July 12, 2010, 6:00 pm
The Cyprus laws regulate the structure of companies and legal forms, and are very similar to the ones of the United Kingdom. In order to function, every company in Cyprus must be registered within the Registrar of Companies, a procedure that can be done by nationals or foreigners, with few differences. Most of the business entities in Cyprus are limited companies, and only a small percentage is in the form of partnerships. The regulations are included by the Cyprus Companies Law.
Incorporation of Cyprus Private Company Limited by Shares (LTD)
This is the most common type of company used in Cyprus and it is founded by one ore more partners, up to 50. The company must have a registered office in Cyprus. The shareholders subscribe shares, monetary or non monetary, which are given a nominal value and cannot be transferred. The members of a private company limited by shares are liable to the company's debts and obligations only to the extent of the nominal value of their shares. In a private company limited by shares there is no minimum required capital.
Incorporation of Cyprus Public Company Limited by Shares (PLC)
The public company limited by shares functions the same as a private company limited by shares, except that shares are freely transferable and there is no restriction as to the maximum number of partners. The minimum share capital of a public company limited by shares is CYP 15.000 (Cyprus pounds, currency of Cyprus).
Incorporation of Cyprus Company Limited by Guarantee
This is a company usually used for non-profit and charitable purposes. It does not have a share capital, and it cannot be founded by any number of members, or corporate bodies, legal forms, who are guarantors instead of shareholders. Its structure is similar to the limited companies.
Incorporation of Cyprus General Partnership
A general partnership must be formed by at least two individuals, and at most 20, and must be registered with the Registrar of Partnerships within one month of its formation. This type of partnership is ruled by general partners, who have full liability to the extent of their entire private assets. There is no required capital, nor does a partnership have to file accounts or to be audited.
Incorporation ofCyprus Limited Partnership
The limited partnership functions as a general partnership, being founded by at least two persons, and registered within the Registrar of Partnerships. The main distinction between the two consists of the liability of the partners. In a limited partnership at least one member is fully liable to the company's obligations, becoming the general partner, and at least one limited partner is liable to the extent of his contribution.
Incorporation of Cyprus Sole Proprietorship
The sole proprietorship is a simple and informal structure, rather inexpensive to form. It is run by a single member, who has full liability to the company's debts. The company functions very similar, being subject to the same rules as a general partnership, and must be registered within the Registrar of Partnerships.