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The formalities of the incorporation and establishment of a Company in Cyprus

The incorporation of a Company in Cyprus according to the Law can be performed by a lawyer practicing in Cyprus who can register the necessary documents at the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver in Nicosia.

Foreign Investors and local people may establish any of the following legal entities:

  • Companies (Private or Public)
  • General or limited partnerships
  • European Company  
  • Branches of Overseas Companies
  • Business Name

The procedure for the registration of any of the above entities is very straightforward. Initially an application for the approval of the legal entity’s name has to be submitted. Names may be expressed in Greek or any language using the Latin alphabet, provided that the Registrar is provided with a Greek or English translation and the name is not considered undesirable. Once the name has been approved, the relevant documents for the registration of the legal entity have to be submitted depending on the type of the legal form of the entity. Businesspeople that live in Cyprus and wish to perform a business through a registered Company in Cyprus prefer to register Private Companies Limited by Shares which is advantageous for numerous reasons.

All Cyprus Limited Liability Private Companies must file their Memorandum and Articles of Association in the Greek language together with the necessary legal forms duly signed by one director or the registered Secretary of the Company with the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver at the time of registration together with the relevant registration fees. If it is desirable, this may be translated into English. Furthermore, the lawyer incorporating the Company needs to file an Affidavit as to the legitimacy of the formation of the Company. The Memorandum specifies the activities in which the Company may engage. More specifically, the first three main object clauses must include the main proposed activities of the Company. The Articles of Association specifies the rules governing the internal management of the Company.

As soon as registration of the company is effected, the Registrar of Companies furnishes the Secretary with the Certificate of Registration together with Certified copies of the list of directors and secretary, shareholders, registered address, Memorandum and Articles of Association, a copy of the Certificate of Registration and a certificate of good standing of the company. Certified copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association and registration of the company are given in Greek or English. 

According to the Cyprus Law, in each Limited Private Company there must be a minimum of one shareholder which can either be a natural person or a legal entity or corporate body. If anonymity is required, the shares may be held by a trustee or a nominee. Shareholders can either be local persons or foreigners. Furthermore, there must be at least one director who may be a local person or a foreigner and a Company Secretary must be appointed and a registered office of the Company in Cyprus must be specified. Any appointment and removal regarding the names of shareholders, names of directors, Secretary or Registered Office have to be registered formally with the Department of the Registrar of Companies as well as any transfer of shares. It is not necessary for the directors or the secretary to be shareholders.  The appointment and removal of directors is made by the shareholders.  Local nominee directors may also be used.  Corporate bodies may act as directors and secretary. The amount of the authorised and paid up share capital which can be in any currency.  The authorised and paid up capital must be a minimum of EURO €1710.- (or equivalent amount in any other Currency). The authorised and paid up share capital can be increased at any time by special resolution of its members.

Bank accounts for the Company can be opened at any local bank by presenting copies of the Company registration documents, together with copies of the passports of the beneficial owners and bank references.

With regards to the financial reporting requirements, Audited Financial Statements must be submitted annually to the Income Tax Office. The Audit must be carried out by an Auditor authorized under Cyprus Law. Also, an Annual Return accompanied by a Greek translation of the financial statements must be filed with the Registrar of Companies, giving details of directors, shareholders and registered office address.

The information given does not constitute a legal advice and is subject to change according to the Laws of Cyprus.