Cyprus’ history in providing base for international companies dates back from the 1970’s; however, it was not until the 1990’s that the establishment of offshore businesses significantly starts increasing. Up until 2003 there was a separate treatment for offshore companies (also known as, International Business Companies) as compared to the "local" ones. Today, difference between them does not exist in the eyes of the law or the taxman. In that context, an offshore company denotes a company that is held by foreign shareholders and established outside the country of its main operations or formed to meet a particular purpose (i.e. as SPV/SPE, special purpose vehicle/entity).
Strictly speaking, the cost of establishing and maintaining a company is a factor of its size and activities. Despite that, we shall attempt to at least lay down the base costs of setting up and running a personal or an SME offshore company.