Cyprus Forex license

Cyprus, with its attractive tax regime and favorable location, is a leading country for entrepreneurs. Obtaining a Cyprus Forex License (CySEC) opens access to markets throughout the European Union, confirming Cyprus’ status as a key business hub. Gofaizen & Sherle will provide comprehensive support in licensing and registering your forex company in the jurisdiction.

Cyprus, located in the Eastern Mediterranean, is known not only as a beautiful Mediterranean resort but also as a major financial and business center of Europe. Cyprus Forex License is issued by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), which regulates activities in the financial market by European standards. The right to provide brokerage services is granted only to those organizations that meet certain criteria, allowing them to manage portfolio investments, provide investment advice, and work with financial instruments.

The CySEC license not only enhances the firm’s reputation by allowing it to operate legally in the EU but also includes it in the “white list” of official brokers. The EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and local legislation guarantee a high level of transparency and security for clients, promoting competition and investor protection. Holders of Forex License in Cyprus can provide brokerage services throughout the EU and can access EU passports, allowing them to operate in the European Economic Area.

Advantages of a Cyprus Forex License

Enhancing the reputation and trust of clients

Obtaining a Cyprus Forex License from CySEC opens opportunities to enter the European market, significantly increasing the company’s reputation. Inclusion in the “white list” of official brokers strengthens the trust of clients and confirms the legality of activities.

Compliance with European standards

Licensing is carried out in strict compliance with the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and Cypriot law, ensuring transparency and fairness of operations on the financial market.

Flexibility and security

Cyprus offers a balance between regulatory flexibility and financial market safety. This allows companies to find optimal solutions within the legal structure, reducing regulatory and financial burdens.

Attractive tax system

One of the strongest advantages is the low corporate tax rate of 12.5% and no withholding tax. This makes Cyprus one of the most favorable jurisdictions for financial transactions.

Access to the EU market

Forex license Cyprus opens up opportunities to operate throughout the European Union without the need to obtain additional licenses, greatly simplifying the process of business expansion.

Support and infrastructure development

Due to its long history in the Forex market, Cyprus has developed a strong support infrastructure for brokerage companies, including professional advice and assistance in obtaining a license.

Request more information about Cyprus Forex License

Requirements for a Cyprus (CySEC) Forex License

To operate in the financial market of Cyprus, especially in the field of Forex, it is required to obtain a Cyprus Forex license, which confirms the compliance of the company with the established standards and requirements:

  • The beneficiaries’ documents proving financial education and/or previous experience in the field of finance must be presented.
  • The company must have at least two managing directors and CEO, an internal auditor, a risk manager, two certified traders, compliance officers, heads of brokerage, finance, and IT departments, senior accountant.
  • Having a physical office in Cyprus is mandatory.
  • Development of company structure, AML policies, and business plan.
  • Opening an account in a local bank is required.
  • Monthly capital adequacy reporting, annual internal and external financial audits, and annual reports.
  • The minimum authorized capital depends on the services provided and may vary from 50,000 to 730,000 euros.

Process of obtaining for a Forex license in Cyprus

Obtaining a Cyprus Forex License is an important step for companies seeking to operate in the European financial market. Provided that all steps of the licensing procedure are followed and all requirements are met, it takes 4-9 months for the regulator to review the application. Here are the main steps in the process of obtaining a license:

Registering an investment firm

Step 1

  • Before starting the process, a Cypriot investment firm (CIF) that meets all CySEC requirements must be registered. This includes KYC verification of shareholders and directors, as well as the appointment of appropriate officers by the law.

Prepare and submit documentation

Step 2

  • Prepare the necessary documentation package, including a business plan and various manuals that will demonstrate your readiness to comply with all regulatory requirements.

Open a corporate bank account

Step 3

  • Opening a bank account to hold the minimum required share capital is a prerequisite for applying for a license.

Filing an Application with CySEC

Step 4

  • Once all documents have been prepared, the application is submitted to the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). At this stage, it is important to be prepared for any additional requests for information or clarifications from the regulator. After applying for a license, a government fee of €3,000 must be paid.

Waiting for a decision

Step 5

  • The application process takes up to 9 months but can increase to 10 months if incomplete or inaccurate information is provided.

Finalizing the process

Step 6

  • Once the application is approved, the company is granted the status of a licensed Forex broker, which allows it to officially start its operations in the EU and provide its services to clients, enjoying the trust and high credibility that a Forex License in Cyprus provides.

Expedited review (optional)

Step 7

  • To reduce the waiting time, you can take advantage of an expedited review service, which ensures that the process is completed within 3 to 4 months, for an additional fee of $25,000. This option is recommended after consultation with the legal team to avoid potential delays and risks.

Register a Company in Cyprus

Registering a Cyprus investment firm (CIF) is one of the main requirements for obtaining a Cyprus forex license and is a key step for running a forex business in the European Economic Area (EEA), promising numerous benefits including access to the single market and increased client confidence.

The process of establishing a CIF in Cyprus requires compliance with several conditions, including adaptation to EU anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations.

Basic requirements for the establishment of a CIF:

  • The company must appoint a minimum of 4 directors, 3 of whom are required to be Cyprus residents.
  • The board of directors must have an impeccable reputation and professional qualifications.
  • A physical office is required to meet the local presence.
  • The minimum share capital depends on the level of license, ranging from €50,000 for a basic license to €730,000 for a full license. These funds must be transferred to a local bank account.
  • Opening a corporate bank account to hold the authorized capital, providing proof of deposit of funds.
  • A risk manager, a compliance officer, and internal and external auditors are required, among which the internal auditors must be Cyprus residents.

Setting up a bank account for a forex company in Cyprus

Opening a corporate bank account is the initial and critical stage in the process of licensing a forex broker in Cyprus. Immediately after the registration of the company, the authorized capital should be transferred to the account, the amount of which depends on the type of financial services provided – from 50,000 to 725,000 euros.

To do this, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Registration of the company and opening a bank account

You should register your company in Cyprus and then open a corporate bank account to transfer the authorized capital.

  1. Crediting the authorized capital

The newly opened account is credited with the share capital, which should be frozen for the duration of the license, confirming the financial stability of the company.

  1. Obtaining a confirmation certificate from the bank

Once the capital has been credited, you must obtain a certificate from the bank confirming that the funds are available in the account. This document is included in the set of documentation to apply for Cyprus Forex License (CySEC).

  1. Submission of the set of documents to CySEC

The collected set of documents, including the bank’s confirmation of frozen funds, is submitted to the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) for consideration of the license application.

This sequence of steps not only ensures compliance with regulatory requirements but also serves as proof of the company’s serious intentions and financial reliability to the regulator and potential clients.

Applying for Documents to obtain a Forex Broker License in Cyprus

To successfully obtain a forex license in Cyprus, applicants must prepare and submit to the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) a complete set of documents:

  • A comprehensively completed application for a license with CySEC in the prescribed form.
  • Details of board members, senior management, and major shareholders.
  • Legalized legal registration documents, including articles of association and memorandum of agreement.
  • A certificate confirming that the company has a registered office in Cyprus.
  • List and details of directors and company secretary.
  • A structural and organizational overview.
  • Guidelines for the execution of the company’s internal operations and activities.
  • An overview of the company’s development strategy for the next three years.
  • AML and KYC policies.

Each member of the management team and key shareholders must be provided with:

  • Certified copies of passports.
  • Certificates confirming place of residence.
  • Professional resumes reflecting experience in finance.
  • Educational certificates showing specialization in the finance field.
  • Full set of identity verification documents (KYC).
  • Criminal record certificates and proof of financial stability.
  • Personalized application forms.

Types of Cyprus (CySEC) Forex License

In Cyprus, entrepreneurs can obtain 1 of 3 main categories of licenses to conduct forex business regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under Law 87(Ι)/2017. These licenses vary in terms of the level of responsibility and capabilities provided to the company, including managing client funds and ensuring regulatory compliance. Here is a brief overview of the available licenses:

  • Basic License

With a minimum capital of €50,000, this license is ideal for those who want to provide investment advisory or portfolio management services. It does not involve direct ownership of clients’ funds or instruments.

  • Standard license

With a minimum capital of €125,000, this license expands forex business opportunities by allowing direct straight-through processing (STP) of customer orders. This means that the company can send trade orders directly to a liquidity pool without interacting with them directly. This creates some risks for clients due to potential fluctuations in liquidity and spreads.

  • Full license

With a minimum capital requirement of €730,000, this license gives companies the right to process client trades independently, acting as a counterparty. This approach provides greater liquidity and protection from market fluctuations by charging a fixed spread. The company is authorized to hold client funds and other financial instruments.

To determine the appropriate type of license and a thorough understanding of CySEC requirements, it is recommended to seek professional advice. Gofaizen & Sherle’s experts can provide a detailed overview of the requirements and assist in selecting the most appropriate license for your business.

Forex Lawyers in Cyprus

Kiryl Zaremba


Senior Associate, Business Development Manager
Leonid Turok


Senior Associate, Head of Sales (FX and iGaming)

Find out more about the Forex license in Cyprus

Regulation of Forex license in Cyprus

The main regulator of the forex market is the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). It is an independent state body responsible for the regulation and control of the securities and investment services market in Cyprus. CySEC’s main objectives are to protect investors, ensure the functioning and transparency of the financial markets, and supervise the activities of investment and financial services companies.

Its responsibilities include licensing, controlling exchanges, and regulating compliance by companies.

The forex market in the European Economic Area is regulated by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), which came into force in Cyprus in 2018. This directive introduces harmonized rules to increase market transparency, improve investor protection, and promote a healthier and more sustainable financial system in Europe. While some countries have adopted stricter measures, Cyprus has limited itself to meeting the basic requirements of MiFID II to ensure flexibility and safety in the financial market.

MiFID II is a comprehensive regulation adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, which aims to improve the transparency and functioning of financial markets in the European Union. It aims to strengthen investor protection and prevent market abuse. MiFID II covers a wide range of financial instruments and services, setting out requirements for companies, markets, and regulators, including trading rules, incentivizing trading on regulated venues, and strengthening investor protection measures.

The measures adopted aim to protect investors and build confidence in the financial market through several key rules:

  • Segregation of customer funds: Requires forex brokers to keep customer funds separate from the company’s funds, ensuring their protection.
  • Client Categorization: Requires brokers to classify clients into retail and professional clients, tailoring services to their level of experience and risk.
  • Investor Compensation Rule: Guarantees the protection of investors in Cyprus up to €20,000 in the event of a broker’s bankruptcy through the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF).

Taxation in Cyprus

In Cyprus, it is important to comply with tax rules to avoid penalties. All companies must file annual tax returns and audited financial statements by international standards.

To maintain transparency and compliance with tax obligations in Cyprus, it is important to consider key rates and requirements:

  • Corporate Income Tax:

The standard rate is 12.5%, which applies to profits earned within the country.

  • VAT

The general VAT rate for companies is set at 19%, applicable to goods and services produced in Cyprus.

  • Annual levy

Each company is required to pay a fee of €350 to maintain its status.

  • Social Insurance

The rate of social contributions is set at 17%, shared between employers and employees to provide social security.

FAQ about a Forex License in Cyprus

How do I get a Forex license in Cyprus?

To obtain a Cyprus forex license, it is necessary to establish a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF), comply with CySEC requirements, prepare and submit the relevant documents, including a business plan, and pay government fees. It is also important to comply with MiFID II regulations and ensure compliance with capital and segregation of client funds requirements.

How long does it take to obtain a Forex license in Cyprus?

It usually takes up to 6 months to obtain a Cyprus Forex License. It can take up to 10 months if the documentation is incomplete or contains inaccuracies. There is an option to expedite the application for an additional fee, which reduces the process to 3-4 months.

How much is a forex license in Cyprus?

Obtaining a Cyprus forex license includes various fees and costs: the application costs €3,000. If the activity involves working with the Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF), the additional fee will be €10,000, and support services will cost €500. There is an option for an accelerated application for an additional €25,000, which shortens the process to 3-4 months.

Which licensing jurisdictions resemble Cyprus?

Jurisdictions resembling Cyprus in terms of licensing include Seychelles and Anjouan, which also offer a favorable environment for financial services, including forex brokers. These countries combine low tax rates with regulation, striking a balance between business attractiveness and compliance with international standards.

Connect with our experts

Our experts will tell you how to do it as quickly and easily as possible.


    By clicking the button, I confirm that I have read the privacy policy and consent to the collection and processing of my personal data in accordance with the GDPR rules.

    to our news & insights

    Connect with our experts

    Our experts will tell you how to do it as quickly and easily as possible.


      By clicking the button, I confirm that I have read the privacy policy and consent to the collection and processing of my personal data in accordance with the GDPR rules.

      Thank you

      Thank you for reaching us. Our team is working on your request, and we will contact you soon.