There are various ways in which foreign nationals can invest in North Cyprus. Foreign nationals can purchase property in North Cyprus in their own names subject to permission from the Council of Ministers (see our Buyer's Guide to Purchasing Property below). It is also possible for foreign nationals to set up a limited liability company in North Cyprus in order to operate a business and trade within the North Cyprus market. For most trading activities, the company can have 100% foreign ownership. However, there are certain restrictions; for example, travel agents and construction companies would require 51% of the shareholders and directors to be TRNC citizens.
The company formation process takes around 6 weeks. A minimum share capital of $100,000 USD is required. Limited liability companies registered in the TRNC which have 100% foreign ownership can own immovable property in North Cyprus subject to obtaining permission from the Council of Ministers in the same way as individual property purchasers. If the company is to own more than 5 donums or multiple units, then 51% of the shareholders and directors would need to be TRNC citizens.
Foreign companies registered overseas can also apply to register a branch in the TRNC subject to the approval of the Council of Ministers. Once registered the foreign company can then trade in the TRNC in the same way as a local TRNC company.
It is also possible to set up International Business Companies (IBCs) which are companies incorporated and registered in the TRNC, but whose trading activities are wholly overseas. IBCs benefit from substantial tax incentives and pay corporation tax at the rate of 2.5% as opposed to the usual rate of 23% for local limited liability companies. The minimum share capital for IBCs is 20,000 euros.