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.
Below are some details you must know before setting up a Cyprus IBC.
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.
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.
Powers of Company
The powers and objects of a Cyprus IBC Sare contained within the Memorandum of Association and have to be specific.
Language and Legislation of Corporate Documents
English and Greek.
Registered Office Required
Yes, must be maintained in Cyprus.
Shelf Companies Available
Timescale to Incorporate
Approximately 5 days, subject to name approval
Any word that the Registrar considers undesirable. Any name that is identical or similar to an existing company. Any name that implies illegal activity or implies royal or government patronage, the following words or their derivatives: asset management, asset manager, assurance, bank, banking, broker, brokerage, capital, credit, currency, custodian, custody, dealer, dealing, deposit, derivative, exchange, fiduciary, finance, financial, fund, future, insurance, lending, loan, lender, option, pension, portfolio, reserves, savings, security, stock, trust or trustees.
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.
Names Requiring Consent or Licence
The following names or their derivatives: bank, trust, building society, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, their foreign language equivalents or any name that the Registrar considers may have a connection with the aforementioned.
Suffixes to Denote Limited Liability
Limited or Ltd.
Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership to Government Authorities
Yes, only to the Central Banks of Cyprus where strict confidentiality is legally protected.
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 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.
Financial Statement Requirments
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.