• Emily A. Georgiades, Esq.

How Can Barbados Companies Expand Internationally?

The financial hub of the Caribbean meets the financial hub of the Mediterranean: Barbados and Cyprus. Two small island-nations on opposite sides of the world can offer each other tremendous business opportunities in the fintech, telecommunications, shipping and even the commercial goods industries.

Businesses in Barbados can grow their companies by establishing a presence in the European Union (“EU”) which has a population of approximately 500 million people (about half the size of the US population). With Brexit approaching, Cyprus has already become the nation of choice for companies to establish a presence in the EU since Cyprus is an EU Member State. The legislation of Barbados and Cyprus are very similar which provides greater legal certainty and gives Barbadian companies the comfort to establish a presence in Cyprus.

Cyprus, like Barbados, has British common law as the basis of its legislation and Cyprus also adheres to EU law since it is a Member State. Cyprus has adopted many EU directives including those regarding what a prospectus should include, compliance laws, data protection laws, how payment services providers can operate within the EU, investor protection laws, and many more laws which makes cross-border transactions viable and safer.

Additionally, in 2017, Barbados and Cyprus signed a double taxation treaty which allows Barbadian companies to benefit from 0% withholding tax rates on dividends, interests and royalties. Moreover, all types of companies established in Cyprus benefit from a flat rate 12.5% corporate tax rate on the net profits.

A few more reasons why you should expand your business in Cyprus include the following:

· Running a business in Cyprus allows you to reap the benefits of a highly skilled labor force.

· You can passport your business into all EU Member States (meaning that you can do business freely with other Member States).

· Cyprus is the gateway to Africa, Europe and the Middle East being so close in proximity.

· Obtaining a visa to stay in Cyprus is a relatively easy process (since the beginning of the program six ago approximately 4,000 Cyprus passports have been issued).

· Cyprus has a citizenship-by-investment program that allows you to obtain EU citizenship.

· We work well with a business-friendly Securities Regulator (CySEC).

· Arbitration allows for easy, cost-effective and private dispute settlement.

· Business incorporation is relatively a fast and easy process.

Types of businesses that are already expanding in Cyprus include (and are not limited to):

· Investment funds;

· Companies selling goods online;

· Blockchain companies. (ICOs and STOs are also becoming popular, as well as crowdfunding for projects);

· Payment service providers such as e-money institutions and payment institutions;

· Forex companies;

· Marketing companies.


Cyprus has seen a tech-boom in the last decade or so with companies such as Viber growing from a small firm in Limassol to a billion-dollar venture within 5 years and PumaPay having raised over $117 million in an ICO. Indeed, with statistics like these Cyprus has established itself as the business hub of Europe.

Cyprus is home to many companies from around the world including the US, the EU, Israel, Marshall Islands, Israel, India, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Australia, Lebanon, Syria, South Africa, Seychelles, and many more. With such an international presence, Barbadian businesses are in good company and with such similar (and advantageous) laws, Barbadian companies can grow their businesses and reap the benefits in Barbados.

Whether you are considering to redomicile your company to Cyprus or just establish a subsidiary or new company, the new double tax treaty has provided a wonderful opportunity to expand your investments between both countries.

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