Theophilou Law Services

We provide our Legal and other Services always with loyalty, confidentiality, care and attention and within a friendly environment adapting to the separate personality and needs of each client, always aiming in serving the interest of the client best.

Our multilingual “support team” speak Greek, English, Russian, Ukranian and Romanian and we can arrange translation in any other language.

We can offer to you/your Company, (directly or through associates) any one or more from the following services:

* Legal Advises & Litigation.
* Incorporation of Companies in various Jurisdictions, including Cyprus, Malta, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, The U.K., Panama, and others.
* Contracts in general – Contracts for Sale and/or purchase of properties
* Property acquisition – Advises, consultation, guidance
* International Tax Planning. We co-operate extensively with foreign law firms in providing comprehensive International Services & Tax Planning.

Business Opportunities & Tax

FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN CYPRUS ARE FREE of EXCHANGE CONTROL.
With various important amendments to its legislation since 2002, the prohibition of Investments of Foreigners in Cyprus was practically abolished, for both citizens of European Union member states and non E.U. citizens. The participation of foreigners (whether EU citizens or not) in local Companies/businesses up to 100 percent is now allowed, save for very few areas of activities the restrictions on which are expected to be lifted soon.

ONE COMPANY for both local and international businesses by non-Cypriots.

The need for a permit to any foreigner (person or Company) to invest directly in Cyprus including the permit to have shares in a Company, which will have trading activities within Cyprus, has been abolished. Foreign investors may now invest freely and without prior consent of the authorities in local or international activities through Cypriot Companies in the same way as the citizens of EU member states.

Using a Cypriot IBC to legally divert profits as part of International Tax Planning.

In what we Specialize

Legal Advises & Litigation

Our experienced litigators have the capacity to handle complex and urgent issues covering every aspect of the law.

Administrative and Public law

We advise on civil actions involving governmental bodies and institutions, public inquiries and judicial review cases.

Admiralty

We advise ship owners, shipping companies, charterers, ship brokers, cargo owner, banks, insurers and other corporate entities and individuals who become involved in disputes which have a maritime law dimension.

Our firm is acknowledged as one of the law firms in Cyprus that offer expert legal advice for most range of legal services in the shipping industry such as

• Claims for loss or damage to cargo
• Collisions
• Enforcement of mortgages
• Freight disputes
• General average
• Problems relating to the employment of officers and crew members
• Salvage and damage limitation

In addition, we provide advice and assistance on a wide range of commercial shipping activities, including vessel registration under the Cyprus flag and related matters. We are located in Limassol where the country’s main port and the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping are based, which enables us to respond promptly to urgent matters.

Banking Litigation

We advise on a wide range of medium to high value banking disputes. Our experience in this area includes actions on behalf of banks, corporate clients and individuals.

Company & Commercial Litigation

We advise on a wide range of disputes which arise between commercial transactions and business relationships.

Insurance and reinsurance litigation

We advise on all types of disputes involving insurers and policy- holders including disputes involving reinsurers and insurance brokers. In addition, we deal with many types of disputes which involve an insurance dimension such as personal injury and property damage claims.

Personal Injury

We deal in all areas of personal injury and medical accidents, including accidents at work and road traffic accidents.

Property Litigation

We advise on large and small property disputes involving vendors and purchasers, landlords and tenants, developers, construction firms, management companies and financial institutions.

Family law

We advise in relation to all matrimonial matters and disputes between spouses including divorce proceedings, children’s alimony and custody matters, assets belonging differences, stop list orders etc.

Company Law / Formation - Domiciliation - Management

• Incorporation of Companies in various Jurisdictions, including Cyprus, Malta, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, The U.K., Panama, and others.

• Full domiciliation and management services in Cyprus to Companies, businesses or persons including:

• Nominee and other Services to Companies (nominee shareholders, nominee directors, secretary, registered office).

• Invoicing, Tax Clearance and Tax Certificates.

• Virtual Office facilities, including Communication services, conference facilities, own fax & telephone lines, private telephonist or answering yourselves your one Cypriot telephone line from home.

• Opening and/or operating Bank accounts, (as signatories or liaising with banks).

• Accounting through our “In house Accounting Department” and Audit through selected associate firms.

• Feasibility Studies

• Changes in Company structures and preparation of all Company resolutions, powers of Attorneys – legalization of documents.

• All other related services.

• Immigration / Green card / Permanent residence permits/ Visas

• Formation of international Trusts & related advices and other facilities, (Trustee and other).

International Tax Planning

Despite the recent financial problems in Cyprus, the tax system remains the same and allows the use by foreign nationals of international business companies, (I.B.C.), registered in Cyprus, to, either alone or in combination with other companies of various jurisdictions, prepare a proper and beneficial international tax planning.

Being a Cypriot Company an IBC will be taxed in Cyprus on its profits (whether from Cyprus or from abroad) and can take advantage of the “Double Tax Avoidance” Treaties of Cyprus with most European Countries (as well as most “ex Eastern bloc” Countries and others) provided that its management and control are carried out from Cyprus (e.g. if the majority of its board of directors are Cypriots or people residing in Cyprus, (a full study of each Treaty is necessary).

Consequently it is very important that the management and control of the Company is carried out from Cyprus through Directors residing in the Country (which we provide) to continue taking advantage of the Double Tax Avoidance Treaties of Cyprus with many Countries.

Immigration & Migration Law

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Contract Law / Contracts for Sale & Contracts for Property Purchase

Our Law Firm provides guidance and assistance on agreements and contracts, protecting your interests. We handle all aspects of contractual matters and we negotiate terms and conditions of contracts and agreements on behalf of our clients.

Shipping Law

Our firm is acknowledged as one of the law firms in Cyprus that offer expert legal advice for most range of legal services in the shipping industry such as:

• Claims for loss or damage to cargo
• Collisions
• Enforcement of mortgages
• Freight disputes
• General average
• Problems relating to the employment of officers and crew members
• Salvage and damage limitation

In addition, we provide advice and assistance on a wide range of commercial shipping activities, including vessel registration under the Cyprus flag and Purchase contracts (MOA), Drafting of Charter Parties, drafting and/or registering of ship mortgages-related shipping services. We are located in Limassol where the country’s main port and the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping are based, which enables us to respond promptly to urgent matters.

Tax Law & Consultation

TAX INCENTIVES

GENERAL

All Companies taxable in Cyprus are taxed at 12.5% on their net profits.
It is important to note that although tax resident I.B.C.’s will be taxed at 12.5%, they (and their shareholders) will nevertheless in fact NOT pay any tax on income originating from disposing of titles/shares or from dividends (to non-residents) or from profits deriving from permanent residence abroad, which are not taxable.
It is equally important to note that a “Cyprus International Trust” will be entirely tax free in Cyprus.

TAX ADVANTAGES

The Cypriot tax system provides to investors the following advantages:
• only 12.5 percent corporation tax, one of the lowest rate in EU
• exemption from tax of dividend income, in most cases
• exemption from tax of profits from foreign Permanent Establishments (PE), in most cases
• exemption from tax on profits generated from transactions in shares, securities, bonds and units
• exemption from withholding tax on the repatriation of income either in the form of dividends, interest and on almost all royalties
• extensive favorable double tax treaties network with 45 Countries
• access to EU Directives

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is only imposed on the sale of land and buildings situated in Cyprus, or of shares in non-listed companies that own such property. There is no CGT on the sale of any other asset including real estate outside Cyprus and shares in companies without real estate property in Cyprus.

As far as shares are concerned, gains as well as trading profits from the disposal of titles are exempted from all taxes. Titles are described as shares, bonds, debentures and similar titles as well as rights thereon (options, futures, etc.).

Withholding taxes

– No withholding taxes exist for dividend payments which are made to non-tax residents of Cyprus

– No withholding taxes exist for interest payments which are made to non-tax residents of Cyprus

– No withholding taxes exist for royalty payments if the right is used outside Cyprus.

BANK ACCOUNTS

Any Company (in either type of set-up) may open Bank accounts in Cyprus or abroad in free transferable currencies (USA$, DM, EURO etc.) and signatory to these accounts can be either the beneficiary or ourselves (with an extra annual fee) or other person nominated by the beneficiary (if it will be ourselves, we shall have to set up an agreement and a kind of code of instructions for safety purpose). In the case of Bank accounts in Cyprus we must provide your Commercial Bank with the identity of the actual beneficiaries.

Employment Law

The Firm’s Lawyers will expertly and ably counsel our clientele regarding their rights and obligations as employers and/or employees in their workplace.
Our team can also draft, provide advice and information to our clients on Employment areas such as:

– Employment Contracts

– Breach of employment contracts

– Employment court litigation

– Maternity issues

– Dismissal

Property acquisition – Advises, consultation, guidance

The right to own immovable property in Cyprus is free to every foreign individual who is a “European Union Citizen”, and to other non EU citizens on approval of each individual case by a Committee of Ministers (who act through District Officers).
All immovable properties in Cyprus, (including houses and apartments), are recorded in the records of the Land and Surveys Department of the Ministry of Interior, through District Land Offices, and relevant title deeds with full description of the property concerned are issued to the owner.

Cyprus Investment Programme

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