May 26, 2021
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Business in Cyprus in 7 days: new company registration procedure

Now if an investor wants to register a head office or open a branch of a company in Cyprus, he will be able to take advantage of the accelerated business registration procedure. We tell you what requirements a company must meet and how to get a permanent residence permit for starting a business in Cyprus.

Alevtina Kalmuk
Alevtina Kalmuk

Author and editor of articles about investment citizenship and residency

Permanent residence in Cyprus by investment in business: how to register a company in 7 days

Business in Cyprus in 7 days: new company registration procedure

An expedited business registration service is provided by the Ministry of Energy, Trade, and Industry and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Cyprus. They help a new company or a branch office:

  • advise how to obtain a license for a company in Cyprus;

  • Approve the name — it has to be unique;

  • register with the Cyprus Companies Registry and social security system;

  • to obtain the status of a profit tax and VAT payer;

  • To obtain a residence and work permit for foreign employees of the company.

For international companies accelerated registration procedure is an opportunity to quickly and without delay to launch a business and start paying taxes in Cyprus. For example, income tax is charged in Cyprus at a rate of 12,5% — the lowest rate in the European Union. For comparison, in Spain, companies pay income tax at a rate of 25%, and in Russia — at a rate of 20%.

The Cypriot government, in turn, expects the accelerated procedure to help attract more foreign investment in the economy and create new jobs. Also, international companies will move highly qualified specialists to Cyprus, which is especially important for the development of IT and industry.

Which companies can take advantage of the expedited procedure

The accelerated business registration procedure appeared in Cyprus back in September 2020, but interest in it is only beginning to grow. By May 2021, only 11 companies from Lebanon, Israel, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and the United States had used the service. But another 50 companies, including those from Russia, are preparing to apply to the Cypriot Ministry of Energy, Trade, and Industry.

50 companies

Are going to register in Cyprus under the accelerated procedure in 2021

The Cypriot Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry accepts applications only from companies that meet several requirements.

New Company

A company that relocates its head office or opens a branch in Cyprus

Opens a physical representation in Cyprus,
e.g. office or shop

Provides a five year
business plan

Has an annual turnover of €500,000
or more in three of the last five years

The application for an expedited procedure must be accompanied by:

  • A cover letter with the intention to establish a new company or a branch in Cyprus;

  • For the existing company — constituent documents: certificate of incorporation, information on shareholders and charter;

  • financial statements for the past five years or a business plan.

In 2021, the ministry plans to improve the procedure: create a separate online platform to receive applications, automate services, improve the interaction between services to launch a tracking system.

Who gets a residence permit in Cyprus when starting a business

Employees under an employment contract. Foreign nationals who will work in a new company or branch in Cyprus receive a temporary residence permit for the duration of the employment contract. If the contract is not renewed or terminated, it will not be possible to extend the residence permit either.

The employer is engaged in obtaining a residence permit for employees. The number of specialists from other countries is regulated and depends on the turnover of the company:

  • from five foreign employees — if the annual turnover up to 1 million euros;

  • From 100 to 200 foreign employees — if the annual turnover of more than 30 million euros.

The head of the company can immediately get a permanent residence permit if he invests in the development of the business from €300,000. The money must come from foreign sources. The investor’s company needs to employ at least five people.

If the owner of the business decides to get permanent residency by investment, his spouse, children under 25 years and parents will be able to get the status of a resident.

The investor also proves that he has money to live in Cyprus. The annual income of the investor must be at least €30,000 if he receives the Permanent Residence Permit alone. If the investor’s spouse and children participate in the program, the amount of annual income is added €5,000 per relative. For the support of the parents is added another €8,000 per person.

To have a residence address in Cyprus is a prerequisite for obtaining a permanent residence permit. Housing can be bought or rented.

Holders of Permanent Residence Card in Cyprus have the right to live, conduct business, and study in the country. Permanent residency status is valid for life, but cannot spend more than two consecutive years outside of Cyprus. Five years after obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit, an investor can apply for citizenship and be free to move around the 176 countries of the world.

Immigrant Invest helps you obtain permanent residency in Cyprus by investment. If you want to become a resident of the EU country, seek advice from the experts at Immigrant Invest.