Business Licence Application Process/Renewal and Change of Business Details Notification Processes
Businesses in the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) are required by law to obtain a business licence prior to establishing and operating. Businesses are governed in legislation by the Business Regulation Ordinance 2022 and the Business Regulation (Procedure) Regulations 2022.
- In accordance with SBA legislation, a business licence may be issued, provided that:
a. SBA legislation exists to effectively regulate the nature of the proposed business;
b. The proposed business will not pose a military and security risk;
c. The business premises is consistent with the provisions of the SBA Policy Statement and Zoning & Land Use maps; and
d. The business premises and/or activity will not adversely impact the environment.
- Any member of the public is eligible to apply to obtain a business licence to establish and operate a business in the SBAs, provided they legally reside and work or are able to work in the Republic of Cyprus or in the SBAs.
Business Licence Application Procedure
- You are advised to apply for, and obtain, a business licence, prior to registering your business with other competent authorities, e.g the Department of Registrar of Companies and Intellectual Property of the Republic of Cyprus.
- Before applying for a business licence, you should check:
a. Whether the proposed business type belongs to a category of business type generally permitted to operate in the SBAs (indicative list published on this website);
b. That the location of the proposed business premises falls within a planning zone that permits that kind of development.
If you are unsure on either of the above, you are advised to contact your local Area Office (Akrotiri or Dhekelia), depending on where you wish to establish your business.
Applying for a business licence
- Download and fill in the Business Licence Application/Renewal Form for Sole Traders or Business Entities (depending on your circumstances) and relevant appendices, found on this website, following the instructions provided. If you are unable to download any of these documents, please contact the relevant Area Office.
- Submit (ideally electronically) a signed copy of the Business Licence Application Form to Area Office Akrotiri or Dhekelia, depending on the area in which you wish to establish your business and pay for the relevant fee (€100). Please note that, currently and for a short period of time, payments are cash only at the Area Offices. We will let you know once we are able to offer an electronic payment option.
- If the form is duly completed, you will receive a confirmation that your Business Licence Application and payment have been received. If the form is not duly completed, it will be returned to the applicant as incomplete, along with all documentation submitted with it and refund the fees paid, withholding a €20 administration fee.
After applying for a business licence
- Within 28 days of receipt of your application, you should be notified of the outcome:
a. whether your application has been approved (with or without conditions), or
b. refused, or
c. receive a request to provide further information, or
d. receive notification that there is a need for further scrutiny and when to expect a response.
- Where the application is approved without preconditions, the business licence will come into effect on the day stated upon it. Where preconditions are attached to the business licence, the business licence is issued without a date, pending those preconditions being fulfilled and the Area Officer has received evidence from the applicant to that effect.
- If your business permits access to the public, you must display your business licence in a prominent place in the business premises. If you operate more than one public-facing premises, you must display a copy of the business licence only at the primary or largest premises of the business.
After issuance of your business licence
- Once your business licence is issued, it is your responsibility to ensure your business is registered with all competent authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and any other jurisdiction, if required for the legitimate operation of the business in the SBAs and the Republic of Cyprus (e.g. for tax purposes).
- Your business licence is valid for one year from the date of issue and you will need to apply to renew it at least 28 days prior to the expiration of the business licence, by completing the Business Licence Application/Renewal Form available on this website. The renewal fee is €50.
- It is a statutory obligation to notify the SBA Administration of a change in the details of your business, i.e. name of the business, registered address of the business, business place of business, business activities, management and ownership of the business. You need to do so within 14 days from the decision/agreement to change any of these details, by downloading and completing the Change of Business Details Notification form and the appendices, available on this website. If you are unable to download the forms, please contact the relevant Area Office.
The new business licence regime in the SBAs differs from the previous regime in the following ways:
- Businesses no longer need to be able to demonstrate a specific military or community requirement in order to gain approval.
- There is updated Legislation: The Business Licence Application Process is governed by SBA legislation that came into force on 16th May 2022: the Business Regulation Ordinance 2022 and the Business Regulation (Procedure) Regulations 2022. This legislation creates a more comprehensive framework in relation to the application process, eligibility, offences, and penalties.
- The Business Licence Application/Renewal form has been updated: Business licence forms are now available on this website to download and complete.
- Change of business details notification statutory obligation: In accordance with the new SBA legislation, you are now required to notify the SBA Administration of a change in your business details.
- Business Licence form submission: Although the option to submit hard copy applications is available, electronic submission of forms is the preferred way forward.
- Fees: Business Licence application submission and renewal fees have been reviewed. The SBA Administration is working hard to ensure the option for electronic payment of fees is available to the public as soon as possible.
- Business types generally permitted to operate in the SBAs: A list of business types generally permitted to operate currently has been created and is now available on this website. Over time, the list of permitted business types will be expanded, as the required business legislation and regulatory frameworks comes into force in the SBAs.