Topic 2 Legal framework for starting up a business in Cyprus as a TCN

Refugees, Persons with Subsidiary Protection Status and Asylum Seekers

1. Employment Rights Of Refugees:

Section 21B of the Cyprus Refugee Law provides that the person who is recognized as a refugee receives equal treatment as the citizens of the Republic as regards wage- earning employment. In other words, refugees have the same rights as Cypriot citizens to employment, hence there are no restrictions to any particular sector and there is no need for the Labor Department to approve and stamp a contract of employment between an employer and a recognized refugee.

2. Employment of Persons with Subsidiary Protection Status:

In accordance to the amendment to Article 19 of the Refugee Law, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection have, as in the case of recognized refugees, immediate access to employment upon the date they are granted the aforesaid status. In particular there are no restrictions regarding their employment in particular sectors or occupations of the labor market. Also it is not necessary for the Labor Department to approve and stamp a contract of employment between an employer and a person with subsidiary protection status.

For further information, please visit the following website where full text of the relevant articles of the Refugee Law regarding the employment of persons with subsidiary protection status, is available.

3. Employment of Asylum Seekers:

Asylum Seekers have access to the labour market one month after the date of the submission of their application for international protection, in specific sectors and occupations according to the relevant Decree of the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.

The “Cyprus Startup Visa” Scheme is valid in Cyprus from 1st June 2022 until 31st May 2024. “Cyprus Startup Visa” is not addressed only for TCN Women.

The “Cyprus Startup Visa” Scheme addresses:

  1. Talented Entrepreneurs from Third Countries,
  2. Individuals or
  3. a team, to enter, reside and work in Cyprus.

This gives the opportunity to TCN to establish, operate, develop a startup with a high growth potential.

The aim of the Scheme is to create new jobs, to promote innovation and research, to develop the business ecosystem and consequent the economic development of the country. The Scheme supports the establishment of new innovative Startup or the move of established innovative Startups to Cyprus. 

  • Individual Startup visa scheme: A Non-EU country national who will act as the sole founder of an innovative Startup. An innovative Startup is defined as a venture that develops new innovations, creating a sustainable competitive advantage in the future.
  • Team Startup visa scheme: A Team (of maximum 5 individuals) consisting of Non-EU country nationals. The Team should consist solely of the founders of an innovative Startup or of at least one (1) founder and other senior executives. Additionally, more than 50% of the company’s shares should be owned by one or more member(s) of the team of applicants.

Steps for Business Registration in Cyprus

is considered a separate legal entity and may take the form of a public or private LLC (Limited Liability Company). This can be a Company Limited by Shares or a Company Limited by Guarantee.

must be selected and submitted to the Cyprus Registrar of Companies for approval. This procedure in Cyprus generally takes approximately 3 to 5 working days.

must be prepared by a licensed legal practitioner and submitted to the Registrar of Companies.

can be anywhere from 1 to 50. The number as well as the personal details of the shareholders, including address and nationality, must be submitted to the Registrar of Companies.

refers to the minimum amount of share capital of a private LLC. The most common share capital is 1000 shares at 1 euro each. Additionally, there is no specific currency requirement, which means that any currency is applicable.

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for a private company is one. The law also requires a Cyprus company to have a secretary, who can either be an individual or a corporate person.

and address in Cyprus, which must then be submitted to the Registrar of Companies.

when all information is submitted to the Registrar of Companies and all compliance checks are completed, the process takes approximately between 5 to 10 working days.

with anti-money laundering laws and regulations, relevant people and entities must be submitted for review by the Registrar of Companies prior to proceeding with company incorporation.

with the Tax Authorities as well as the Registrar of Companies, indicating that the tax returns relate to a Non-Tax Resident Company, also note in which country it is to be taxed. In addition to the above, Non-Tax Resident Companies are also required to submit annual accounts to the Registrar of Companies.

Benefits in case of approval right to economic activity and residence in the Republic of Cyprus for two years with the possibility of renewal!

After the end of the second year, if the company is assessed as

  1. Successful and
  2. Applicants have the prospect of long-term residence in the Republic

Then a new application may be submitted to assess the success of the company

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The Benefits!

Right to self-employment or paid employment in their registered company within the Republic.

right to paid employment in a company that the Founders of the Company will register in the Republic.

right to residency and paid employment in the Republic, under the following conditions:

(a) the right concerns only the Founders’ and Senior Executives’ spouse(s)

(b) the right concerns direct but not free access to the labor market, i.e., for the issuance of a work permit, all national procedures for employment of a third country national will be followed depending on the employer (e.g., foreign interest company, Cypriot company, etc.)

(c) the right concerns only salaried and not independent work.

 → Eligible to obtain a Certificate of Innovative Company.

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