Redomiciliation refers to the process by which a company incorporated under the laws of one jurisdiction moves its domicile to another jurisdiction while maintaining the same legal identity. This procedure, also known as corporate migration or continuation, enables the company to retain its existing assets, obligations, rights and liabilities without undergoing the complexities of liquidation in the original jurisdiction and re-incorporation in the new one.
The principle behind this is that the legal entity of the company remains the same, irrespective of the change in jurisdiction. As a result, the company continues to exist but is now subject to the laws and regulations of the new jurisdiction.
In the global business environment, companies often opt for redomiciliation to exploit more advantageous regulatory, tax, or economic environments, to access new markets, or for various strategic reasons. It’s important to note that not all jurisdictions permit redomiciliation. Therefore, companies must first verify that both the departure and the destination jurisdictions allow this process.
When we speak of redomiciliation, it’s crucial to understand the concept of a company’s legal identity. A company is considered a separate legal entity from its owners or shareholders. It has its own rights and obligations under the law, can own property, enter into contracts, sue or be sued. The legal identity of a company continues to exist regardless of changes in its members or directors. Thus, when a company redomiciles, it retains its legal identity, along with all its assets, liabilities, rights, and obligations, even though the jurisdiction governing its operation changes.
In the context of Cyprus, the process of redomiciliation is governed by the Companies Law, Cap. 113, as amended by Law 124(I)/2006. This law allows for both inbound and outbound redomiciliation, meaning that foreign companies can redomicile to Cyprus and Cypriot companies can move their domicile to a foreign jurisdiction, provided that the other jurisdiction permits such a procedure.
The redomiciliation process, though advantageous, can be complex, requiring a deep understanding of the regulatory requirements, the preparation and submission of various documents, and careful planning to ensure business continuity. It’s always recommended that companies seeking to redomicile engage with legal professionals well-versed in the corporate laws of both the original and the new jurisdictions to guide them through the process.