The "Societas Europae" (SE) is a European public limited company which can be formed in any Member State of the European Economic Area. The formation and maintenance of an SE is governed by the European Statute which contains two parts: a Regulation and Directive on employee involvement which has to be reflected in national legislations of the Member States. The majority of the countries have already implemented the amendments to the national legislation, including Cyprus
A European Company can be set up in the following ways:
- The formation of a holding company by public or private limited companies from two different Member States.
- The merger of two or more existing public limited companies from at least two different member States
- The formation of a subsidiary from at least two different Member States.
- The conversion of a public limited company, incorporated under national law, having had a subsidiary at least for two years in another Member State.
- The formation of an SE by the existing European Company.
The European Company must be registered in the country in which
it maintains its administrative head office. The incorporated
company must be registered with the Registrar of the Member State
and published in the European Company's Official Journal. The
restrictions on the choice of the name conformed to SEs are
regulated by the legislation of Cyprus. Regardless of the currency,
the SE is required to have a minimum amount of share capital of the
equivalent of at least 120.000 Euro.
Forming a European Company in Cyprus has a range of advantages as such a company may conduct its activities while avoiding the legally complicated position of having to have its management complying with the regulations of different national laws. The SE can transfer its registered office anywhere within the EU without winding up and re-registertration in the different Member States. For tax purposes, the SE are treated in accordance with the national tax legislation. The low tax rate of 10% and the existence of a large number of double tax treaties make Cyprus the best choice for the formation of the European Company.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.