Local and foreign investors may establish any of the following legal entities or businesses in the Republic of Cyprus:
- Limited Liability Companies (private or public);
- Regulated entities (Cyprus Investment Firms, Alternative Investment Funds, Payment Institutions, etc.)
- General or limited partnerships;
- Business/trade name;
- European Company (SE);
- Branch of overseas companies.
Through our affiliates, we can also assist clients with the registration of a company in an offshore jurisdiction, such as British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Hong Kong, Marshall Islands, Isle of Man, Belize, St. Vincent, UAE and Lebanon.
We can provide expert tax advice to our clients through our Tax Department, as our tax advisors have previously worked for the biggest tax and audit organizations on the island and have successfully taken part in the drafting of numerous long and complex corporate structures throughout their career. One of our priorities is to inform our clients that every cross-border transaction is likely to have a tax implication, which may result in unforeseen tax liabilities or missed opportunities for tax mitigation.
Our International Tax Planning team can provide among others:
- Efficient tax planning to ensure a minimal global tax burden
- International taxation structures – Different types of holding structures based on the client’s needs
- Tax efficient funding and extraction of profits
- Advice on foreign tax legislation
- Tailor-made solutions through International Tax Planning Structures
- Double tax treaties services
Trust & Estate
A trust can be created during a person's lifetime and survive the person's death. A trust can also be created by a will and formed after death. Once assets are put into the trust they belong to the trust itself, not the trustee, and are subject to the rules and instructions of the trust contract. Most basically, a trust is a right in property, which is held in a fiduciary relationship by one party for the benefit of another. The trustee is the one who holds title to the trust property, and the beneficiary is the person who receives the benefits of the trust. While there are a number of different types of trusts, the basic types are revocable and irrevocable.
Legal benefits of creating a Cyprus International Trust:
- A Cyprus International Trust can be used as an asset protection vehicle as it is immune from forced heirship and claw back rules in other jurisdictions where the assets are located;
- A Cyprus International Trust does not become void even where the Settlor becomes insolvent or bankrupt;
- A Cyprus International Trust which was set up after 2012 has no limit on the period over which it is valid and enforceable;
- When a creditor contemplates that the Settlor used the Cyprus International Trust to defraud him, the burden of proof is upon the creditor to prove that a fraud took place using the creation of the Cyprus International Trust. The creditor has two years to prove that the fraud occurred and after the 2-year-period, the creditor will be barred from bringing an action against the trustees.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers & Acquisitions refers to two or more companies merging into one existing or newly founded company. In M&As, a one company could acquire all or part of the assets of the other company/ies for which the shareholders of the acquired company get a settlement as well as shares of which the amount does not exceed 10% of the nominal value of the company’s shares.
Mergers like these are allowed for companies limited by shares, but not for companies limited by guarantee. They can either be private limited companies or public limited companies, however, in the case of public limited companies, the objective is usually the formation of a European Company. Furthermore, for intra-group cross-border mergers, the procedures in Cyprus are simplified thus attracting a lot of foreign investments.
Intellectual property (IP) is a growing and developing field that affects the functioning of the world at large. Dominating areas of technology, social development and economic growth as it encapsulates a number of separate areas of creation as its range of influence is immense.
IP can be one of the most valuable assets of an organization. Choosing the right location for the centralization and management of IP is a very important strategic business decision. The ideal location to establish an IP structure is one that can serve the organization’s business model and strategies, safeguard and protect its IP and contribute to its tax optimization.
Our philosophy is to recognize and identify each client, individual or corporate, local or international. As unique, with specific business concerns and needs. We offer a broad range of services (registration and renewals of Cyprus, Community and International Trademarks, Patents, etc.) which are tailored to the requirements of each client and we exercise a personal commitment to all of them.
Our firm can provide services for local as well as international corporations. Such legal and corporate services include services for corporate contracts, e-commerce, hiring practices, partnerships, carriage of goods by sea, merchant shipping and any advice our clients might need in the area of manufacture and sales of consumer goods.
As part of this commercial practice, we have been engaged in the drafting and advising on various kinds of commercial agreements and deals with specific Company law matters and have, in this respect, been extensively advising various businesses in the formation of offshore companies as well as in international trade.
The Electronic Commerce Law aims at ensuring the free movement of information society services between the Republic of Cyprus and the Member States of the European Union relating to the establishment of service providers, commercial communications, codes of conduct, the conclusion of electronic contracts, the liability of intermediaries, out-of-court dispute settlements, means of legal protection and the cooperation between each Member State.
The law also provides legal certainty for business and consumers alike. It establishes regulations on issues such as the transparency and information requirements for online service providers, electronic contracts, commercial communications, and limitations of liability of intermediary service providers.
Shipping & Ship Management
Cyprus has many advantages to offer as a maritime center. Besides being a member of the IMO, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth and many other international organizations, it has a well-established maritime infrastructure and offers substantial tax incentives for the shipping industry. It is a signatory to many international maritime conventions and has concluded bilateral agreements of co-operation in merchant shipping and double tax treaties with a large number of countries. Ship management companies which operate from fully manned offices in the country, manage a substantial number of Cyprus vessels as well as gross tonnage and have contributed to the expansion of the Cyprus Shipping Registry.
Register an EU Investment Firm
Our Financial Services Advisory Team (FSAT) can help you apply for an Investment Firm license or passport and register your FX Brokerage and ‘Market Maker’ firm in Cyprus or anywhere in the EU. Our expert team can provide clients with a full range of support services, made possible through our specialization and unique expertise in the field. Whether a simple compliance issue or a full comprehensive and continuous compliance and operational support, dealing with any changing legislation, meeting any new regulatory and business requirements, we will provide a full range of support services across the EU for any licensed FX.
Alternative Investment Fund (AIF)
An Alternative Investment Fund is a collective investment undertaking including its investment compartments which raises external capital from a number of investors with the intention of investing it in accordance with a defined investment policy for the benefit of those investors but which has not been authorized as a UCITS. AIF’s, being “non-UCITS” funds, are established under domestic Cyprus fund legislation.
- Exemption from tax on profits from disposal of shares and other financial instruments;
- Exemption from tax on foreign dividends received
- Dividends distributed or deemed to be distributed by an AIF to Cyprus tax residents are subject to 3% SDC (compared to 17% that applies to dividends from normal limited liability companies to Cyprus tax residents);
- Can obtain a Tax Residency Certificate;
We can assist clients with an application for an AIF license (including the preparation of the Prospectus, and business plan) as well with the management of the fund (providing for Executive and Non-Executive Directors, Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer, Risk Manager, Internal Audit, etc.) through our extensive list of professional associates.
ELECTRONIC MONEY & PAYMENT INSTITUTIONS
Electronic money is the electronic alternative to cash, which enables users to store funds on a device (for example, on a card or phone) or use the Internet to carry out payment transactions. This includes operating an electronic trading point, e-commerce, as well as the issuance of debit cards.
The high requirements in efficiency, data security, and availability of the systems are few of the numerous aspects to these kinds of transactions.
In order for an applicant to obtain authorization as Electronic Money or Payment Institution in Cyprus, an application must be accompanied by information as defined in the relevant laws and directives.
Our Financial Services Advisory Team (FSAT) can offer a full set-up and authorization/licensing services for EMIs as well as comprehensive license and post-license compliance support. We offer a wide range of products and services regarding electronic payment, enabling customized solutions for secure and smooth payment processing.
ELECTRONIC PAYMENT SOLUTIONS
We offer our clients a range of products and services regarding electronic payments.
Online retail is now one of the most common ways to purchase goods and services. Debit and credit cards are the most commonly used methods for online payments. However, in an evolving world, credit card fraud and the damage due to default is increasing worldwide. Effective risk management is of utmost importance for the acceptance of payments via credit and debit cards.
The high requirements in efficiency, data security, and availability of the systems are important aspects of transactions such as these.
We can offer a wide range of products and services for electronic payment, enabling customized solutions for secure and smooth payment processing. Through our payment solutions network we can offer, all current payment methods, all important currencies (FIAT and crypto), highest security standards, smooth systems integration, cost-effective outsourcing, and web-based administration.