Cyprus has been a well-established business center for more than two decades now and continues to attract businesses from all over the world,startups that choose to use the country as their base of operations, entrepreneurs and investors chose to relocate for tax and lifestyle purposes. As an EU state member, Cyprus has developed one of the most important business centers due to various programs, developments, growing business sectors all combined with the attractive Tax regime and its advantages that help companies develop here. The high level of business services come to support the attractive Tax regime along other business friendly mechanisms. In Cyprus is easy and fast to setup a company and operate in 8 days. Trade freedom, Intellectual Property rights, free capital movements, incentives for investors, tax exemptions are only some features available for international companies.
Cyprus government in the last years have introduced various additional schemes in an effort to attract businesses and develop other industries in the country. Recently the Forbes list of Best countries for Business, Cyprus holds a good position (37th ) for such a small island and economy. The well-known publisher stresses the high development rates of the Cyprus economy, the decrease of the unemployment but also the positive economic opportunities arising from the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in Cyprus’s Special Economic Zone. The report describes also how the country has faced the recession of 2013 getting back on stable growth.
Forbes, states some of the main categories making Cyprus a great place for doing business.
Innovation and Technology.
Cyprus has a well-established Intellectual Property (IP) regime that big companies like Wargaming take advantage and setup their operations. Tech companies and startups choose the country as a home not only because of Tax but also because of security of their assets under the structure IP Law in compliance with various international agreements. Some of them are: World Intellectual Property Organization, the agreement and protocol of Madrid for the international registration of trademarks, Paris convention for the protection of IP, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Bern convention on the protection of literature and artworks.
Cyprus is one of the best destinations for e-commerce, startups or any intellectual property rights companies.
Cyprus is the only EU state member that has an approved tax framework (Tonnage Tax basis) for purposes of merchant shipping. Cyprus plays a prominent role as an important maritime and management center and will continue to strengthen this position in the global economy by maintaining the maritime infrastructure, the favorable tax system, the competitive registration scheme and maintenance of the tonnage tax. The tax incentives accompanied with the financial benefits provided, together with the excellent infrastructure, make Cyprus ideal choice for ship owners, charterers and managers. Learn more about Cyprus Merchant Shipping benefits.
The tourism sector has always been the most important economic boost of the local economy. For more than 30 years now the numbers of arrivals are booming breaking every record year after year. Cyprus has developed a great product and the local seaside towns are considered some of the best summer destinations in the Mediterranean. Huge developments have taken place in the last years and many investors have landed in Cyprus. Brand new resorts, hotels, golf courts, marinas and casinos are booming and still many projects are in the pipeline. Cyprus citizenship program has attracted many investors who were involved in thousands of developments and had acquired the Cyprus- European passport via the scheme.
Corporate services and Tax.
Cyprus offers top level corporate services to international and local businesses. The local tax regime and governmental mechanisms are built to favor companies and attract entrepreneurs from around the world to use the country as their base of operations. One of the main reasons is definitely the low corporate tax (12.5%), various tax exemptions and deductions from taxed profits.
In addition the tax regime favors individuals with low income tax rates accompanied with exemptions and deductions to individuals that decide to become Cyprus tax residents. Special incentives favor high paid individuals and third country entrepreneurs who decide to be employed or setup their startup in Cyprus. Also the income tax attracts sailors, airline personnel and generally professionals that can be out of the country for more than 183 days and still considered Cyprus Tax residents and enjoy all the benefits. Cyprus offers high level of professionals in tax, audit, accounting, and corporate law.
Energy – Oil and Gas.
Explorations in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone have estimated about 130 billion cubic meters of hydrocarbon deposits. Energy is the next best thing for Cyprus economy and big companies like the Italian Eni S.p.A and French Total and the American ExxonMobil have shown interest for the exploitation of the reserves. This new industry has landed other companies and by-services, making new job openings and offering new opportunities to other sectors. The resources will look to supply the Europe with gas. The mining is expected to start in the next couple of years.
As any entrepreneur will understand Cyprus is a great place to do business, invest or relocate. The above-mentioned sectors have brought to the country capitals that help the local economy after the recession of 2013. Many opportunities lie here and the EU umbrella is a strong hand for Cyprus and local businesses.