The preferred form of business in Greece
for small and medium entrepreneurs is the E.P.E
, or Etaireia Periorismenis Efthinis
. Basically, the costs and the duration of the process for company formation in Greece
are lower when setting up the limited liability company (or EPE)
. It is incorporated by at least one shareholder, natural or legal person, and a minimum share capital of EUR 4,500 (applied in 2023) is required to establish this type of business (at least half must be paid up in cash at the formation).
For the latter requirement, investors have to take the necessary steps in order to open a bank account, at a local commercial bank, in the name of their company. Our consultants in company registration in Greece
can help you register this company type, but they can also provide legal assistance on the process of addressing to a local bank.
What are the main incorporation requirements for an EPE in Greece in 2023?
If one of the partners, the director, is not an EU resident, then he/she must have a residence permit. The first step in establishing a Greek limited liability company is choosing the name and checking it at the competent Chamber of Commerce. If the name is available, then the investors can reserve it and a registration certificate is issued.
After this process, the articles of incorporation and other supporting documentation must be prepared by a competent lawyer; they can also be prepared by our team of consultants in company formation in Greece. The articles of association must be signed in front of a public notary by the founders or through the power of attorney. Along with the articles of incorporation, the entrepreneur must submit the Taxation Identification Number issued for the company; these procedures have to be completed first, and then the investors will be able to complete other registration steps.
The next step is submitting with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry the original copy of the articles of association. A summary of the articles of association must be published in the Government Gazette. You can contact our team of specialists in Greek company formation for information on this procedure.
The last step is to register at the competent Greek Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The application issued by the Registrar Department of the Chamber must be sent along with the following: photocopies of the identity (cards or passports) of the partners (also the working and residence permits are accepted, if the partners are not EU residents), the Government Gazette with the summary of the articles of associations and the certified copy of the articles of incorporation.
Liability of shareholders in a Greek E.P.E
is limited to the invested capital. The general meeting of the shareholders is the main mechanism governing the limited liability companies in Greece
. To approve the financial statements, a general meeting must be held within six months of the end of the tax year. The Greek LTD’s activity
may also be conducted by an appointed director.
Things to consider when setting up a Greek EPE in 2023
The legislation which regulates the legal framework under which foreigners can open a company in Greece in 2023
as a limited liability company
is given by the Law 3190/1991, A’ 91
, which was amended by Law 4541/2018, A’ 93
, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
According to the law applicable in this case, the EPE is a type of company that has its own legal personality, different than the one of its founders. This is why the company has its own assets and debts; for the debts of the company, the shareholders are responsible only to the extent of their capital contribution.
This is also why investors also have to set up a bank account when registering an EPE, as the founders can’t use a personal bank account for the transactions carried out by the company. Please note that the EPE in Greece is set up for commercial purposes, pursuant to the law which regulates its activity. This will be reflected in its activity, regardless if the articles of association clearly stipulate this aspect or not.
When you will start the registration of a Greek EPE, you must know that the registration steps can take approximately 3 weeks. As mentioned above, you will also have to set up a corporate bank account, and for this, you can expect to spend in 2023 approximately 4 weeks.
Selecting a trading name for a Greek EPE
The process of company formation in Greece
will involve all the above mentioned requirements, but investors will also have to select a suitable trading name for their newly founded legal entity. This step will have to be completed at the beginning of the registration process, prior to starting other procedures, such as signing the company's statutory documents.
A suitable trading name for a Greek EPE can include the name of the founding partner (or the names of the founding partners provided that there are more – and here, usually two names are customarily for a suitable trading name) or it can be represented by the company’s object of activity. The company’s name will also have to include the words Etaireia Periorismenis Efthinis or the acronym EPE.
The company’s name can be written in Greek, but the Latin letters are also accepted. Investors who want to start the process of Greek company formation should know that in the case in which the company is founded only by a shareholder, the name will have to reflect this situation. This will be done by writing in the company’s name the words Single Member Limited Liability Company.
The Greek EPE
can develop most of the business activities that are prescribed by the national law, but one has to know that this company type can’t be used as a vehicle when entering the banking and the insurance sectors. You can rely on our team of consultants in Greek company formation
for advice on this matter.
For more information on how to open a Greek EPE
, we invite you to contact our team of consultants in company formation in Greece
. Our team can provide legal representation and, through the power of attorney, can complete numerous incorporation steps in your name. Our team can also help you purchase a ready-made company in Greece
, which is incorporated as a limited liability company
What is the data on SMEs in Greece?
Small and medium sized companies (SMEs) are of crucial importance for the Greek economy, as they represent the majority of companies that operate on the local market. Given that most of the SMEs in Greece are incorporated as limited liability companies (this company type is designed to fit the needs of such businesses), we have prepared a short list on this subject; if you need more details on Greek SMEs, you can always rely on our team of consultants in company registration in Greece for in-depth advice:
- • according to a study carried out by the European Commission, the Greek SMEs account for 63,5% of the total added value of the Greek economy (above the EU average, of 56,4%);
- • Greek SMEs are responsible for the largest share of employees employed in Greece, accounting for 87,9% (while the EU average for this category of businesses is of 66,6%);
- • in 2018, in Greece, there were a total of 821,540 companies;
- • from these, only a small share, of 331 companies, represented large enterprises;
- • from the total employment market, of 2,462,627 persons, SMEs accounted for 2,165,216 employees in 2018.
Companies that operate as SMEs
generate a large part of the country’s value added, accounting for EUR 32,6 billion; in comparison, large companies accounted for EUR 18,7 billion. Those who want to open a company in Greece
as a limited liability company
must know that the most important sector where SMEs operate is the wholesale and retail, when we refer to the value added generated for the Greek economy
. SMEs operating in the manufacturing sectors are also very important. For more details, please contact us
Our consultants can help you find out more on the procedure of opening a limited liability company in Greece in 2023. Our team can help you obtain a business address and apply for permits and licenses in 2023.