniform 10% corporate tax rate, applicable to the worldwide income, is now levied on all resident companies from the 1st of January, 2003. This is the lowest corporate tax rate in the European Union and thus the most advantageous standard rate of corporation tax for Cyprus. The new taxation status on Company is residence-based. A company is only 'resident in the Republic' if its business is centrally managed and controlled in Cyprus. Therefore, under the new rules, a resident corporation is taxable on its worldwide income accrued or arising from sources both within and outside Cyprus if it is managed and controlled from Cyprus. In view of the new tax legislation, the Holding International Business Companies operating from Cyprus are now in a much more beneficial position because they can enjoy the benefits deriving from the tax exceptions as well as the corporate tax benefits by virtue of the new tax legislation.
50% of interest receivable. In view of the new tax legislation 50% of interest received by corporation is tax exempt, excluding interest received from the recipient's ordinary course of business or closely connected with the recipient's ordinary business.
Dividends received Dividends received from abroad are now totally exempt from corporation tax by virtue of the new tax legislation. Furthermore, they are also exempt from the 15% defence contribution provided that the direct holding is at least 1% of the share capital of the overseas company.
Restructuring provisions In view of the incorporation of the EC Merger Directive 90/434/EEC into the new tax law, there are tax exemptions on the transfer of assets (including shares) under a reorganisation (merger / de-merger / transfer of assets).
Gains on shares and Capital Gains Tax Profits from buying and selling shares are exempt from tax. Furthermore, there is no capital gains tax except for the 20% capital gains tax applying on gains accruing from disposal of immovable property held in Cyprus and shares in non-listed companies, which own immovable property in Cyprus.
The profits from a permanent establishment abroad are exempt from taxation. The exemption does not apply if (i) the Permanent establishment directly or indirectly engages in more than fifty per cent (50%) in activities that produce investment income, and (ii) the foreign tax burden is substantially lower than that in Cyprus.
Cyprus Branches of Companies With the accession of Cyprus in the EU, double taxation relief will be available to all Cyprus branches, of companies resident in other member states in the European Union, since there is no discrimination between the companies' resident in a Member state and the branches of such companies' residence in another member state.
Distributions by Cyprus Holding Companies Dividends paid to non-resident shareholders are exempt from withholding tax. In fact, Cyprus does not impose withholding taxes on payments of dividend, interest and royalties (provided the intellectual property rights are not used in Cyprus) to non-resident recipients.
Corporate Tax Benefits
Carry forward of Losses Tax losses for the year 2000 onwards may be carried forward indefinitely. Losses incurred abroad by a permanent establishment of a Cyprus company can be offset against profits of the Cyprus Company. Group relief The Group relief rules are now enacted, providing for group relief of tax losses between a holding Company and its subsidiaries in the event where the Holding Company owns at least 75% of the Subsidiary directly or indirectly and/or otherwise among companies of the same group for the whole year. However, losses brought forward will not be available for Group Relief. By virtue of the said rules a company is considered as a member of a group if it is at least a 75% subsidiary of the other, or both companies are at least the 75% subsidiaries of a third company.
Net of Double Tax Treaties
Cyprus combines a low-tax regime with a network of double tax treaties. It has concluded the highest number of double tax treaties compared to any other offshore jurisdiction, particularly with Central and Eastern European Countries and a number of Middle Eastern countries. Most of the Treaties follow the OECD model and all of them have the impact of reducing or eliminating the normal withholding taxes imposed by the Contracting states on dividends, interest and royalty payments. This is beneficial for trade with certain Eastern European Countries and Russia because foreign investors investing in Eastern Europe have the opportunity to channel their investments through a country, such as Cyprus, which has a treaty with the investment recipient country allowing for a reduction and in some cases elimination of the withholding taxes.
Cyprus, one of the smallest European low tax jurisdictions, is a suitable place for locating an intermediary company due to the island's combination of tax treaties and low-tax regime. Dividends can flow through the Cyprus company totally tax free and the company can be used to take advantage of the extensive network of double tax treaties.
Financial Statement Requirements
Audited financial statements have to be submitted to the Cyprus Taxation Authority and to the Central Bank of Cyprus annually.
The minimum number of directors is One. They may be natural persons or bodies corporate, be of any nationality and need not be resident in Cyprus.
All Cypriot companies must appoint a company secretary, who may be a natural person or body corporate. It is advisable to appoint a resident company secretary.
The minimum number of shareholders is One.
Other Facilities Available in Cyprus
Cyprus has concluded 33 double tax treaties with: Austria, Bulgaria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, Mauritius, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, (including most of the CIS countries, i.e. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Ukraine), Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA and the former Yugoslavia.
Cyprus is at the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. It covers an area of 9,251 sq km and lies 65 km south of Turkey, 96 km west of Syria, 385 km North of Egypt and some 980 km south-east of Athens. The principal topographical features of Cyprus are the two mountain ranges running along the centre and north-east of the Island, separated by a wide and fertile plain. Cyprus has a pleasant climate with dry, hot summers and mild winters.
The population of Cyprus is about 758,000 (2000 est.). Greek Cypriots form the largest ethnic community representing approximately 78%, Turkish Cypriots comprise the second largest community representing 18% and the remaining 4% representing other minorities.
Cyprus became an independent Republic in 1960. The political system is modelled on Western democracies in which individual rights are respected and private enterprise is given every opportunity to develop. Under its Constitution, Cyprus has a presidential system of Government. The President is the Head of State and is elected for a five-year term of office. The executive arm of the Government is the Council of Ministers to which the President appoints members. The Ministers are responsible for the administration of all matters falling within the domain of their ministries and for the implementation of legislation. Legislative power is in the hands of the House of Representatives, which consists of 56 elected members who hold office for a period of five years. A multi-party system operates in Cyprus and the electoral system is based on proportional representation. The legal system is based on that of the United Kingdom and all statutes regulating business matters and procedure are based on English Law. Most laws are officially translated in to English.
Infrastructure And Economy
Cyprus is readily accessible by air and sea. The major port facilities are those of Limassol and Larnaca, situated along the south coast of the Island. The economy of Cyprus is based on a free enterprise system. The Government's role is limited to regulation, planning and the provision of public utilities. During the last fifteen years, the economy of Cyprus has demonstrated spectacular growth and its currency has enjoyed relative stability.
Greek, English and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus. English is widely spoken and understood, particularly in commercial and government sectors.
Yes, but does not apply to IBC companies
Type of Law
Civil code with many English Common Law influences.
Principal Corporate Legislation
Companies Law, Cap. 113, as amended.
Type of Company for International Trade and Investment Companies incorporated under the Companies Law, Cap 113, as amended, who have obtained Exchange Control permission from the Central Bank of Cyprus to acquire IBC company status.
Type of Company for International Trade and Investment
Procedure to Incorporate
By submission of the Memorandum and Articles of Association to the Registrar of Companies, together with an affidavit before a Court and the appropriate registration fee.
Restrictions on Trading
Cannot undertake to the business of banking, insurance or the rendering of financial services to the public unless special permission is granted. Companies cannot trade with resident individuals or companies situated in Cyprus other than in relation to the maintenance of premises, banking and professional services, unless they have special permission from the Central Bank of Cyprus.
Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents
English and Greek.
Registered Office Required.
Yes, must be maintained in Cyprus.
Shelf Companies Available
Time to Incorporate
Approximately 5 days, subject to name approval.
Language of Name
Names may be expressed in Greek or any language using the Latin alphabet if the Registrar is in receipt of a Greek or English translation and the name is not considered undesirable.