Buy Cyprus property through US LLC?

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panamanomad

New member
I want to buy an investment property in Cyprus. Owning additional properties personally is not an option for me, so I must own through a company.

Cyprus companies are quite expensive, and time-consuming to set up. Around 1.5k+ EUR to set up, taking around 2 weeks. Then around 2.5k EUR minimum per year for gov. levies + accountancy fees + mandatory audit.

Is it possible and advisable to set up a cheap single-member pass-through $199 US LLC, and buy the property through this?

Expected advantages:
  1. Save on company set up costs and annual company maintenance costs
  2. Cheap enough to then set up one company per property purchase... safer in liability terms, and easy to have the option to sell the US LLC (which owns a single property) to transfer ownership of the property (cheaper and faster)
Questions:
1. is this possible?
2. are there any disadvantages that I haven't thought through?
3. if no disadvantages, then why isn't everyone doing it like this...?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts / advice.
 

luap

New member
If you wish to buy real estate via a non-EU company you must apply (and wait) for permission from the council of ministers. They'll also only let you purchase one property in total, even if you open 10 LLC's.

Much easier doing it via a CY or EU company - you can buy as many as you like, without permission.
 

panamanomad

New member
Thanks luap, that's great advice. You seem to understand more on this than the Cyprus lawyer I talked to! I figured there must be a catch.

The idea forming in my mind is - what's the best EU company to buy through? Could e.g. Estonia be a good option? Surely there must be a better option than paying for an expensive CY company...
 

luap

New member
Cyprus introduced new rules for this year regarding audits, so if you have less than 500K in assets and less than 200K turnover in a year, the audit is much simpler (and cheaper). Estonia would work fine for buying and holding property, but if you're renting it out, you'll have tax and filing liabilities in Cyprus anyway, meaning you'd pay for accounting in EE and CY. I went through the whole process too, but ultimately decided it was better via a CY company.
 

CyprusLaw

Mentor Group Gold
If you wish to buy real estate via a non-EU company you must apply (and wait) for permission from the council of ministers. They'll also only let you purchase one property in total, even if you open 10 LLC's.

Much easier doing it via a CY or EU company - you can buy as many as you like, without permission.
Just a point here, the permission from the Council of Ministers relates to non-EU individuals, not companies.

The main reason that people purchase through Cyprus companies is (a) taxes on property are in any event payable at the place of the property; (b) in order for a property to be transferred to the name of a company the director or someone holding a POA from that company should be present at the land registry, therefore having a Cyprus company instead of any other on-Cyprus company makes is much easier and faster in practice.
 

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