Company Registration in Greece

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What is Company Registration in Greece?

As Greece is an entry to Southeast Europe and the Middle East, it is used by many investors. It is the only country in the region which is both EU and EMU member (This provides monetary and exchange rate stability).

In Greece investors are encouraged by the low bureaucracy, for instance, it takes only ten days to open a new business if the basic requirements are met.

In Greece, the process of company incorporation starts with selecting the type of company which can be open in accordance with their requirements, after this draft the company’s articles of association or the memorandum of association, select a registered office and elects an accountant for the company.

Types Of Greek Entities

For large businesses in Greece, the most common form of entity is the public company limited by shares or the AE. This form of business must be established by at least two corporate bodies or individuals with a minimum share capital of 60000 EUR. Capital is divided into shares with a nominal value between 0.30 EUR to 100 EUR.

The Greek AE management is performed by the general meeting of shareholders which will appoint the body responsible for the day to day management decisions.

The main feature of the Greek AE is that the capital can be increased by the transferable shares which can be traded on the Stock Market. Under this, the liability of its members is limited by their contribution to the capital.

Incorporating a Greek EPE.

For medium or small entrepreneurs privately Limited Liability Company or the Greek EPE is a more popular form of business. To form this type of company, only two individual or corporate bodies are necessary and a minimum share capital of 18000 EUR.

In some cases, there is only one individual is required to form a Greek EPE with a minimum share capital of 5000 EUR, by using the term “one person limited liability company" at the end of the name of the entity.

The Greek EPE management is assured by the general meeting like in case of the public limited liability company which will appoint an administrator for day to day regular decisions. The liability of the members is also limited by the contribution to the capital.

Greek general partnership is based on an agreement signed by the partners, it is established by at least two members, and there is no requirement of a minimum share capital. In this, members of a Greek general partnership are fully liable for the entity’s debts and can claim for the profits.

In Greece, another form of partnership incorporated is the limited partnership which is formed by general partners with unlimited liability and one or more silent members with their liability limited in extent of the contribution to the capital. Under this, only general members can take decisions concerning the partnership and can claim profits, whereas silent partners are limited in these activities. In case of liquidation, the personal assets of the general partners are not protected and can be affected.

Foreign companies are encouraged to incorporate entities without legal personality as:

  • Branches
  • Representative offices or
  • Subsidiaries.

Out of these, the Greek representative offices are not allowed to perform any commercial activities while the rest of them can perform but under the strict control of the parent company.

Incorporation Procedure

In the beginning of the process of company incorporation in Greece, it is required for entrepreneurs to 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 the uniqueness of the name.

After this, it is must for entrepreneurs to file company documents with Athens Bar Association and sign the article of incorporation in front of a notary public.

Another requirement of incorporation of company in Greece is regarding the minimum share capital or the initial capital which 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-required documents must be delivered to the Secretariat of the court of first instance, who will raise a registration number.

There is a requirement of delivering the summary of the articles of association to the National Printing Office in order to be published in the Greek National Gazette.

With this, an application for registration at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry must also 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.

With this process, newly formed company is registered for the specific taxes and the social security contributions.

After this, to set up a Greek Company, there is a need of creating a company seal with the purpose of sealing the company books and records, before certifying. Company’s invoice and account books must receive the Tax Authority hole-stamp.

In the last step of incorporation, it consists in notifying the Manpower Employment Organization which must be performed within 8 days of hiring its first employee, via e-mail or phone.

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