Before your business can begin operating as a limited company, it has to be registered with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House. Incorporation is the process by which a new or existing business is formed as a company.
This information will help you understand the registration process and looks at the requirements that different types of companies must meet. It focuses mainly on private companies limited by shares, but will also highlight some of the specific requirements for private companies limited by guarantee and public companies.
You can incorporate the company yourself, but should seek professional advice before you do so to ensure that incorporation is right for you.
The Companies Act governs the registration and operation of businesses.
Types of legal entities
Interested investors can set up the following legal entities in Cyprus:
- companies (private or public);
- general or limited partnerships;
- branch offices;
- sole trader.
This package offers both Cypriot and foreign investors the following assistance:
- Business registrations;
- VAT registration,
- Registration for income tax;
- Social insurance registration and employer registration;
- Applications for residents' and work permits.
- Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver
The above procedure can be completed within one week.
Registering a company
The first step is to send an application to the Registrar of Companies for approval of the company name. This costs either €8.54 or €25.63 for a fast-track service. The business's relevant documents are then sent to the Registrar of Companies.
Business registration documents include the articles of association and are submitted after being verified by a member of the Cyprus Bar Association. Items such as articles of association may be submitted in any European language along with a sworn statement confirming that it is an accurate translation of the Greek original.
Social insurance registration
Any company employing one or more persons must be registered under the National Insurance Scheme. This can be done by completing certain forms which must be submitted to National Insurance District Offices or Citizen Service Centers within one month after the recruitment of a new employee. Details about the forms can be given upon request or can be obtained online through the website of the District offices of labour.
Any company or person operating in Cyprus must be registered to the Inland Revenue Department. This can be done by submitting the relevant forms and the company will then receive the relevant Tax Identification Code (T.I.C).
With regard to VAT, anyone supplying goods or providing services, involved in intra-community acquisitions or distance selling in Cyprus must register to the Customs and Excise department.
Limited companies have to pay corporation tax on their income and profits. They also need to operate a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system to collect and pay income tax and National Insurance contributions from their employees - including company directors.
The company itself must work out how much corporation tax it needs to pay, using a self assessment system. To avoid paying penalties, it's important to understand how this system works and when your company needs to make returns
ADVANTAGES TO INCORPORATE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION UNDER A VERY LOW TAX SYSTEM CYPRIOT OFFSHORE COMPANIES ADVANTAGES
- There is only 10% declared corporate profit tax (4.25% for the companies formed before 2002)
- Dividends to shareholders are tax free.
- Double tax treaties have been concluded between Cyprus and 38 countries, Russia, Ukraine including
- Offshore companies situated in Cyprus may purchase various items for their own needs duty free
- The owner of a Cypriot off-shore company may remain anonymous using our nominee services.
- Cyprus is a major offshore and onshore business centre, with great business facilities and thousands of offshore companies. It is also a wonderful place to be, close to almost everywhere by air and with a very good communications network.