Many clients want to remain anonymous for a number of legitimate reasons.
However, anonymity no longer possible in Cyprus and the European Union since there is an obligation to disclose to the Registrar of Companies the real shareholders behind a company.
Read more about the ultimate beneficial owners registry here:
Nevertheless it is still possible to use directors and shareholders as nominees for certain reasons.
So what are nominees?
The nominees are physical persons or companies that can act as directors and shareholders of a company. This is a form of “trust” recognisable in common law countries whereby a person is the legal owner (our nominee company) holding the shares of a company for the beneficiary (the client).
Nominee directors are particularly needed when a company wants to be tax resident in Cyprus and enjoy the 12.% corporate tax.
How does this work?
When the company is incorporated our nominee companies will be appointed as shareholders and directors of the newly created company. At the same time we issue a “trust deed” to the client by which we agree to hold the shares for his benefit and under his instructions. Simultaneously we issue a “transfer of shares instrument” which is signed and delivered to the client. In this way the client can transfer the shares of the company to his or any other person’s name at any time he wishes.
If the client wants us to act as directors as well then our nominee director will issue a power of attorney to the client empowering him to represent the company in any matter. The power of attorney is valid for one year and renewable upon payment of our fees.
Before executing any documents and acting as nominees the client has to sign in favour of our nominee companies an indemnity.
Client Identification and KYC
In all cases we are under a legal obligation to verify the identity of the client and make sure that the company will not be used for any illegal purposes lime money laundering. For this purpose we always ask for the following information:
- Passport. Copy of all shareholders and directors passport certified by a lawyer or notary public and apostilled.
- Bank Reference for all shareholders and directors.
- Utility Bill (not older than 3 months) for all shareholders and directors.
- Source of money checks.
If the shareholder or director will be a foreign company then we require the above information for its shareholders and directors.