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Types of Cyprus Legal Entities

Cyprus has been established as an attractive location of choice for setting up and administering an international business center.  

The companies’ law in Cyprus is the Cyprus Companies Law, Cap.113. When a foreign individual decides to set up a company in Cyprus, he has to decide first what type of company is the most suitable for his needs.

At present business in Cyprus can be conducted through the following legal entities forms:

1. Cyprus Private Company Limited by Shares (LTD)

This is the most popular type of company in Cyprus. Its general characteristics are the following:

  • The minimum number of shareholders is 1 and the maximum is 50.

  • There is no minimum authorised and issued share capital required.

  • Preferential shares or different classes of shares can be issued.

  • A private company cannot offer its shares to the public.

  • The liability of every shareholder is limited to the amount of his subscribed shares.

  • The word "limited" (LTD) must appear at the end of the name of the company.

  • There can be only one Director who can be either Cypriot of foreigner.

  • The company must have a registered address in Cyprus and a company secretary.

  • The Secretary maintains the Register of Members, the Minute Book recording all the Board Meetings and Resolutions, the Register of Charges, the Register of Directors and Secretary and the Company seal (under its custody).

  • Any changes against the company must be registered with the Company Registrar in order to ensure priority and protection against other creditors of the Company.

  • A private company may commence business immediately upon incorporation.

2. Cyprus Public Company Limited by Shares (PLC)

The general characteristics of a Public Company Limited by Share (PLC) are the following:

  • The minimum number of shareholders is 7. There is no maximum number of shareholders.

  • The minimum authorised and issued share capital required of a public company is €25.630.

  • A public company may offer its shares, debentures or other titles to the public.

  • The words "public limited company" (PLC) must appear at the end of the name of the company.

  • A public company must have at least 2 directors.

  • A public company must comply with certain provision of Cyprus Companies' Law before commencing business.

  • A public company is prohibited to make loans to its directors.

  • In case where the shareholders of a public company reduced below 7 and the company continues its trading activity for more than 6 months, then the shareholders lose their limited liability status and are liable personally in an unlimited manner for the debts of the company created during that period.

3. Cyprus Company Limited by Guarantee

The liability of the members of a Company Limited by Guarantee is limited to the amount agreed, and included as a clause in the memorandum of association, to be contributed to the assets of the company in the event of it being wound up. Usually these companies are incorporated as non-profit organisations and are used for charity purposes.

4. Branch of Foreign Legal Entity

Any foreign company can establish a legal presence in Cyprus through the form of a branch. There are two types of a branch:

a) Local branch of a foreign company, which is operating in Cyprus.

b) International business branch of a foreign company, which is carrying business outside Cyprus.

5. Societa Europea (SE)

SE - European Company allow companies incorporated in different European member states to merge or form a joint subsidiary, without having to deal with each member state's different legal framework. The minimum required share capital is €120.000.

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