Andreas Danos Law Firm starts cooperation with Dubai law firm about registering companies

Andreas Danos Law Firm would like to announce that it has started successful cooperation with a Dubai law firm, mainly concerning companies’ registration, which would enable our clients to set up a company in the United Arab Emirates.

Even though the United Arab Emirates do not have the “tax heaven” stigma, registering a company there have a lot of advantages. First of all, for the entities registered in the UAE there is 0% corporate income tax. Further company registration’s details depend on the emirate where the entity is registered and the type of the entity.

There are several legal solutions for foreign companies wishing to conduct a successful business in the UAE. One of them is to register a company in numerous free-trade zones in the UAE. Those areas have a special tax, customs and imports regime and are govern by their own framework of regulations. Within the most investors-friendly free zones in the UAE are Dubai free zones. There are several free zones in Dubai and each of them is specified for the exact branch of business (f.e. Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City). Dubai free zone company can be established using the 3 following entities: Free Zone Establishment, Free Zone Company and branch. The two firstly mentioned enjoy limited liability, while the branch has unlimited liability for the parent company. All three types of entities allow the 100% foreign ownership, appointment of corporate directors and visa applications for foreign employees. The Dubai free zones companies are obliged to rent an office in the zone (but it is not necessary to hire the staff), appoint a resident company secretary, submit annual audited financial statements and annually renew the business licence. What is more, free zone companies do not require a UAE national shareholder and are excellent solution for investors wishing to use Dubai as a gateway to the consumer markets in Africa and the Middle East. Exemption on corporate tax minimalizes withholding tax on remittance to other countries and no customs duties are imposed on goods imported or exported from the free zone.

Another solution for the investor is opening a Dubai offshore company, which is an ideal, tax efficient and cost effective corporate structure for entrepreneurs who wish to conduct international trade. An offshore entity is sometimes called the ‘nonresident paper company”, because it allows foreign entrepreneurs to trade with Africa and Middle East without administrative obligations. The main difference between the Dubai free zone company and the Dubai offshore company is that the offshore company is not allowed to trade in Dubai and in the UAE. Besides that, a Dubai offshore company is quick and simple to set up and the shareholders and directors are not required to register their names and details for public record. What is more, an offshore company is exempt from all annual accounting and tax obligations.

The less popular corporate structure is the Dubai Limited Liability Company. This entity is advised for companies wishing to conduct consulting business (legal and accounting consultancy, IT and management consultancy, marketing consultancy). In other industries, the Dubai authorities require foreigners to create a joint venture with an UAE national, who must hold at least 51% of the shares.

REGISTRATION OF FOREX COMPANIES WORLDWIDE

We specialize in registration of Forex Companies worldwide especially in Cyprus, Vanuatu, Belize, etc. and we have recently successfully helped a client for registration of Cyprus Forex company.

FX or Forex (foreign exchange) trading is a relatively new type of market which investment firms worldwide conduct business in. It encompasses generally an over-the-counter market where buyers and sellers conduct foreign exchange transactions.

Why setting up a Forex Company in Cyprus, Vanuatu, Belize, etc?

Cyprus, due to its attractive tax regime, coupled with its EU Member status, its implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (‘MiFid’), and regulatory regime has proved the perfect jurisdiction for the incorporation and operation of FX companies.

Vanuatu, a remote archipelago in the South Pacific, a popular tourist attraction is something called land diving. It has zero corporate tax, it also has no income tax, no capital gains tax, no estate tax, no wealth tax, no withholding tax, no gift tax and no other personal income taxes. Aside from a locally applied 12.5% VAT, there are almost no taxes at all.  With such a taxation regime in place for international companies and offshore companies incorporated in the jurisdiction, Vanuatu can rightly be considered as a “Tax Haven” – and one of the most attractive in the World from many perspectives.

Belize, is located on the eastern coast of Central America, is a tax haven in the purest sense, because it provides a simple incorporation process for offshore companies, which do not pay taxes on earnings from abroad. The tax code in Belize defines offshore income as dividends, capital gains, earned interest and revenues. Dividends paid by offshore companies incorporated in Belize to non-citizens of the country are also tax-free.

Especially after the recent changes in EU directives and regulations non-EU regulated forex companies can no longer operate in the EU and/ or the euro as a currency.

So, nowadays there is a big trend of setting up regulated Forex companies in Cyprus, Vanuatu, Belize, etc that in addition have very favorable tax and regulatory regimes coupled with very low operating cost levels and considerable financial services, legal, tax and accounting expertise and infrastructure.

Minimum Capital Requirements:

In February 2014 there was an amendment of Law N.193(I)/2014 Article 10 (Law of the Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets), whereby the initial capital requirements of CIFs has been reduced significantly in order to attract further investments in Cyprus.

Hence the initial capital requirements were configured as below:

A CIF that provides one or more of the following investment services and holds clients’ money or/and client’s financial instruments, must have an initial capital of at least one hundred twenty five thousand euro (€125.000):

(a)  The reception and transmission of orders in relation to

financial instruments

(b)  the execution of orders on behalf of clients;

(c)  portfolio management;

(d)  provision of investment advice;

A CIF that provides the investment services stated in subsection (a) or/and (d) above, and does not hold clients’ money or/and clients’ financial instruments, and which for that reason may not at any time place themselves in debt with their clients, may have an initial capital of:

(a)  At least fifty thousand euro (€50.000); or

(b)  at least forty thousand euro (€40.000) and professional indemnity insurance covering all member states or some other comparable guarantee against liability arising from professional negligence, that it enters into with an insurance undertaking, representing an amount of at least one million euro (€1.000.000), per claim, and in aggregate at least one million five hundred thousand euro (€1.500.000) per year for all claims.

A CIF that provides one or more of the following investment services or/and performs the following investment activities shall have an initial capital of at least seven hundred thirty thousand euro (€730.000):

(a)  Dealing on own account;

(b)  Underwriting of financial instruments and/or placing of financial instruments on a firm commitment basis;

(c)  Placing of financial instruments without a firm commitment basis;

(d)  Operation of Multilateral Trading Facility.

Directors:

A Cyprus FX company must have at least one Executive Director, who passes a ‘fit and proper’ requirement test, who is resident in Cyprus. This means that he must have an investment/financial background, has a respected reputation in business circles and has a clean criminal record.

The requirement for Cyprus residency is to enable Cysec to correspond and liaise with him especially in as regards reporting as well as for clarifications and spot checks.

Furthermore, the company must have a General Manager, who is non-executive, and has no requirement to be resident in Cyprus. The requirement is that he visits Cyprus on a regular basis to oversee the functions of the company. The role of the General Manager is mainly to oversee the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in general.

Application Procedure :

All corporate documents of the company (incorporation certificate, certificate of directors/secretary, shareholders, Memorandum & Articles, etc) together with the CIF application form (Form 144-03-01). [The usual time frame for the preparation of the application and supporting documents is 1-2 months, depending on the prompt availability of the required documents].

Together with the above document bundle, a three year business plan, and internal procedures manual and anti-money laundering and know your client procedures must be filed with the application.

Initially, our firm has experience of setting up a Forex Company in Cyprus, Belize, Vanutatu, etc. We prepare the special memorandum and articles of the company

Legal Article – Registration of companies in BIV

Our law office enjoys an excellent reputation for its litigation strength and expertise in all aspects of commercial litigation, insolvency and investment fund disputes.  We have extensive experience in registration of companies worldwide and especially in British Virgin Islands. We have recently successfully helped a client for registration of Company in British Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands, or BVI for short, is a group of fifty islands in the Caribbean forming a British Overseas Territory. The main islands within this group are called Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. They have been autonomous from Britain since 1967. While the official name is the Virgin Islands, they are usually called the British Virgin Islands to separate them from the nearby American Virgin Islands.

Why is British Virgin Islands considered to be a tax haven?

A tax haven is – according to the OECD – a jurisdiction that seeks to make itself attractive to businesses and business owners seeking more favorable tax treatments than those available in their country of origin or residence. As such a tax haven provides beneficial terms under which either new companies can be incorporated or off-shore entities of already existing companies can be established.

The “British Virgin Islands tax haven” has come about through the creation of a very simple set of corporate taxation rules that offer a highly beneficial taxation system. The British Virgin Islands does not have any capital gains tax, gift taxes, sales tax, value added tax, profit tax, inheritance tax or corporation tax. Salaries paid to employees employed by an off-shore company established in the BVI tax haven are taxed at 8% for the employee the remaining percentage up to 12% or 14% for the employer for any salaries above $12,000.

The relative simplicity of these tax regulations along with the low tax rates explain why British Virgin Islands has become one of the most popular places for off-shore establishment of businesses. The BVI tax haven also offers another important benefit – relative privacy of details regarding financial transactions as well as corporate incorporations. This allows companies to configure their own corporate structure without harmful interference or risk of competitors gaining access to undue information.

Seven reasons to purchase an offshore company in the BVI:

1) Complete freedom from taxes in the country of registration.

2) The British Virgin Islands – the oldest and most respected offshore jurisdiction in the world.

3) The British Virgin Islands have the most elaborate offshore legislation in the world.

The highest level of security.  Information about the owners, shareholders and directors of the company is safely hidden from inquisitive eyes.

5) The Act does not limit the size of the share capital of BVI companies and does not specify the exact timing of the payment.

6) The law does not require the company to submit financial statements.

7) Free use of directors and shareholders as legal entities.

Documents needed to register a company in the British Virgin Islands:

The prestige of this jurisdiction has a downside. The documentation requirements are generally stricter than in more “democratic” offshore zones. If they seem too off-putting, we recommend that you try Belize or the Seychelles instead, where the process is much simpler.

Mandatory documentation:

1) A certified identification document.

A passport (foreign or domestic) is the most readily-accepted document. Next, in descending order, a national ID-card or driving licence (only acceptable if it contains a photo of the owner). The authenticity of the document must be certified by a notary, lawyer, certified public accountant, an employee of the embassy or consulate, a bank manager, a police officer or other person authorized to certify documents.

If you visit our office in Riga or in the BVI, copies of your document will be made by our staff on-site.

2) Proof of residence.

What is it? Any official document showing your name and address together. The most popular options are: utility bill (except mobile phone bills), bank statement (including credit card statement), a certificate from the housing department, an extract from the register of residents, a letter from a notary, bank official, etc.

3) Reference letter from the bank.

This formal document can easily be provided by almost any bank. Banks are familiar with this procedure and, as a rule, each bank has its own format.

In this letter, the bank confirms that the relevant person has been a customer of the bank for however many years, and declares the absence of any claims to this person .

4) Confirmation of the source of legal funds.

This is usually a bank statement.

Actual figures in this account are not that important. The law only requires proof that the client has legal funds.

Andreas G. Danos law office provides both corporate and litigation services.  Our law office enjoys an excellent reputation for its litigation strength and expertise in all aspects of commercial litigation, insolvency and investment fund disputes.  We have extensive experience in registration of companies worldwide and especially in British Virgin Islands.

Family Law in Cyprus

In Cyprus, the majority of the cases that are related to family matters, such as divorce, property relations, marital relations, custody and maintenance of a child are resolved by Family Courts. Under certain circumstances the family matters are resolved by the President of the District Court or the Family Courts of the Religious Groups.

For the family Courts to have jurisdiction it is an important requirement that one of the parties or both parties are resident in Cyprus for a continuous period of three months or more. However, if the dispute involves property relation, then there is no need for any of the parties to be residents in Cyprus.

A decision issued by a Court of another country can be enforced in Cyprus provided that Cyprus has an agreement with that particular country for mutual recognition and enforcement of judicial decisions with the country issuing the decision. If the country issuing the decisions is an EU Member States, then the enforcement will be effected by using the EU Regulations.

Regarding a divorce the dissolution of civil marriage in Cyprus is granted in Cyprus Family Courts once the applicant files an application at the Family Court. In case of religious marriage, the spouse applying for the divorce must first notify in writing, according to Article 3(1) of L. 22/90, the Bishop of the area where the applicant lives stating the grounds for the divorce.

The most common reason for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship which makes the continuation of the marriage irrevocable for the applicant.

In case of property relations each spouse retains all the rights they have on their personal property. Only property that was commonly acquired after the marriage may be divided or regulated by a court order. The contribution of a spouse is presumed to be 1/3 of the increase of the value of the property unless it is proved otherwise.

Our Law firm is one of the oldest and most reputable law firms in Cyprus and we specialize in Family law.

Ships Registration in Cyprus

Located on the crossroads of three continents, Cyprus has emerged into a growing maritime centre. The island’s geographical location recently combined with a number of financial incentives by carefully designed government planning have made the Cyprus flag widely attractive amongst the key players in the shipping industry.

The Cyprus Registry currently ranks tenth in the world accommodating a 20 million tonnage merchant fleet & third in the European Union. Ship-management companies operating in Cyprus manage one fifth of the global third party managed fleet. An effect of this has been that shipping industry now amounts to 7% of the country’s GDP.

Ship-owning companies and ship-management companies can benefit from a number of significant advantages by provisionally, permanently or parallel registering under the Cyprus flag.

Cyprus is a major international shipping centre. Ships and vessels of any type or size, except for those listed below, may be registered in the Register of Cyprus Ships or the Special Book of Parallel Registration, given that they satisfy age-related and type-related requirements.

Ships and vessels that are NOT qualified for registration:

  1. At the time of the application for their registration, are banned on port State control by a country member of any one of the Memoranda of Understanding on port State control, from entering the ports of the Countries party to that memorandum or that have been disqualified by a State from entering its ports;
  2. Have been detained on port State control grounds on more than three times within two years period before the submission of application for registration by States of the Paris or the Tokyo or the Mediterranean Memoranda of Understanding on port State control or by the US Coast Guard;
  3. Have been constructed exclusively for the use on inland navigation or that are to be utilized exclusively on inland navigation, i.e. internal waters, rivers, inland waterways, canals, natural or artificial lakes, water reservoir or dams.

Setting up a Forex company in Cyprus

Cyprus is the leading country in the EU regulating the Forex market due to its numerous tax advantages, low set up and operational expenses along with the “passport effect” to offer services in all EU countries. It’s a well-known financial and banking centre for international investors, who wanted to take advantage of low taxes, political and economic stability, the flexibility and progressiveness of the common law system, legislation protecting privacy of information, excellent telecommunications and travel infrastructure, ideal geographic location at the crossroads of three continents, and the availability of well-trained professionals to manage their business and financial affairs. All the above make it an ideal location in the EU to set up a Forex company.

Foreign investors interested in investing in Cyprus can set up a forex company, which carries out activities on the local and international trading markets. A forex company provides assistance to other investors, by offering advice on investment opportunities in the forex market.

Forex trading companies are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), under the CIFs and Investments Firms Law. To set up a Forex company a license is required by CYSEC and the process to obtain such a license involves several steps and conditions.

Share capital requirements vary depending on the type of investment firm and the services to be provided. A company that will only deal with portfolio management and offer investment advice, only requires a minimum share capital of 50.000 Euros. However, companies that operate a multilateral trading facility require a share capital of 730.000 Euros.

Our firm has experience of setting up a Forex Company in Cyprus. We prepare the special memorandum and articles of the company. We apply to the Registrar of Companies, firstly for approval of the company’s name, then for registration of the company, and then the CySEC application is prepared after collecting all necessary information from the shareholders. After examination and resolution of any issues, CySEC authorises the CIF and grants it a licence. The above procedure, from commencement to final approval by CySEC can be completed in about 5-6 months.

Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) in Cyprus

The enactment of the Alternative Investment Funds Law of 2014 (“AIF Law”) marked the beginning of a new era and strong opportunities for Cyprus in the fund industry. The new AIF Law came to harmonise the Cyprus legal framework with the European legislation in an attempt to enhance its competiveness and place the country as an important player in the field of alternative investment funds.

The new AIF Law provides for the requirements for the establishment of alternative investments funds (“AIFs”), their operation and supervision as well as setting the framework for the key persons involved in the management and operations of such funds.

The Law provides for two types of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), namely AIFs without limitations as to the number of investors and AIFs with limited number of persons. The choice of an AIF has a number of significant advantages:

  • No restrictions are imposed by the Regulator regarding the type of investments;
  • The application process is fairly simple and not particularly time consuming;
  • Subject to the approval of the Regulator, the AIFs can be self-managed;
  • AIFs can be set-up as umbrella funds with multiple compartments, allowing the management of different asset pools with separate investment policies;
  • AIFs without limitations as to the number of investors can be listed on Cyprus Stock Exchange and other recognized EU stock exchanges;
  • No withholding tax on dividend distributions and no taxation of capital gains;
  • The services provided by the Investment Manager of the fund are not subject to VAT;
  • The ‘‘Company’’ legal form of an AIF can take advantage of the double tax treaty network of Cyprus;
  • No onerous ongoing reporting requirements to the Regulator;
  • Low set up and maintenance costs.

Cyprus Investment Firms

Investment firms are regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), under the CIFs and Investments Firms Law.

Certain activities and services are regulated and can only be provided if a license is obtained. The term “investment firm” includes, amongst others, portfolio managers, broker companies, investment advisers, forex trading companies and binary options trading companies, which all fall under the definition of CIFs are regulated by CySEC.

For CySEC to grant CIF authorisation, a formal application procedure needs to be followed, and certain requirements must be met, the most important of which are stated below.

Capital Requirements

The minimum capital requirement for a CIF depends on the type of services offered:

  1. A CIF that holds clients’ money, and/or clients’ financial instruments, and provides one or more of the following investment services:
  • The reception and transmission of orders in relation to financial instruments;
  • The execution of orders on behalf of clients;
  • Portfolio management;
  • Provision of investment advice; must have an initial capital of at least €200.000.

 

  1. A CIF that provides the investment services stated in subsection (I) and (IV) above, and does not hold clients’ money and/or clients’ financial instruments, and as a result may not at any time place themselves in debt to their clients, may have an initial capital of €80.000, or at least €40.000, and professional indemnity insurance covering all EU member states, or some other comparable guarantee against liability arising from professional negligence, providing at least €1.000.000, for a single claim, and on aggregate, at least €1.500.000 per annum for all claims.
  1. A CIF that provides one or more of the following investment services and/or performs the following investment activities:
  • Dealing on own account;
  • Underwriting of financial instruments and/or placing of financial instruments on a firm commitment basis;
  • Placing of financial instruments without a firm commitment basis; shall have an initial capital of at least €1.000.000

 

Other Requirements

  1. When applying for a license, a firm must provide, amongst other documents, a business plan, an operations manual (which should include the Anti-Money Laundering Procedures,) completed questionnaires from the members of the board, managers and shareholders.
  2. The Board of Directors of the CIF shall consist of at least two executive members and two independent non-executive members. The majority of the members shall be Cyprus residents.

 

Time Frame

Our law firm has experience of setting up a Cyprus Investment Firm. We assist our customers with the preparation of the special memorandum and articles of the company. We apply to the Registrar of Companies, firstly for approval of the company’s name, then for registration of the company, and then the CySEC application is prepared after collecting all necessary information from the shareholders. After examination and resolution of any issues, CySEC authorises the CIF and grants it a licence. The above procedure, from commencement to final approval by CySEC can be completed in about 5-6 months.

 

Taxes in Cyprus

  1. Profits from CIF’s activities

Corporation tax on net profit is 12,5%. However, gains from the sale of titles, and, in most cases, dividends received are exempt from tax.

 There is no withholding tax on dividend, interest and royalties paid to non-residents.

2. Capital Gains

Capital gains are not taxable in Cyprus except for the 20% tax on gains on immoveable property that is located in Cyprus, and on any gain from the sale of shares in companies that own immoveable property in Cyprus. All other gains of a capital nature are not taxable.

3. VAT

Value Added Tax issues can be very complex for a CIF, due to the fact that some of the services offered by the CIF could be taxable, and others exempt. We will be happy to provide advice on all VAT issues.

 

 

 

Cyprus Company Registration

In the increasingly competitive modern business market, companies must do everything they can to maximise their chances of success. Financial considerations in particular are more pertinent today than ever before, and with this in mind, many companies are turning to new ways of conducting business in order to give themselves a competitive advantage.

Thanks to its beneficial tax system, Cyprus is proving itself to be of the most popular jurisdictions for holding, trading and intermediary companies to conduct international business.

We’re here to help by enabling companies in numerous sectors enjoy the many benefits of establishing a business presence in the popular European country of Cyprus. Below, you’ll find lots of useful information on the advantages of registering a company in Cyprus, including who can benefit and how to do it.

Advantages of Cyprus Company Formation:

  • European jurisdiction;
  • Advantageous vehicle for International Tax Planning and use;
  • 0% tax on Dividends received (Dividends received by a Cyprus Company, on certain conditions, are free of tax making Cyprus the most competitive jurisdiction for holding companies);
  • 0% withholding tax on Dividend payments (Dividends payable by a Cyprus resident company to its foreign shareholders (whether a company or individual) are not subject to any withholding tax in Cyprus);
  • Full tax exception on the payment of dividends to its non-resident shareholders and has a real advantage over the other traditional holding jurisdictions;
  • No capital gains tax is paid on the transfer of immovable property owned by a Cyprus Company abroad (outside Cyprus);
  • 12, 5% Taxation for tax resident companies. (Starting from accounting period of 2014);
  • 0% Taxation for NON tax resident companies;
  • Double Tax Treaties (Cyprus has signed a considerable number of Double Taxation Treaties with various countries, to avoid the double taxation of income earned in any of the two contracting states);
  • A minimum of one director is required for a Cyprus company formation. Director can be of any nationality and need not be resident, but Cypriot advisable for purposes of tax residency corporate directors are permitted;
  • A minimum of one shareholder is required for a Cyprus company formation;
  • Nominee Shareholders and Nominee Directors Allowed.

The law in Cyprus emerges out of a unique legal system, based on the Anglo-Saxon system, namely common law and equity, in a combination with the Continental system. Accordingly, various European law directives, regulations and international treaties, the constitution of the Republic of Cyprus (the supreme law of Cyprus), the legislation (statutory law) and the judicial precedent (case law), constitute the main sources of law in Cyprus.

In view of the above, a company is governed by the Companies’ Law Cap. 113. The Companies’ Law, being the core statutory law for corporate law in Cyprus, is comprised of several, detailed sections governing a Private Company from its incorporation until its dissolution. The law is mandatory and controls the contents of the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

A company is also governed by its own Memorandum and Articles of Association, provided that these have been set in accordance to the various provisions, rights or restrictions, mentioned in Cap. 113.

The main difference between the two is in the following:

The Memorandum of Association, declares the purposes for which a company has been incorporated, for example trading and / or holding assets, while the authorised share capital, the issued share capital and the name of the company, followed by the word “Ltd” or “Limited”, must also be clearly mentioned in the Memorandum.

The form of a Memorandum of Association of a Company Limited by Shares can found in Table B of the Companies’ Law Cap. 113. The Memorandum of Association can be amended, while the procedures followed for this alteration vary according to the nature of the amendment. For example, the name of a company can be amended through a special resolution signed by the shareholders of the company and upon the relevant approval by the Cyprus Registrar of Companies. The Memorandum may also be amended as to the purposes of a company, or for any changes to the company’s authorised capital.

On the other hand, the role of the Articles of Association is to specify various internal regulations controlling the day-to-day procedures of a company, e.g. the quorum needed for the shareholders’ meeting or the board of director’s meetings.

The Articles of Association of a company may adopt all or any of the regulations contained in Table A of the First Schedule of the Companies Law Cap. 113. The Articles of Association may be amended through a special resolution signed by the shareholders of the company as long as such an amendment is not in contradiction to the company law provisions; by restricting, for example, the interests of the minority of shareholders unless this would be analogous to the benefit of the Company.

Cyprus Citizenship by investment

Europe has long established itself as the most sought after region in terms of high net worth immigration, accounting for over half of the total number of global citizenship applications, with the Caribbean in second place, followed by North America in third. Also noteworthy, are recent studies conducted by global immigration experts, ranking the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program among the “top ten best in the world”.

Certain changes to the Cypriot immigration policy and legal framework now enable non-EU applicants to obtain Cypriot citizenship on an expedited basis. Cyprus Citizenship by Investment is available to foreign investors pursuant to subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2013 and the decision of the Ministry of Councils in September 2014, as amended.

The Cyprus government has formulated a “fast-track” citizenship scheme aimed at high net worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs. This allows the successful applicant and their family to hold a Cypriot passport and enjoy all the benefits of a Cyprus and EU National.

Why is the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program considered to be the most attractive in Europe? Some of the main reasons include the following:

– No requirement to make a donation to the local government, unlike the Maltese citizenship scheme which requires a donation of EUR 650,000.

– Applicants are not required to live on the island prior or during the application, or even after citizenship has been granted, unlike many other EU countries, including Malta, which requires applicants to physically reside in Malta one year prior to filing an application.

– Successful applicants receive a Cypriot passport within 3 to 4 months of filing an application, being by far the fastest route to EU Citizenship.

Why become a Cyprus citizen? Some of the main advantages of Cypriot Citizenship include the following:

– Freely travel, reside and work within the EU. An entire family can obtain Cyprus Citizenship i.e. spouse of applicant, children under 18 years, and adult dependents (ages 18 to 28).

– Establishment and free movement of services – individual citizens and their companies can offer services within the EU Member States without any obstacles.

– No requirement to physically reside in Cyprus either before the filing of an application or after obtaining Cypriot Citizenship.

– Cyprus is an attractive financial centre due to its highly favorable tax system and strategic location at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia. The Cypriot taxation system is consistently voted by EU tax professionals as being the most attractive in Europe.

– No visa required for travel within the EU; no visa required for travel to over 50 non EU countries.

The citizenship by investment program in Cyprus enables foreign citizens to apply for a Cyprus citizenship provided that they:

– Purchase and maintain a privately owned residence in Cyprus, the value of which must be at least €500,000 excluding VAT.

– Have a clean criminal record from the country of origin and/or residence.

– Confirm that the applicant’s name is not included in the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU.

Moreover, the applicant is required to meet one of the following key financial criteria in order to apply for the Cyprus citizenship:

-Deposits in banks operating in Cyprus, for a minimum amount of €2 million, and fixed for a three-year period. The list of eligible banks includes local banks and subsidiaries of foreign banks operating in Cyprus, but excludes branches; or

-Direct investments in Cyprus for a minimum amount of €2 million in any of the following ways:

-Purchase of Cyprus Government Bonds with a minimum maturity of three years;

-Investment in bonds or debentures registered and issued by Cyprus companies or businesses or organizations, with a minimum maturity of three years;

-Investment in real estate development projects including housing or commercial development projects, tourist industry developments or other infrastructure projects (excluding undeveloped land);

-Purchase, incorporation or participation in Cyprus businesses and companies that are based and operate in Cyprus. Such companies are required to have a physical presence in Cyprus and to employ at least five Cypriot citizens. This criterion includes share participation in a Cyprus bank, and also applies to foreign investors who have been holding shares (directly or indirectly) in Cyprus companies, or have been appointed as Executive Managers therein for three years prior to their application for Citizenship, earning remuneration resulting in tax revenue for the Republic of at least €100,000 and provided they maintain their investment in the said companies for another three years from the date the Citizenship is granted; or

-Combination of any of the criteria listed in the above two schemes.

Andreas Danos Law Firm are leaders in the area of Immigration Services in Cyprus, and well positioned to assist clients with the preparation and filing of a Citizenship Application. We are frequently engaged by some of the world’s largest and most reputable international law firms, accounting firms and family offices.

Our team of highly experienced professionals can advise you further on obtaining Cyprus Citizenship by Investment or any other residency permit, on the basis of your particular facts and circumstances