Cyprus, Nicosia

Opening a company for international activities in Northern Cyprus

Updated: 1 month ago

To conduct business in Northern Cyprus, you need to register a legal entity. However, if you want to do business outside the island or are involved in "cloud" activities, you can register a company in the "Famagusta Free Port Zone" and benefit from preferential taxation.

Открытие на Северном Кипре компании free port

Benefits of the Free Port Zone

Unlike a company operating on the territory of Northern Cyprus, a Free Port Company is a legal entity that cannot conduct business in the country. These companies are established to engage in international business.

Examples of company activities in the free zone:

  • International trade
  • International transportation
  • Call centers and data centers
  • Information technology sector

Steps to open a free port company in Northern Cyprus

Choose a company name

The name must be unique. The verification process takes about 10 days, but recently, due to registry overload, the process may be delayed. In case of a match with an existing legal entity and refusal of registration for this reason, immediately request 2 or 3 alternative names.

Appoint a director and secretary

It is necessary to determine who will be the director and who will be the secretary, and also distribute the company's shares accordingly.

The company director is the only person authorized to sign documents. They also oversee operational management and supervise the secretary's actions.

The company secretary manages business correspondence, submits documents to the State Registry, manages archives, keeps minutes of meetings, handles administrative matters, and performs other standard functions.

Draft the company's articles of association

The articles of association should reflect the company's structure, role distribution, reorganization scenarios, share capital size, profit distribution, as well as the company name and its activities as described above.

Register the company's address

Currently, a local address must be provided for such a company, even though it cannot conduct business in TRNC territory. Alternatively, specifying the address of the company's accountant (who must be an independent, licensed local accountant) is considered.

Submit the documents

A complete set of documents must be submitted to various authorities and registries. To save time, it is recommended to use professional legal firms. For example, DeJure - experienced lawyers who have been establishing companies for many years and will help with document registration in all authorities promptly.

The company registration process takes 5–7 weeks, but due to registry overload, it can take up to three months.

To submit documents, contact the Free Port and Zone Management - Serbest Liman Bölge Müdürlügü. The location is indicated on the map below the text.

Freezing of share capital

After your articles of association are ready, you need to freeze the share capital. The minimum share capital currently is 25,000 euros. These funds are frozen by the bank until the company is activated (usually 1 to 3 months, depending on registry workload).

Obtaining company opening documents

After successful company registration, you will receive a package of documents confirming its establishment. The package includes the following documents:

  • Address confirmation
  • Company establishment confirmation (date of incorporation)
  • Shareholders' composition
  • Director and secretary approval
  • Company name confirmation

Company activation

After receiving all documents, you need to activate your company. Company activation involves registering the firm with the tax office, social insurance authorities, pension fund, and labor office. Another requirement is to hire a local employee, a TRNC citizen.

If you need consultation on opening a company in the free zone, you can contact the lawyers at DeJure or our specialists using the following contacts:

Documents for opening a free port company in Northern Cyprus

  • Company articles of association
  • Registration application
  • Director appointment order
  • Secretary appointment order
  • Passports of company shareholders
  • Bank documents on freezing share capital
  • Certificate of no criminal record
  • Mukhtar's certificate (what it is and where to get it)

Frequently Asked Questions about opening a free port company in Northern Cyprus

Can a company in the free zone operate in Northern Cyprus?

Generally, no, but there are exceptions where a Free Port company can register with the tax office and conduct certain activities on the island.

Who can be the founder of a company in the free zone?

Foreigners (only individuals) and Cypriots can be founders in such a company. Both foreigners and Cypriots can also be directors.

How to change the company's activities?

The company's activities are specified in the articles of association. Changing them and adding more activities is possible, but a lengthy and complex procedure since it is done through the courts. Therefore, consider and specify all activities during the registration stage.

The editorial team thanks Elvin Sabirov, a licensed lawyer in Northern Cyprus, for assistance in preparing the material.

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DeJure Consulting LTD
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