Cyprus has garnered a lot of attention recently as an ideal investment destination with a high quality of life for foreign investors and their business opportunities. Alongside the rapidly growing industries of the country, the reasons why to invest in Cyprus continue to expand in part to an economical tax framework and modern immigration rules, making the jurisdiction a wise choice for wealth holders and entrepreneurs alike.
The Aspen Trust Group, your trusted financial service provider, details the benefits for why investing in Cyprus is the most rewarding financial decision you could make this year.
Top Reasons to Invest in Cyprus for Companies and Investors
Given the political and business landscape of this Mediterranean jurisdiction, the advantages as to why to invest in Cyprus have earned the investment destination the 5th best relocation destination and one of the best locations for doing business by Forbes.
Access to Key Markets
Historically, Cyprus belonged to important trade routes between significant destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The same holds true today with a strategic geopolitical location that goes beyond borders and includes key status as a member state of the European Union. Cyprus offers connections both by shipping and travel lines and by inclusion into advantageous global networks and communities that make lifestyle and business profitable.
For foreign companies and international investors, investing in Cyprus comes with full access to European markets throughout the EU. This is increasingly important as the effects of Brexit cause businesses, especially those with business activities in the UK, to re-evaluate their lines of connectivity to major markets and operational zones. As a member of the Eurozone since 2008 and with more than 40 trade agreements per the EU, Cyprus maintains a robust business climate as well as convenient proximity and accessibility to the rest of Europe and other significant regional business hubs.
Low Cost of Doing Business
A key factor for the success of global companies is keeping operational costs in check and Cyprus as a business destination ensures that the cost of business activities remains low. In comparison to other sought-after European destinations, Cyprus provides lower labor costs for both professional and technical talents, affordable office rental spaces, and crucial support services for a fraction of the price of other major cities.
Compounded with a wave of fresh foreign investments and domestic interests, cities such as Limassol are quickly developing as financial and technological hubs with innovative services and a highly-educated workforce aimed at business advancement in the next decade.
Excellent Regulatory Framework
The use of English Common Law as the foundation of the legal system, which provides attractive tax systems and stability when it comes to establishing and maintaining wealth and business operations and management.
Company formation is a quick, straightforward process that gets your business up and running right from the start. From new businesses to relocations, the jurisdiction continually introduces new measures to meet the needs of business owners and investors. Moreover, strong protections for valuable assets such as investments and intellectual property provide peace of mind that your growth will last for generations to come.
Strong Business Support Services
Cyprus as an innovative, modern business destination is a result of its advanced financial and business support industry that includes wealth management and financial services. Further, more than 700 accounting firms are registered in the jurisdiction alongside more than 2,700 lawyers.
Access to Talent
With increasing business opportunities, Cyprus is also an ideal destination to find a young, highly-educated workforce within the EU. More than half of the workforce has tertiary-level degrees and the private education sector is booming with globally recognized programs. Moreover, business in Cyprus functions in English and makes both daily and international business operations easy to facilitate.
Lifestyle Investment Opportunities
While the jurisdiction gets a lot of attention for its attractive business environment, there is also a long list of reasons why to invest in Cyprus for personal reasons. Foreign nationals are not only connected to many top travel destinations but also can find plenty of attractions within the country. From sunny beaches and scenic cultural landmarks, this Mediterranean island is filled with a host of recreational and leisure activities for the whole family. Blue Flag beaches, ski slopes, and idyllic towns provide endless opportunities to explore.
With mild, balmy weather and over 300 days of annual sunshine, the relaxed lifestyle of Cyprus is a nod to a greater way of life. Coupled with GeSY, the national healthcare system, and a reduction of 20% on most daily costs, residents of Cyprus find a higher quality of life than other major locales in Europe.
Whether taking advantage of a unique cultural location, raising a family with the best facilities and services, or planning to see business or retirement goals through, Cyprus is the jurisdiction that is worth investing in.
Positive Economic Outlook
Overall, the GDP growth of Cyprus continues to expand, becoming stronger and healthier each year even despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The jurisdiction is considered one of the fasting growing EU economies and maintains upgrades from credit rating agencies. The forecast of Cyprus as a business, investment, and lifestyle destination has attracted the attention of foreign nationals throughout the globe.
Tax Reasons Why Investing in Cyprus is a Smart Move
An investor in Cyprus enjoys a favorable tax environment as a tax resident of the jurisdiction, which in turn ensures that foreign investments get the most mileage for their value. Businesses, investment opportunities, and investment funds are rewarded with benefits that include:
- The lowest corporate tax rate in Europe at 12.5%, with other comparable jurisdictions being much higher (Malta 35%, Greece 24%, and Portugal 21%)
- No capital gains tax or inheritance tax
- No tax on gains from the sale of securities
- No withholding taxes on dividend payments cross-border for resident companies to non-residents
- Tax exemptions on worldwide dividends as well as interest income
- Tax exemptions on income up to €19,500
- Notional interest deduction on taxable profits of newly-acquired capital
- Tax-free policy on intra-EU transactions
- Pension tax a low rate of 5% for amounts over €3,420
- Low real estate transfer fees and taxes, inclusive of a rate of 0.15-0.2% stamp duty (in comparison to Malta’s 3.5%)
- No Immovable Property Tax
- More than 60 global double tax treaties and the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive
- Corporate tax relief up to 75% for holdings
- Opportunity to claim deductions of loss on external business activities or restructures
- Competitive VAT rates ranging from 0- 19%
- Low national healthcare tax contribution of 2.65-4.7%
The financial outlook of the jurisdiction paired with its attractive tax system is just one aspect of why investing in Cyprus makes the most monetary sense in an international landscape that requires companies and investors to operate in cross-border activities. Further, the government continues to examine new ways to make investment opportunities on the island fruitful for foreign investors in a bid to further expand the development of key industries.
Unique Tax and Financial Incentives
- Energy Support Scheme: Special Fund Management Committee of Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Savings Support Scheme provides subsidies for large commercial wind, solar, or photovoltaic systems and coverage of € 1000 for installation expenses on individual photovoltaic systems for resident homeowners; reduction on monthly energy bills under EAC grid connection
- Film Production: Cash rebates and tax credits up to 50% eligible expenditures; VAT refunds; 10-20% tax allowance on investment equipment
- Intellectual Property: 80% deduction of revenue from use of intangible assets; IP tax rate as low as 2.5%; IP box regime scheme covers patents, software, and innovative IP
- Shipping and Yacht Registration: No tax on operational or management profits, income, or dividends; no capital gains tax; no inheritance tax or estate duty; tax-free income on wages; no stamp duties on deeds or securities documentation; low tonnage tax; VAT rates as low as 3.4% for yacht registration
- International Trusts: same tax benefits as businesses; non-tax resident beneficiaries only taxed on income or profit sourced within the jurisdiction; covered under double treaties agreements
- Funds: net profit taxed at 12.5% CIT; no gains on sales of securities; tax-free dividend income; Notional Interest Deduction may reduce taxable base up to 80%; no withholding tax
A New Immigration Standard
In October of this year, Cyprus revamped their Fast Track Business Activation Mechanism, moving the initiative towards a Business Facilitation Unit to encourage greater business relocation and immigration interest in the jurisdiction. There are plenty of reasons why to invest in Cyprus, but this new scheme offers even more financial incentive to consider the country for investment purposes.
Under the new guidelines, provisions are being made to increase the services for corporate establishment, such as registration and tax status services. One of the hallmarks of the policy change is greater facilitation of residency and employment permits to make the process of moving to Cyprus a smoother transition for companies and their employees alike.
The policies are eligible for foreign companies with a physical presence in Cyprus or are related to the areas of shipping, technology, biotechnology, biogenetics, and pharmaceuticals. Employees who receive a gross monthly salary of a minimum of €2,500 and supporting staff who receive less than €2,500 may immediately obtain temporary residence and employment permits and retain status for up to 3 years. Moreover, family reunification policies allow for paid employees to bring their families to Cyprus for both residency and work. In effect, a “fast-track” long-term residency program will also be implemented to better facilitate the move for companies, their employees, and families.
Yet, the new policies spell more investment opportunities for other forms of employment and set into motion a fresh look at how the world is doing business. The Business Facilitation Unit action plan has given digital nomads more reason to invest in Cyprus with immigration rules that make it faster and more convenient to receive residency in the jurisdiction. Digital entrepreneurs may stay in the country for one year, with renewal for an additional two, as well as their families under the condition that sufficient resources of €3,500 monthly plus an additional 20% for spouses and 15% for any minors which can be provided through work employment or contracts or bank accounts within or outside of Cyprus.
Income tax exemptions and investment tax exemptions have also been introduced for new employee and investor residents to account for 50% tax-free rates under the guidelines of the scheme.
Top-Notch Financial Services for Foreign Investors
Named as a TIME Magazine top influencer for Cyprus in 2021, The Aspen Trust Group is the financial service provider for many foreign investors when deciding why to invest in Cyprus right now. From small start-ups that want to be in a cutting-edge locale to large portfolio wealth holders, the professionals at The Aspen Trust Group provide outstanding services and solutions to make financial decision-making smooth, accessible, and optimal across many crucial areas.
Based in Cyprus and with a keen eye for global trends, The Aspen Trust Group helps your business or investment thrive within a jurisdiction that protects your assets and enhances your opportunities for generations to come. Contact our experts to discover more about why investing in Cyprus will propel you into the future of business.