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Introduction - Geography & History

Cyprus is truly a unique island country; shaped by its geographical location and presence throughout Western civilisation and history.

Located in the eastern Mediterranean at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East-Asia and Africa, Cyprus has for centuries been a strategic platform for other, larger major world powers, such as the Golden Age of Greece, Roman Empire, British, Byzantium, Frankish, Venetian, and Ottomans. Other nearby nations have also left their influence in some way or other, including the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Arabians and Persians. Naturally, this has left a lasting legacy on the country in terms of history and culture, where diversity is imbedded within the people and land; in ideology, language, food, way-of-life, architecture and nature – perhaps like no where else in the region. Beyond this, Cypriot people have had little choice but to greet each different visitor, work together and adapt to each change. This truly explains Cyprus' fundamental character and personality; that in modern society, this island nation is naturally welcoming and hospitable, as well as pro business and foreign trade relations.

  • History dating back over 10,000 years and connected to many other well known civilisations. This explains the people's ability to maintain health geopolitical relationships.
  • Within easy reach from many major sources and potential investment markets, such as 4-5 hours from the UK, Scandinavia and Russia, 3-4 hours from France, Spain, Benelux, Germany, Italy, Central and Eastern Europe and 1-2 hours from Greece, the Middle East and North Africa. Two brand new airports (Larnaca and Pafos) together with an increase in flight connections have significantly improved accessibility. This is also poised to grow over the years, as new low cost flight connections and other full fledge airlines increase frequency.
  • Convenient time zone for business interaction with all the above regions, as well as further away, such as India, parts of China, African countries and even the USA and Canada.

Modern Cyprus, Ready for Business

Today, Cyprus continues to play a major role in regional geopolitics and trade relations. In 2004, the country became a full member of the European Union (EU), and then later in 2008, joined the Eurozone (euro currency area). By doing so, it also became the most eastern point of the EU, and technically the only EU country geographically in Asia-Middle East. This also then provides a unique flair and atmosphere; in culture, ideology, general way-of-life and business. Cyprus is a Westernised Mediterranean country, liberated and democratic, yet also maintains a sense of the east and orient. Of course this is to be expected, due to its close proximity, historical and cultural ties, as well as its climatic conditions.

In business this translates to a professional yet flexible approach, friendly business nature, hard-working ethic and commerce conscious approach – trade, industry and services. This includes appropriate government regulations and a general policy of non-intervention in business operations, limited to preserving the professional and financial services sector, guidance and aiding sustainability. This attitude, together with geopolitical relations and EU membership is what truly drives the country's economy, supported by excellent infrastructure for professional services, and an open market economy. As such, Cyprus has become an international investment platform to the EMEA region, particularly EU-Europe, the Middle East, Russia and CIS. Cyprus has quickly grown into a financial, commercial and shipping centre, attractive for corporate and individual tax planning structures, registering company formations, international banking and all subsequent professional services. This is all stable and secure, and now poised to grow following natural resource findings.

Cyprus Geopolitical

Republic of Cyprus is the internationally recognised government of the island, but its writ does not run in the unrecognised north. All references to Cyprus in this website refer to the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus gained independence from the British in 1960, with its political system modelled on such Western democracies. In fact, the British, like prior ruling nations, left many political systems, economical and infrastructure influences behind, helping the country to launch successfully.

As per the Cypriot Constitution, Head of State is a directly elected president with executive powers and serving a five-year term. The executive arm of the Government is the Council of Ministers, appointed by the President. These Ministers are responsible for the administration of their respective ministries and departments, and for the implementation of legislation. Legislative power belongs to the House of Representatives, which consists of 56 elected members who hold office for a five year period. A multi-party system operates in Cyprus.

Cyprus has been an EU member state since 2004 and in the euro zone since 2008. The country also enjoys excellent geopolitical relationships with neighbouring countries in the Middle East and North Africa (Arab and Israeli), as well as Eastern European countries Russia and CIS – enhanced by religious and cultural similarities. Indeed, these healthy relationships allow Cyprus to thrive economically, whilst make it a popular tourist destination.

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates among its member states every six months. During the second half of 2012, Cyprus took over the EU Presidency. In 2017, the city of Pafos will be European Capital of Culture. Both such events are not only economic boosters, and image enhancers in placing the country on the international radar, but indeed further indicate Cyprus' steadfast integration in to the EU community.

Cypriot Legal System

The country's legal system is based on the constitution of 1960 and closely related to that of the United Kingdom. All statutes regulating business matters and procedure are based on English Law, with most laws also officially translated to English.

Justice is administered by the High Court of the Republic, the assize courts and the district courts. Power at local government level is exercised by municipal and community councils and groupings of communities.

The Central Bank of Cyprus is responsible for shaping and implementing the monetary and credit policies of the State. The Central Bank also manages the Republic's currency reserves, supervises the banks and acts as the government's banker and financial representative. Under the Constitution, the president of the Republic appoints a number of independent officers of state, such as the Attorney-General (who is the Republic's legal adviser), the Auditor-General, the General Comptroller, the Director of the Central Bank and the Commissioner for Administration.

Principal Corporate Legislation: companies' law in Cyprus is the Cyprus Companies Law, Cap.113, which is based on the English 1948 Companies Act. Single member companies were introduced by the Companies (Amendment) Act 2000 and other amending legislation was passed in 2000 and 2001.

Cyprus Latest facts, click here