Nine compelling reasons to start and scale companies in Cyprus
Access to Talent:
starting in Cyprus provides access to a talented local workforce, a wider European pool of talent, and a series of programs to enable international professionals to relocate.
- Cyprus has the youngest population and workforce in the European Union.
- The country has a strong and fast growing education system. Since 2000 enrolment in Cypriot universities has grown faster than any other EU country.
- Almost half (46%) of the workforce has a tertiary degree, one of the highest percentages in the EU.
- Many Cypriots further strengthen their education by studying abroad — more Cypriots earn degrees from foreign universities than citizens of any other European country.
- Cyprus also has a booming private education sector. A greater proportion of students go to privately funded and managed schools than any other EU country.
Visa-free access to European talent
- The European Union has a workforce of 240 million people, all of whom are eligible to work in Cyprus under EU law.
- European universities graduate 4.7 million students a year, providing a constant flow of fresh talent.
- European qualification frameworks ensure that graduates of European universities have comparable skills, regardless of where they have studied.
Easy access to global talent
- The Cyprus Startup Visa regime allows entrepreneurs from countries outside the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) to come to Cyprus to establish startups with a high growth potential.
- Work visas for non-EU nationals are available to enable companies to hire from outside the EU whenever the required talent is not available locally.
businesses in Cyprus can operate in English.
- English was the official language of Cyprus until 1960, and is still widely spoken. 73% of Cypriots speak English, one of the highest proportions in the European Union.
- Business transactions, government services, banking, and a wide range of other functions can all be conducted in English.
- Many university programs in Cyprus are taught in English, and in many universities, English is the main language of instruction, further strengthening English language skills.
Quality of life:
food, climate and environment give Cyprus one of the highest qualities of life in the world.
Cyprus has one of the best climates in Europe, with an average annual temperature of 25 °C and 3,400 hours of sunshine each year.
More than three million tourists, three times the country’s population, visit Cyprus each year, drawn by its excellent food, warm weather, clean beaches, and attractive environment.
Many reports give high rankings to quality of life, considering factors such as real estate, education, healthcare, and the environment. This includes:
- 1st safest country in small countries category (Value Penguin 2015)
- Most blue flag beaches per capita in the EU (Eurostat)
- 2nd best climate worldwide (Inter Nations Survey 2015)
- Best island economy 2017/2018 in terms of lifestyle and human capital (fDi magazine, FT group)
Low Cost of doing business:
starting and running a business in Cyprus reduces the costs of launching, giving you a longer runway and more flexibility.Many of the key costs of launching a tech company are significantly lower in Cyprus than in major European and international capitals.
Lower labor costs
- Costs for technical and professional talents are significantly lower in Cyprus than in other major European capitals.
- The average hourly rate of €15.8 is significantly lower than the UK (€26.7), Germany (€33.0) or the Netherlands (€33.3).
- Non-wage employment costs are low, comprising 17% of the total cost of employment, compared to a European Union average of 26%.
Office space and business support
- Office rental rates are among the lowest in Europe. A recent report found that of 67 locations studied, Cyprus was second cheapest for office rental.
- Critical business support services, including accounting and legal, are also highly affordable.
Cyprus has one of the lowest tax burdens in Europe and a highly competitive set of tax incentives for businesses and individuals.
- The standard corporate tax rate is 12.5%, one of the lowest levels in the European Union.
- Technology companies producing Intellectual Property can apply for an 80% tax exemption, reducing the corporate tax rate to an effective 2.5%.
- Tax rates for individuals are among the lowest in the European Union. No income tax is payable on the first €19,500 of personal income.
- Non-domiciled tax residents do not pay tax on dividends, interest or rental income earned abroad
- Investments in innovative small businesses can be deducted from taxable income, up to an annual limit of €150,000
- Dividend payments are exempt from taxation, enabling most technology entrepreneurs to minimize their overall tax burden.
- Cyprus has signed 62 tax treaties to help ensure that individuals and companies avoid double taxation and can structure efficiently.
Excellent regulatory structure:
Cyprus has an efficient regulatory structure for starting and running a business and strong protection for intellectual property (IP).
Setup and filing
- Establishing a business is simple and fast. There are a number of guides available which explain all of the relevant processes.
- Filing requirements for companies are among the simplest in the European Union and can generally be completed online.
Regulatory protections & legal system
- Cyprus has strong IP protection through its own legislation on intellectual property and a network of European and international agreements.
- The Cypriot legal system is closely aligned to the English common law legal system and English case law is used in many cases.
Strong business support services:
Cyprus has a wide range of services to make starting and running a business easy.
- Cyprus has more than 700 registered accounting firms including all of the major global firms.
- Cyprus has more than 2,700 registered lawyers and 160 law firms, providing a competitive market for legal services.
- A range of serviced offices and co-working spaces make initial office setup easy.
Grants and funding:
new technology companies can apply for a range of national and European grants and incentives.
- A range of incentives and employment programs provide funding for businesses. Full details are available on the government funding portal.
- Innovative small businesses can apply for grants of up to 2.5 million Euros for research and development projects through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.
- Banks and other organizations provide a range of funding options. These include the Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund (CYPEF) provides access to finance for SMEs through the provision of Financial Risk-Sharing Products and more specifically, through the provision of loans with favourable financing terms.
Access to markets:
as a member of the European Union, companies in Cyprus have full access to European market and EU trade agreements.
- As part of the European Single Market, Cyprus enjoys the free movement of goods, services and capital with other European Union member states and members of the European Free Trade Association, without tariffs, complex bureaucracy or regulatory obstacles.
- Cyprus also benefits from more than 40 European Union trade agreements, making it easy to do business with countries outside the European Union.
- In 2008 Cyprus became a member of the Eurozone further simplifying trade within Europe.