How do I establish an office?
To register a company you must first get approval for the legal entity of the company name by applying to the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver or through the Point of Single Contact for a fee (please visit the website through the link provided below for more details). You may submit the form in person, through a lawyer, or by mail, accompanied by a check in the name of the Registrar of Companies. You may search though the company names already registered in Cyprus by visiting this website: www.mcit.gov.cy/mcit/drcor/drcor.nsf/index_en/index_en?opendocument.
After securing the legal entity’s name, you must submit the relevant documents for the legal entity’s registration (i.e. Memorandum of Understanding, Articles of Association, etc.) depending on the type of the legal form of the entity. In the case of registering a company (private or public) you must submit the documents through an advocate / lawyer practicing in Cyprus. For a complete list of lawyers, visit the Cyprus Bar Association’s website: cyprusbarassociation.org/v1/index.php/en.
There are different forms of legal entities that the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver can register. These forms include: Company (Private or public), Branch Company, General or Limited Partnership, European Company, and Business Name. More information on “Legal forms of entities” and “Incorporation fees” regarding the above types of companies are available through CIPA:
Non-EU residents wishing to establish a company in the Republic of Cyprus must obtain a residence and employment permit from the Ministry of Interior Civil Registry and Migration Department. The procedure and regulations for obtaining a work permit for non-EU nationals is described within the Point of Single Contact (PSC) Cyprus Portal: http://www.businessincyprus.gov.cy/mcit/psc/psc.nsf/All/465E53793B591400C22579C2002990A1?OpenDocument
How does the banking system operate?
The standard of banking services in the Republic of Cyprus compares well with other European countries and the United States. The Central Bank of Cyprus supervises private banks closely and requires them to meet Bank for International Settlements (BIS) standards as well as corresponding directives by the European Union. Bank financial statements are in compliance with international standards and audited by internationally recognized auditors. Since 2001, a deposit insurance scheme has been in operation and the guaranteed amount under this scheme is at €100,000 per depositor. For more: http://www.centralbank.gov.cy/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=1&lang=en
What foreign exchange controls are in place?
There are no restrictions on either incoming or outgoing foreign exchange remittances for legitimate business purposes. However, the following restriction applies to carrying cash in local or foreign currency in or out of the country: travelers both in and out of Cyprus, whether residents or non-residents, may carry local or foreign currency up to €10,000 without any questions asked. Sums over this threshold must be declared to the Department of Customs at the port of entry/exit. When this currency was obtained through a bank, the traveler must display a copy of the bank transaction.
What are the import and documentation requirements?
The Republic of Cyprus Department of Customs requires the following documents for clearing products originating from non-EU countries: delivery order for the goods, an invoice and a packing list. Various other documents according to the nature of each import will be required. A health certificate and ingredients’ list is required for imported food products. Additional information for business and trade is available from Customs’ website: www.mof.gov.cy/mof/customs/customs.nsf/ced04_en/ced04_en?opendocument
What applies for temporary entry of goods?
The temporary entry of goods allows for importation without payment of duty. This facility is extended to motor vehicles, goods for processing or repair prior to their re-exportation, goods for exhibition, and commercial samples, provided they do not change their form or character. The initial temporary entry permit, obtained at the time of importation, is valid for three months and can be extended by application to Customs headquarters. Additional information is available from the Republic of Cyprus’ Department of Customs’ website: www.mof.gov.cy/mof/customs/customs.nsf/All/8AF9C47B94C88F2F4225778C003A0859?OpenDocument
What are the labeling and marking requirements for Cyprus?
Since 1997, food products in Cyprus must comply with a strict law on the labeling of food products, requiring that the product name, ingredients, net contents, and country of origin be in the Greek language, in line with EU norms. A sticker with a Greek translation on the product is acceptable, provided it does not conceal the original label and it has the approval of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism.
The “Safety of Consumer Products Law” of 1994 outlines the legal responsibilities of those involved in the production or distribution of consumer products requiring safety warnings (including household appliances, pharmaceuticals, and many other products). One of these responsibilities concerns the proper labeling and packaging of consumer products to render them completely safe to the public. This includes having the necessary safety warnings for consumer products in Greek. The Government has re-doubled efforts for stricter enforcement of the law.