In most jurisdictions there is a requirement under local company legislation that directors should prepare accounts and present them to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting. However, where there is no tax to be assessed on the profits of the company, there is rarely a requirement to present the accounts to any government authority or file them on the public register. Even if the accounts do not need auditing it is good business practice for them to be prepared in accordance with the relevant companies law so that all shareholders and directors have access to – and can be seen to have access to – relevant financial information upon which proper business decisions can be made.
All Cyprus companies are required to produce annual audited accounts. The audit has to be submitted in Greek. Sovereign can act as the “Fiscal Agent” for your company and assist with bookkeeping, accounting, auditing, submissions and maintaining full tax compliance.
Gibraltar-based RegisterAnAircraft.com (RANA) is the aviation division of The Sovereign Group. Combining the experience acquired over 20 years in the field of aircraft registration and offshore company management, RANA offers a complete range of professional and highly tailored services to aircraft owners and operators worldwide.
Sovereign is able provide introductions to a number of banks in Cyprus and elsewhere in the world with which we have long-term relationships. Sovereign can also assist with account opening procedures.
Insurance is one of the most effective ways to manage risks and protect your assets, and is a vital part of the wealth management process. Gibraltar-based Sovereign Insurance Services (SIS) provides a full range of insurance broking services – from home, contents, travel, accident and life cover through to more complex products such as “key man”, professional indemnity and kidnap and ransom cover – at the most competitive pricing levels available in the international insurance markets. SIS is licensed by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to act as an insurance intermediary for general insurance business within the European Economic Area (EEA) but also has strategic partnership arrangements with a series of underwriters and brokers throughout the international insurance community so as to be able to meet a client’s insurance requirements anywhere in the world.
International Tax Planning
It is relatively straightforward to set up or purchase a company but it is vital to get proper advice on how to structure the ownership of that company, how it should be administered and how to organise its commercial arrangements. Every case is different and a high level of expertise is required to ensure that the advice is up-to-date, effective and fully compliant. Once we have understood your personal and business requirements, Sovereign is in a unique position, through its global network of offices, to advise on a suitable structure which will meet those needs and should result in significant tax savings.
Cyprus is a fully-fledged maritime centre, combining both a sovereign flag and a resident shipping industry, which is renowned for its high quality services and standards of safety. Cyprus is one of the leading third-party ship management centres in the world. Yachts and other pleasure craft may be registered in Cyprus provided that they are used exclusively for recreation and are not engaged in any commercial operations, irrespective of size.
In 2012, the Cyprus VAT Authorities issued specific VAT Guidelines for a Yacht Leasing Scheme making Cyprus one of the most attractive jurisdictions in the EU. Under the scheme, VAT is paid only on the proportion of the lease during which the craft is in EU waters, with the underlying rationale that the bigger the craft, the less time it shall be confined to local territorial waters. As a result the VAT rate for yacht registration in the EU can be low as 4.6% and the VAT rate on lease payments can be as low as 3.8%.
Gibraltar-based RegisterAYacht.com (RAY) is the marine division of the Sovereign Group. It was formed in 2000 to provide marine corporate and administration services to yacht owners, as well as to maritime law firms, yacht managers and brokers and other professional firms involved in the yachting industry. RAY is able to assist with transfer of ownership to Gibraltar companies and all registration formalities. It is also recognised by the Gibraltar government as a local Authorised Officer and Accounting Authority if required. Initially established to register vessels under the British Red Ensign, RAY is now registering, administering and managing yachts – both pleasure and commercial – on a worldwide basis.
A minimum of one shareholder is required for a Cyprus company and details appear on the public file but anonymity can be retained by the use of nominee shareholders. . Bearer shares are not permitted.
Overseas Property Ownership
Sovereign assists many of its clients with the acquisition of real estate worldwide. We advise on tax and structuring and can manage the transaction process and financing arrangements. With our regional knowledge of property ownership laws and regulations, along with our tax planning expertise, we can help you reduce any potential exposure. Most people who own or intend to own property abroad will not be fully conversant with local legal procedures or taxes – stamp duties, municipal and wealth taxes – and may not fully recognise the longer term implications in terms of potential exposures to capital gains tax, inheritance tax or forced heirship rules. Substantial benefits may be derived through the use of corporate, trust or foundation structures to address these issues.
By outsourcing your payroll you can free up your valuable time and resources to concentrate on the important business of running your company. Sovereign can provide a comprehensive yet flexible outsourced payroll service tailored to each of our clients’ specific requirements.
Pension plans are an important component of all wealth planning. Sovereign offer a range of retirement savings solutions and pension plans including Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS), Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) and other retirement savings options.
Under UK legislation, effective from April 2006, expatriates or UK residents who have a demonstrable intention to move overseas may transfer the value of their UK pension rights to a non–UK pension scheme and thus potentially avoid exposure to UK tax and many of the UK pension fund restrictions. Sovereign has developed a market-leading range of HMRC-recognised QROPS and QNUPS in Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Malta, which are world’s leading jurisdictions for pension transfers.
An international retirement savings plan is a low cost, highly efficient method to plan your retirement and long-term future. It enables you to accumulate wealth to fit your financial circumstances as they change. There is no need for a regular fixed monthly commitment as assets can be added to the plan at any time. Free from income or capital gains tax, retirement fund growth will be maximised from the outset. International retirement savings plans can be established as individual plans, joint plans for spouses or as multi-member plans.
A minimum of one director is required for a Cyprus company and details appear on the public file but anonymity can be retained by the use of third party directors. There is no legal requirement that the directors are Cyprus resident but in order to obtain relief under the taxation treaties signed by Cyprus it is likely that the company would need to be seen to be Cyprus resident and therefore have a majority of the directors based in Cyprus. Sovereign is able to provide directors if required.