With its ideal geographical position at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia, Cyprus plays a key role in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean. As a safe, transparent, modern business centre, the island is an ideal investment gateway to the European Union, as well as a portal for investment outside the EU, particularly into the Middle East, India and China.
Cyprus offers an attractive and transparent tax regime, fully compliant with EU, OECD and international laws and regulations. Its main features are:
• One of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the EU at 12.5%
• Dividend participation exemption
• Exemption on disposal of securities (e.g. shares, bonds, debentures)
• No succession taxes
• No withholding taxes
• Attractive IP regime
• Tonnage tax system for shipping companies
• Notional interest deduction for new investments
• Personal tax exemptions for new residents and non-domiciles
EU Member State and Member of the European Monetary Union
As a member of the European Union since 2004 and the European Monetary Union since 2008, Cyprus is committed quality, efficiency and transparency in transactions. Its EU membership ensures safety and stability for investors, also offering them market access to more than 500 million EU citizens.
Legal and Regulatory Framework
Based on English Common Law principles, Cyprus’ comprehensive and robust legal and regulatory framework, is widely recognised as a business-friendly and effective system that ensures transparency and reliability in business practices. Offering foreign businesses a familiar and reliable framework within which to operate, Cyprus’ legal system is also fully compliant with the EU, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), OECD, FATCA, the Financial Stability Forum laws and regulations and EU AML directives.
Human Talent & Level of Services
Human talent, complemented by a broad range of high quality professional services, is one of Cyprus’ most compelling advantages. Cyprus offers an abundance of highly educated, multilingual individuals, ready to meet the needs of any business. Cyprus ranks amongst the top countries in Europe for tertiary education per capita.
Cyprus offers advanced and modern infrastructure, as well as an extensive telecommunications network, ideally suited for business people with demanding schedules. Thanks to its sophisticated road system, bustling port facilities (in Limassol and Larnaca) and two international airports (in Larnaca and Paphos), travel and transport in and beyond Cyprus is fast, efficient and cost effective.
High Quality of Life
Cyprus offers an enviable lifestyle in a safe, clean and healthy environment with high living standards and a warm, sunny climate all year round. Low crime levels, centuries of art and culture, and excellent gastronomy all contribute to a high quality of life. Safety is amongst the biggest advantages of Cyprus, which has been ranked the safest small country in Value Penguin’s Safest Countries in the world (2015) and 5th worldwide.
The Value of Quality
In Cyprus, laws and regulations, systems and infrastructures, are all continuously enhanced to ensure we keep one step ahead. Cyprus is committed to offering a high-quality service that is duly regulated in order to ensure the best possible experience for investors and business people worldwide.
Compliance and Transparency
Cyprus combines ease of doing business with a fully transparent and stable regulatory framework. Among the many tools used to ensure a high level of compliance and transparency are the following:
• The Law Regulating Companies Providing Administrative Services and Related Matters, including a public register of licensed practitioners, a mandatory register for trusts and licensing requirements for all administrative service providers (ASPs), such as fiduciary agents
• For auditors, the competent authority for all measures to prevent money-laundering and terrorist financing is the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC). For lawyers it is the Cyprus Bar Association, for banks and credit institutions it is the Central Bank of Cyprus, while for other providers it is the recently expanded Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). All the authorities meet a number of times a year to share observations and best practices
• Central to the new legal framework is the “risk-based approach”, with rigorous know your client (KYC) and due diligence procedures, effective record-keeping and robust channels for reporting suspicious activities. The competent authorities monitor, review and conduct onsite visits to ensure that the procedures are effective.
From January 2017 Cyprus will be one of the “early adopters” of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)—the first group of countries to implement the standard on automatic exchange of financial information. Cyprus has been implementing the US-based FATCA on the automatic exchange of financial information since January 2016. It has exchange of information agreements on tax rulings with 96 countries and of course it fully adopts all EU AML directives. All new double tax treaties are concluded according to OECD standards and include exchange of information clauses.
About Invest Cyprus
Businesses and individuals considering investment into Cyprus have a partner on the ground at all stages of the investment cycle. Invest Cyprus is a non-profit national body and the government’s dedicated partner responsible for the facilitation of investments into Cyprus. In close collaboration with all government authorities, public institutions as well as the private sector and international experts, Invest Cyprus is the investor’s single point of contact. Invest Cyprus takes the lead in attracting and facilitating Foreign Direct Investment in key economic sectors, working with the investor, for the investor. Dedicated to continuously improving the business and regulatory environment, Invest Cyprus advocates reform while providing continuous investor support and aftercare services. Invest Cyprus is a member of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) and the Mediterranean Investment Network, ANIMA.