Doing Business in Greece
Greek law mainly provides two main structures for carrying out business:
- capital companies (Company Limited by Shares, Limited Liability Company and Private Capital Company) and
- partnerships (General Partnership and Limited Partnership).
All parties participating in the formation of a company in Greece must have or obtain a Greek Tax Registration Number. Applicants can visit the respective One Stop Shop authorities which under certain conditions/formations could be:
- the General Commercial Registry (GE.MI.)
- a notary public
- the Electronic One-Stop Shop service (e-YMS)
The typical time required for the establishment of a company is 2-3 days after the filing of all required documents. Foreign documents must be duly apostilled and accompanied by an official translation into Greek prior to filling.
The Corporate Tax Rate in Greece for all types of companies is presented in the following table:
|Financial year||Corporate Tax Rate|
The corporate income tax rate for credit institutions is 29%. Resident companies pay tax on worldwide income, while non-resident companies only pay tax on Greece-sourced income.
Distributed dividends/profits are subject to a withholding tax at the rate of 10%. Royalties, interest, and service fees paid to foreign affiliates are deductible expenses under certain conditions. Interest deductibility restrictions apply.
The legal representatives of a company are liable with their personal property for the company’s tax and social insurance obligations. Under certain circumstances the shareholders of a (non-listed) capital company may also be liable for the tax and insurance obligations provided that their participation in the company is at least 10%. Such liability is limited to the amount of profits distributed to the partners as profits during the past three years.
Key Investment Sectors
- Food and Beverage
- Renewable energy
- Shipping equipment and services
- Information and Communication technologies
- Travel and Tourism
- Maritime and Border Security
Golden Visa Program
The Greek Golden Visa program allows non-EU citizens to obtain a five-year residency permit if they are investing in real estate in Greece. Purchased property can be located anywhere in the Greek mainland, or the islands can be either residential or commercial, in the form of one single or multiple properties, or even shares in real estate holding companies as long as the purchase price is estimated at €250,000 or above.
After the completion of the five years and taking into account that the applicant is still the owner of the property, the five years can be renewed for more five years and so on. Also, the granting of residence permits can be applied to the applicant’s family members. There is no minimum stay requirement (just a lawful entrance into the country).
The residence permit granted through this program allows the applicant and his family members to live in Greece but not to work. However, there is always an option for the applicant and family members to establish businesses in Greece.
The residence permit allows freedom to travel throughout the EU Schengen zone without further visa applications. If the resident sells the property to another non-EU citizen, the Greek residency is revoked for him and his family members and transferred to the new investor on condition the new investor meets all the requirements of the program.
Source: Enterprise Greece