Start Your Business Journey: A Simple Guide to Incorporating in Cyprus for Foreign Nationals

Start Your Business Journey: A Simple Guide to Incorporating in Cyprus for Foreign Nationals

Overview

In its efforts to further improve the position of Cyprus as a major Global Financial and Business Hub, the government of Cyprus has recently decided to take certain actions and implement several initiatives towards attracting international businesses to start their business in Cyprus and bring their employees to work in the island either through the Formation of a Cyprus Company or the establishment of a Branch in Cyprus.

In a prior article, we examined the promising outlook for Cyprus in the past year. We covered important topics such as Cyprus’ evolving trends and its emergence as a favoured destination for tech giants to establish their headquarters and the rising prevalence of remote work.

For an in-depth exploration of these trends and their potential to reshape the business environment in Cyprus, we encourage you to access the full article by clicking the link below.

Read the complete article here

Foreign entities looking to establish operations in Cyprus can utilize the Cyprus Business Facilitation Unit (BFU), which was founded on January 1, 2022. The primary goal of the BFU is to turn Cyprus into a global business center, drawing in international companies and investments. This unit provides streamlined services tailored to foreign entities aiming to set up in Cyprus, with the objective of simplifying business processes and attracting foreign investments. Foreign entities can obtain residence and work permits for their non-EU nationals through the BFU.

Highlights

  • Business Facilitation Unit (BFU): A single point of contact for third-country nationals to streamline the process of establishing startups or working with foreign companies in Cyprus. It also includes a family reunification package.
  • Temporary Work and Residence Permits: Up to 3 years for third-country national (TCN) employees, renewable upon expiry.
  • Support Staff Relocation: Under certain conditions, support staff can also relocate.
  • Simplified Application Process: For Permanent or Long-Term Residence for employment purposes.
  • Family reunification process allows a third-country national to enter Cyprus for the purpose of reuniting with their family members by obtaining an entry permit, which is issued upon submission of the necessary documentation
  • Labor Market Access: Spouses of highly skilled TCN employees earning at least a gross salary of €2,500/month get free access to the labour market.
  • Naturalization: Certain provisions have been introduced to improve the process of naturalization of highly skilled third-country employees, provided that they reside in Cyprus and are integrated into Cypriot society.
  • Tax Exemption: 50% tax exemption for new non-domiciled employees earning ≥ €55,000, valid for 17 years.

Eligibility

  • Foreign entities must meet certain criteria, including proof of sufficient capital investment.
  • Specifically, companies with majority shares owned by third-country nationals must demonstrate an initial investment of at least €200,000.
  • This investment should be transferred legally to a Cyprus bank account from abroad, with confirmation via bank swift.
  • Startups with high potential can also choose to utilize the Cyprus Startup Visa. For comprehensive information about the Cyprus Startup Visa program, please refer to the Cyprus Startup Visa guide. This option is available for talented entrepreneurs from non-European Union countries who aim to enter, reside, and work in Cyprus, either individually or as a team, to establish, operate, or develop their startups with significant growth potential.

Process and Timelines

  • The process to register a company in Cyprus through the BFU is typically completed within 2 weeks, following the submission of due diligence documents.
  • The incorporation of a legal entity in Cyprus can be finalized in a maximum of two weeks, enabling the commencement of business activities promptly

Setting up your Business in Cyprus

Company of Foreign Interest: Cyprus offers the opportunity to set up your business as a “Company of Foreign Interest.” This designation allows businesses to operate in Cyprus with a majority of their shares owned by third-country nationals, promoting international investment and entrepreneurship.

  1. Cyprus Start-Up Visa: The “Cyprus Start-Up Visa” program facilitates the establishment of innovative start-up companies in Cyprus. It provides incentives and support for start-ups, including fast-track processing and residency permits for founders and their families, aiming to attract entrepreneurial talent.
  2. Cyprus Digital Nomad Visa: Cyprus has introduced the “Cyprus Digital Nomad Visa” for non-EU/EEA citizens. This visa allows individuals to work remotely while residing in Cyprus, provided they have a monthly income and work for an employer registered outside Cyprus.
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