LEGAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The below Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) should cover some of the most common questions and concerns regarding our firm's international legal and corporate services in Cyprus, as well as local Cyprus law practice areas. If anything is not covered, unclear, or you would like additional information, feel free to speak to us directly by calling +357 22 00 78 88 or by contacting us online for a no obligation initial consultation, feedback and advice.

International legal & corporate services

Why is Cyprus a popular jurisdiction for business, corporate fiduciary and professional services?

There are many advantages to using Cyprus as a corporate, commercial and business hub, wealth management, investment and other fiduciary professional purposes.

Professional services in Cyprus are by far the largest economic sector, contributing to the bulk of national GDP. There is excellent infrastructure for corporate and professional services, such as in Cyprus' tax planning regime (at 12.5%, making to one of the lowest in the EU together with almost 50 double tax treaties), highly educated, multilingual and skilled workforce (i.e. legal, accounting, bookkeeping, banking, fund and investment managers, marketing communications), part of the European Union market therefore access to EU directives, funds and other support, as well as a geographical location that provides suitable business and logistical access to the wider EMEA region. Furthermore, Cyprus has an extremely business- and investment-friendly government/administration, backed by a stable political and judiciary system.

Overall, Cyprus is a business, trade and investment hub to the European Union and wider EMEA region - Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS, Middle East, Africa, and even Asia. It has enjoyed this position for thousands of years, and after major restructuring and reform, as well as newly found resources in hydrocarbons (gas and petroleum), is poised to become an even stronger economy and important business hub.
What's involved with opening a corporate entity or company formation in Cyprus and subsequent professional services, such as tax, accounting and banking?

As a legal firm in Cyprus, we specialise in international corporate fiduciary and professional services. Essentially, we are your first point-of contact that legally creates the corporate entity or company formation, as well as assist with other professional services, such as opening bank accounts, corporate/company nominee services, power of attorney legalities, corporate management and domiciliation services, corporate reorganisation and reconstruction, insolvency and restructures, private wealth and fund management services, immigration and residency permits, as well as other commercial legal services.

Following this, our associates and partner firms in Cyprus can then provide subsequent professional services, such as tax planning, accounting and bookkeeping, company administration, secretarial services, office space (virtual or physical), marketing communications and web/digital services.

Generally, creating a company in Cyprus is a fairly easy and speedy process, and can take anywhere from 4 to 6 working days, assuming all necessary documentation is in order and received on time. The same holds true for bank accounts in Cyprus. Shelf companies and vintage shelf companies are also available and can speed up the process, as well as offer other corporate advantages, such as back-dated formation and records.
What are the corporate tax benefits in Cyprus?

Cyprus has the most attractive corporate tax regime in the European Union and Eurozone, namely due to its low corporate tax rate of 12.5%, together with an extensive network of double tax treaties with other countries (almost 50 tax treaties), tax-sparing provision with 15 countries and a number of signed a multilateral Memorandum of Understanding. Other corporate tax benefits of Cyprus include:

  • • No withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalty payments (in most cases)
  • • Tax exemption on profits from foreign permanent establishments (in most cases)
  • • Tax exemption on profits generated from transactions in shares, securities, bonds and units
  • • Exemption from withholding tax on the repatriation of income either in the form of dividends, interest and on almost all royalties
  • • No capital gains tax in Cyprus
  • • Losses incurred by a Cypriot-resident Company can be off-set against profits in future years
  • • A Cypriot company can be 100% foreign-owned
Is Cyprus considered to be an offshore tax haven?

Cyprus is not an offshore tax haven. It simply has a beneficial corporate tax regime, with a rather low corporate rate - at 12.5% making it one of the lowest in the European Union - and almost 50 double tax treaties with other countries, among other advantages to support its financial and professional services industry. Corporate entities in Cyprus are considered onshore.

Cyprus is an EU Member State and meets EU laws and directives on tax transparency. Cyprus is also on the OECD white list of territories which have substantially implemented the internationally agreed standard in tax transparency. Other action taken by Cyprus to significantly improve its global reputation as a credible jurisdiction for international tax planning and corporate services includes adopting International Financial Reporting Standards, passing anti-money laundering legislation (Law188(I)/2007), Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFiD), and Transparency Law and Anti Money Laundering Law, as well as other structural reforms, modernisation and liberalisation to it economy.

In fact, Cyprus is an attractive and credible jurisdiction for corporate and fiduciary services precisely because it is not considered an offshore tax haven, yet still offers considerable taxation planning and other professional service benefits.
Who is considered to be a Cyprus tax resident?

A company or individual is considered to be a Cyprus resident if residing in Cyprus for a period of 183 days or more per year.

A company is resident in Cyprus, if its management and control is exercised in Cyprus, such as strategic corporate decisions and/or if the majority of the board of directors are resident in Cyprus, including company nominees.
Is the banking sector in Cyprus safe and secure after the recent restructuring and bailout?

The reality is that the Cyprus banking sector had to undergo major reforms. Prior to this, it was considered far too large in relation to the national economy, and therefore unsustainable. Motivated and monitored by the tripartite committee led by the European Commission with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (Troika), Cyprus made drastic changes to downsize the banking sector, including a merger of the two largest banks and subsequent bailout. This ultimately led to better recovery and banking stability. Separate to the major Cypriot banks, there are also of course major international banks present in Cyprus, offering further banking security for foreign investors.

Local Cyprus law practice

I need a lawyer in Cyprus. What should I consider and what should be my first steps?

Indeed, legal matters can be quite daunting and complex. A lawyer should understand your circumstances and help reassure the situation from the very beginning.

No doubt you should research your options, both in terms of legal practitioners, their specialisations and track/success record, as well as end price. You should also do your best to research the legal issue at hand. You would be surprised as to the amount of information that you can uncover. Then armed with some better insights and knowledge, you can approach a solicitor better prepared and with more confidence. Of course also be careful, as the Internet for instance can be littered with contradictory and false information. So only use such information as a guide, and then speak to a professional, qualified and certified legal practitioner.

However, perhaps you do not clearly understand, or often time is also spare and of the essence, and so you need to act quickly. Our law firm provides free and no obligation initial consultation, to help guide you in the all-important first instances. From here, you can then decide to utilise our law firm services, or conduct further research. In any case, we are always here to professionally assist and ensure you feel comfortable, confident and at ease.

Feel free to call us to explain your situation, and we'll provide immediate advice and action of where to go from here. Contact us on Tel: +357 22 00 78 88 via our online contact form.
What makes your Cyprus legal services different to other lawyers?

Lawyers can offer a wide range of legal services. Each also specialises in certain law areas.

However, what truly differentiates our law firm is our client-focussed and adaptive approach. We are a modern law firm, although also with a long working history in the legal practice in Cyprus. Our approach is dynamic, fresh and made to cater to a changing Cyprus and international environment, i.e. new generation, diverse and multicultural and changing market economy. We've evolved with the times, so we can better understand all types of clients, as well as a changing society and legal sphere.

Evidently, it is also important to consider our ultra positive and successful results. We provide solid feedback from the very beginning and then carry this through. We can offer this assurance with real life cases at hand, and their outcomes.
What assurances of confidentiality do you provide?

Each and every case is handled with utmost confidentiality, as required by law, and as per our own corporate policies.

From the very beginning during our initial consultation, we adhere to strict client confidentiality rules, even if we do not carry through as your chosen solicitor/lawyer. This is maintained right through all proceedings. We can also offer additional public relations services to better manage your individual or corporate legal campaign.
What are the costs involved with hiring a lawyer in Cyprus; legal fees?

Prices for legal services in Cyprus (or any country for that matter) can vary dramatically, depending on hours required on the case, consultations, court appearances, additional assistances, and of course complexity of the legal matter, among other factors. For instance, some legal cases might last only one day and require a simple legal letter or conversation, whilst others can take years of research, correspondence and other dealings to be resolved; local, European or at an international level.

The best way to obtain a more accurate idea of legal fees is to conduct an initial, no obligation consultation with our law firm. Our lawyers can then better understand your situation and what might be involved, in turn providing more precise feedback as to estimates on legal costs.

Feel free to call us to explain your situation, and we'll provide immediate advice and action of where to go from here. Contact us on Tel: +357 22 00 78 88 via our online contact form.
Do you handle legal matters on a European and/or international level?

Yes, our law firm can represent your interest at both European and international level. We have experience in both of these areas, and in fact specialise in international corporate and legal services, therefore regularly handle clients and cases on an international level.

Having said this, it also really depends on the legal issue at hand and/or the jurisdiction in question. If it is in a highly specialised legal area, or in a legal jurisdiction we cannot practice, we would then represent your interest and seek support from possible partners and associates. The same holds true for local Cyprus legal matters. For instance, you might require aid from a specialised QC (Queens Council), International Human Rights lawyer, specialised political attorney, or simply a solicitor in another country. In any case, we act as your legal counsel and represent your interest.