Shipping Company Formation

HSS Shipping Services in co-operation with HCS Corporate Services regularly provide full corporate services to its shipping clients. Our team of legal and other professionals often formulate complex, tax-effective, corporate structures to serve clients’ specific needs as well as advise and assist on all corporate related matters.


The Cyprus shipping company has a lot to offer for prospective shipping clients who wish to establish their business and/or manage their operations from Cyprus.  In most respects, Cyprus Shipping companies possess the characteristics of a typical Cyprus Company:


  • A separate legal entity in the form of a distinct personality from its members so that members’ liability is limited to their shares’ participation
  • There have to be minimum one maximum 50 shareholders (that may be nominees) and at least one Director who may be local or foreign and a physical person or a legal person. Also a secretary that can be local or foreign and a physical or legal person
  • No minimum share capital is required and shares can be of special classes accompanied by preferential rights
  • The bearer cannot be issued shares
  • Shareholder GMs and meetings of the Board of Directors can take place in the Republic or abroad
  • The company must have a Memorandum and Articles of Association prepared by a practicing Cyprus lawyer, subscribers must sign and these must be submitted to the Registrar of Cyprus Companies. These and other Company documents are publicly available at the Registrar
  • The company can open bank accounts of any type, in the Republic or abroad, of any currency with no restrictions on foreign exchange
  • The company must retain accounts and financial statements that are certified by practicing Cyprus accountants and filed in the Registrar of Cyprus companies
  • The company’s tax returns  must be  submitted to the income tax authority and annual returns of the company submitted annually to the Registrar of Cyprus Companies
  • Since 2004 Foreign Direct investment in Cyprus has been fully liberalized.  No need for a non Cypriot citizen  to obtain a license to establish a company in Cyprus

The major advantage of a Cyprus Shipping Company is its differential tax treatment. While companies in Cyprus are taxed at a 12.5% rate on their income ship-owning companies, ship-management companies and certain types of chartering companies, provided certain pre-requisites are satisfied, may opt to be taxed under the new Tonnage Tax System.

*For more information on tax related matters please see TAX PLANNING section