Doing Business in Greece
European Union . Greece is becoming an important gateway to Eastern European and Black Sea countries.The government is currently encouraging foreign investors and entrepreneurs to come to Greece and help boost the economy.
Investors looking to start a business in Greece can choose to formalize their presence in Greece by establishing a Corporation (AE company), a Limited Liability Company (EPE company) or a branch.
The possible options regarding the type of legal entities are presented as below ;
|In English||Type of Entity||Abbrevation|
|Joint-Stock company||Anonimi Etairia||AE|
|Limited-Liability company||Etairia Periorismenis Efthinis||EPE|
|General partnership||Omorithmi Etairia||OE|
|Limited partnership||Etairorithmi Etairia||EE.|
|Private company||Idiotiki Kefaleouxiki Etairia||I.KE|
|Sole proprietorship||Atomiki Etairia||–|
- Can be formed by one or more natural or legal persons.
- The minimum share capital requiremet for an AE is €24 000,which must be fully paid up during the establishment of the Company
- The liability of shareholders is limited to the amount contributed to the company’s share capital.
- The Board of Directors are the body that manages the company on be half of the shareholders. The Annual General Meeting of shareholders is reponsible for appointing and removing the members of the board of directors.
- The administration of an AE is carried out by the Board of Directors and by the shareholders at general meetings.
- There must be at least three members of the board who can be individuals or legal entities.
- Can be formed by one or more natural or legal persons (Greek or foreign).
- There is no minimum capital requirement for the formation of an EPE
- The liability of the Company Owners who are known as partners is limited to the amount of their contributed capital. The liability of EPE regarding its corporate obligations is limited to its own assets
- The administrtation of EPE is carried out by one or more persons (administrators) who do not need necessarily be partners of the EPE, and are appointed by the Articles of Association or by the partners in meeting.
- Can be formed by two or more individual or legal persons
- There is no minimum share capital requirement
- All partners are jointly and severally liable to an unlimited extent for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
- The administrtation of a partnership is carried out by one or more administrators.
- It consists of one or more partners (general and limited partners )
- General partners liability is unlimited
- Limited partners liability is limited to the amount of his contribution to the company’s capital
- At least one partner must have unlimited liability
- It may be formed by one or more individual or legal persons.İf it is formd by one indiviual person ,it is termed as monoprosopi I.K.E
- The minimum capital of an IKE is EUR 1.
- The liability of its members for the corporate’s debts is limited to their capital contribution.
- The administrtation of IKE may be exercised by the members collectively or by appointing one or more directors
- If the Company duration is not mentioned in its articles of association,the duration is assumed to be 12 years.
This is the simplest form of business entity that can be set up and owned by one individual for carrying out any type of activity e.g. manufacturing, trading, professional etc., without going through the formation requirements which are obligatory for the other forms of business entities, such as articles of incorporation, share capital etc. The owner has unlimited liability. The owner is fully liable for his/her operation’s debts and obligations.
Taxation in Greece
Corporate bodies are taxed for their profit and capital at the company level and owners are only taxed for dividends or any other form of distribution of profits.
Company profits are taxed at a rate of 29%.(corporate tax )
Company dividends are subject to a withholding tax at a rate of 15%, which is final.
The most important indirect tax is Value Added Tax (VAT) (the normal rate is 24%) and it applies on the majority of sales of goods and service supplies.