After their financial crisis, Cyprus had a rocky road back to economical certainty. Nevertheless, the country had climbed its way back up the ladder, with the international business and finance sectors re-establishing themselves for eager investors. This month we speak with Andreas M. Koumenides, who reveals what a business needs to progress in Cyprus and the legislation movements behind it.
What are the primary steps a business needs to take to establish itself in Cyprus?
Let me start by saying that Cyprus is an established international business and financial services centre within the European Union and the Eurozone. Internationally owned companies may establish a business in the Republic of Cyprus on equal terms with the locally owned legal entities.
Initially, to setup an entity in Cyprus, an application for name approval has to be submitted prior to the submission for registration. After the name is approved by the Registrar, the necessary documents need to be prepared. At the same time, the Memorandum and Articles of Association needs to be drafted which includes information on the nature of the company’s activities, the names of the company’s Shareholders and their respective shareholdings, etc. When the company’s application is approved by the Registrar, the company gets a unique registration number and its Certificates. The whole process takes about five days. The use of pre-approved names that our firm maintains further reduces the time required.
Are there particular Company Formation laws in Cyprus/the EU that make this difficult or time consuming?
On the contrary, reflecting the importance placed by the government of the Republic of Cyprus on the country’s development as a financial services centre, the administrative procedures for registering a legal entity have been significantly simplified resulting to the formation of a new company in just a few days. We would, of course, like to see that time reduced to 24 hours which will be useful in some very urgent cases. Currently, we deal with this issue by maintaining “shelf companies” that are instantly available to clients.
How does Profel’s legal expertise assist in these matters and what challenges do you often run into?
We are a Law and Consulting firm with Cyprus, UK and USA trained and licensed legal professionals, with several decades of combined experience in advising international clients on the most efficient and effective use of the Cyprus jurisdiction. What, we believe, sets us apart is our commitment to excellence and superior performance. We provide quality advice and expertise across the full range of finance, corporate, and immigration law. We combine our legal expertise with strategic and commercial thinking, aiming for innovative solutions to challenges that our clients pose to us.
As the Managing Director, how do you ensure your teams are doing the best they can to ensure your clients benefit in company formation services from all angles?
As alluded earlier, we aim to provide our clients with excellent service and optimal results no matter what the challenge is. Indeed, company formation is just a small piece of the puzzle of comprehensive services we offer to clients. Setting up a legal entity in Cyprus to take advantage of all that the Cyprus jurisdiction has to offer to the international investor/businessperson, means that we must be able to provide our clients with access to global legal resources, in order to meet all needs related to cross border transactions, something that we do through a network of firms we cooperate with.
Moreover, from a local point of view, through our network of professionals, we are a one-stop-shop in relation to services necessary to meet all statutory requirements/filings of Cyprus legal entities. In a nutshell, we offer comprehensive advice on all aspects of operating through Cyprus whether it is for international trade, asset holding, the setting up of Cyprus international trusts, tax planning and advice, as well as immigration and permanent residency issues.
Why would you describe Profel as the go-to firm for company formation services in Cyprus?
Cyprus is a jurisdiction that offers many possibilities to the international investor. The ability to take advantage of those possibilities takes knowledge, expertise, and keeping up with all the changes and developments that are constantly taking place in the international business and taxation environments. At Profel, we are efficient and effective, always following the latest developments and are thus able not merely to arrange for a speedy and efficient setting up of a Cyprus legal entity but also to provide advice on the most advantageous use of the Cyprus jurisdiction in an international setting, based on the client’s specific circumstances.