Q. Do you open bank accounts and what is the process?
A. A company in Cyprus can open a bank account anywhere in the world. We can assist you with opening and maintaining bank accounts, issuing of debit/credit cards etc.
Q. For investments in which countries are Cyprus holding companies mostly used?
A. This can vary, but popular countries are Russia, the Ukraine, South Africa, India, Romania, Poland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
Q. Why are Cyprus holding companies so popular?
A. There are three main reasons. First of all, it is very easy for such companies to obtain tax exemption for income (dividends and gains) they generate. Secondly, the access of such companies to double tax treaties concluded by Cyprus (almost 50) and/or to the so-called ‘EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive’ (which may ascertain withholding tax exemption for dividend payments between EU-companies), may cause taxation over this income in the source states (i.e. countries where the subsidiaries are based) to be reduced or even avoided. Thirdly, Cyprus does not levy withholding tax over outbound dividends, so people using Cyprus holding companies have full flexibility in repatriating their profits.
Q. What is the most popular form of using Cyprus companies?
A. The most popular form is the use of Cyprus companies as holding company. But Cyprus companies are also used a lot for trading, financing and licensing activities.
Q. Does Cyprus has a special tax regime for certain activities?
A. Yes, it does.
Income from exploitation of intellectual property will be subject to an effective tax rate of 2% only.
Income from shipping activities may be subject to a very favourable tonnage tax regime.
Q. What is the corporate income tax rate for Cyprus Company?
A. Cyprus maintains the lowest corporate regime at the rate of 12,5% on clean profits of the company minus expenses. Cyprus has various double tax treaties to avoid double taxation. In particular, extremely favourable treaties have been concluded with many countries for receipt of dividends, interest and royalty payments. Audited accounts must be filed with the Commissioner of Income Tax and the Central Bank of Cyprus. Audited accounts must be filed with the Income Tax Office (not the Central Bank of Cyprus).
Q. Is there any privacy when forming a company in Cyprus?
A. You can remain fully anonymous by appointing nominee shareholders, directors and a secretary. The interest of the beneficial shareholder can be safeguarded by the issue of a declaration of trust by the nominee in favour of the beneficial shareholder or shareholders. Where nominees are used, the disclosure of the beneficial shareholders or real directors is not a matter of public record, and the names do not need to be disclosed. The directors of the company will however when opening a corporate bank account be required to disclose the ultimate beneficial shareholders of the company. The disclosure of this information to the bank does not mean that the information is available to the public. The Banks will never disclose information to anyone unless specifically requested to do following a particular order issued by the courts of law in Cyprus. Such incidents are usually indicated upon suspicion of money laundering or in connection with terrorist organisations.
Q. Directors/Shareholders of Cyprus Companies
A. Minimum of one director, one secretary and one shareholder is required when forming a company in Cyprus. The secretary to be Cypriot as well as the director for establishing Cyprus residence so as to benefit from the Cyprus beneficial tax regime. The company’s registered office should be also based in Cyprus.
Q. What information do I need to provide for the formation of Cyprus company?
A. Only passport copy and proof of address is satisfactory. This could be utility bill or Russian/Ukrainian domestic passport.
Q. How long does it take to register/form a company in Cyprus?
A. It normally takes about a week to incorporate a new company in Cyprus, but the already established companies (Shelf Companies) are available at any time of request and could be immediately used and set up bank accounts. All companies must end with “Limited” and there are restrictions on the use of particular words in the company’s name, such as “International”, “Group”, “Corporation”, “Financial” etc.