Financial Services in Cyprus
Based on international banking systems, both Cypriot banks and international banks operating with branches in Cyprus offer advanced and efficient services to individuals and businesses across the island. Bank accounts for Cyprus companies, international companies (UK, Russia, etc) and offshore jurisdictions (BVI, Belize etc) can be opened and activated in Cyprus within hours. Full online and credit card facilities are widely available giving the beneficial owner easy access to his funds at any given point in time no matter where they are in the world. Most of the banks (Cypriot & International) have International Business Units where the staff are highly trained, qualified and competent to be operating bank accounts and to execute international transactions.
Accounting & legal
The accounting profession is very well represented in Cyprus with many international companies operating on the island. Most accountants are British trained and members of either the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales or the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. Furthermore, there are many independent law practices with highly qualified and well trained professionals that can provide expert and reliable advice on all aspects of business and commercial law.
Cyprus has implemented a business-friendly tax system with a corporate tax rate of just 12.5%, the lowest in the EU. Cyprus has concluded treaties on double taxation with more than 44 countries, and, as a member of the Eurozone, has no exchange restrictions. Non-residents and foreign investors may freely repatriate proceeds from investments in Cyprus in the most tax effective manners:
Cyprus companies are tax exempt from the following:
- Dividend Income
- Profits from overseas companies
- Profits from sale of shares
- Dividends paid to non-residents
- Interest paid to non-residents
- Royalties paid from Cyprus
Cyprus being used a gateway to the EU
For the above reasons, businesses from outside the EU use Cyprus as their entry-point for investment into Europe (using Cyprus as a holding company, finance company or for transfer pricing). Although Russia Eastern European countries remain the most important investment destinations, there have been increasing investment flows from the West through Cyprus into Asia (particularly China and India).