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Company VS Self Employed

McMillan Cyprus > Articles > Articles > Company VS Self Employed
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The two most common ways to operate a business in Cyprus are as (a) self-employed or (b) through a limited liability company.

A limited liability company is a separate legal entity from its owners (the shareholders). A key implication of this, amongst other things, is that if a company goes bankrupt, the personal wealth of the company’s shareholders is protected from creditors.

Tax on profits

Cyprus companies pay 12.5% tax on profits. Profits can then be distributed to individuals through dividends. Dividend income by individuals is taxed at 17% defence tax and 2.65% for the general health system (but note if you have non-domicile status dividend is tax free!).

Income tax rates for individuals on the other hand, go as high as 35%, which is applied at progressive rates, as it follows:

Taxable Income €Tax Rate %
0-19,5000
19,501 – 28,00020
28,001 – 36,30025
36,301 – 60,00030
60,001 and over35 (this rate is applicable as from the year 2011 onwards)

The most important reason why someone may choose to run a business as a company instead of a freelancer (self-employed), is the potential of lower overall taxation on profits.

VAT
Both self-employed individuals and corporations have the same obligation to register to VAT – that is, if their income exceeds €15,600 in any 12-month period. There is therefore no advantage from a VAT perspective.

Audit
All companies – irrespective of income – have an obligation to prepare audited financial statements. A self-employed individual is obliged to submit audited financial statements only if his revenue (not profit!) exceeds €70,000.

Annual levy
Companies are obliged to pay €350 per year (annual company levy) whereas individuals do not have to pay this fee.

Setup costs
Operating as a freelancer (self-employed) requires no up-front costs, whereas a company incorporation requires money (cost varies).

 

 

 

 

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