Business

There has never been a better time to invest and also set up a business in Cyprus than right now:

  • Member of the European Union
  • Strategic location at the crossroads of tree continents, serving as Europe’s Middle Eastern outpost
  • Liberal foreign Direct Investment regime
  • Simplified administrative procedures for acquiring necessary permits
  • Bilateral investment agreements with 17 counties
  • Low set up and operating costs
  • Highly qualified, well educated and multilingual labour force
  • Double tax treaties with over 40 countries
  • Freedom of movement of foreign currency
  • Availability of Free zones Bonded areas
  • Efficient legal, accounting and banking services
  • European standard of living
  • Pleasant climate and agreeable topography
  • Excellent telecommunications
  • Democratic country with a free market economy
  • Political stability
  • Low crime rate; one of the lowest in Europe

In order to attract foreign investments and enhance economic prosperity in Cyprus, the government has liberalized the foreign direct investment policy for both EU and non-EU nationals. Administrative procedures have been simplified and no limitations apply in most sectors of the economy, as per the minimum level of investment and the foreigners’ participation percentage. Moreover, bureaucratic intervention has been reduced, fostering investment opportunities by non-residents.

Consequently foreign companies now have the opportunity of investing and establishing business in Cyprus on equal terms with local investors; no distinction is made between foreign and Cypriot companies.

Direct investment

Foreign investors have the opportunity of participating in most sectors of the economy, with equity participation up to 100% in any Cypriot enterprise, without a minimum level of capital investment. Foreigners considering registering companies, acquiring shares of existing companies, or setting-up business activities in Cyprus, no longer need approval from the Central Bank of Cyprus.

As from 1st of October 2004, foreign investors can register a company directly with the registrar of companies, and obtain any license, if needed, from the appropriate authority according to the nature of the investment.

Acquisition of Real Estate

According to the “Acquisition of Real Estate (Amendment) Law” of 2003, which is in force as from 1st of May 2004:

  • No restrictions are imposed on EU nationals and EU registered companies for the acquisition of real estate linked to primary residence and Foreign Direct Investment, or the acquisition of real estate agents and land developers.
  • The acquisition of residence for secondary use is prohibited without prior authorization by the council of ministers, for a period of five years following Cyprus’ accession to EU (2004), to EU nationals not permanently residing in Cyprus and EU registered companies not having their registered office, central administration or principal place of business in Cyprus.
  • As regards non-EU nationals, legal entities registered in non-EU countries, and legal entities registered in Cyprus with share capital controlled by non-EU nationals, real estate may be acquired subject to the approval of the council of ministers.  In case the real estate concerned exceeds 2 donums, approval may be granted only for the purposes of primary or secondary residence not exceeding the area of 3 donums, professional or commercial premises, and industrial sectors deemed beneficial for the Cypriot economy.

Source: Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism

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