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Unlocking Opportunities: Companies of Foreign Interests in Cyprus and the BFU

The Cyprus Business Facilitation Unit (BFU) operates within the framework of the Cyprus “Strategy for Attracting Businesses for Activities or/and Expansion of their Activities in Cyprus,” which was approved by the Council of Ministers on October 15, 2021. Established on January 1, 2022, the BFU aims, as outlined by the Ministry of Finance, to attract international investments and talent, thereby bolstering Cyprus’s standing as a premier business destination. 


In January 2022, the Fast-track business activation mechanism transitioned into the BFU, which serves as sole point of contact for foreign companies. The new strategy provides facilities for foreign companies seeking to employ highly skilled non-EU nationals.


The eligibility criteria for accessing BFU facilities are outlined as follows:

  1. The majority of the company’s shares are owned by third-country nationals.
  2. If the ownership percentage of the company’s shares, owned by a third-country national is equal to or less than 50%, the company qualifies if the value of that foreign participation is at least €200,000. 

In both scenarios mentioned above (1 and 2), the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) is required to deposit €200,000 into an account held by the company at a credit institution licensed by the Central Bank (payment institutions are excluded). Alternatively, the company may provide evidence of an investment amounting to €200,000  for the operation of its business in Cyprus, such as purchasing office space, office equipment, etc.


If there are multiple ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs), the required amount can be deposited or invested either by a single UBO or collectively by all UBOs.

  1. Public companies registered on any recognised stock exchange.
  2. Companies of international activities (formerly off-shore), which operated before the change of regime, whose data are held by the Central Bank.
  3. Cypriot shipping companies.
  4. Cypriot high-tech/innovation companies*.
  5. Cypriot pharmaceutical companies or Cypriot companies active in the fields of biogenetics and biotechnology.
  6. Companies in which the majority of the total share capital is held by individuals who have obtained Cypriot citizenship through naturalization based on economic criteria, provided they demonstrate ongoing compliance with the conditions of their naturalization.
  7. Cypriot Private Institutes of Tertiary (Higher) Education licensed by the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth.

For cases 3-9, the investment criterion also applies, requiring the company to demonstrate its initial investment in the Republic of Cyprus of at least €200,000 through the presentation of relevant certificates (such as a bank statement showing the deposit amount or proof of investment, such as the purchase of office space and/or office equipment).


* An enterprise qualifies as “High Technology Company” if:

(a) it is already established and has a presence in the market, and

(b) it has a high level or experimental research and development intensity, and

(c) it developed product(s) that fall into one of the following categories: products related to aviation and space industry, computers, information and telecommunication technology (ICT), pharmaceuticals, biomedical, research and development equipment, electrical machinery, chemicals, non-electrical machinery.


The aforementioned program has also implemented criteria for “High Skilled Employees” of foreign interest companies, with the aim of attracting and retaining talent in Cyprus. Under this initiative, eligible individuals can apply for a residence permit lasting up to 3 years, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Their minimum gross yearly salary must be at least € 30,000.
  • They have an employment contract in place of not less than 2 years duration and;
  • They hold a university diploma or degree or equivalent qualification or confirmation of relevant experience in a corresponding job of at least 2 years duration. 

It is specified that within a 5-year period from the date of joining the BFU, the maximum proportion of third-country nationals that can be employed in a foreign interest company is set at 70% of all employees.


Overall, this program highlights the importance of family reunification, ensuring that employees can be accompanied by their family members while working in Cyprus.

Contact us to embark on the journey of discovering the vast potential that Cyprus offers to companies of foreign interests.



The information provided above offers a general overview of the advantages of establishing a business in Cyprus. Should you require specific guidance or consultation regarding relocating your business to Cyprus, incorporating a company in Cyprus, or any other related matters, please do not hesitate to contact us at