Overview

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is a free market economy providing vast opportunities for international business and efficient tax planning. It is important for the business to build an economic substance and physical presence in Cyprus as the tax legislation requires that a company is a tax resident in Cyprus if it is managed and controlled from Cyprus.

In the light of shifting international tax landscape, European Union has imposed new rules designed to additional combat tax avoidance throughout the European Union to ensure that there is no discrepancy among the form and substance of arrangements and the importance of companies being managed and controlled from where they claim to be. Substance is an essential concept of international tax planning.

A Cyprus company claiming double tax treaty benefits and having access to EU Directives must have sufficient substance (i.e management and control in Cyprus) in order to take advantage of those benefits.

Our business center facilities at a glance:

  • Assistance for setting up a fully-fledged office in Cyprus
  • Reception Services
  • Dedicated telecommunications for each client
  • Call Center
  • Corporate Email
  • Information Technology
  • Domain and website registration
  • Corporate secretarial Services
  • A choice between single and double occupancy rooms
  • Premium private space
  • Ready-to-go fully furnished offices (desk, ergonomic chair, drawer, bookcase)
  • Modern infrastructure 
  • Access to common areas
  • Minimum 12-month rental contracts

Customized packages can be offered upon quotation, as our goal is to satisfy each of our clients’ needs and desires for their business operation.

  • Use of a self-sufficient and well-developed office as a place of business, hiring staff and payment of the relevant payroll taxes, existence of a telephone number, e-mail and fax in the name of the company 

  • Existence of a company website and company logo 

  • Bank statements showing local outflow 

  • The use of local professionals (IT support, courier services etc.) 

  • Bank signatories being based in Cyprus 

  • Accounting records and other records being located in Cyprus such as agreements, contracts, invoices

  • Effective management and control to be exercised from Cyprus

There have been important developments following the issuance by the Central Bank of Cyprus (the “CBC”) of the circular letters dated 15/06/2018 and 02/11/2018 titled “Shell Companies and Letter box Companies” addressed to the Payment and E-money institutions. 

CBC suggested the incorporation in the forthcoming Directive for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, certain requirements for business relationships with the so called “shell companies” that was entered into force on 2 November 2018.

As per the circular letters of CBC, the term “shell company” refers to a non-publicly traded, limited liability company (LLC) or any other business entity that fulfills any one of the following criteria: 

  1. has no physical presence in its country of domicile (other than a mailing address);
  2. has no established economic activity, little to no independent economic value and no documentary proof to the contrary;
  3. is registered in a jurisdiction where companies are not required to submit to the authorities independently audited financial statements; 
  4. has a tax residence in a jurisdiction recognized as a tax haven or no tax residence whatsoever.

The abovementioned restrictions do not apply if the company is engaged in one of the following circumstances that indicate economic activity and can provide sufficient evidence to the banks in this respect: 

  1. the company is established for the purpose of holding stock or shares or other equity instruments of another business entity or entities engaged in legitimate business with identifiable activities and beneficial ownership;
  2. the company is established for the purpose of holding intangible or other assets including real estate, ship, aircraft, portfolio of investments, debt and financial instruments;
  3. the company is established to facilitate currency trades and asset transfers, corporate mergers, as well as carrying out asset management activities and trading of shares;
  4. the company acts as a treasurer for companies recognised as a group or manages the activities of the group; 
  5. any other case where convincing evidence can be provided that the company is engaged in legitimate business with identifiable ultimate beneficial owner(s).  

It is important to mention that the presence of a third person such as a lawyer or an accountant, acting merely as an agent and/or providing nominee and/or secretarial services does not constitute physical presence. The lack of employed personnel is also construed as lack of physical presence.

In addition, the control and management of the company must be exercised from Cyprus and not from a nominee service provider but rather from physical persons, who are members of the Board of Directors of the company and have the experience and expertise expected to be possessed by someone involved in the business activities of the company. Our firm will be in a position to assist you with both the recruitment process of employees and the selection of physical members in the board of directors of the company.

Our firm has commenced the operation of a business center in the center of Nicosia which is the heart of the financial and business industry in Cyprus. All major banks, government authorities and many international businesses are situated in Nicosia. Our business center is located in the most attractive area of the capital for both tourists and locals and it is near bars and restaurants and luxury boutiques. The business center offers a solution for multinational companies who aim to establish increased levels of substance  and need physical presence in Cyprus by offering office spaces.

Our business center provides fully functional offices with all amenities included such as high-speed internet, office furniture and utilities. We also offer prestigious executive offices with the option of sharing with other co-workers. For more cost-effective options, we provide an office sharing with other individuals and/or companies. Our business center offers meeting and conference spaces which are convenient and professional for formal and informal business meetings, interviews etc. with a layout adaptable to the client’s needs. Our meeting rooms are available to be reserved and leased by the hour, half day or full day, giving you total flexibility. The conference room is suitable for up to 10 participants in a board table layout and the informal meeting space is suitable for up to 5 participants. 

 

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