First allow me to welcome you to the 2006 version of our website which is the fourth version since our first version was launched in 1998. In this site you will find useful information for your purposes. This site was prepared for the use of our clients, existing and potential, and members of the Focus Business Services Network of Professional Associates. It is primarily intended to highlight the uses of Cyprus Entities in order to obtain tax or non-tax benefits, Cyprus’ position as an International Business and Financial Centre (“IFBC”) and to explain why and how one should invest via Cyprus.
The present time, known as the “post - EU accession era”, is an important milestone in Cyprus’ successful 30-year history as an International Financial and Business Centre (IFBC).
Since 1 of January, 2003, with the abolition of the “offshore regime”, Cyprus has put a simplified, effective and transparent tax system in place. Its tax system is fully EU, OECD, FATF and FSF compliant. Cyprus is now an EU, “non-offshore”, low-tax jurisdiction with exciting tax planning potential for EU and non-EU clients alike.
Cyprus’ new tax system obtained “the official stamp of approval” from the above-mentioned organizations, it has been operating for over 3 years (3 amending laws, the last one in November 2004), and has become a stable and successful tax system. After all, Cyprus has been renowned for its stable tax legislation and tax practice, as well its professional and investor-friendly Tax Authorities.
The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland and other “classic” European Jurisdictions now face a new outstanding competitor. In the Post-EU Accession era, we are seeing more and more clients preferring Cyprus to other traditional jurisdictions. That is not to say that other “classic” jurisdictions have lost their appeal.
Sometimes however, depending on the facts of the particular case, best results can be achieved by combining Cyprus with other jurisdictions, such as The Netherlands or Luxembourg, rather than by substitution (the substitution of Luxembourg by Cyprus being the most frequent case).
Restrictions concerning maximum allowable percentage participation, as well as minimum monetary level of foreign investment in any enterprise (legal entity) in Cyprus, were also lifted from January, 2000 for EU citizens and from October 1, 2004 for non-EU citizens. Now, Cyprus’ Investment Policy allows 100% foreign participation in Cyprus Entities in almost all sectors of the economy not only for EU citizens, but also for investors from third countries.
Exciting tax planning opportunities are presented in the following areas (you are also encouraged to contact us directly so we can further address your specific needs):
- Cyprus’ Tax Regime in general, with its wide, expanding and extremely beneficial Network of Double Tax Treaties (especially beneficial are those with Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East) and access to the European Directives (Parent-Subsidiary, Interest and Royalty, Merger Directives transposed into local tax law). It is no exaggeration to say that there are no activities that a Cyprus Entity is not suitable for.
- Cyprus International Trading Structures: Used for triangular trade, receipts of commissions, joint ventures particularly in Russia & Eastern Europe, and etc. These are classic structures used for over 30 yeas by foreign investors.
- Cyprus Holding Company Structures - indeed Cyprus can now claim a very successful and beneficial holding company regime.
- Cyprus (Group) Finance Companies and Royalty Routing Company Structures
- Nominee / Undisclosed Agency Structures: Often involves a Cyprus Company acting as an agent of an overseas principal (e.g. a Seychelles IBC), usually for transactions outside Cyprus - a Cyprus (EU) face with a very low tax burden, often significantly lower than 10%!
- UK Companies that are Tax Resident in Cyprus (via their management and control effected by a Cyprus Registered Branch and the employment of the appropriate provisions of the UK - Cyprus Double Tax Treaty and UK and Cyprus Tax Legislation) and taxed on their worldwide income in Cyprus - a UK face with a low Cyprus tax burden (10% corporation tax on worldwide taxable income, which with proper tax structuring could effectively be significantly reduced further).
- Cyprus Non-Resident Companies: Cyprus Companies not managed & controlled in Cyprus and not taxed for their non-Cyprus income in Cyprus (i.e. effectively with 0% Cyprus tax) but, as non-residents, cannot enjoy the benefits of the Double Taxation Treaties of Cyprus.
Included in this site are also a summary of Cyprus’ tax and other incentives, a review of the types of activities that can beneficially be carried out through Cyprus Legal Entities, detailed tax information sections, comprehensive details of the legal forms available to conduct business and their registration process, as well instructions for the formation of a Cyprus Limited Company.
Information about our Group, our Services, the Jurisdictions we specialize in, popular tax structures used by clients and fee schedules; as well as an invitation to a confidential meeting at our offices or in your country/city and an invitation to join our Professional Intermediaries Network (if you are a professional) are to be found in this site.
The information contained herein is based on information and tax practice available as of April 2005.
This site is aimed for general guidance only and cannot substitute proper professional advice. Focus Business Services and its affiliated companies cannot be held liable for any action or business decision taken solely on the basis of the information of this site.
My colleagues and I will be happy to provide you with any further information you may require.
Chairman - Focus Business Services (Cyprus) Ltd.
For more detailed information about Our Group Profile, please either scroll up or down this page (quicker) or click below to go to the relevant section:
Strategy, Focus & Core Values | Chairman's Welcome | Services & Approach | Become an Intermediary | Client Profiles | Our Team of Professionals | Memberships & Partnerships | Our Offices