How to open a company in Cyprus and relocate your employees

Elena Georghiou
Founder and Managing Director
Reading time 4 minutes
No time to read?
16 01.2024

Many companies, including large global corporations, are actively relocating their offices and moving employees to Cyprus, attracted by the advantages of the tax system, high-quality infrastructure, and accessible opportunities for obtaining residency permits. This also aligns with the high standard of living, healthcare, and education on the island.

Foreign entrepreneurs have the opportunity to establish an international company in Cyprus that is entitled to hire citizens from non-European Union countries. These companies can obtain work permits for their employees and residency permits for them and their families.

As of January 2022, a new employment policy for foreign workers in Cyprus has come into effect, streamlining the process of issuing work permits. This initiative aims to attract foreign investments and qualified professionals to the country.

Companies with foreign participation have the right to invite employees from non-EU countries to work. Cypriot companies with foreign interest are registered companies, the majority of whose shares are owned by citizens of non-EU countries, and they have invested capital of at least 200,000 euros. Alternatively, companies can provide documentary evidence of investments amounting to 200,000 euros for business purposes in Cyprus (such as office spaces, equipment, etc.).

Such companies provide employees and their families with privileges in obtaining residence and work permits on favorable terms. The new policy abolishes maximum quotas for foreign personnel, allowing companies to freely hire them without the mandatory confirmation of the absence of suitable candidates among EU and Cypriot citizens.

Companies with Foreign Interest in Cyprus: Conditions and Features

The key criterion for determining the status of a company with foreign participation in Cyprus is that the shareholder’s stake in the share capital must be at least 200,000 euros. In cases where third-country shareholders do not hold a controlling stake in the company (i.e., less than 50%), the minimum contribution from foreign shareholders should also be no less than 200,000 euros.

According to official information from the Department of Civil Registry and Migration, companies with foreign interest must register with the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU) before being allowed to hire non-EU citizens. Subsequently, the company must obtain approval from the Migration Department as a company with foreign interest.

It should be noted that all companies are required to reserve 30% of their positions for Cypriots or EU citizens during the first five years. In 2027, a review is planned to ensure a new employee ratio of 70/30.

An important condition is that the company must conduct its activities in Cyprus, either in offices or coworking spaces. In cases where the presence of an office is not required, the company must provide relevant arguments for individual consideration.

Employees are required to receive a monthly salary of no less than 2,500 euros.

Procedure for Obtaining Residency and Work Permits in Cyprus for Companies with Foreign Interest

Below are the main steps required to obtain work permits for foreign employees in Cyprus. Each of the specified steps is accompanied by additional details.

  1. Register a company in Cyprus with a minimum share capital of 200,000 euros. Detailed information on the company registration procedure in Cyprus can be found here: How to Register a Company in Cyprus.
  2. Open a corporate bank account for the company and deposit the required share capital.
  3. Submit an application to the Business Facilitation Unit (BFU) and obtain the status of a company with foreign interest.
  4. Register in the Registry of Companies with Foreign Interest at the Department of Civil Registry and Migration.
  5. Prepare contracts with foreign employees.
  6. Apply for residency and work permits for foreign employees.
  7. Register foreign employees with the Social Insurance Fund and the tax inspection.
  8. Register employees and their family members in the GESY healthcare system.
  9. Open personal bank accounts for each foreign employee.

Our lawyers in Cyprus are ready to provide you with high-quality legal support and consultations in the fields of business, taxation, and immigration!

Our services include:

Consultations on the optimal choice of company structure

Tax optimization and tax planning

Legal support during the registration of companies with foreign capital

Obtaining necessary corporate certificates

Provision of services for a legal address, secretary, and nominee service

Registration with tax authorities

Support in the process of relocating employees and obtaining work and residence permits in Cyprus


Book a consultation

    Read also:

    How useful was this post?

    Click on a star to rate it!

    Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 137

    No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

    Contact us

    For enquiries please fill in the form below. Our consultants will contact you with the details.

    Cyprus, Larnaca

    Griva Digeni 49, Chrystalla Court 1st Floor Office 11, 6036 Larnaca, Cyprus

    +357 96 345 275

    Ukraine, Kyiv

    11B Lyuteranska St., off. 23, 01024

    +38 044 383 90 30

      Book a free consultation