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Company registration in Cyprus

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Registering A Business In Cyprus

Cyprus company registration process with InteliumLaw offering expert guidance on setting up a company in Cyprus, tax information and benefits of forming a Cyprus business entity.

Benefits of setting up a company in Cyprus

Cyprus is a blend of strategic location, business-friendly policies, and a robust legal framework. It stands as an unparalleled choice for entrepreneurs worldwide.

Benefits that come with your company registration in Cyprus:

Cyprus company setup and strategic ownership structures

Navigating the process of Cyprus company formation requires thoughtful consideration at every step, especially when it comes to selecting the right ownership structure and legal form. A chosen ownership structure and legal form not only influences the day-to-day operations but also determines the future growth and flexibility of your business.

Every business is unique, and so are its needs. We offer personalized guidance to help you to open a company in Cyprus and select an ownership structure that aligns with your business goals, whether you're a startup, or a multinational corporation.

The right ownership structure could ensure:

Trade name: an important step of Cyprus company registration

The choice of a trade name is more than just a formality—it's a crucial step in establishing your business identity. When you open Cyprus company, selecting a trade name requires careful consideration. It is necessary to ensure that your trade name not only complies with legal requirements but also resonates with your vision.

Legal Compliance

Cyprus has stringent regulations governing company names. It cannot be similar or identical to any existing company names. This requirement ensures that each business maintains its individuality, prevents confusion and uphold transparency within the corporate sphere.

Cyprus regulations scrutinize certain words and expressions. Terms like "Bank," "Insurance," and "Government" are sensitive and may require special permissions. You should not use names of countries and cities, rude or even more obscene languages. The name should reflect the activities of a company. It is inappropriate to insert words that are often used in the title, such as group, company, services, cooperative.

Cyprus embraces linguistic and cultural diversity. While the company name can be in any language that employs the Latin alphabet, it should comply with the country’s cultural norms and values. Official translations might be necessary for legal clarity.

Market Positioning

A thoughtfully chosen name resonates with your target audience. We delve into market research, understanding your industry and audience preferences. This insight helps us propose names that not only comply with legal standards but also captivate your potential clients, enhance your brand’s appeal and market positioning.

Building Credibility

A well-chosen trade name conveys professionalism and trustworthiness. It reflects the company’s commitment to quality and integrity.

How to prepare documents for Cyprus company setup

To set up a company in Cyprus you need an installed package of documents. They are prepared by a qualified lawyer and notarized. The procedure takes no more than one day. Greek and English languages are allowed.

Memorandum and Articles of Association

It is fundamental to draft a clear and concise Memorandum and Articles of Association. These documents define the company's structure, objectives, and operational guidelines. Cyprus has developed a Companies Law. It already includes templates for each form of ownership and features of the activity. You can also find a standard form of the Memorandum there. It is allowed to add points about the nuances of the relationship between the owners.

Proof of Company Name

It should be evidenced that chosen company name complies with Cyprus legal requirements. This may involve conducting a name search to ensure its uniqueness and approval by the Registrar of Companies.

Shareholders’ and Directors’ Information

It is required to prepare a list of shareholders and directors, including their full names, addresses, nationalities, and shares distribution. Shareholders and directors can be individuals or legal entities. Individual shareholders are required to provide CVs, certified proof of address, international passport, local id. If shares are held through a nominee, a declaration of trust is necessary. This legal document clarifies the relationship between the nominee and the beneficial owner of the shares, ensuring transparency in ownership.

Registered Office Address

Cyprus company should have a registered office address in Cyprus where official communications will be sent. This address must be a physical location and not a P.O. Box.

Appointment of Secretary

If required to appoint a company secretary, it is necessary to provide their details, including name, address, and qualifications.

Registration of a company in Cyprus in the tax authorities

To register a company in Cyprus as a taxpayer, it is required to submit registration forms online or in paper form. The registration in tax authorities takes one business day to complete.

How to check company registration in Cyprus

Whether you are a potential investor, a business partner, or a diligent entrepreneur, having access to accurate and up-to-date information about a company is invaluable.

The Cyprus Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver offers an online portal where you can conduct a company search. By inputting the company name or registration number, you can retrieve essential details about the company’s registration status, company's registered office address, date of incorporation, authorized share capital, and any historical changes made to the company's structure. Information about the company’s shareholders is available through receiving an extract from the official website.

Other services

To ensure your business thrives in the Cypriot market, we offer a spectrum of services tailored to your needs. From opening a bank account, finding a suitable payment solution to claiming IP Box regime benefits and facilitating the employment of foreign employees.

Opening a bank account

We simplify the process, guiding you to the right banking institution. Whether you need a business account for daily transactions or require specialized services, we facilitate a smooth banking experience.

Payment solutions

We recognize the significance of seamless financial transactions. Whether you require EMI (Electronic Money Institution) services, SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) transfers, or secure SWIFT transactions, our expert team specializes in providing tailored, legally compliant payment solutions designed to enhance your financial operations.

Claiming IP box regime benefits

Cyprus offers an attractive IP Box regime that provides substantial tax benefits on income derived from intellectual property. Our experts help you navigate the legal intricacies to ensure that your business claims these benefits.

Registering a Cyprus company eligible to employ foreigners

Expanding your team with international talent can elevate your business. We assist in registering your Cyprus company to employ foreign workers legally.

Arranging accounting and audit services

Accurate financial management is the backbone of every successful business. We connect you with reputable accounting and audit services, guaranteeing financial integrity and compliance with Cyprus regulations.

Why Choose InteliumLaw to Open a Business in Cyprus

Choosing the right legal partner to open a company in Cyprus is a pivotal investment in your business's future. At InteliumLaw we offer a wealth of experience that spans the entire spectrum of company registration. From inception to operationalization, we specialize in crafting bespoke solutions tailored to diverse businesses: investment, gambling, holding, asset management, or trade. Here is why entrusting us with your Cyprus company registration is a strategic choice:

FAQ

Yes. Cyprus company can be registered with 100% of non-resident shareholders (either individuals, or legal entities). 

Cyprus warmly welcomes non-residents to establish businesses within its borders, and offers a highly favorable business environment.  In Cyprus, non-residents have the flexibility to establish a diverse array of companies, ranging from private limited enterprises to public corporations.

Corporate income tax (CIT). Cyprus stands out with its competitive corporate income tax rate, fixed at a low 12.5%. This rate is one of the most appealing in the European Union. 12,5% corporate tax rate applies to a company's net profit. The tax rate could be reduced to 2.5% rate by applying incentives such as Cyprus IP box regime, notional interest deduction (NID).

Withholding tax on dividends. One of Cyprus's key strengths lies in its policy of not imposing withholding tax on dividends paid to non-resident shareholders.

Withholding tax on interest. Interest payments made by Cypriot companies to non-resident entities enjoy a withholding tax exemption in most cases. Although certain interest payments might incur Special Defense Contribution (SDC).

Withholding tax on royalties. In line with interest payments, Cyprus refrains from imposing withholding tax on royalty payments directed to non-resident entities. This open-handed approach creates an encouraging atmosphere for intellectual property-related collaborations and innovations.

Withholding tax on management and consultancy fees. Payments made for management or consultancy services to non-resident individuals or entities are not subject to withholding tax in Cyprus.

Withholding tax on capital gains. Capital gains arising from the sale of shares in a Cyprus company generally escape withholding tax, regardless of the seller's residency status. However, prudent consideration of Cyprus's Double Taxation Treaties (DTTs) with various countries is advisable, as they might influence the tax implications for non-residents.

Double Tax Treaties. Cyprus boasts an expansive network of over 60 double taxation treaties. These treaties could significantly reduce withholding tax rates on cross-border transactions.

Capital Gains Tax. Capital gains from share sales are generally exempt from taxation. While exceptions exist, this policy fosters a dynamic market for share transactions.

Value Added Tax (VAT). A standard VAT rate of 19% applies to the supply of goods and services. Reduced rates at 5% and 9% apply to specific goods and services.

Intellectual property (IP) Box Regime. Cyprus takes pride in its Intellectual Property (IP) Box Regime. Qualifying IP income enjoys a reduced tax rate of 2.5%.

Special Defense Contribution (SDC). SDC applies to passive interest income, dividends, and rental income. Rates vary based on income type and recipient.

Social Insurance Contribution. Recognizing the importance of social welfare, companies in Cyprus contribute to the social insurance fund, ensuring the well-being of their employees

Cyprus emerges as an enticing destination for establishing IP Holding and Development companies, offering not just an efficient tax structure but also the robust legal protection upheld by EU Member States. Embracing international standards, Cyprus's IP regime aligns seamlessly with the evolving landscape of IP income taxation, following OECD's guidance and EU Code of Conduct assessments.

Benefits of Cyprus IP Box Regime. 80% of qualifying profits from specified assets are treated as tax-deductible expenses for eligible entities. An effective tax rate can plummet to 2.5%. This, coupled with 12.5% corporate tax rate, paints a compelling picture for businesses seeking tax efficiency.

Claiming Cyprus IP Box Regime. Begin by identifying the intellectual property assets that qualify under the regime. This includes patents, copyrighted software programs, and specific intangible assets recognized as non-obvious, useful, and novel.

Accurate documentation is key. Maintain detailed records of your qualifying IP assets and corresponding R&D activities. Thorough documentation not only supports your claim but also acts as a testament to the genuine nature of your IP-related endeavors.

When filing your corporate tax returns, ensure you include the qualifying IP profits in the appropriate section.

Tax laws are dynamic. Stay informed about any updates or amendments to the Cyprus IP Box Regime. Regularly review your IP assets to ensure they meet the qualifying criteria. Compliance with regulations guarantees you continue to reap the maximum benefits from the regime.

Cyprus has strategically positioned itself as a global hub for entrepreneurs and corporations alike. One of the key factors contributing to Cyprus’s appeal is its adept handling of corporate tax rates.

Competitive Corporate Tax Rate. Cyprus boasts a remarkably low corporate income tax rate of 12.5%. This rate significantly enhances the profitability of companies.

Efficient tax structuring. Cyprus encourages strategic tax structuring through its transparent and well-defined tax regulations. Businesses can take advantage of various exemptions, allowances, and deductions offered under the tax laws.

Extensive network of Double Taxation Treaties. Cyprus has over 60 Double Taxation Treaties with various countries worldwide. These treaties play a pivotal role in minimizing the impact of international taxation. By alleviating the burden of double taxation, businesses can engage in cross-border activities with confidence, and to ensure their profits are not unfairly taxed in multiple jurisdictions.

Taxation of capital gains and dividends. Capital gains from the sale of shares and dividends received by Cyprus companies are generally exempt from corporate tax.

Transparent regulation and compliance. Cyprus maintains a robust and transparent regulatory framework. The transparent nature of the tax system allows Cyprus companies to comply with regulations effectively and to reduce the risk of associated penalties.

Typically, the standard timeframe for completion hovers between 1 to 2 weeks. The timeframe depends on the following factors:

  • Type of a company. Each type (private limited entity or a public company) brings forth its specific requisites and procedures, impacting the timeline.
  • Completeness of documentation. The package of precise and comprehensive documentation ensures a swift registration process. Any omission or inaccuracies can cause delays.
  • Cyprus company’s name approval. The availability and approval of your chosen name dictate the pace.
  • Approval from authorities. Certain business activities require approvals from specialized authorities or government departments.
  • Engagement of professional services. Professionals, well-versed in Cyprus’s intricate regulatory landscape, can ensure a streamlined and swift process.
  • Changes in Regulations. The regulatory landscape is dynamic. Adapting swiftly to alterations in regulations ensures swift Cyprus company registration.

Transferring your existing business to Cyprus involves a bespoke process designed to ensure a seamless transition. Main steps include:

Tailored business structure. Determine the ideal legal framework for your Cyprus legal entity considering your business objectives and specific operational needs.

Cyprus business registration. Transform your existing business into a new legal entity by setting up a company in Cyprus. This submission of documents, including the company's memorandum and articles of association, to the Cyprus Registrar of Companies.

Asset and liability transfer. Develop a plan to transfer assets and liabilities seamlessly. Real estate, intellectual property, contracts, employees – each transfer necessitates comprehensive documentation to ensure both legal clarity and compliance throughout the process.

Tax efficiency. Navigate the intricate landscape of tax implications. Collaborate closely with tax professionals to manage your tax liabilities.

Regulatory navigation. Receive approvals and permits, required for your industry and business activities. These may encompass industry licenses, health and safety permits, or environmental clearances.

Banking connections. Forge a financial alliance by establishing a corporate bank account in Cyprus. With diverse requirements across banks, it is recommended to engage with multiple institutions.

Ongoing compliance. Ensure compliance with Cyprus regulations. It is highly recommended to engage a local accountant or financial advisor.

Setting up a company in Cyprus does not require physical presence.

While physical presence isn’t obligatory, having a local registered office address in Cyprus is essential. This address is used for official communications and legal matters. The registered office is also important for tax residency status in Cyprus.

Professional service providers or esteemed law firms in Cyprus will assist you with the registered office provision and also step into the role of your company secretary. This position is mandatory for the Cyprus company formation and further legal existence. 

Also, having a local director will help you to substantiate tax residence requirements in Cyprus.

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