DOING BUSINESS IN GREECE IN 2020
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with starting companies in Greece. Our services include i) Greece business registration ii) government license registration iii) corporate bank account opening in Greece and abroad iv) employee recruitment v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.
Summary table of Greece company registration
|Summary||LLC||Private capital company||Free zone LLC||LLP||Representative office|
|Also known as||EPE||IKE||Ελεύθερη Ζώνη LLC||Συνεταιρισμός Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης||Aντιπρόσωπος|
|Best use of company?||All products and services||All products and services||Manufacturing and export trading||Professional services||Marketing and research|
|How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?||3 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||Cannot invoice|
|How soon can you hire staff?||3 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||5 weeks|
|How soon can you sign a lease agreement?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week|
|How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?||3 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||5 weeks|
|Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?||29%||29%||0%||29%||No income|
|Limited liability entity?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Government grants/incentives available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Government approval required for foreign owners?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Resident director/partner/manager/legal representative required?||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Minimum paid up share capital?||€4,500||None||€4,500||None||€1|
|Can bid for Government contracts?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Corporate bank account location?||Piraeus Bank||National Bank of Greece||Eurobank Ergasias SA||Alpha Bank||Attica Bank|
|Can secure trade finance?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|VAT payable on sales to local customers?||24%||24%||24%||24%||No sales|
|Average total business set up engagement costs?||€12,600||Request a proposal||Request a proposal||Request a proposal||€13,600|
|Average total engagement period?||2 months||2 months||2 months||3 months||2 months|
Greece company registration summary
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Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of Greece company registration
- It is possible to register a new company in Greece within three weeks, with only 1 shareholder and 1 director, who can be of any nationality and place of residency. The minimum paid-up capital for the company is only €4,500 and our Clients do not need to travel to complete Greece company formation procedures;
- While Greece continues to suffer from an economic meltdown since 2008/09, there are still advantages of doing business in Greece:
- Foreigners investing in Greece are welcomed to purchase existing Greek companies at prices far below their book value. There are also no restrictions on foreign investment in Greece, from both within and outside of the EU;
- The Greek economy is supported by a strong merchant shipping industry, which has remained the largest in the world and which benefits from attractive tax advantages, which the Tsipras Government has committed to maintain despite the current economic difficulties known by the country;
- Greece is a member of the EU and enjoys the same trade benefits as all other EU members. As the largest economy in the Balkans, Greece offers great access to the (non-UE) Balkan market, with favorable trade agreements with every Balkan nation;
- Opening global corporate bank accounts to assist companies to trade in Greece and abroad is easy. Healy Consultants Group PLC works with internationally recognized banks such as HSBC and Citibank to provide corporate bank account services in Greece;
- One of the major drivers of economic growth in Greece is its Tourism sector. This is due to the inflow of an ever-increasing number of tourists as well as the implementation of world-class infrastructural projects within Greece. The nation had approximately 27.2 million tourists in 2017 which resulted in a revenue of US$16.2 billion, contributing to 18% of its GDP;
- All non-EU resident foreign entrepreneurs can now acquire a permanent residency permit in EU for 5 years via the Golden visa programme in Greece. The minimum requirement to acquire this permit includes i) investment of at least €250,000 on real estate and ii) a valid health insurance plan in Greece. Further, entrepreneurs can renew their Golden visas after 5 years if they continue to retain their acquired real estate in the country.
Disadvantages of Greece company registration
- The Greek sovereign crisis is not over. While the country managed to secure increased financial support from other European Union countries in August 2015, the country has committed to implement an austerity program which the IMF and other economists expect to lower business opportunities over the coming years;
- Companies formed in Greece are liable to corporate income tax on their worldwide earnings at a standard rate of 26%. They can also be required to register for VAT and to charge their local customers VAT at a rate of 19%. The Greece tax rates have changed several times over the past 3 years, and more changes are likely;
- Greece has one of the most restrictive environments for doing business because the economy has i) restrictions and regulations regarding trading across borders, ii) poor bureaucratic system which further causes weak enforcement of contracts and iii) time-consuming procedures for getting electricity and registering property.
Best uses for a Greek company
- Our Clients often find attractive to start a company in Greece in the seashipping and F&B industries;
- It is also currently interesting to consider buying private equity in Greece, due to low price/book value ratios.
- Time to incorporate: Three weeks
- Cost to set up: €12,600
- Minimum capital: €4,500
- Physical office required: No
- Shareholders: 1
- Directors: 1
- Company secretary: No
- Resident director: No
- Corporate tax rate: 26%
- Corporate tax base: Worldwide
- Shelf companies: No
- Main company type: IKE company
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Useful links for Greece
Government and public authority websites:
- PKF – Greece Tax Guide
- Deloitte – Greece international tax highlights 2019
- Policies for a Sustainable Recovery