How Limited is ‘Limited Liability’ in Cyprus

Limited Liability Company

Both private and public limited liability companies can be registered in Cyprus. Liability refers to the shareholder’s financial responsibility towards the company if the company were to be liquidated. A Cyprus limited liability company can have limited liability by shares or by guarantee (with or without shares).

Private companies

For private companies, limited liability refers to the liability of the shareholders towards the company and is limited up to the amount of the shareholders’ shares. For example, for a single member company with share capital of €1000, consisting of 1000 shares €1 each, the shareholder will only have to pay €1000 towards the debts of the company should the company cease to exist.

Private limited liability companies are widely used, not only in Cyprus, but all over the world. Foreign investors tend to be interested in private limited liability companies. They can be used as holding, property or general trading companies. A private company’s articles restrict the right of transfer of shares, prohibit inviting shareholders and limit its members to 50. In a public company, these restrictions don’t apply.

Private limited liability companies in Cyprus must have at least one director, and there is no minimum share capital. It is actually possible to register one-man private companies, in which the individual is the director, shareholder and secretary.

Public companies

Public companies need seven or more founding members. The company’s Articles do not restrict the number of shareholders, do not prohibit inviting shareholders, and do not restrict share transfers. A public company can be listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange and has to conform to Stock Exchange regulations. All limited liability companies, including both public and private, require a minimum of at least one shareholder. This can be either an individual or a corporate body with residence anywhere in the world.

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