How to start a business in Greece: features of doing business | Law&Trust International

Greece, officially known as the Hellenic Republic, is located in Southern Europe, at the crossroads of Africa and Asia. The cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, this country is highly developed and boasts a consistently high human development index in recent years. It is part of the European Union and one of the founders of the United Nations.

The most prominent industries in Greece are tourism, shipping, and retail. In addition, the country also receives significant GDP from the food industry, textiles, chemical industry, healthcare, construction, energy, and metallurgy.

Greece is well connected with the largest countries of the world by air, its main airport is Athens International Airport. In addition, a dense network of roads runs through the islands of Greece.

As a jurisdiction to establish a business, Greece is famous for its fairly democratic conditions for conducting international activities.

Greece is not an offshore zone and at the same time maintains loyal tax rates for entrepreneurs.

In Greece, there are the following legal forms of companies:

  • Limited liability company
  • Joint-stock company
  • Joint-stock corporation
  • Full partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • Branch of a foreign company
  • Representation office

In this article, we will consider the legal form which is most popular among non-residents of Greece.

The most suitable and popular type of company in Greece, which is preferred by foreign investors, is IKE ( limited liability company). This is a flexible and easy-to-register company.

  1. Any person over 18 years of age or a legal entity can be an IKE shareholder. Shareholders can be both residents and non-residents of the EU.
  2. Minimum capital requirement is EUR 1.00.
  3. Instead of the board of directors, there is a director-administrator.
  4. The company is required to conduct an audit in accordance with EU directives. A dual system of accounting and reporting is provided.

In order to register a company, it is necessary to pay a registered capital of 1 euro or more, to appoint a director who will be a resident of Greece or a non-resident who has a residence permit and legal address in Greece.

As for the tax system, there is a progressive scale of taxation, as well as tax benefits and subsidies, which depend on the type of business of the company and are selected individually.

After the company is registered, a bank account is opened in Greece, which is important, since it is quite difficult for non-resident companies to open a bank account in Greece.

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