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Starting a Business in Cyprus

Many people become self-employed or start their own business when they move abroad, though this can be very risky in a foreign country.

If you’re thinking to start business in Cyprus, you must do a good research into the country and its history, people, culture and business environment especially. Theoretically after Cyprus has joined the EU other EU citizens got permission to work as a self-employed person or start a business in Cyprus without any restrictions. EU citizens can start a business without a local Cypriot partner and there is no minimum investment mandatory. Although financial services are exception from this regulations and are still subject to strict criteria.

The mainstream of businesses found by foreigners in Cyprus are related to the leisure and catering industries, followed by property investment and development.

No matter what kind of business plans you have, determine the infrastructure first, including a bank account, accountant and lawyer. Ask for advice of a good local lawyer, who knows the business climate in Cyprus and is experienced in company incorporation, as it is vital. The lawyer will help you to prepare a brief financial report so that you can present your plan to a financial institution. He will also help you with company’s name application and bring to an end all the necessary paperwork for incorporation.

You can acquire advice, help, and business information from Cyprus organizations, such as the Central Bank of Cyprus, the Employers’ and Industrialists’ Federation and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce.

In Cyprus as in many countries most people want to be self-employed for the lifestyle and freedom it offers rather than for the financial rewards. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t think of a business in Cyprus in any sphere if you do not have previous experience.

Most people are far too optimistic when it comes to their new business; overrate income levels and under-estimate costs. Be realistic when calculating your income and remember that it might take years before you will have your profit.

Cypriot banks are very conservative and extremely careful concerning of lending to new businesses, particularly businesses run by foreigners.

Buying an Existing Business

It’s easier to buy an established business than to set up a new one, and it is not so risky. The procedure for taking over an existing business is simpler, but still complex. If you are planning to buy a business, always ask an independent valuation or two and employ an accountant to inspect the books. You should not sign anything if you do not understand completely the procedure.

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