Business Facilitation Unit in Cyprus
On October 15, 2021, the Council of Ministers approved the “Strategy for attracting businesses to operate and/or expand activities in Cyprus”. The goal is to help Cyprus become an international business center for foreign companies while attracting international investment and talent.
Effective January 1, 2022, the existing “Fast Track Business Association Mechanism” will be reorganized into the “Business Facilitation Unit” hereinafter referred to as the BFU.
The main goal of BFU is to create a single point of contact to provide assistance and speed up the relevant procedures.
Which foreign companies are eligible to apply to the Business Promotion Office
All foreign companies are eligible for assistance through the new division.
Companies must send an email or letter to BFU describing the nature of their business, number of employees, expansion plans, etc., listing the services they wish to receive through BFU.
Which company qualifies as a “foreign company”?
1. Shareholders from third countries must own a majority of the company’s shares.
In cases where the share of foreign participation in the authorized capital of the company is equal to or less than 50% of the total authorized capital, in order for the company to be considered eligible, the foreign participation must be an amount equal to or greater than the amount of € 200.000 as authorized capital.
Companies that meet the following criteria:
• Public companies listed on any recognized stock exchange.
• Former offshore companies operating in Cyprus with the permission of the Central Bank of Cyprus before changing their offshore status.
• Cypriot shipping companies.
• Cypriot high technology/innovation companies.
• Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or companies operating in the field of biogenetics and biotechnology.
• Persons who have obtained Cypriot citizenship by naturalization on the basis of economic criteria, provided that they prove that the conditions under which they were naturalized are still met.
2. Establish/operate independent offices in Cyprus on suitable premises, separate from any private residence or other office, except in cases of business cohabitation.
What services will BFU offer?
BFU will offer the following services:
1. Provision of company formation services:
Help companies get all the necessary registrations to set up a business in one place, including the following:
• Company registration and name approval.
• Registration in the social insurance register and the register of employers.
• Registration in the VAT and income tax register.
Providing information for all necessary permits required by the company to start activities.
3. Assistance in issuing a residence permit and work permit in Cyprus
Facilitate the issuance of residence and employment permits in Cyprus for third-country nationals.
Do the new provisions of the Policy apply to companies already registered with the government, regardless of whether they have registered with the BFU?
The new Policy automatically applies to companies already registered with CRMD as companies with foreign participation. These companies will not need to register with the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU).
How will the process of registering a “foreign company” take place and where should interested companies apply?
The first point of contact for interested companies is BFU. As soon as the company is registered with the BFU, a written confirmation will be issued to it. Using this written confirmation, companies can apply to CRMD for residence and employment in their third country.
The new Policy also applies to small companies/family offices and individual entrepreneurs.
The above is for informative purposes only. Further professional advice should be sought for each particular case. Our firm does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage occurring by acting on the basis of this information.