Over many years, Cyprus has successfully implemented infrastructure and provided business opportunities resulting in it now being an ideal place to start a business. In fact, with its favourable tax system, high internet penetration rate, and low cost of living, it is one of the most sought-after destinations in the EU for entrepreneurs. Additionally, Cyprus offers a number of incentives to entrepreneurs and investors with notable upsurges in the pharmaceutical, shipping, fossil fuel, investment, and renewable energy sectors.
Cyprus became a member of the European Union in 2004 and of the Eurozone in 2008 and is considered a modern and fully equipped international ground for business enterprise. Thanks to its beautiful beaches, mediaeval castles, and friendly locals, Cyprus was recently ranked as the sixth-best tourist destination with a world recorded GDP growth of 4.5% in 2021. So it’s also a lovely place to be! Because it has experienced such incredible growth, the Cypriot government regularly introduces new benefits for entrepreneurs and new businesses to make running a business as easy as possible. So if you are also someone who is all set to start a business in Cyprus, this post will guide you through how to get started.
Benefits of registering a company in Cyprus
Low Taxes: the country has a highly favourable tax regime for businesses. The corporate tax rate is just 12.5%, which is one of the lowest in Europe. Additionally, there are no capital gains taxes or wealth taxes in Cyprus. This makes it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors alike.
Well-established Infrastructure: Cyprus is a country with a very well-developed infrastructure. It has excellent transport links, with two international airports and a modern telecommunications infrastructure.
Easy Access to European Markets: Cyprus is a member of the European Union, giving businesses easy access to the EU market of over 500 million consumers.
Highly educated workforce: The country has one of the best educational systems in Europe which makes it easier for businesses to find skilled workers at an affordable cost.
Strategic location: Cyprus is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it a convenient base of operations for businesses with international clients or suppliers.
The “Tonnage” Tax: The first "tonnage tax" on shipping that the EU has authorised is in place in Cyprus. This authorization's expiration date was most recently extended until 2029. If certain conditions are met, shipowners, ship managers, and charterers engaged in eligible maritime operations under the programme may choose to be taxed on the tonnage of the vessel rather than on revenue or profit. The owner gains from the assurance this offers.
How to start a business in Cyprus
Starting a business in Cyprus is relatively straightforward and can be done online without the need of being present in the country. To own a business in Cyprus, you will need a business account. The first step is to choose the legal structure of your business. The most common types of businesses in Cyprus are limited liability companies (LLCs) and sole proprietorships. Once you have chosen the legal structure of your business, you will need to register it with the Registrar of Companies.
There are a certain number of banks like Alpha Bank, Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, Euro Bank that enable you to open a business account as well.
Even if you are not eligible to open a business bank account in these banks, it’s still possible to start and maintain a business there. There are plenty of options besides the traditional local banks that will give you access to a business account. Banking service providers aren’t traditionally licensed banks but are just as secure and even more accessible. They tend to be more flexible when it comes to requirements and are comparatively faster than other banks. Furthermore, these banks offer a variety of features at lower costs, easier access to your bank accounts, multi-currency accounts, and easy card issuances to help you run your business smoothly. Some examples of good financial service providers are wamo, Payoneer, N26 and Wise.
The requirements for starting a business in Cyprus include the following:
- Your passport or national ID card.
- Proof of address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement.
- Documentation about your business, such as your business registration certificate, Memorandum and Articles of Association, etc.
- Traditional banks may also require additional documents, such as a business plan
- Information and documents related to annual income, like tax declaration, company documents, income and payslips, profits and dividends etc.
- You may also be required to bring in a letter of recommendation from any bank where you have your account
Business Opportunities in Cyprus
Cyprus has a lot to offer investors and entrepreneurs seeking to set up or expand their business. As a result, it is no surprise that many businesses have found success in Cyprus. Notable examples include Limassol-based shipping company EMED Lines and Nicosia-based online retailer Protacio. Furthermore, small businesses like consultancy services, travel agencies, web design & web hosting businesses, auto repairman and freelancers have all grown well in Cyprus' business environment.
If you’re planning on opening a business in Cyprus, you will be able to register for a business account with wamo in 10 minutes . With its fee-free services, multi-currency account, excellent customer support, dedicated account reps and quick turnaround time, you will be up and running in no time. Additionally, you can leverage the company's new feature to open a UK company to complement your EU business, which can come with virtual office in the UK.
Download wamo business from Google Play or the App Store and get your EU-based business up and running fast!