Business entities in Greece

Business entities in Greece

Since 2003, Healy Consultants provides our Clients with the best corporate vehicles for starting their business in Greece. There are several ways of doing business in Greece, the most common being through the setup of a Greek limited liability company (LLC). Entrepreneurs may alternatively establish a public limited liability company (PLC). Foreign legal entities are also permitted to setup permanent establishments in the form of branch offices in Greece or representative offices if they do not plan to conduct any commercial operations.

The Greece limited liability company (EPE)

    business entity types in Greece
  • The Greece limited liability company is the most common corporate vehicle used by entrepreneurs establishing a small business in Greece. An LLC requires at least 1 shareholder and 1 director who can either be an individual or a legal entity of any nationality. This director and shareholder are not required to be resident in Greece for company setup. A €4,500 minimum share capital is also required to complete the setup of a Greek EPE;
  • The EPE must appoint a statutory auditor if it meets two of the following conditions i) has an annual turnover exceeding €5 million ii) total assets exceeding €2.5 million iii) has an average 50 employees in a fiscal year.

The Greece public limited company (AE)

  • The Greece AE requires at least 1 shareholder and 3 directors who can either be individuals or legal entities to be incorporated. The directors and shareholder can be of any nationality and need not to be resident in Greece. This entity requires a minimum share capital of €60,000, that must be fully paid within 2 months of Greece business setup;
  • The public limited company (AE) is also required by law to appoint a statutory auditor at after formation.

The Greece Private Capital Company (IKE)

  • Like the LLC, an IKE can be incorporated with 1 director and 1 shareholder who can be of any nationality. However, unlike an LLC, the minimum share capital required is only €1;
  • Please note, an IKE can only be registered for a definite duration which our Clients may mention in the M&AA. If no specific time period is mentioned, the duration is assumed to be 12 years, after which shareholders must apply for an extension of the company’s operations.

The Greece branch (Υποκαταστήματα)

The Greece Company Law permits foreign legal entities looking to setup permanent establishments in Greece to open branch offices in Greece. This entity requires at least 1 director and 1 legal representative who must be resident in Greece. A branch office is not considered a separate legal entity and therefore its parent company is liable for its obligations and activities.

The Greece representative office

Foreign legal entities may setup representative offices in Greece. A Greece representative office is not considered a legal entity and is not allowed to conduct any profit making activities in Greece. Such Greek business entity is only permitted conduct market research and to promote the parent company’s products and services.

Comparison table between Greece business entities

 LLCPLCBranch officeRep office
Also known asEPEAEΥποκαταστήματααντιπρόσωπος
How long to set the company up?3 weeks5 weeks6 weeks6 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal liability?LimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly foreign owned?YesYesYesYes
Minimum share capital?€4,500€60,000€1€1
File annual tax return?YesYesYesNo
Tax registration certificate required?YesYesYesNo
Recommended corporate bank account?HSBCCitiBankBNP ParibasUniCredit Bank
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNo
Resident director required?NoNoNoNo
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNo
Minimum directors allowed?1311
Minimum shareholders?1111
Tax identification code (TIN) needed?YesYesYesNo
Greece resident company secretary required?NoNoNoNo
Greece resident legal representative required?NoNoYesYes
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowed?YesYesYesYes
Greece corporate tax rate?20%20%20%0%
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesNo
Statutory audit required?NoYesNoNo
Regulated by?Chamber of Commerce and IndustryChamber of Commerce and IndustryChamber of Commerce and IndustryChamber of Commerce and Industry
Allowed to issue sales invoices?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contracts?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesNo
Can rent an office space in Greece?YesYesYesYes
Can buy Greece property?YesYesYesNo
Can own equity in other Greece companies?YesYesYesNo
Total Greece business setup costs in Yr. 1€10,600€11,700€11,100€11,600
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)€5,500€6,500€6,000€5,200
Sample engagement invoiceGreece LLC setup costGreece PLC setup costGreece branch office setup costGreece rep office setup cost

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Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Greece, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Grace Odhiambo, directly:
client relationship officer - Grace