General Information
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 center 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, enjoying about 300 days of sunshine throughout the year. The light, rainy season is confined to the period between November and March.

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 offshore company status.

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, and cannot trade with resident individuals or companies situated in Cyprus other than in relation to the maintenance of premises, banking and professional services.

Powers of Company
The powers and objects of a Cyprus company are contained within the Memorandum of Association and have to be specific.

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 two days, subject to name approval.

Name Restrictions
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.

Authorized and Issued Share Capital
The share capital must be expressed in Cyprus pounds. The minimum authorized, issued and paid up share capital of a Cyprus offshore company is 1,000 CYP. For companies wishing to establish a physical presence in Cyprus, the minimum is 10,000 CYP.

Classes of Shares Permitted
Registered shares of par value, preference shares, redeemable shares and shares with no voting rights.

Bearer Shares Permitted

By virtue of special provisions in the Cyprus Income Tax Laws, the net chargeable profits of Cyprus Offshore Companies are taxed at a rate of 4.25%

Double Taxation Agreements
Cyprus has concluded 26 double tax treaties so far with Canada, China, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, (including all the CIS countries except for Kazakhstan) Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom, USA and the former Yugoslavia.

Note: The article above may not contain current information

See also…

International Law