Incorporation of companies in Cyprus:
Cyprus has acquired an excellent reputation in the international corporate arena. Due to the simplicity of the procedure of company registration and administration, low corporate taxation, accession to the European Union and a high level of confidentiality ensured by the Cyprus authorities, it has resulted in constantly increasing interest in Cyprus as a jurisdiction for the incorporation of International Business Companies. Registration of an International Business Company or a local company in Cyprus consists of several steps, the completion of which takes about 10-12 days if no difficulties arise. Firstly, approval for the company’s name must be received from the Companies Registrar and it is advisable not to copy the names of other companies in order to save time and money because the Registrar will reject it straightaway. Then a memorandum and articles of association must be drawn up and filed with the Registrar. These instruments contain information about the company’s activities, the names of the shareholders, the authorised share capital and the number of issued and paid-up shares that each shareholder holds.
In Cyprus, it is lawful for the absolute owner of the company to use nominee services if it is problematic for him to administer the company from abroad or if he prefers to maintain anonymity with regard to his ownership of a company. According to Cyprus Law, a private company must have at least one director, a secretary and a shareholder and if you are unable to meet these requirements, you can use nominee services for the director/s as well as for the secretary and shareholders. In this case, it is the names of the nominees which are shown in the company’s documentation, not the details of the persons who have purchased their services.
A distinction is made between several organizational forms of companies under the Cyprus Companies Law, Cap. 113: companies limited by shares and companies limited by guarantee, international business companies, which are also governed by Income Tax Law 2002 (118(I)/2002). Furthermore, companies limited by shares can be subdivided into public companies (PLC) and private companies (LTD) and private companies can also be subdivided into exempt companies that are exempt from certain provisions of the Companies Law and non-exempt ones. Partnerships are regulated by the Partnerships and Business Names Law, Cap. 116.
Our office offers a whole range of services in this area, covering all of your company’s potential legal requirements: the registration of a company, nominee services, corporate management and reorganization, etc.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Our office also has strong experience in the field of mergers and acquisitions, often abbreviated as M&A. Mergers and acquisitions refers to the aspect of corporate strategy, corporate finance and management dealing with the buying, selling and combining of different companies so as to aid, finance or help a growing company in a given industry to grow rapidly without having to create a whole new business entity. An acquisition, also known as a takeover, is the buying of one company (the ‘target’) by another. An acquisition can be friendly or hostile. In the former case, the companies cooperate in negotiations; in the latter case, the takeover target is unwilling to be bought or the target’s board has no prior knowledge of the offer. In either situation our office has the expertise to assist and advise making the process as smooth as possible. A merger is the combination of two companies into one larger company, such actions are most commonly voluntary and involve stock swap or cash payment to the target.