Company Incorporation Greece
Greece is not the most popular country for foreign company incorporation, but it does offer plenty of tax-efficient business opportunities. The previously high headline rate of Corporation Tax has fallen in recent years, and currently sits at 29%.
If you know your way around there are various benefits for foreign investors to take advantage of. We know exactly where to look, so contact us to discuss our range of Greek company formation services.
Company Formation FAQs
Why is this a good time to open a company in Greece?
- There has been massive investment in infrastructure projects, largely financed by the EU
- Economic difficulties have made it cheaper to incorporate
- Unrivalled availability of skilled and unskilled workers
- Economy is recovering thanks to continued tourism and a slight political upturn
- Greek consumer spending is back on the rise, having been the EU’s highest pre-financial crisis
What are the main types of Greek company registration?
There are four main forms of Greek company registration:
- Limited Liability Corporation (EPE)
- Stock Corporation (AE)
What are the main features of a Limited Liability Corporation (EPE)?
- The minimum share capital for an EPE company is €4,500.
- At least half of this must be paid up in cash at formation
- The minimum number of shareholders is usually two
- This is a popular format because of the limited liability
- Statutory financial reporting is required
What are the main features of a Stock Corporation (AE)?
- This is the standard format for major public companies
- The minimum share capital for an AE is €60,000
- It is widely adopted by Sole Proprietors because of its flexibility
- A board of directors and auditors is required
What are the main features of a Partnership?
- It is available either as a General (OE) or Limited (EE) Partnership
- Foreign investors tend to prefer limited-liability EE Partnerships
- There is a minimum of two partners
- No minimum share capital is required, but it is usually €1000
- There is a 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 all the legal and tax affairs of the Branch
- The Branch is required to register with the Greek authorities
- There is a minimum of one director
- There are no formal accounting requirements
- A local representative must be appointed, to be jointly and severally liable for payment of taxation
- A 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 and advice.
What is the regulatory environment like for company incorporation in Greece?
The business environment in Greece is surprisingly liberal given the country’s reputation for bureaucracy.
- 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 for Greek company formation?
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.
Typically however it will involve grants, interest subsidies or tax allowances. There are special incentives for certain projects relating to mining and tourism.
How easy is it to close a Greek company?
Please click here for further details and services on closing a company.
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.
Branch and Subsidiary Information
Open a Branch in Greece
Greece is welcoming to foreign investment, imposing few restrictions on non-domicile businesses. The country has excellent business links with the Balkans, and establishing a Greek branch can take advantage of this in terms of increasing exposure and global presence.
The procedures involved in branch formation are more complex than those required for a company, and this is reflected in the respective timescales.
Find out more
Open a Subsidiary in Greece
Greece is a favourable country for foreign investors looking to establish a subsidiary. It has relatively low labour costs and an advantageous location for reliable business links with southern Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East.
In addition, the implementation of a new act (the ‘Simplification of procedures for setting up single-member and limited liability companies and other provisions’) has made the incorporation timescale much shorter.
Find out more