Cyprus Company of Foreign Interests
With the aim of enabling Cyprus on becoming an international high-growth business centre for foreign companies, while at the same time attracting international investments and talent, via the incentives provided by the Cyprus Company of Foreign Interests, the Cyprus Council of Ministers has approved the “Strategy for Attracting Businesses for activities or/and expansion of activities in Cyprus” on the 15th of October 2021.
The Strategy is a very important initiative towards attracting both international investments and talent.
As of January 1st, 2022, the Cyprus “Business Facilitation Unit” is the single point of contact, for the provision of assistance and speed up procedures for the registration of a Cyprus Company of Foreign Interests.
In addition to the above, a recent revision to the terms and criteria of the temporary residence and work permits for non-EU nationals has been made by the Republic of Cyprus to aid the efforts achieving the cause of making Cyprus a high-growth business centre. Eligible companies as defined below are now able to employ highly skilled non-EU employees assuming certain criteria are met.
For information on temporary residence permits via an employment visa please click below
- Any foreign company that operates in Cyprus or any foreign companies wishing to establish a presence in Cyprus. Such companies must have a physical presence in Cyprus. Foreign companies are defined as companies whose shareholders holding the majority of the company’s shares are third-country nationals, which have made an initial investment of at least €200,000. (The investment should be proven by presenting the appropriate certificates)
- Public companies that are registered on any recognized stock exchange;
- Cyprus shipping companies;
- Cyprus tech/innovation companies – High technology company;
- Cyprus pharmaceutical companies or Cyprus companies that are active in the field of biogenetics and biotechnology;
- Companies whose the majority of share capital is owned by individuals that have obtained Cyprus citizenship based on economic criteria;
High Technology Companies
A company will be classified and considered to be a “High Technology Company” if the below criteria are met:
- The company is established and present in the tech market, and
- The company has high levels of Research and Development intensity, and
- The company has developed product(s) related to the aviation and space industry, computers, electronic and telecommunication, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, research and development equipment, electrical machinery, chemicals, or non-electrical machinery.
How to register a Cyprus Company of Foreign Interests
All companies that wish to relocate or expand their activities in Cyprus must apply to the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU) of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry. In the case where the applicant wishes to incorporate a new Cyprus Company, the procedure for the Cyprus Company Incorporation shall precede the registration with the BFU.
The application to the BFU starts with the declaration of the company’s interest to expand its activities or its interest to relocate in Cyprus, with a synopsis description of the company’s company’s main activities, its history, plans, number of staff, jurisdictions of operations and expansion plans.
In the case of a new company, a 5-year business plan with goals and strategies which aim for the company’s profitability and growth should also be submitted. It is worth mentioning that the BFU completes the registration process in a very timely manner. From the date of submitting all the required documents to the BFU, the registration is completed within 7 working days.
Where a company has been registered to the Civil Registry and Migration Department already, the above application process does not apply, since the BFU has already processed the information and the BFU policy applies automatically to the company.
For information on the Incorporation of a new Cyprus Company please click below
Company of Foreign Interests required documents.
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Certificate of Registered Office Address
- Directors’ Certificate
- Shareholders’ Certificate, proving that the percentage of foreign participation in the company’s share capital is over 50% of the total share capital*. In the case where legal entities (e.g. local or foreign companies, trusts) are the shareholders, a shareholders’ structure diagram presenting the whole chain of ownership up to the final owners (natural persons who are the ultimate beneficial owners) should be declared and documented.
* On the 30th of December 2022, the Council of Ministers approved the Amendment of the Policy for the Registration of Companies in the Register of Foreign Interest Companies. The Decision modifies the eligibility criteria of foreign interest companies and specifically includes the criterion of a company’s obligation to prove an initial investment in the Republic of at least €200,000, which should be proven by presenting the appropriate certificates.
The Decision entered into force on December 12, 2022.
- Director’s Affidavit on the company’s ownership (from one of the directors if many)
- Ultimate Beneficial Owners’ valid passport(s)
- Articles of Association of the company
- Rental agreement document or title deed or a sale document for the offices of the new business (it must be duly stamped if its value equals the annual amount of €5,000 or more)
- Audited Financial Statements (for companies already operating in Cyprus)
- Tax Clearance Certificate for the company (for companies already operating in Cyprus)