This form of legal entity is less popular for international operations, although in some cases it may have certain tax advantages and uses, especially for American interests.
Partnerships are governed by the Partnership and Business Names Law, Chapter 116, which is similar to the equivalent English Law.
The procedures for registration have been designed to make this process as simple as possible and results from the submission of the required return, which must be written in Greek and must set out "inter alia", as well the following information:
- The name of the partnership
- The objects of the partnership
- The proposed duration of the partnership
- The names and addresses of contemplated partners
- The extent to which partners are authorised to bind the partnership
When a Non- EU resident partner intends to work in Cyprus, he is required to apply to the Department of Immigration for a work permit. This must be deposited with the Registrar before registration. Unregistered partnerships are not recognized by law and may be subject to penalties. After registration, the Registrar must be informed of any subsequent changes in the constitution of the partnership.
In Cyprus a distinction is drawn between two types of partnerships, namely general partnerships and limited partnerships. In general partnerships, all partners have unlimited liability. In limited partnerships some of the partners have unlimited liability while the liability of the others is limited to the extent to which they have contributed to partnership capital.
The procedures for the formation of a partnership are relatively straightforward and consequently the registration can be done quickly. All formalities, including the opening of bank accounts, printing of stationery and finalization of other miscellaneous matters, can usually be completed within one week. The Registrar of Companies will ensure that the required Certificate of Registration is issued without delay.
Partnership profits are taxable in the hands of the partners or the partnership (in Cyprus for Cypriot tax-resident partners).
It is advisable to ensure that the partners are provided with full partnership documents upon the registration of the partnership. These documents should be properly legalized and translated - where appropriate - from Greek into English or any other language.
These documents normally comprise:
- Certificate of registration
- List of partners and their authority to bind the partnership
- Letterheads, invoices and other partnership stationery
- Any other information and documentation pertaining to the partnership’s activities to the date of its establishment.