These are the Trustees Law, Cap. 193 of the Cyprus Code, which was enacted in 1955 and the International Trusts Law, which was enacted in 1992 and regulates the creation and functioning of an ‘international trust’ and is considered to incorporate modern trends in the field of international trusts.
The latter Law relates to trusts in respect of which:
- The settlor is not a permanent resident in the Republic of Cyprus
- At least one of the trustees for the time being is a permanent resident in the Republic of Cyprus
- None of the beneficiaries, other than a charitable institution, is a permanent resident in the Republic of Cyprus
- The trust property does not include any immovable property situated in the Republic of Cyprus
In combining the benefits of an international trust with those attached to a Cyprus International Business Company, one can engage in interesting projects, considering also the additional benefits of Double Taxation Treaties which Cyprus is party to with a large number of countries, including eastern European and other countries.
The International Trust is a trust whereby:
The settlor must not be a permanent resident of Cyprus (a Cyprus International Business Company however will be eligible as a settlor) and he must be of full age and sound mind under the law of his/her domicile.
The beneficiary must also not be a permanent resident of Cyprus (with the exception of charitable institutions)
The Trust Property should not include any immovable property in Cyprus
At least one trustee is resident in Cyprus (Cyprus IBC or partnership is considered a resident trustee)
International Trusts are not taxed in Cyprus. In fact, they enjoy significant tax advantages and create important tax planning opportunities. These advantages provide foreign investors with the necessary freedom to move their funds.
Cyprus has become a popular trust jurisdiction because of the:
- Complete tax exemptions;
- Short limitation period (two years) for challenging a trust;
- No need for any kind of registration;
- Complete confidentiality;
- Low cost of establishment and administration;
- Availability of competent professional trustees;
- Flexibility in adopting foreign law.
A foreigner who wishes to establish a Trust in Cyprus has the following options:
- To create a Trust by a Trust Deed or by will;
- To incorporate an IBC or partnership to be the holder or manager of the movable property placed on Trust in the Cypriot corporation or in an overseas company and managed by the IBC and vice versa;
- To incorporate a subsidiary IBC or a branch of an overseas corporation to hold or manage movable property placed on Trust in the Cyprus subsidiary or branch of the overseas corporation;
- To create an International Trust following the International Trusts Law No. 69(1)/1992.
There are no registration or reporting requirements for International Trusts established in the Republic of Cyprus nor are the names of the Trust or persons referred to in the Trust Deed disclosed/revealed.
Our firm can advise as to the procedure of setting up a trust, draft the Trust Deed and generally complete this procedure. Furthermore, our firm, acting through trustee companies owned and controlled by lawyers in our firm, can act as trustees, settlors, or protectors and administer trusts.