Tax Planning

Tax planning involves the analysis of the operations of an organisation from the financial point of view to identify the most tax efficient way to achieve its financial goals. Tax planning, therefore, establishes the way that the various elements of an organisation should interact to minimize tax liability.

Many organisations do not concentrate on tax planning and handle their taxes in a reactive manner, instead of adopting a proactive approach, resulting in higher tax obligations and, therefore, lower returns on their investments.

At the same time, declining tax revenues and pressure from the public have made governments around the world adopt special measures against legitimate tax avoidance. Consequently, careful tax planning has never been as important as it is today. In an increasingly complex and ever-changing tax environment, it is important to receive tax planning advice which is clear, creative, cost-effective and comprehensible.

Our tax planning advisors can help you design tax efficient international corporate structures taking into account your specific needs and requirements.

Our expertise in the field of tax planning covers an extensive range of industries from trading to shipping.

Cyprus, being a low tax jurisdiction, as opposed to an offshore one, is one of the most popular choices for international tax planning. Its favourable tax regime, together with its extensive network of double tax treaties and its excellent infrastructure, offers invaluable tools for efficient tax planning and a reputable base for your international business.

Using Cyprus in your international tax planning will enable you to take advantage of the following benefits offered by the Cypriot tax regime:

  • 12.5% corporation tax on net profits
  • Dividend income received in Cyprus from abroad is exempt from corporation tax
  • Profits earned in Cyprus from a permanent establishment abroad are exempt from corporation tax
  • Profits earned in Cyprus from the disposal of shares and other securities are tax exempt
  • Interest received in Cyprus not arising from ordinary activities is exempt from corporation tax
  • Zero tax withheld on payment of dividends, interest and royalties from Cyprus to non-resident individuals or companies
  • Tax losses can be carried forward for up to five years to be offset against future profits
  • Losses from a company can be offset against the profits of other companies in the same group during the same financial year for tax purposes
  • Group reorganisations are possible without any tax implications
  • Over 40 double tax treaties
  • Possibility to obtain a European VAT number for intra-European trading
  • Full adoption of the EU directives (Parent-Subsidiary Directive, Mergers Directive, Directive on Mutual Assistance and Cooperation and Royalty and Interest Directive)

Utilising Cyprus in international tax planning can, therefore, reduce or even completely eliminate the overall tax liability of international corporate structures. In particular, tax planning through Cyprus can help:

  • Reduce the tax liability where the income is earned
  • Reduce the withholding tax on dividends paid from the country where the income is earned
  • Reduce the tax liability of the beneficial shareholder of the corporate structure
  • Reduce the overall tax liability of the international corporate structure

For some examples of how you can use Cyprus in your international tax structures please click here.

Company Formation

We can help you register companies in Cyprus and in many other onshore and offshore jurisdictions, such as, Belize, Seychelles, British Virgin Islands (BVI), UK, UAE and Luxemburg.

Alternatively, to save time, you may choose to purchase one of our previously registered companies. These companies, which are known as “Shelf Companies”, are companies registered by us and left with no activity, assets or liabilities. Consequently, you can purchase one of these companies and start using it immediately without going through all the procedures of registering a new one. Our portfolio of shelf companies includes both Cyprus and offshore companies registered in a number of offshore jurisdictions.

For inquiries about registering your own Cyprus or offshore company and for the list of the available already registered shelf companies please contact us.

For some examples of how you can use Cyprus and offshore jurisdictions in your international tax structures please click here.


Company formation process

Company formation, which is often called company incorporation or registration, is a very straight forward process.

In order to register your own company, or to purchase one of our already registered Cyprus or offshore shelf companies, all you have to do is to complete some simple forms and send us the documents required to comply with our Due Diligence / Know Your Client requirements.

If you purchase one of our already registered shelf companies you will be able to start using it as soon as we receive and review the documents that you will send us. On the other hand, if you wish to register a new company we will submit the company formation application form to the Registrar of Companies of the relevant jurisdiction. The company formation process can take anything from two to thirty days depending on the jurisdiction. Therefore, should time be of the essence it is strongly recommended to purchase one of our already registered shelf companies. Typically, the time required to register a company in Cyprus is about twenty-one days, whereas, to register an offshore company in Belize two.


Information required for company formation

The relevant company formation forms, as well as those required to purchase one of our already registered Cyprus or offshore shelf companies, include information about the company, its activities, any related companies and the people behind it.

The information requested during the company formation process is necessary for compliance purposes and it includes:

  • The name of the company

  • Its jurisdiction of incorporation

  • Its share capital

  • The names of its officers and shareholders (beneficial and nominee)

  • Its registered address

  • A summary of the activities of the company


Furthermore, the company formation process requires us to collect the following information from its officers, shareholders and in general from anyone with signature rights:

  • Names

  • Contact details

  • Passport copies

  • Recent utility bills

  • Reference letters


Company formation package

 If you register a company using our services, or if you purchase one of our already registered shelf companies, you will receive the following:

  • Certificate of incorporation

  • Memorandum and articles of association

  • Certificate of directors and secretaries

  • Certificate of shareholders

  • Certificate of registered address

  • Corporate register

  • Share certificate

  • Corporate seal

 
Please note that the above documents refer to Cyprus companies and they may vary for companies registered in other jurisdictions.

Being a licensed corporate service provider our services are not restricted to company formation. On the contrary, they include everything that you will require to operate your company such as:

  • Domiciliary and nominee services

  • Bank account opening

  • Company administration and secretarial services

  • Tax planning

  • Accounting and audit

  • Legal services

 
For inquiries about registering your own Cyprus or offshore company and for the list of the available already registered shelf companies please contact us.

For some examples of how you can use Cyprus and offshore jurisdictions in your international tax structures please click here.

 

Trusts

Cyprus is a popular jurisdiction for international trusts. The relevant law has the following criteria for a trust to qualify as a Cyprus International Trust:

• The settlor should not be a permanent resident in Cyprus.
• At least one trustee should be a permanent resident in Cyprus.
• No beneficiaries are permanent residents in Cyprus.
• The trust does not include any immovable property in Cyprus.

Cyprus International Trusts enjoy a number of advantages such as:

• Income received, including trading income, dividends, interest and capital gains, is not taxed in Cyprus.
• The beneficiary of a Cyprus International Trust can retire in Cyprus and still be exempt from tax if all the property settled and the income earned is from abroad.
• No estate duty
• Asset protection
• Estate management in order to ensure that any child or any other person is well provided for.
• Inheritance planning in order to avoid inheritance legislation in certain countries
• Anonymity and confidentiality

 

Domiciliary & Nominee Services

Companies who wish to take advantage of the favourable tax regimes of Cyprus and other jurisdictions need to domicile in, and therefore become tax residents of, the jurisdiction in question.

Domiciliation requirements vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. While in offshore jurisdictions having a registered office and an agent there suffice, ‘white list’ jurisdictions have more domiciliation requirements.  In Cyprus, for example, the management and the control of a company have to be exercised from Cyprus. Consequently, the company should have a registered address in Cyprus, the majority of its directors must be Cyprus tax residents and most of their meetings should take place in Cyprus.

We, as a licensed corporate service provider, offer a complete range of domiciliation services for international clients requiring a corporate home in Cyprus and in other jurisdictions. In addition to the minimum domiciliation requirements of the relevant jurisdiction, we also offer additional services designed to enhance the ‘substance’ of a company. This could help decrease the risk of having the tax residency of the company successfully challenged by the tax authorities of another jurisdiction.

Even though in most cases this is not a domiciliation requirement, many corporate clients also opt for our nominee shareholders service. A nominee shareholder is an individual, or legal entity, who holds shares of a company on behalf of the actual beneficial owner using a deed of trust. Publicly available records held in certain jurisdictions list the names of the nominee shareholders. Therefore, our nominee services protect the anonymity of the beneficial owner of the company.

We offer a complete range of domiciliary and nominee services including, but not limited to:

  • Provision of registered office.
  • Provision of registered agent.
  • Provision of nominee shareholders.
  • Provision of nominee directors and other corporate officers to comply with the laws of the relevant jurisdiction.
  • Virtual office services including mail-forwarding, fax and telephone facilities.
  • Provision of fully staffed and equipped office space.

 

 

Bank Account Opening

Banking services

The banking services offered include, but are not limited to:

  • Internet banking with the added security of a digital code generator (token device)
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Current accounts, deposit accounts, notice accounts and so on.
  • Multiple currency accounts
  • Loan and overdraft facilities
  • Private banking services
  • International factoring
  • Escrow account services
  • Direct debits and standing orders

 
Which bank

We can help you to open bank accounts in Cyprus, as well as other countries. Especially in  Cyprus we work with all major banks. Nevertheless, should you wish to open a bank account in another country, we can offer you a number of alternative banks from the EU, UAE, Hong Kong, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Belize and the Mauritious. 

Our list of banks includes the banks with whom we already co-operate. Opening bank accounts with any of these banks is a straight forward and fast process. However, as a licensed corporate service provider, we can help you open an account with any bank located anywhere in the world provided that you can satisfy their minimum requirements and conditions.


Applying for a bank account

Once you have decided with which bank you wish to open an account, we will complete the relevant Account Opening Application Forms and forward them to the bank.

Please note that in order to complete the Account Opening Application Forms you will need to provide us with the information required, which is standard for most banks. In the case of a personal bank account, this information mainly consists of your personal details and Know-Your-Client documents, such as a copy of your passport and a utility bill. For corporate bank accounts we will also need some information regarding your company and a copy of its corporate documents.


Application processing

The bank will review the Account Opening Application Forms and, if they are satisfied and approve the account, they will prepare and send us by email the Bank Account Opening Documents that you will need to sign and send them back to us by post or courier.


Bank account opening

Once the bank receives and reviews the Account Opening Documents, together with the relevant supporting documents, they will proceed with opening the bank account and send you the details of your bank account. Once the bank account is funded with sufficient funds the bank will issue the online banking access credentials, the token devices and the bank cards requested.

Please note that this section is intended to provide you with some general information regarding opening bank accounts using our services and it should not be considered as banking or financial advice. The actual account opening process, the information and the documents required may vary from bank to bank. Each bank has its own conditions and minimum requirements to open bank accounts. Applications to open bank accounts not meeting these conditions and requirements might be declined.