Registering a company in Cyprus is a rapid and straight-forward procedure that is generally completed within a few days. Cyprus Company registration begins with an application to be submitted to the Registrar of Companies.
Cyprus Company formation includes certain procedures and undertakings prior to the registration of the company, such as the drafting of the Memorandum and Articles for the company, a document which outlines the rights and obligations of the shareholders. Cyprus Company formation and registration may be undertaken by the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU), a law firm or a licensed service provider in Cyprus and due diligence and compliance regarding the beneficial owners of a Cyprus Company are a mandatory part of the procedure.
According to the Cyprus law, only lawyers licensed by the Cyprus Bar Association are allowed to prepare and sign the Memorandum, Articles of Association of the company and the HE1 form.
Companies should submit an application of approval of company name to the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver. This can be undertaken either directly by the applicants themselves, or indirectly through a lawyer or service provider.
It should be noted however, that as a matter of good practice, legal advisors in Cyprus typically maintain a number of “shelf names”, that is to say, company names already approved by the Registrar. These are offered to clients for whom speed is of the essence and are indifferent to the actual name of the company. This means that the applicant can have an approved company name in virtually no time.
The role of a lawyer or service provider in the preparation of the forms and the opening of a bank account, according to the information collected by the applicant, is necessary.
Documents required from the applicant:
Forms required by the Registrar
Once the application package has been submitted to the Registrar and the applicable fees have been paid, a process is set in motion, which in the absence of any problems results in the incorporation of the company, the issue of its certificate of incorporation and of a certified copy of its Memorandum and Articles of Association.
All companies must register with the Tax Department in order to obtain a tax identification number and a VAT registration number, as well as with the Social Insurance Services.
Employers are liable to pay contributions to the Funds (Social Insurance, Annual Holidays with Pay, Redundancy, Human Resource Development and Social Cohesion) for each of their employees whose remuneration is not less than €200 per week or less than €700 per month. Employers pay their contributions (including the employees’ share) monthly in arrears, within one month from the end of each contribution month.
The application form for the registration of employers can be submitted either electronically through the Point of Single Contact (PSC) Cyprus portal (www.businessincyprus.gov.cy) or by hand or by mail to a District Social Insurance Office or Citizens Service Centre. The contact details are provided in the relevant documents.
The application form should be accompanied by the following certificates: