The Cyprus scheme for ‘Fast-track Business Activation Mechanism’ (the “Scheme”) was adopted on 3 September 2020 by the Council of Ministers and aims to facilitate the establishment and re-domiciliation of businesses from third (non-EU) countries to Cyprus. The scheme, which operates under the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry headed by Mrs Natasa Pilidou, was put into effect 19 October 2020 and aims to stimulate economic activity by attracting foreign investment.
The scheme’s service ‘package.’
The scheme offers accelerated procedures for the incorporation and re-domiciliation of companies in Cyprus including a single point of contact for the establishment and re-domiciliation of companies, name approvals, registration procedures, registration with the social insurance registry, the employers’ registry, the VAT registry and registration for income tax purposes.
Moreover, the scheme provides information on the necessary permits required for the operation of companies in Cyprus. It expedites the issuance of residence and employment permits for employees and members of their family.
Eligibility criteria for existing companies
According to the Scheme, existing companies who wish to apply for the scheme must have or establish a physical presence in Cyprus, establish/operate independent offices that are separate from private residences and have a minimum turnover of EUR 500,000 per year in 3 out of the last 5 years.
Eligibility criteria for new companies
New companies that which to take advantage of the scheme shall establish a physical presence in Cyprus, establish/operate independent offices that are separate from private residences and shall provide a business plan showing growth potential.
Eligibility criteria for employing third-country nationals under more favorable provisions
Foreign interest companies who either re-domicile in Cyprus under the scheme or are incorporated under the scheme may employ third-country (non-EU) nationals under more favorable provisions provided that:
- third country (non-EU) shareholders of the company own the majority of the company’s shares. In case the foreign participation is less than 50% of the total share capital, the represented amount shall be equal or exceed the amount of EUR 200,000;
- the company shall proceed with a direct investment of at least EUR 200,000 for the purposes of operating the company;
- The company shall have independent offices in Cyprus distinct from private housing or other offices (except in the case of business co-habitation).
Benefits under the Scheme
Numerous advantages are deriving from the scheme, including the following:
- Employment of third-country (non-EU) nationals without a minimum duration of stay on the island;
- Fast-track incorporation procedure (7 days) and fast track procedure for additional permits (30 days);
- Family reunification (spouse and minor children) for employees;
- Naturalization (i.e. becoming Cyprus citizens) in the case of residing and working in Cyprus for 7 years;
Invest in the quality of life – choose Cyprus
There are many reasons why a company or its employees should consider Cyprus as the place of their business and personal home, including, among others, the following:
- Attractive and transparent tax regime:
Cyprus boasts one of the most attractive and transparent ‘onshore’ tax regimes in the world, with competitive tax rates and a wide range of double taxation agreements with other countries including a corporate tax rate of 12,5% and no tax on profits from disposal of securities.
- High quality of life:
Aside from the business advantages, Cyprus offers a range high-quality services in categories such as transport and infrastructure, healthcare and education while at the same time provides the opportunity to achieve a perfect life-work balance adding value to the island’s quality of life.
- Strategic business-friendly infrastructure located between three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa:
Stable and business-friendly infrastructure and a wide range of services make starting and running a business in Cyprus a straightforward endeavour. English is the leading business language on the island, and investors have access to a range of modern and affordable office spaces in all major cities.
- A welcoming environment for start-ups:
Cyprus has put great efforts in advancing its economy through start-ups and new innovations. As reflected through the words of Cyprus’ Chief Scientist for Research & Innovation, the mission of Cyprus is to “orchestrate this R&I ecosystem to benefit Cyprus and the wider region”.
Moving towards that direction, Cyprus adopted the ‘Start-up Visa Scheme‘ which serves as a ‘business passport’ of entrepreneurs to establish their own start-up business in Cyprus. In case the enterprise is successful, the Start-up Visa Scheme offers founders indefinite residence in Cyprus with a maximum capital contribution for participating in the Start-up Visa Scheme of only EUR 20,000.
Another initiative is the ‘Innovation Hub’ established by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). The Innovation Hub serves as a knowledge-sharing platform where entities may benefit by receiving support principally through building their understanding of any applicable regulations and compliance requirements.
We help you with
- assisting and handling your application for the Cyprus Fast-track Business Activation Mechanism;
- Advising on the financial criteria, conditions requirements, and the application procedure;
- Provision of company administration services and other advisory and support functions;
- Provision of tax services for the company and its owners or employees;
- Assisting in setting up the offices of the company;
- Assisting in the relocation process of existing personnel and the hiring of new personnel.
Our team of experts is happy to assist you with starting or growing your business.
Book a complimentary meeting with our advisors by sending an email to [email protected].
* Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, our meetings are conducted online for the safety of our personnel and clients.
* Our complimentary meeting is held on a no-commitment basis, however, rest assured that all information disclosed will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.
* Upon request, we are ready to enter into a written non-disclosure agreement before holding the complimentary meeting.