Greece Company Formation

SETTING UP & REGISTERING A COMPANY IN GREECE - INCORPORATING A COMPANY IN GREECE

Introduction

Greece has never been a particularly fashionable destination for foreign investors, especially since its EU and IMF Bailout. The headline rate of corporation tax is relatively high, although it was reduced to 25% in 2008 and is expected to fall to around 20% by 2015. There are plenty of tax-efficient business opportunities if you know your way around. We know exactly where to look.

Due to crisis many investors nowdays approach Greece and establish companies mainly because of the following factors:

  • Very low Real Estate prices
  • Very low labour costs
  • Legislation that provides that all third country investors get granted a permanent residency for investments in RE over €250,000. This can also be incorporated as capital of the companies and therefore all members of the board can enjoy this privilege
  • Roads, ports and train infrastructures in Greece are now been upgraded at 90% and within the next 20 months it will be concluded. This is a plan of Greece aiming to the main gateway for imports from China, india and Africa for the next decades to come. This is an aim for importing and exporting. COSCO has alone invested more than €1 Billion to the port of Piraeus.
  • Tourism is hitting new records for the past three years, in 2017 a new record is expected. It is also nowdays the new trend that tourism last almost throughout the year giving Greece 19% of its GDP

Please contact us for further details today on your Greek Company Formation.

Why is this a good time to open a company in Greece?

  • Assets are at a very low value since Bailout as above
  • massive investment in infrastructure projects, largely financed by the EU
  • Greek consumer spending is high considering austerity measures

What are the main types of Greek company?

There are four main forms of Greek business entity, and they are as follows:

  • limited liability corporation (EPE)
  • stock corporation (AE)
  • partnerships
  • branches

What are the main features of an EPE company?

  • the minimum share capital for an EPE company is €4,500
  • must be paid up at formation, at least half of it in cash
  • the minimum number of shareholders is usually two
  • popular format because of limited liability
  • statutory financial reporting requirement

What are the main features of an AE company?

  • the minimum share capital for an AE is €60,000
  • the standard format for major public companies
  • widely adopted by sole proprietors because of flexibility
  • board of directors and auditors required

What are the main features of a partnership?

  • available either as a general (OE) or limited (EE) partnership
  • foreign investors tend to prefer limited-liability EE partnerships
  • minimum of two partners, no minimum share capital required, but usually €1000
  • much lower level of regulatory intervention

What are the main features of a branch?

  • foreign parent must meet Greek share capital requirements
  • foreign parent responsible for legal and tax affairs of branch
  • branch required to register with Greek authorities
  • minimum of one director; there are formal accounting requirements
  • must appoint a local representative who is jointly and severally liable for payment of taxation unless the client opts for an S.A. company, where they will only need a proxy for the Greek Tax Authorities
  • bank guarantee may also be required

How easy is it to recruit staff in Greece?

Greece has significant unemployment and labour costs are among the lowest in the EU. The workforce is well educated however and recruitment is straightforward. It is advisable to use a local recruitment agency so contact us for help with this.

What is the regulatory environment like?

The business environment in Greece is surprisingly liberal given the country's reputation for bureaucracy.There are new online systems that have drastically reduced the bureaucratic issues. These include Tax and National Insurance as well as Chamber of Commerce transactions, apart from the fully digitized banking.

Regulatory standards are in line with other EU member states. There are no import restrictions or tariff barriers and capital and earnings can be freely repatriated. Greece has double taxation treaties with a number of other countries. Nonetheless it is important to note that Greek tax regulations are detailed, complex and change frequently, and it is therefore strongly advisable to consult a local specialist for tax planning.

Are there financial incentives available?

The Greek government continues to offer investment incentives to promote regional development, environmental protection and energy-efficient initiatives. The scale of the incentive depends on the industry and the location, but will typically involve grants, interest subsidies or tax allowances. There are special incentives for certain projects relating to mining and tourism. We can offer your full assistance with registering a company in Greece.

And what about banking facilities?

The Greek banking sector has changed beyond recognition in recent years. It has expanded rapidly as a result of deregulation and merger activity. Investors can choose from a range of private and state banking facilities including venture capital and finance for new companies. Private banks may offer more flexibility than their state-owned counterparts. You will need to open a bank account in Greece, and we can advise you on this.

We can also offer you a bank account outside of Greece for your company if you prefer this option.

How can I get more information about a setting up a Greece Business?

Our Greek company formation service makes it easy for you to open a company in Greece, so please contact us and we will be happy to help you.