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Cyprus: EU jurisdiction for financial and professional services

The following benchmark table offers a quick overview of how Cyprus compares to other well known global investment jurisdictions, as well as some key source markets. Of course each jurisdiction serves its own unique purpose and caters to a specific niche; with various pros and cons. Some specialise in offshore companies, others in pure corporate or individual tax benefits, and then some are strictly financial centres. Where Cyprus truly differs is its infrastructure for facilitating professional services together with investment benefits. As an EU and Eurozone member state, as well as part of the British Commonwealth group of countries, activities in Cyprus are both credible and proficient; in approach and output.

Indeed, Cyprus has the lowest corporate tax rate in European Union and is the lowest non-investment tax jurisdiction in the world.
As such, it has become one of the most popular destinations in the world for professional services and a true financial centre, combining unique cost and flexibility features while fully complying with the EU Fund regulation and international best practices, as well as listed on the OECD white list of jurisdictions which have substantially implemented the internationally-agreed standards for tax cooperation. In addition, although many of these well-known investment tax jurisdictions have a low or nil corporate tax rate, they do not have extensive double tax treaties such as Cyprus.

  Basis of legal System Paid Up Capital Requirement Accounting -
Audit Requirement
Taxation
(on profits)
Minimum government fees (excluding taxation) Local directors / Managers required Double taxation treaty access Time to form Ready-made shelf company availability
Cyprus common €1,000 12.5% 3 - 5 days
Australia Ltd. common Fraction of 1c 30% AUD 400 1st year
AUD 1,000 p.a. thereafter
2 1 - 2 days
Australia Pty. common Fraction of 1c 30% AUD 400 1st year
AUD 212 p.a. thereafter
1 1 - 2 days
Bahamas common US $1 US $350 5 - 7 days
Belize common US $0 US $100 1 - 2 days
British Virgin Islands common US $1 US $350 for US $50,000
US $1,100 for US $50,001
2 - 3 days
Hong Kong common HK $1 * US $320 / US $65 ** 5 - 7 days
Ireland common €1 12.5% €30 10 days
Isle of Man*** common £1 0 - 10% £360 Only UK 3 - 5 days
Jersey common £1 0 - 10% £600 10 - 14 days
Luxembourg S.A.R.L. civil €31,000 Varies 1 - 2 days
Malta civil €1,165 27.5 - 35% €100 2 - 3 days
Panama civil US $1 US $300 1 - 2 days
Seychelles hybrid US $1 US $100 1 - 2 days
Singapore common SGD $1 Varies SGD $365 3 - 5 days
Switzerland civil CHF 100,000 8 - 35% 10 days
UK common GBP 1 (Private Ltd.)
GBP 50,000 (Public Ltd.)
21% - 29.75% Not applicable 1 - 2 days

* No taxes are levied on incomes earned outside Hong Kong.
** China - Corporate and Personal Income Tax. Belgium,Thailand, Luxembourg - dividends, interest and royalties. Some other Countries - for shipping and aviation.
*** Isle of Mann offers a variety of entities available, including Resident LLC, Limited Partnership, Private Limited, Hybrid, and New Manx Vehicle. Essentially, these entities all have similar requirements. Key differences are that a Limited Partnership requires at least one local director/manager; ready-made shelf companies are not available for Hybrids; except for New Manx Vehicle all must be in GBP currency; Resident LLC must have a minimum of 2 members; and only a Resident LLC offers a certain level of anonymity.

There are some common traits between each of these jurisdictions, including:
  • Each jurisdiction has a minimum requirement of 1 Shareholder.
  • Each jurisdiction has a minimum requirement of 1 Director, except in some jurisdictions such as Panama and with an Australian Ltd. where it is 3; as well as Seychelles, Ireland, Isle of Man and a UK Public Limited where it is 2.
  • Investment Anonymity: each jurisdiction above offers a certain level of director and shareholder anonymity, except in Australia, the UK, Malta, Luxemburg, Singapore and Hong Kong. In some jurisdictions however, such as the USA, UK, Canada, India, Australia, Malta, Luxemburg, Singapore and Hong Kong, and even Cyprus, it is mandatory for companies to produce yearly audited accounts. At the same time, this makes these tax jurisdictions more credible for the company and offer greater substance.

For more specific information and a detailed (customised) review of your particular situation, contact Investment-Gateway for a consultation request and to be passed you on to the right associate. Click here.

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