Transferring your Business to Cyprus?
On 15 October 2021, the Council of Ministers implemented a new strategy for “attracting businesses” in order to make the procedures easier for them to transfer their activities to and/or expand them in Cyprus.
The new strategy is considered as a significant initiative for attracting more international investment. The existing investment policy has now been simplified, aiming to enhance Cyprus’ position in the international sphere of business investment.
As of January 2022, in line with the current “Fast Track Activation Mechanism”, a new unit has emerged, called the “Business Facilitation Unit (BFU)”. This unit will be a reference point for all foreign companies, evaluating and assessing their requests for transferring their business to and/or expanding their activities in Cyprus. Furthermore, the new strategy simplifies the procedures for companies approved by the BFU, which will then be licensed and/or eligible to employ foreign personnel and obtain residence permits from the Civil Registry & Migration Department, the process of which will be fast-tracked. Following the approval of the work permit, the client can apply for his family to obtain a residence permit under the family reunification process.
There is some eligibility criteria that need to be met with regard to the registration of an International Business Company through the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU). You can find the eligibility criteria at https://www.businessincyprus.gov.cy/business-facilitation-unit/ .
It is worth mentioning that all Companies registered as International Business Companies are obliged to employ Cypriots / EU citizens who make up 30% of their total staff over a period of five years. In five years’ time, ie after 2.1.2027, the ratio for new recruitments will be checked. If a company does not comply with the 70:30 ratio, the case will be evaluated based on its own criteria and will be brought before the management.
Application to the BFU
Businesses wishing to establish and/or expand their activities in Cyprus must express their intention by submitting their request to the Business Facilitation Unit of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry by email. The relevant email must be followed by a letter of intention expressing the Company’s interest in establishing and/or expanding its activities in Cyprus. The letter of intent should further include a brief description of the company, its activities (the nature of its business as stated in the Articles of Association), the number of staff, expansion plans, etc. (For the application procedures and documents that need to be submitted to the BFU, as mentioned in ANNEX I, please see https://www.businessincyprus.gov.cy/business-facilitation-unit/).
All of the necessary registration procedures for the establishment of the company will be completed within seven (7) working days of the date of submission of all the necessary documents to the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry.
The registration of an eligible company in the Register of Companies of Foreign Interests will be confirmed by email.