North Cyprus Business Guide
During the last few years the importance of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as an Offshore business centre has increased substantially. So this guide has been necessitated by the increasing demand of the foreign businessmen for up-to-date information concerning offshore business activities using Northern Cyprus as their base. This guide explains very briefly the forms of legal entity to be used, the exchange control considerations, the tax and other concessions offered to such businesses and gives some genera, information about Northern Cyprus.
General Information About North Cyprus

The island of Cyprus is situated in the north-eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) occupies the north of the island with an area of 1,295 square miles.


The TRNC was declared an independent republic in 1983 with a western democratic government system. Turkish is the official language of the Republic. The English language is widely spoken and understood and is regularly used in commerce, the courts, government and in education.


The economy is based on the free enterprise system, with the private sector being the backbone of economic activity. Government pursues a stimulating economic policy aimed at promoting and maintaining a favourable investment conditions and supplementing where considered necessary, private initiative. Thus, Government, apart from developing the island's infrastructure, provides indicative planning to the private sector and controls provision of public utilities.


The summer in North Cyprus is always long and dry, while winter is generally mild. Mean temperatures range from 10C or 50F in December to 35C or 96F in August. All parts of the island enjoy a very sunny climate.

International Communications

There are very good communications all over the country. Main roads connect all towns and most of the villages. Driving is on the left side of the road, as in Britain. Frequent bus services exist both in the towns and vice versa. Taxis also provide considerable services of transport between and within towns and villages.

Overseas Travel

There are two national airports, the main Ercan Airport, situated near Nicosia, and Gecitkale Airport, near Famagusta. These handle scheduled flights operated by Cyprus Turkish Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Istanbul Airlines, and Onur Air and Mediterranean Airlines handle a significant number of chartered passenger and freight flights. The seaport of Famagusta offers the most up to date ferry services.


The telecommunication system of North Cyprus is very efficient. It is connected with many countries by automatic telephone lines. Some institutions in the country also provide connections to the Internet.

Purchase of Immovable Property

Government permission is required for purchase of immovable property in the TRNC by foreigners or foreign-controlled concerns. Individuals wishing to purchase a plot of land for their dwelling can usually obtain permission without any difficulty.


The legal currency of the TRNC is Turkish Lira.

Business Hours

Local time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Business Hours (open to public):


8:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 Monday to Saturday. Between May and September, the afternoon service between 16:00-19:00


Between October and May 8:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00, Mondays to Fridays. Between May and October: 7:30-14:00 and 15:30-18:00 Mondays, and 7:30-14:00, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.


Generally between 8:00-12:00, but afternoon times vary depending on the bank.

Statutory Holidays
  New Years Day; Children's Day (23 April); Youth Day (19 May); Independence Day (20 July); TMT Day (1 August); Victory Day (30 August); Republic Day (29 October); Declaration of TRNC (15 November). Added to the above are two religious holidays, Ramazan Bayram (3 days), and Kurban Bayram (4 days).
Legal System
  The TRNC legal system is based on that of England. English case law is closely followed and most statutes regarding business matters are based on English Laws.
Accounting and Auditing Requirements

Books and Records

Proper accounting records must be kept in accordance with the TRNC Companies Law.

Audited Accounts and Statements

Audited accounts and statements must be presented at every annual general meeting. Such accounts must be audited by an auditor authorised by the Ministry of Finance. This applies to all offshore companies. The books and records may be kept in any currency, but audited statements and accounts should be translated into Turkish whenever they are submitted to any government department.

Legal System
  The TRNC legal system is based on that of England. English case law is closely followed and most statutes regarding business matters are based on English Laws.

The minister of Health and Labour is responsible for administering the various laws and regulations covering among other things working and safety requirements in factories, industrial relations settlements of trade disputes, protection of minimum wages, hour of work, holidays, and vacations etc.

Working hours are normally forty hours per week, Monday to Friday. Higher rates are paid for overtime and night works as well as work on Saturdays and public holidays. All employees are entitled to by law to a minimum of 13 working days vacation a year. It is however, customary in most businesses to pay a -13th - month's salary at the end of the year. All earnings - related social security system was introduced in 1976 under which employer and employee contribute 10% and 8% respectively of the employee's earnings (there are minimum and maximum). Also there is Provident Fund under which employer and employee contribute 5% each of the employee's earnings. this is a type of retirement fund payable to the employee when he or she ceases to be employed.

  The official language of the TRNC is Turkish. However, English is very widely used both by the Government and by the private sector. Communications with any Government Department may be made in English and is perfectly acceptable.
  • North Cyprus Business Guide, 1994;
    Published by D.K. Deniz & Co. Chartered Accountants,
    15 Memduh Asaf St.,
    Nicosia - North Cyprus,
    via Mersin 10, Turkey

    Tel. 00-90-392-228 6708
    Fax: 00-90-392-228 6709