Companies registered in Cyprus are subject to the Company Law, which is modeled on the English Companies Act in 1948. Throughout the years amendments have been brought in order to align it to the European standards.
Cyprus offers a diversity of companies that will offer investors many opportunities for development.
You can also watch the video below for information about the main types of Cypriot companies:
A Cypriot private company limited by shares restricts the right to transfer its shares to other, has a limited number of 50 shareholders and forbids public subscription to its shares or debentures. Any person can start and register a private company because it allows a single shareholder.
An exempt private company is made by a corporation and another company. It has a maximum number of 50 debenture holders, only the exempt company holds its shares and the director belongs to the company also. The exempt private company is not required to file accounts with its annual return and it is not subject to the statutory restrictions on loans to directors.
The Cypriot company limited by guarantee is usually a charitable or a non-profit company. The liability of its members is limited to the agreed upon a memorandum to be contributed in case the company goes into liquidation.
Any foreign company has the right to open a branch in Cyprus. During its first month of establishment it is required to fill in a certified copy of the Memorandum and articles of association, a list with all directors and secretary, the name and address of its Cypriot representatives. All articles must be submitted in Greek.
A Cypriot public company must have from 7 shareholders up and at least 2 directors. The minimum share capital is 25, 630 euros and it must be submitted before the trading certificate is issued.
Partnerships in Cyprus are submitted to the Partnerships and Business Names Law. They must be registered with the Registrar of Partnerships within one month of formation, providing name, purposes, place of business. Foreigners are also allowed to participate in Cypriot general partnerships.
A general partnership is allowed to have between 2 and 20 individual members. There is an exception when it comes to the banking area where the maximum number of partners is 10.
Partnerships are not required to file accounts or to be audited.
Limited partnerships in Cyprus refer to the fact that one or more general partners have to hold unlimited liability and the rest of the partners will have limited liability. The main advantage is for limited partnerships and offshore companies working together as they both beneficiate from tax flexibility.
Cypriot sole proprietorships are also governed by the Partnership and Business Names Law. Sole proprietors run a business on their own with or without employees. A sole proprietor will have unlimited liability for his debts.
There are three types of trust that can be registered in Cyprus: the local trust where both settlor and beneficiaries are residents of Cyprus, the offshore trust is the same with the local trust except the beneficiaries have to be non-residents, and all the trust’s activities are outside Cyprus and the international trust where both settlor and beneficiaries are non-residents, but one trustee has to be Cypriot.
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