by Kelly Kiakou
Cyprus, with its stunning landscapes, strategic location, and welcoming environment, has emerged as a top choice for digital nomads seeking a base for their entrepreneurial endeavors. This Mediterranean island nation offers a stable economic climate, straightforward immigration laws, an attractive taxation system, and a rich cultural heritage. In this guide, we’ll delve into the advantages of being a digital nomad entrepreneur in Cyprus and how this vibrant destination can cater to your needs and aspirations.
While Cyprus offers a range of charming destinations for digital nomads, several places stand out as top choices for establishing your base:
As the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition. The city’s historic old town is a charming place to explore, and its central location makes it an excellent choice for those looking to immerse themselves in Cyprus’ rich culture.
This vibrant coastal city offers a delightful mix of historic charm and modern amenities. Larnaca’s Finikoudes Beach is a picturesque spot for work and relaxation. The city’s proximity to Larnaca International Airport makes it a convenient choice for those who value easy access to travel.
Steeped in history and culture, Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its archaeological treasures. Its pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, and an array of cafes and restaurants make it an appealing destination for digital nomads.
Often considered the economic heart of Cyprus, Limassol is a bustling city known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and thriving business scene. It offers a dynamic work environment and a rich social life, making it a preferred choice for digital entrepreneurs.
Understanding the Digital Nomad Lifestyle:
Before we explore why Cyprus is an ideal hub for digital nomad entrepreneurs, let’s clarify what being a digital nomad entails. Digital nomads are individuals who leverage technology to work remotely while exploring different corners of the world. Their work relies on internet connectivity, smartphones, and laptops, allowing them the freedom to choose their work environment and travel extensively.
Digital nomad occupations span various industries, including marketing, writing, consulting, IT, design, web development, and more. Some digital nomads maintain a diverse client base, while others focus on specific projects or online businesses like YouTube, Instagram, e-commerce, or passive income streams. Regardless of their background, digital nomads share the common pursuit of a high-quality life at a lower cost while exploring the globe.
Why Digital Entrepreneurs Choose Cyrpus:
1. Stable Economic Climate:
Cyprus boasts a stable economic and political environment, making it a magnet for remote workers and entrepreneurs. As a European Union member, the island offers cost-effective living options, especially for expatriates. Access to excellent healthcare, reliable banking services, high-speed internet connection and telephone services which allow you to work remotely and connect with your clients, contributed to a rewarding work experience.
2. Create a Bank account with ease:
the process of opening a bank account is simple. Foreigners can easily open an individual bank account, and most banks offer clients several services and benefits such as:
- Submission of documents by email
- No minimum start-up deposit
- Low fees
- Online banking solutions
- Access to foreign currency
- ATMs in a large number of locations
3. Digital Nomad Visa:
The Cyprus Digital Nomad Visa program offers a golden opportunity for remote workers and entrepreneurs to call the stunning Mediterranean island their home. Initially limited to 100 applicants, the program has expanded its horizons to welcome 500 digital nomads as of March 2022. This visa grants a stay of up to one year, with the possibility of renewal for an additional two years. To maintain your digital nomad status, you’ll need to spend a minimum of 60 days in Cyprus each year, allowing for convenient travel to nearby destinations.
While residing in Cyprus for over 183 days a year you may be considered a tax resident, unless you are a tax resident elsewhere. Don’t let this scare you. Cyprus is known for its excellent tax rates, especially for corporations and small businesses, making it an attractive choice for digital nomads seeking financial benefits. Moreover, the program extends its appeal by permitting applicants to bring their families along for the Mediterranean adventure.
4. Taxation Benefits:
Cyprus offers attractive tax benefits for digital nomads, particularly through the incorporation of a company. The preferential tax rates in Cyprus are as follows: a 5% corporate income tax (CIT) rate and a 0% rate for dividends received, both for local and foreign sources. However, it’s important to note that a 2.65% General Health System tax applies to rental income, interest income, and dividends. This tax is applicable for annual incomes of 180,000 EUR or more and will be deducted from your first yearly income. Different tax rates may apply based on your income bracket.
Moreover, certain foreign-sourced income may be exempt from the 12.5% corporate income tax. This includes interest earnings (excluding when interest income is the company’s main business activity), foreign exchange (FX) gains (excluding FX gains from trading in foreign currencies and related derivatives), and dividends/profits paid out by a foreign-owned company to the Cypriot entity.
5. Warmth and Inclusivity in Cypriot Culture
The vibrant culture of Cyprus is deeply rooted in the values of generosity and hospitality, attracting an increasing number of expats to its shores. Cypriots are renowned for their warmth, kindness, and affectionate nature, readily extending a welcoming hand to visitors and newcomers. They wholeheartedly encourage expats to become part of the close-knit local community. Digital nomads currently residing in Cyprus greatly appreciate this inclusive approach.
In Cyprus, there’s a prevailing belief in the importance of “working to live” rather than “living to work.” This delightful cultural aspect is evident as locals engage in business discussions in charming coffee shops and negotiate deals over delectable Mediterranean meals.
The diversity of languages spoken within local communities further enhances the welcoming atmosphere. Cypriots are fluent in Greek, Turkish, English, Russian, German, and French, making it convenient for foreigners to socialize, forge friendships, and find their place in the local fabric. Expats who make an effort to learn even a few Greek words are met with genuine warmth and appreciation for embracing both the Cypriot culture and its language.
6. Strategic location:
Cyprus offers diverse landscapes, from picturesque beaches to majestic mountains. Its strategic location in the Mediterranean makes it a desirable destination for businesses and multinationals looking to bridge Europe, Africa, and Asia. Because of its location, Cyprus is a perfect place for doing business with three continents. Well-connected airports and an extensive network of roads simplify travel within and beyond the island, making exploration easy and affordable. This is attractive to the digital nomad in Cyprus and running their healthy business.
7. Low Crime Rate:
Cyprus is presently the safest place globally for countries with populations of less than 5 million people. Cyprus is also the EU’s safest migrant destination, ranking sixth. Boastsing impressively low crime rates, with a reported crime rate of around 13.8 incidents per 1,000 residents in recent years. When compared to similarly sized European nations, Cyprus stands out with its notably low incidence of violent crime. While instances of non-violent street crimes exist, it’s advisable to exercise caution and keep your personal belongings secure. Generally,
8. Healthcare in Cyprus: A Reliable System for a Healthy Lifestyle
Cyprus boasts a well-established healthcare system that offers peace of mind to residents and visitors alike. With a mix of public and private healthcare facilities, the country ensures that medical needs are met with excellence. Some notable hospitals, such as the Nicosia General Hospital and the Limassol General Hospital, provide top-tier care, are equipped with modern technology, and are staffed by highly trained medical professionals. The healthcare system in Cyprus places a strong emphasis on preventive care and patient well-being.
Expats and digital nomads can access both public and private healthcare services, making it convenient to maintain their health while enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle. Whether it’s routine check-ups, specialized treatments, or emergency care, Cyprus has a reputation for delivering quality medical services in a picturesque setting.
9. Cost of Living in Cyprus: Balancing Affordability and Quality
Cyprus has a much lower cost of living than similar countries while ranking 27th in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Quality of Life rating. Cyprus offers a unique blend of affordability and quality of life, making it an attractive destination for expats and digital nomads. While the cost of living in Cyprus is generally on par with other Western European countries, it provides excellent value for money. The peak summer months may see higher rental prices due to tourism, but those who choose to reside in Cyprus off-season can find more budget-friendly options.
Limassol, known for its higher costs, contrasts with Larnaca and Nicosia, which tend to offer more stable prices. It’s important to note that, despite being an island, Cyprus’ cost of living remains competitive. With prudent financial planning, expats can enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle without breaking the bank.
10. Gastronomic adventure:
Cyprus is a culinary paradise for digital nomads seeking Mediterranean cuisine with a tantalizing blend of Greek and Turkish influences. The island offers an endless gastronomic journey, boasting diverse flavor profiles, textures, ingredients, and cultural fusions.
For food enthusiasts and culinary explorers, the adventure never ends, as Cyprus is brimming with both hidden gems and well-loved establishments. Embark on a culinary voyage to discover unique interpretations of Greek dishes, Middle Eastern specialties, and Turkish traditions. Cyprus is renowned for its abundant use of plant-based ingredients, with olive oil taking the spotlight.
Don’t miss out on trying halloumi, a savory local cheese crafted from a blend of goat and sheep milk. Meat lovers will be enchanted by souvla, while foodies can savor souvlakia and Sheftalia, where herb-infused salads and charcoal-grilled platters elevate the dining experience. Cyprus promises a feast for your senses at every turn.
11. Mediterranean Weather
Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate that beckons digital nomads with its sunny disposition. With its long, hot summers from April to October, you can bask in temperatures reaching up to 40°C in July and August. Rainfall is a rare guest during these sun-soaked months, ensuring plenty of clear blue-sky days. The mild winters, from November to March, see more rainfall but remain comfortably warm, with temperatures around 17°C.
If you venture inland to the Troodos Mountains, expect a refreshing escape from the summer heat, as the higher elevation offers temperatures up to 10 degrees cooler than the coast. Cyprus’ weather is a perfect companion for your nomadic adventures, whether you’re exploring its ancient ruins, relaxing on its beautiful beaches, or hiking through its lush landscapes.
When you find yourself with some free time in Cyprus, seize the opportunity to delve into its rich history and embrace its natural wonders. Here are some must-do activities to enrich your experience:
- Salamis Ruins: Journey to the east coast to uncover the remnants of Salamis, an ancient civilization dating back to 1100 BC. Wander through these historic ruins and gain profound insights into Cyprus’ captivating past.
- Kato Paphos Archaeological Park: Located on the west coast of Paphos, this archaeological marvel offers a journey through time spanning over 2000 years. Explore the remnants of ancient civilizations and immerse yourself in the stories etched in stone.
- Troodos Mountain Hiking: Embark on an outdoor adventure in the heart of Cyprus by hiking through the Troodos Mountains. Marvel at the breathtaking vistas, verdant forests, and cascading waterfalls that grace these mountains. It’s a rejuvenating experience for nature enthusiasts.
- Beach Bliss: Cyprus boasts some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. Spend a day unwinding on the golden sands, soaking up the Mediterranean sun, and taking refreshing dips in the azure waters. Whether it’s Famagusta’s pristine beaches or the renowned Coral Bay, you’re in for a treat.
- Cultural Exploration: Immerse yourself in Cyprus’ vibrant culture by attending local festivals, sampling traditional cuisine, and exploring quaint villages. Engaging with the locals and experiencing their way of life is an enriching cultural adventure.
- Wine Tasting: Cyprus is famed for its exceptional wines, with a history dating back millennia. Visit local wineries to savor unique Cypriot wines and learn about the island’s winemaking traditions.
- Diving: Discover the mesmerizing underwater world of Cyprus by going scuba diving. Explore ancient shipwrecks, vibrant coral reefs, and a diverse marine ecosystem beneath the crystal-clear Mediterranean waters.
- Nightlife: Cyprus comes alive after the sun sets. Enjoy the vibrant nightlife in cities like Limassol and Ayia Napa, where you can dance the night away, savor exotic cocktails, and create unforgettable memories.
These activities will not only enrich your downtime but also provide a deeper understanding of Cyprus’ culture, history, and natural beauty.
Cyprus Co-working: Where Productivity Meets Community
Cyprus, with its thriving digital nomad scene, offers a range of exceptional co-working spaces designed to cater to the needs of professionals on the go.
Among these is The Workplace, a vibrant hub where freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small teams come together to make the most of flexible workspaces. With hot-desks, private meeting rooms, and amenities like coffee and snacks, it provides all the essentials for a productive day.
AtWorks Serviced & CoWorking Office leaves no stone unturned in ensuring your business needs are met. Whether it’s high-speed internet, meeting facilities, or a collaborative environment, this co-working space has it all.
In Nicosia, the heart of Cyprus, Axess Workspace offers a productive environment with all the necessary essentials for a comfortable workday, including internet, utilities, and refreshments.
For those seeking more than just a workspace, Nomads Coworking in Cyprus provides a creative haven, complete with meeting rooms, podcast studios, and conference spaces. It’s a place where energy, ideas, and space seamlessly come together.
In the coastal city of Paphos, The Hugge stands out not just for its well-equipped offices but also for its unique approach to nurturing a sense of community among digital nomads. With a blend of productivity and fun activities like yoga, beach volleyball, and rooftop gatherings, it fosters connections and camaraderie among its members.
No 63, another gem in Paphos, offers a co-working experience designed for comfort. Its vintage decor and artistic touches create a warm and relaxed ambiance, making it an inviting space for work.
Over in Larnaca, Ohouse shines as a top co-working space, housed in a vintage building with well-lit rooms. With an authentic character, it provides an ideal setting for a productive workday and even offers event-hosting services for corporate and social gatherings. These co-working spaces in Cyprus are not just about work; they are vibrant communities that enhance your professional journey.
Building Connections as a Digital Nomad in Cyprus
Forge meaningful connections with kindred spirits who share your passions and pursuits in Cyprus through various avenues.
Online Communities: Dive into the vibrant world of digital nomadism by joining online communities like Facebook groups and forums, where fellow nomads enthusiastically discuss their Cyprus adventures and insights. It’s an excellent way to tap into a wealth of shared experiences and knowledge.
Networking Events: Don’t miss out on the exciting networking events hosted by co-working spaces across Cyprus. Alternatively, take the initiative and create your own event on platforms like Meetup. These gatherings provide fertile ground for fostering new connections with like-minded individuals who can offer valuable advice and perspectives on navigating the digital nomad lifestyle in Cyprus.
Pursue Your Passions: Beyond work, embrace your interests by participating in activities or classes that captivate you, whether it’s yoga sessions or dance workshops. Surprisingly, you’ll discover many fellow digital nomads who share your enthusiasm for these pursuits. This shared passion fosters connections that extend beyond the confines of your professional life, enriching your overall experience in Cyprus.
Contrasting South and North Cyprus: A Tale of Two Republics
Cyprus, an island of rich history and stunning landscapes, is a unique destination with two distinct countries coexisting within its borders: the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Separating these two entities is the Green Line, a buffer zone established by the United Nations.
Both the Republic of Cyprus and the TRNC offer stability and safety, boasting relatively low crime rates. They are both open to expats, fostering sizable expatriate communities. However, there are notable differences between them.
In terms of cost of living, North Cyprus stands out as the more budget-friendly option. It is a fantastic choice for those seeking a retiree’s paradise, combining affordability with a Mediterranean backdrop. In fact, Forbes recognized North Cyprus as the top destination for beachfront property investments in 2021.
Conversely, the Southern part of Cyprus enjoys a more stable economy, transparent regulations, and compliance with EU standards. It’s an optimal destination for those interested in establishing businesses or benefiting from favorable tax policies in a reputable, white-listed jurisdiction.
Foreigners can acquire property in both North and South Cyprus with relative ease, as permission is typically a straightforward formality.
As for travel between these two regions, it is generally hassle-free. EU citizens can move freely across the border, while non-EU citizens, including Britons, must adhere to EU visa requirements based on their country of citizenship. Thankfully, Brits can visit any EU nation for up to 90 days without a visa.
The border crossings, most conveniently located in Nicosia, the capital shared by both republics, are straightforward, though you may encounter occasional queues, especially if traveling by car.
Residents of the Republic of Cyprus need entry clearance and car insurance when crossing into the TRNC, but these are easily obtained.
Expats living on either side regularly traverse the border, enjoying the best of both worlds. Shopping and entertainment thrive in the South, while the North boasts stunning natural beauty and significant historical sites. Cyprus truly offers the best of both worlds within its borders.
Cyprus is an ideal place for digital nomad entrepreneurs seeking a harmonious blend of work, lifestyle, and exploration. With its stable economy, straightforward immigration laws, favorable taxation, welcoming culture, and geographical advantages, this island nation has emerged as a top choice for those looking to establish a successful digital business while enjoying the benefits of the famous Mediterranean lifestyle.
Cyprus has opened her arms to digital nomads and digital entrepreneurs to embark on a fulfilling journey of work and leisure, offering a supportive environment to achieve the desired lifestyle and their business goals.