Why live and work in Cyprus?

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, with an area of 9,251 km² and a population estimated around 838.897 people. The strategic location of the island has played an important role in establishing Cyprus as a very popular tourist destination and an ideal location for attracting international business. Cyprus has been a member state of the EU since 2004 offering high quality services to foreign investors.

Cyprus lifestyle

We enjoy a high standard of living. A total of 180.000 foreign nationals live and work in Cyprus, a percentage of 22% of the country’ s total population, making it a very diverse and cosmopolitan place to live in. Crime rate is very low.

Climate

Cyprus is the sunniest country in Europe with over 340 days of sun annually. No matter the season, the sun shines throughout the year, particularly from April to September when the daily average exceeds 11 hours. It’s not all about sunshine though, high in the country’s central mountain range (Troodos) enough winter snow usually falls to allow the skiing pistes to open. According to the World Health Organization the environment in Cyprus is one of the healthiest in the world and is relatively unspoiled by industrialization.

Infrastructure

We have a multilingual and highly educated workforce in Cyprus as we have the highest percentage of university graduates per capita in Europe. In fact, Cyprus is the second top spender in education relative to GDP in the EU and according to Eurostat is ranked top among the EU countries in terms of the proportion of the population with tertiary education qualifications, aged between 25-64.

Healthcare

As an EU Member, Cyprus offers excellent healthcare services in public hospitals, ata cost lower than most other EU countries, as well as in private state-of-the-art clinics and hospitals.

Education

Cyprus offers a range of reputable public and private schools, all providing excellent levels of education. Greek is primarily the language used in public schools whereas English is primarily used in the majority of private schools.
The local Colleges and Universities are recognised internationally and for those wishing to further their education abroad, schools following the British Education System, or preparing candidates for entry into Universities in Europe or the United States, are also widely available.

Language

Although the native language is Greek, English is the predominant business language.

Travel and Connections

The country’s capital and government and business centre is Nicosia, located in the centre of Cyprus. Limassol, the country’s main trade centre and one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean, is located right on the southern coast and is approximately one hour’s drive from Nicosia. Cyprus main international airport located in Larnaca is approximately 30 minutes away from each of these two main centres.

Overview of the Personal Tax System in Cyprus

Cyprus has a favourable personal tax system which provides many incentives to attract top calibre executives and highly paid employees to live and work in Cyprus. The Cyprus personal income tax rates are progressive and reach a competitive top marginal tax rate of 35% on taxable income in excess of €60.000. Income of up to €19.500 is not subject to tax. The latest personal tax incentive is 50% exemption from Cyprus personal income tax on the remuneration from any employment exercised in Cyprus by an individual who was not a resident of Cyprus before the commencement of the employment. The exemption is available for ten years where the annual remuneration exceeds €100.000.

Expatriates working In Cyprus

All citizens of the EU who wish to reside and work in Cyprus, need to apply for an EU Registration Certificate. This is a simple, one-off procedure which does not need renewal.
Non-EU nationals wishing to reside and work in Cyprus need to apply for a Temporary Employment and Residence Permit at the Civil Registry and Migration Department. These permits are usually issued for a period of 1 year and upon expiry they are renewed.

Why do business in Cyprus?

Overview of the Corporate Tax System in Cyprus.

Cyprus has a very competitive tax system that is fully aligned with EU and international regulations. Cyprus tax resident companies benefit from Cyprus’ extensive double taxation treaty network with over 43 countries worldwide as well as access to EU directives. The OECD includes Cyprus on the White List of jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.

Business activities which are ideally suited to the Cyprus tax environment include.
  • Holding companies
  • Finance companies
  • IP companies
  • Investment Funds
  • Trading/Value-Chain-Transformation companies

Cyprus Corporate income tax, at the competitive flat rate of 12,5%, is the main tax applicable on the income of a Cyprus tax resident company.

Highlights

  • Foreign sourced dividends are exempt from tax under easily met conditions.
  • Disposals of shares and other qualifying titles (such as corporate bonds) are exempt from tax provided the disposed company does not hold any immovable property in Cyprus.
  • Generally no withholding taxes on payments from Cyprus.
  • Profits of a foreign Permanent Establishments (PE) are exempt from taxation in Cyprus, under easily met conditions.
  • The Cyprus IP tax regime can be utilized to achieve an effective tax rate of low 2,5% or even lower.

12,5 %

Cyprus maintains a competitive corporate tax rate of 12.5% which is one of the lowest among the EU countries

Dividends

Foreign sourced dividends are generally exempt from tax in Cyprus,when received by a Cypriot tax resident companies.

43

Cyprus has an extensive network of double taxation agreements with 43 countries.

Cyprus Legal System

The Republic of Cyprus is a Member State of the European Union and a member of the Eurozone. Cyprus is an independent, sovereign Republic with a presidential system of government and a written constitution which safeguards the rule of law, political stability, human rights and the ownership of property. Cyprus is a member of the British Commonwealth, Council of Europe, IMF, UN, World Bank and WTO and is signatory to many international conventions and treaties.
Cyprus’ close links to Great Britain as part of the British Empire (it was a British Crown Colony until achieving independence in 1960) mean that its legal and judicial system is very much aligned with that of the United Kingdom. As such, Cyprus’ primary corporate statutes are based on and derived from English company legislation and its legal system is modelled on the English common law system. Cyprus legislation is fully compliant with European Union legislation. European Union Directives are fully implemented into local legislation and European Union Regulations have direct effect and application in Cyprus.

Setting up in Cyprus? - We help you find your way

The procedures for registering a company with the relevant authorities in Cyprus can be completed within approximately 2-3 days, for a fairly standard operating model. In the case of using an already existing company, this timeframe can be reduced even further.

Financial Reporting Considerations

Reporting framework for Cyprus entities

International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the European Union (“EU IFRS”) constitutes local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) in Cyprus and also forms the basis for the computation of taxable income for all Cyprus tax resident entities. Therefore, Cyprus registered entities need only maintain one set of financial information for financial reporting and tax purposes alike, based on a reporting framework widely accepted by investors, financiers and analysts across the globe.

Why invest in Cyprus?

Hydrocarbon opportunities in Cyprus

Cyprus not only lies at the crossroads of big international energy routes but in all probability is surrounded by substantial oil and gas resources, a significant part of which falls within the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone. Assessments by USGS bring the level of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean to a total of 3.4 bbl for oil and circa 345 trillion cubic feet (tcf) for natural gas. Israel has already announced findings at Dalit, Tamar and Leviathan totalling 30tcf of natural gas. Even more significant undiscovered hydrocarbon resources are said to exist at the west of the island. Major international specialists in the hydrocarbon industries are already establishing in Cyprus.

Cyprus Investment Funds

Cyprus Private Funds regulated under the AIF Law (The Alternative Investment Funds Law of 2014 repealed the International Collective Investment Schemes Law (the "ICIS Law") the former legislative framework for investment funds in Cyprus) have tripled in number since the global financial crisis started in late 2008. A growing demand for transparency amongst investors as well as fears among hedge fund managers that the EU was sceptical on the ability of offshore fund structures to operate within EU, have played their part. The country’s comprehensive and transparent regulatory regime with minimal red tape, a business friendly environment well suited for international businesses and with a UK based legal system, a low cost base and an efficient tax system with a large network of Double Tax Treaties, make Cyprus Private Funds a highly attractive choice for fund managers.

Cyprus AIFs have a number of advantages over similar schemes of other EU countries specialising in the Funds industry. They have no restrictions on the type of investments or a minimum capital requirement, the application process is simple and their running costs are low, they can be self-managed by their Directors and at the same time if they use the company legal form they can take full advantage of the benefits of the Cyprus tax system and is Double Tax Treaty network.

Cyprus Citizenship and Permanent Residence (for foreign investors)

New attractive legislation is in place which gives investors the opportunity to obtain the Cyprus/EU Citizenship or Permanent Residence. The relevant schemes have been running very efficiently by our Government for some time, granting approvals within 3-4 months. Strict due diligence processes are applied along with strict confidentiality safeguards. In both cases, investors do not need to reside in Cyprus and they do not become tax residents (unless they spend over 183 days in Cyprus).

Cyprus Citizenship

Non-Cypriot investors can acquire the Cyprus citizenship if they fulfil specific financial criteria (i.e. direct investments, bank deposits, local business activities, donations to government funds, etc.) and other conditions such as clean criminal records. Citizenship is also granted to the investor's spouse, under age children and adult dependent children up to 28 years old. The investor and his/her family obtain a Cyprus Passport with full rights of an EU citizen (i.e. free travel, residence and investment in any EU country).

Permanent Residence Permit

Non-Cypriot investors, who purchase property in Cyprus of at least €300.000 and have a secure and steady annual income transferred on a regular basis from abroad, are entitled to apply for Permanent Residence. The relevant Permit grants investors and their families visa free travel to Cyprus and the right of residence. It gives investors the opportunity for a second base in Europe. Granted for life, this permit includes spouses, under age children and adult dependent children up to 25 years old.