Advantages of Cypriot companies in the period of Brexit

After the United Kingdom’s choice to cease to participate in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union and put an end to the free movement of persons, goods and services with the EU as of 31 December 2020, the EU-UK relationship has changed significantly for businesses on both sides.

As of 1 January 2021 Brexit has affected trade in goods, provision of services, company law and civil law for contracts and jurisdiction clauses, data handling and digital and intellectual property rights. EU businesses that currently buy goods from the UK and place them on the EU market will become importers while those that currently distribute products to the United Kingdom will become exporters. This means that they will need to comply with a new set of EU applicable regulation. UK incorporated companies will be third-country companies and will no longer be automatically recognised. Their recognition will become subject to national law for third country-incorporated companies. Branches in EU Member States of UK incorporated companies will be branches of third-country companies. Subsidiaries of UK companies in the Union are, in principle, EU companies and will continue to be covered by all relevant Union and national legislation.

British businesses that export to the continent are being encouraged by government trade advisers to set up separate companies inside the EU in order to get around extra charges, paperwork and taxes resulting from Brexit. UK small businesses are being told by advisers that the best way to circumvent border issues and VAT problems that have been piling up since 1 January is to register new firms within the EU single market, from where they can distribute their goods far more freely.

Republic of Cyprus, a full member of the European Union and Euro zone, stands out as a unique destination company establishment and UK companies’ relocation or establishment of a branch. Cyprus benefits greatly from the European Union single market, meaning the free movement of goods, services, people, and capital. It enjoys the advantages provided by the EU Parent/Subsidiary Directive, Mergers Directive and the multitude of the EU trade agreements. Apart from that, Cyprus has signed 65 double taxation avoidance agreements, including ones with the UK, the USA, Canada, China, Russia, India, Germany, France, UAE and many other countries presenting a profitable opportunity for business.

Especially for UK businesses that want to retain their access to the European Union single market, reasonable regulation, the Cypriot legal system, the broadly spoken English language, its geostrategic position between Europe and the Eastern markets, the low corporate tax rate, and the country’s stable economy are additional advantages. Cyprus can provide an ideal stable environment for investment and international profitable business.

Compliance Management – Stay safe

What is compliance? Well, at the simplest level, compliance means obey. Compliance generally relates to a law, rule, regulation or some other standard that tells you what to do, or how to behave.

In some cases, compliance tells you what not to do or how not to behave. Every single organization and company, every single industry and profession has to deal with compliance.

Generally, compliance refers to the act or process of conforming to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard, or law. A compliance officer, sometimes called a compliance manager, is appointed by businesses, organizations, or individuals to assure that they conduct business in full compliance with national and international laws and regulations, policies, professional standards, accepted business practices and internal standardization procedures.

As there are increasing number of national and international laws and regulations to rule financial transparency, legitimate transactions, investment ethics, company formation and function, organization operational requirements, customer rights, etc., the use of consolidated and harmonized sets of compliance controls is imperative for many business sectors. Regulatory agencies and standards vary among fields, with examples such as EBA for credit institutions, investment firms and payment service providers (PSPs), EASA for Aviation Industry, EMSA for Maritime business, HACCP for the food and beverage industry, etc.

Compliance management for a firm is the most effective shield against legislation and applicable regulation violations resulting in heavy fines or prosecution, including both civil and criminal enforcement, and subsequently a substantial financial and prestige loss. Especially for companies, including law firms, that take the challenge to rise from traditional business models to quest international collaboration (the most likely source for long term growth) regulatory compliance is not only risk management but also a source of value added services to clients. Our law firm cooperates with Companies in the U.K. and U.S.A.

Compliance officers must be prominent professionals that have an extensive knowledge of the company’s operation, goals and culture, as well as of the greater industry and standard business law. They are charged not just with keeping a company’s business dealings ethically sound and legally shielded, but with establishing a compliance monitoring system that will ensure that all necessary requirements can be met during every day operations.

A regulatory compliance monitoring program, usually includes :

– Defining company policy on regulatory compliance

– Establishing procedures to assure the necessary level of knowledge on existing and emerging regulatory compliance requirements across the organization.

– Developing the annual compliance monitoring audit plan customized on company’s activities and practices.

– Guidance and training for the personnel on the compliance monitoring program.

– Internal audits and inspections of departments and independent investigation on regulatory breaches.

– Reporting and follow up procedures

– A scheme of managing deviations and mitigating actions.

– Procedures for recommendations to the administration on updating internal regulations, policies and practices to reduce the risk of the organization breaking laws and regulations.

– Interacting with regulators on compliance issues.

The task for compliance officers is to establish, oversee and monitor the implementation of the compliance program, to lead audits and inspections, to work with management and staff, to track and prove recommendations for remediation of identified exceptions or deficiencies, and to collaborate with the administration to follow up on timely remediation. They are independent from the departments of the company and they report directly to the CEO.

The educational requirements of regulatory compliance officers may vary, depending on the industry or field. However, various industries or fields such as law, accounting, science, and financial management require regulatory officers to possess at least a Bachelor’s degree, several years of professional experience, and some specialization or education in the relevant field. The most important asset though for compliance officer is that he/she must always be vigilant in order to stay aware of where possible regulatory breaches might occur.

Experienced law firms offer external advisory for establishing Compliance Management System, monitoring compliance programs, they provide support to handle correctly the legal risks within the company and recommend standardization of practices to avoid or to handle effectively critical situations.

Andreas G. Danos & Co LLC has the appropriate and specialized staff in the provision of compliance services, especially in terms of company formation and cooperates with companies all over the world, such as companies in the U.K, U.S.A., Dubai and China.

Company formation in Cyprus – We make it Easy

Starting or transferring your business to Cyprus is a smart move, since your Company will benefit from the place of the Republic of Cyprus in European Union and Euro, it’ s market oriented financial stability and the opportunities for profit in international level.

There is a variety of options including a Cyprus Company formation to off the shelf offshore corporations available for immediate use. The most popular legal business entity is the private limited liability company by shares and the majority of companies belong to this type of company.

The possibility Re-domiciliation of a foreign company is offered where a foreign company may become registered and continue in Cyprus if permitted by its own governing legislation. Finally, registration in Cyprus of branches of foreign companies within the legal framework of Cyprus is also provided. In such case, international businesses can be registered in Cyprus and involved as offshore private limited liability company, offshore branch of a foreign company and offshore general or limited liability partnership.

The company’s memorandum and articles of association, along with details of its issued capital, shareholders, directors, secretary, registered office address, registered mortgages and charges and copies of its financial statements are held by the Registrar of Companies and are available for public inspection.

In any case for Company formation in Cyprus proper legal assistance is a key step towards realizing business plans in Cyprus. Danos Law Firm professional and experienced staff assists and supports clients through the procedures of company formation. After a methodical planning tailored to specific needs and market strategy, we proceed with business entity registration and we take care of all legal aspects.  

This support will continue while you run and grow your business, providing all necessary assistance to meet the basic obligations according to the type of company.  

Company formation in Cyprus – A profitable choice

Cyprus has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and adopted the Euro as its currency on 1 January 2008. Our free market economy attracts companies from all over the world, offering profit opportunities in a stable financial environment and efficient tax planning.

Cyprus Company formation can be made with 100% foreign ownership, legitimately conduct business internationally and is subject to a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, among the lowest rates in the European Union (EU). Dividends paid to non-resident shareholders are not subject to withholding tax, either corporate shareholders or individuals. Double Taxation Agreements have been concluded between the Republic of Cyprus and more than 60 countries in Europe, Middle East, Asia, and America.

Your Company can benefit greatly from the financial opportunities and possibilities offered.

Danos Law Firm has the necessary expertise in Company formation in Cyprus, to guide you conveniently and safely through the steps of planning, starting, running and growing your business!

Temporary Residence in Cyprus

There are two categories of people who can obtain a temporary residence in Cyprus. Those who reside or who will enter the Republic for employment purposes, and these who reside or who will enter the Republic for visiting purposes. In view of the enforcement of the above legislation, the Civil Registry and Migration Department has reviewed the procedure for the issuance of residence permits for the above mentioned categories. The visitors section examines cases of third country nationals who enter the Republic of Cyprus and wish to stay for more than three months, without employment rights.

The following categories of foreigners can receive a visitors permit following a specific porocedure:

 

  • Τhird country nationals that have conducted a marriage with Cypriot citizens and their minor children (younger than 18 years old) from a previous marriage and/or parents-in-law from third countries.
  • Third country nationals who apply for extension of their temporary residence permit, provided that they have sufficient financial resources for their maintenance originating from abroad.
  • Τhird country nationals who apply for extension of their temporary residence permitin order to conduct a marriage with a Cypriot or an EU

 

Work permit in Cyprus:

In Cyprus the employer applies for a work visa. The employer is obliged to make a contract of employment with which the employee must take to the Embassy of Cyprus to obtain an entry visa. Any company with the registration of a third-country nationality must provide evidence of work and declare the position of workers who are not Greek or EU citizens. The company places a job advertisement with their registration number in the database of the Ministry of Labour and Cyprus newspapers. The application is registered with the Ministry of Labour in Cyprus.

After 40 business days of the application being received from the eligible candidates, the Ministry of Labour receives a business statement and begins to process the consideration of the company. The company’s accounts are checked to ensure they have sufficient funds to cover the annual salary of each employee. If the company does not have sufficient working capital and / or the company doesn’t employ a sufficient number of Greeks or Europeans and/or the officials decide that the request is irrelevant, the company may be refused authorization. In general the government prefers for jobs EU citizens or Cypriots and only in specific jobs.

In Cyprus there are two types of companies: Cyprus companies and companies with foreign investments. It’s much easier for foreign companies to bring in workers than local ones.

The positions which are eligible for a Cyprus work permit are:

As an Executive Director the maximum number is 5 people if the registration and migration service of the Republic of Cyprus is not convinced about the justification of the presence of a larger number. The minimum acceptable total annual salary (annual salary + any additional premiums/additional payments) is €41,000. This amount may be adjusted in accordance with changes in the wages index.

  • Middle management staff or otherwise staff with mid-level qualifications among the above-mentioned employees, including directors but not the executive directors, as well as other members of the executive bodies of management/middle management or other technical or clerical personnel, with an annual salary of €21,000 to €40,000.
  • Supporting Staff

.All third-country nationals employed by other technical, managerial, professional, clerical and other positions in Cyprus, and not falling into the previous two categories, are classified as support staff. It is expected that the company will employ Cypriots or Europeans for this category.

 

 

Our Law Firm specializes in Immigration matters

Immigration is an international movement of people who move on to a country of which they are not natives or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle as permanent residents.

As experienced Cyprus Lawyers who specialize in Immigration Law we deal with the following immigration matter in Cyprus:

Permanent Residence:

People who possess and have fully and freely at their disposal a secured annual income is high enough to give them a decent living in Cyprus, without having to engage in any business, trade or profession. The annual income required should be at least Euro 30,000.00 for a single applicant and moreover at least Euro 5,000.00 for every dependent person, but the Immigration Control Board may demand additional amounts as necessary. In order to obtain the status of permanent residence to the applicants, they should buy any property in Cyprus that it is over 300.000 Euros. If the applicant acquires (the Category F) Visa, he/she will be able to bring together his wife and children.

Under the provisions of Regulation 6 (2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations investors have the right to acquire permanent residence visa as long they will fulfill the following criteria:

  • The applicant must prove that he has at his disposal a secured minimum annual income amounting to €30.000 (employment in Cyprus is not allowed).
  • The minimum annual income is increased by €5.000 per year for every dependent person. The annual income should be earned from sources abroad and can include overseas employment income, pensions, dividends etc.
  • The application form must be accompanied by a title deed or a contract of sale that has already been submitted to the land registry, for the acquisition of a house, apartment or any other building situated in Cyprus, of a minimum value of €300.000 (excluding VAT). Further, the applicant must submit proof of payment for at least €200.000 (excluding VAT) in respect of the above mentioned property. The Civil Registry and Migration Department will only accept applications for granting immigration permits under the fast track route provided that the above mentioned property is being sold for the first time.

Our Law Firm specializes to debt collections and we provide high legal services concerning this matter.

Going through a difficult period worldwide because of COVID-19  fortunately for all the lawyers who handle pending cases, from now on it is possible for most procedures to be processed by sending an email giving the necessary document or asking for further instructions or details to the competent service/department of the Court. This is obviously a respectable facility for everyone, as the physical presence of the client or his lawyer is not necessary in each case . In this way, in order not to take too long for a case to continue to the next step because of the restrictions , the whole process can continue normally, without the need to appear in Court. The possibility to clarify the handling of cases by email or telephone by both the Court and the lawyers is an option that facilitates everyone mainly for protection reasons.  The Court will inform the lawyers of the parties in advance and in time about the lawsuits which are in order of hearing so that the appropriate coordination and planning for the commencement of these hearings can take place.

Our law firm specializes in litigation. Our lawyers specialize in Cyprus Law and can efficiently address a wide range of legal issues.

Regarding the debt collections, we provide prompt, efficient, simple and cost-effective solutions to our clients for all debt collection needs against individuals and entities. As experienced Cyprus lawyers, we proactively assist and act on behalf of our clients on debt collection matters in Cyprus. Furthermore, we represent clients in proceedings to secure claims as well as in execution proceedings. Our lawyers take all legal actions in execution proceedings but not limited to aforementioned debt collection through competent execution offices.

Cyprus Investment Program (CIP)

Implications of the amendments to persons who have already acquired the Cypriot citizenship by way of investment

Apart from the amendments to the CIP that have been decided to come into force and to impose stricter criteria and requirements concerning the application itself, the Council of Ministers also decided to use the services of three private companies to carry out due diligence check on all applicants, who have already submitted their applications.

Furthermore, it was decided that previously approved applications will also be re-examined it the light of the new criteria, which implement a more rigid due diligence check. In cases where it is proved that a person should not have been granted the Cypriot citizenship, if the new criteria had been applied during the examination of his/her application, then the citizenship may be revoked.

According to Civil Registry Law 141(I)/2002, as amended, there are a number of cases where a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus who is a citizen by registration or by naturalization (including persons who have been granted citizenship according to the CIP), ceases to be a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus, if the Council of Ministers issues an Order that deprives him/her of the citizenship according to the criteria set out in the law.

These cases extend to the case where a person is sentenced in any country to imprisonment for a particularly harsh offence, to the case where a person by words or conduct has shown lack of loyalty to the Republic of Cyprus etc.

Furthermore, the Council of Ministers may by Order deprive the citizenship of a person, if it is satisfied that the registration or the certificate of naturalization has been obtained by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact.

In addition to the above mentioned reasons for deprivation of citizenship, the Council of Ministers may also by Order deprive the citizenship of a person, if it is satisfied that this person usually resided in foreign countries for a continuous period of 7 years and during this period he/she has not:

a) been at any given time in the service of the Republic or of an International Organization of which the Republic is a member; or

b) notified each year, with the prescribed manner, to the Consulate of the Republic his/her intention to maintain his/her status as a citizen of the Republic.

However, it is highlighted that the Council of Ministers shall not deprive any person of his/her status as a citizen, unless it is satisfied that it does not serve the public interest that such a person continues to be a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus.

In any case, the Council of Ministers shall give the relevant person a written notice, informing him/her about the reason for issuing such an Order.
For more information concerning the amendments in the Cyprus Investment Program, do not hesitate to contact us

British Virgin Islands entering the “white-list” of the cooperative tax jurisdictions of the EU

In 2018, British Virgin Islands were included on the EU’s ‘grey list’ of cooperative tax jurisdictions, despite its attempts to engage with the EU, because the EU required further progress in order to address its concerns.

Since that date, the BVI has proven its commitment to an effective cooperation with the EU and its dedication to promote good tax governance by passing the Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act 2018.

There were also other pieces of legislation (either primary or secondary) which passed in order for BVI to achieve the aforementioned goals and at the same time to continue to be one of the most preferred jurisdictions for companies’ registration.

Each of these measures adopted by the BVI further establishes its position as an internationally respected and stable financial centre, which attracts businessmen from all over the world to establish their companies there.

Furthermore BVI seems to be present and committed in a positive dialogue with the EU, in order to meet and comply with the existing international standards.

Up to this end, during the last week of February 2020, EU announced that BVI managed to be included in the EU “white-list” of cooperative tax jurisdictions, among other countries and at the same time it managed not to impose/place irrational restrictions regarding the incorporation of companies.

Thus BVI is now, more than ever, one of the most appealing and stable jurisdictions for company incorporation, with a number of benefits, including among others the low taxation, the fast procedure of incorporation, the availability for residents of any country, etc.

For more information concerning company incorporation in BVI, do not hesitate to contact us directly in info@danoslawfirm.eu.

Personal Injury in Cyprus

Nowadays the number of personal injury cases seems to increase, while at the same time citizens are not aware of their rights. Recently our law firm has dealt with a number of cases regarding personal injury and we managed to obtain very reasonable compensations for each of our clients.

Under Cypriot legislation, the term personal injury refers to and includes any harm, physical, psychological or mental, that a person may suffer, most commonly due to road traffic accidents, accidents at work, tripping accidents, product defect accidents (product liability) and holiday accidents.

The above principle is based on the doctrine of negligence, according to which the innocent party has suffered harm due to the negligent behavior of another person. It is very important for citizens to have a full understanding of their legal rights and their ability to issue Court proceedings for such matters.

If the party responsible for the negligent behavior has an insurance plan under which negligent acts are covered, the person who suffered the injury should appoint a lawyer, who will negotiate with the insurance company in order to obtain a reasonable compensation.

However, if the insurance company does not make any reasonable offer, then the party who suffered the harm may instruct his/her lawyer to proceed with Court proceedings.

There are two types of damages and the person who has suffered the injury may claim them, namely general damages and special damages. Special damages are measurable damages such as loss of earnings, medical expenses and any financial expenses incurred and directly linked to the injury.

On the other hand, general damages are not measurable and include among others bodily harm, emotional and psychological trauma, pain and suffering and loss of amenity. The measure for general damages is estimated and decided upon by the Court on the basis of the severity of harm suffered, the degree of the negligent behavior and other factors.

Our law firm specializes in personal injury cases and has dealt successfully with a lot of such cases, both in negotiations’ procedures and in Court proceedings. We can offer a variety of services concerning any claim for personal injury, including advice on how to proceed with each case, advice regarding the amount that a person is entitled to claim, negotiating with insurance companies, managing Court proceedings either for the claimant or the defendant, etc.

For further information regarding personal injury claims or assistance in the estimation of the compensation you may be entitled to, you contact our legal firm.