Register a Non-Profit Organisation in Cyprus
What types of non-profit organisations are there in Cyprus?
Currently, there are four main types of non-profit organisations:
- Non-profit companies (entities established for non-profit purposes);
- Foundations (entities all the assets of which are dedicated to a specific cause);
- Societies (unions of at least 20 members established for the achievement of a specific non-profit objective);
- Clubs (unions of at least 20 members established for entertainment purposes).
In a nutshell, what are the differences between these types and what are their main characteristics?
All Cyprus Companies, including non-profit ones, are regulated by the Companies Law (Cap. 113).
However, unlike for-profit companies, non-profit ones are not allowed to distribute dividends.
Such companies can be registered to promote one of the following causes:
- Any other similar cause/objective.
Please note that non-profit companies are subject to the same requirements as for-profit companies (i.e. audited accounts, annual levy etc.) as well as in respect to the dissolution procedure (strike off / liquidation).
Competent authority for the registration: Registrar of Companies
Foundations are regulated by the Societies and Foundations Laws 1972 and 1997.
According to the legal definition of the Foundation, the total of its assets must be dedicated to a specific purpose.
Minimum number of member(s): one (1)
Minimum amount of funds: n/a
Competent authority for the registrations: Ministry of Interior
The application to be submitted must include the following:
- Founding act;
- Name and addresses of the administration members;
- Name of the foundation;
- Address of the headquarters of the Foundation;
- Emblem of the foundation (if applicable);
- Lawyer’s letter.
Dissolution or Liquidation: The Foundation may be dissolved or liquidated. In this case, the funds will be transferred to the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus that will have to use the said funds for the cause of the dissolved or liquidated Foundation.
Societies (or Associations)
Societies are regulated by the Societies and Foundations Laws 1972 and 1997.
In the Law, a society is defined as the organized union of a least twenty (20) persons for the achievement of a specific non-profit objective.
Competent authority for the registration: Ministry of Interior
For the registration of a society (or association) the following are required:
- Memorandum of association;
- Names and addresses of the administration members;
- Articles of association dated and duly signed by the members;
- Emblem of the society (if applicable)
- A description of the movable and/or immovable property in the possession of the society at the time of submission of the application.
The certificate of registration in the prescribed form shall be published in the official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus.
The society can be dissolved by a resolution of the assembly of the members or in case the number of members is reduced to less than twenty or by a court order.
Clubs are regulated by the the Club Registration Law of 1972 (Cap. 112).
A Club is defined as the union of at least twenty persons that are associated for social activity, mutual entertainment or any other legal non-profit purpose.
Minimum number of members: twenty (20)
Competent authority for registration: The local district office.
A month prior to the commencement of its operation, the Club must submit an application to the the local district office, where the premises of the Club are located.
The following information must be submitted as well:
- Name and purpose of the club;
- Address of the club;
- Name of the secretary and of all the members;
- Number of the members;
- Memorandum of the Club.
The above information is only an overview of the four types of non-profit organisations and cannot be treated as legal advice. If you are interested in the registration of either a non-profit company, a society, a foundation or a club, we recommend that you seek legal professional advice.