Greece is a country in the Balkans situated in South Eastern Europe. Classified as an advanced and high-income economy, Greece is a developed country with a high ranking in the Human Development Index. The Greek economy consists of the service sector which contributes 85%, industrial sector which contributes 12%, and agricultural sector which contributes 3%. Greece offers access to fast-growing and prominent regional markets being a gateway to over 140 million consumers in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Europe.
Business Opportunities in Greece
- Greece is home to 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, long coastlines, islands, and beaches and has an excellent sunny climate and thus attracts over 20 million tourists annually.
- Greece is rich in natural resources and thus acts as a major import-export hub of minerals. It is the largest European producer of tobacco and fifth largest exporter of cotton in the world.
- Contributing almost 8% to the GDP, shipping is one of the most important and rapidly expanding sectors of the Greek economy making Greece the largest European ship owner.
- With a record of 476 fish species, Greece supports aquaculture and thus tends to have a fostering fish industry.
Facts to Know About Doing Business in Greece
Here are a few facts you must know while starting a company in Greece.
1. Business Culture in Greece
Greece culture shapes acceptable business practices. While government is trying hard to be pro-business and bring in as many incentives for business people as possible, corruption in Greece persists to a fairly large extent. Greeks also maintain traditional views of democracy and honor. Meetings often entail vigorous exchanges of ideas but expats should take care when disagreeing with a colleague, which should be done in such a way that doesn’t reflect poorly on the other person. A lot of importance is placed on experience as well, and employees are expected to respect seniority.
2. Language of Business
While there are many Greeks who speak fluent English, having a working grasp of the Greek language or going into business with a first language speaker are essential for a successful business.
3. Political Structure
Greece is a country with parliamentary republic. While the country is politically stable and is trying to improve the business sector in Greece, it can be often seen that the new schemes which are pro-business in nature are not executed properly resulting in less or no improvement in the particular area.
Benefits of Starting a Business in Greece
- Greece offers high-quality logistics and communication infrastructure
- It has a highly educated, skilled and talented workforce
- Greece boasts of a strong entrepreneurial tradition
- The cost of labor in the country is low
- Greece offers an exemption of import duties on goods that are manufactured in the UK
Booming Sectors in Greece
- Food and Beverage
- Renewable energy
- Shipping equipment and services
- Information and Communication technologies
- Travel and Tourism
- Cosmetics and Beauty products
- Maritime and Border Security
Business Structures in Greece
Anyone who is willing to register a business in Greece has 7 business structure options:
1. Limited Liability Company
This is the most common and preferred business entity in Greece for establishing a small and medium-sized business. LLC in Greece requires at least one shareholder and one director. This can be an individual or a legal entity regardless of their nationality. A minimum share capital amounting to 4,500 Euros is required for the setup of the company.
2. Private Capital Company
Similar to a limited liability company, this business entity also requires only one shareholder as well as one director who can be individual or a legal entity regardless of their nationality. The only difference between these two business structures is that this entity can be set up with a share capital of just 1 euro.
3. Public Limited Company
This business entity requires one shareholder and 3 directors who can be individuals or legal entities regardless of their nationality. This type requires a minimum capital share amounting to 60,000 Euros that has to be paid within 2 months of company setup.
Branch formation in Greece requires at least one shareholder and one director who must be resident in Greece. The parent company is responsible for all the activities done by the branch as the branch does not get considered as a separate legal entity.
5. Representative office
This business entity does not perform any profit-making activities as it does not get considered as a separate legal entity and is established just to promote its parent company’s products and services and to conduct market research.
6. Societe Anonyme
SA or Anonymous Eteria in Greece can be established by one or more persons. Under this type of business entity the liability of the shareholders in limited to the amount of capital invested by them in the business.
7. General Partnership in Greece
It is also called as Omorthymos Eteria (OE). GP in Greece is a type of business entity in which all the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the partnership without limitation in the liability.
How to Set Up a Business in Greece?
Investors wishing to start a business in Greece have the option to form any type of legal business entity and their applicable procedures are stated below:
- The first and the foremost step under this is to obtain tax clearance form A7 from the Tax Authority in Greece. Investors/Entrepreneurs need to obtain the form as the form represents that the founders do not have any outstanding taxes and are able to start a company. This step is completed in a day
- The next step is to submit an application form attached with all the required documents and fees. The go-to agency for the same is Chamber of Commerce and Industry Office. The cost associated with the application are as follows:
Cost in Euros
Fixed fee for incorporation
Fee for submission of documents
Fee for registration with CCI
First year subscription fee with the CCI
The cost may vary depending upon the type of business entity you opt for.
- Submit the Articles of Association. It must include the following details.
- The full trade name of the business
- The domicile or an electronic address of the partners
- The seat of the company
- The objective of the company
- Verification that the company is private
- The contributions of the partners by category and their value, in accordance with Articles 77 to 79, as well as the capital of the company
- The sum of the company’s parts
- The initial number of the parts of each partner and the category of contribution to which the parts correspond
- How the company is managed and represented; and
- The duration of the company
This 2nd and 3rd steps requires at least 10 days to complete
- Make a company seal. All company books and records must be sealed before they are certified. The company seal must also contain the company’s tax registration number and competent tax office. This process takes a day to complete and the total cost required is 40 Euros.
- Register with EFKA (Unified Social Security Institution). After the company incorporation, the owner has to register with EFKA in its capacity as an employer. This also requires a day to complete and it can be done simultaneously with step 4.
With all these lucrative procedure, benefits and amazing business opportunities, Greece can be your ideal place for business setup. So, if you’re looking forward to establishing a company in Greece and seeking for professional assistance, your search is over as you’re on the right track. Business Setup Worldwide is a platform which helps you with your company formation process and overall business support services. Our experts will always find the best for you and will help you grow internationally. To know more on how to set up a company in Greece, do contact us – we’d be happy to help!