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Welcome to Cyprus
Cyprus has witnessed a rapid expansion of the corporate services sector recently. This has been driven mainly by one of the favorable corporate tax regimes in the EU, providing advantages such as:
one of the lowest corporation tax in the EU (12.5%),
tax-free gains from sale of securities,
no withholding tax on dividend payments,
tax-free dividend income (under normal circumstances)
a comprehensive set of double-tax avoidance treaties,
all within a legislative and regulatory environment in full compliance with EU and OECD requirements.
Our Team can advise you on how to best structure and operate your company to take full advantage of the Cyprus tax environment.
We can also assist you in registering your company and with meeting the on-going administrative, legal and statutory obligations.
Cyprus at a glance
Cyprus, the third largest island of the Mediterranean, lies at the eastern-most corner of the European Union and has been a strategic post throughout the centuries. Cyprus has always been considered a trade center between Europe, Asia and Africa, making the island one of most important re-exporting hubs in the world. Recently, Cyprus has developed into a global business service center. The island has a robust, market economy supported by a stable democracy and driven by a diverse, well-educated workforce, along with excellent telecommunications and infrastructure and, most importantly, the lowest corporate tax regime in the EU.
Location and Population
Cyprus has an area of 9251 Km, and its strategic location at 35 N and 33 E in the centre of Europe, Africa and Asia means it has always been a pathway of the busy shipping and air routes between the three continents.
Cyprus has a total population of 838,000. The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia located at the heart of the island, with a population of approximately 315,000. Limassol, where the island’s major port is located, is the second largest city, with a population of approximately 235,000. Larnaca and Pafos are the third and fourth largest cities respectively, and both have their own modern airports. Larnaca’s airport is situated on the southwest coast, whereas Pafos’s lies at the southeast of the island.
Cyprus has a young, well-educated workforce. The government is committed to developing education and focusing on reforms to achieve sustainable growth. Currently there are more than 30 colleges, 20 universities and 200 accredited study programs available on the island. After joining the EU in 2004, the Ministry of Education and Culture has upgraded the education system of Cyprus based on European principles and guidelines to achieve an enviable standard of academic quality. Cypriot educational institutes are also active members of various EU programs, such as the Eurydice Network and the ERASMUS program.
Due to the efficient highway network, the extensive port facilities and the new international airports, travelling to and within Cyprus is fast, practical and economical.
Larnaca and Pafos operate their own international airports, serving flights to and from Europe and the Middle East. The recently-constructed Larnaca airport welcomes investors and tourists from all over the world. Limassol and Larnaca are both bustling business centres, helping to serve the island’s tremendous demand for imports and exports.
Considerable investment has transformed the island into a major telecommunications hub in the region. Cyprus has established an extensive telecommunications network and both cable and satellite technology rank amongst the best in the world.
Cyprus Key Facts
- local currency Euro
- robust legal system with strong English law influence
- highly qualified and multi lingual labour force
Quality of living
- relaxed pace of life
- great weather
- good telecommunications infrastructure
- high standard of education
- low crime, unemployment and homelessness
Cyprus at a glance
Cyprus has successfully become a respected international banking centre, providing outstanding services through a wide network of correspondents worldwide. The common banking practice and the legal framework are based on the UK model, and the system itself is highly developed.
Since 2004, foreign bank branches are allowed to provide full banking services, designed to help international business with their banking needs, including opening bank accounts in any of the world’s major currencies. 24 hour internet banking and cash management services support investors dealing with their regular transactions and administering their bank accounts. Companies in need of funding can easily get business loans and credit facilities, such as short term loans or working capital overdrafts. Trading companies can benefit from getting letters of guarantees, import/export financing and trade risk management. Interested groups and individuals can also obtain portfolio and wealth management services, as well as access to global stock markets.
Banks and financial institutions are keen to provide services to international companies based in Cyprus. According to data from the Central Bank of Cyprus, the country has attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) amounting to €3.6 billion in 2010.
Cyprus and the European Union
The Republic of Cyprus became a full member of the European Union on 1 May, 2004. Accession to the EU came as a natural step for Cyprus, an island which takes pride in its culture, its civilization and history, and its unwavering commitment to the values of democracy, freedom and justice – which are all fundamental principles on which the EU is built. EU membership has provided a new stage of development for Cyprus and it also reinforced Cyprus’s commitment to greater economic growth.
In 2008, Cyprus joined the Eurozone, leveraging a robust economic performance. The country’s Strategic Development Plan 2007-2013 encourages Foreign Direct Investment in the priority economic growth sectors. These priority economic growth sectors include: Banking & Financial Services, Education, Information Communication Technologies, Medical & Wellness Tourism, Professional Services (incl. legal and accounting), Research
& Development, Shipping, Renewable Energy and Environmental Technologies. Overlaying in all sectors, Cyprus is keen to promote Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) while enhancing business innovation.
On July 1, Cyprus officially took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, a position that makes Cyprus “the face and voice” of the European Union, as Cyprus will direct the work of the Council of the European Union, handle and manage relations with other Union institutions and represent the European Union in international matters.