Greece is used by many investors as an entry to Southeast Europe and the Middle East, in fact is the only country in the region that is both a EU and EMU member(this provides monetary and exchange rate stability). Investors looking to start a business in Greece are encouraged by the low bureaucracy, for instance it takes 10 days to open a new business if the basic requirements are met.
Company incorporation in Greece starts with choosing the type of company which can be open in accordance to their requirements, draft the company’s articles of association or the memorandum of association, chose a registered office and elect an accountant for the company.
Company formation Greece.Com is delivering all the above and certain additional services.
TYPES OF GREEK ENTITIES
The most common form of entity for large businesses in Greece is the public company limited by shares or the AE. At least two corporate bodies or individuals must establish this form of business with a minimum share capital of 60000 EUR. The capital is divided into shares with a nominal value between 0.30 EUR to 100 EUR.
The management of the Greek AE is performed by the general meeting of shareholders which will appoint the body responsible for the daily management decisions: the board of directors.
A particularity of the Greek AE is that the capital can be increased by the transferable shares which can be traded at the Stock Market. The liability of its members is limited by the contribution to the capital.
Incorporating a Greek EPE. A more popular form of business for medium or small entrepreneurs is the private limited liability company, or the Greek EPE. Only two individual or corporate bodies are necessary to form this type of company and a minimum share capital of 18000 EUR. In certain cases, only one individual is enough to form a Greek EPE with a minimum share capital of 5000 EUR, and using the termination “one person limited liability company" at the end of the entity name.
The management of the Greek EPE is assured by the general meeting like in the case of the public limited liability company which will appoint an administrator for day to day decisions. The liability of the members is also limited by the contribution to the capital.
A Greek general partnership is established by at least two members, with no requirements for a minimum share capital and based on an agreement signed by these partners. The members of a Greek general partnership are fully liable for the entity’s debts and can claim profits in an equal matter.
Another form of partnership incorporated in Greece is the limited partnership which is formed by general partners with unlimited liability and one or more silent members with his/her liability limited in extend of the contribution to the capital. Only the general members can take decisions concerning the partnership and can claim profits, while the silent partners are limited in these activities. In case of liquidation, the personal assets of the general partners can be affected by the fact that is not protected in these cases.
The foreign companies are encouraged to incorporate entities without legal personality: branches, representative offices or subsidiaries. From the three of them, the Greek representative offices cannot perform any commercial activities while the rest of them can but under the strict control of the parent company.
COMPANY INCORPORATION GREECE
In the beginning of the company incorporation process in Greece, the entrepreneurs must be aware that all the entities registered in Greece must have a unique name so it’s advisable to check the desired name at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry which will issue an evidence of name uniqueness. After getting this proof, the entrepreneurs must file the company documents with Athens Bar Association and sign the articles of incorporation in front of a notary public.
The minimum share capital or the initial capital must be deposit in a bank account and the capital tax on the concentration of capital must be paid within 15 days of signing the articles of association.
All the above documents must be delivered to the secretariat of the court of first instance, which will raise a registration number. A summary of the articles of association must be delivered to the National Printing Office in order to be published in the Greek National Gazette. In the same time, an application for registration at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry must be delivered. Along with the notarized articles of incorporation, the certification of the approval of the company name issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a copy of the Official Gazette containing the summary of the articles of association must be deposited. This way the newly formed company is registered for the specific taxes and the social security contributions.
The next step in setting up a Greek company consists of creating a company seal with the purpose of sealing the company books and records, before certifying. The company’s invoice and account books must receive the Tax Authority hole-stamp.
The last step of company incorporation in Greece consists in notifying the Manpower Employment Organization which must be performed within 8 days of hiring its first employee, via e-mail or phone.