Company Registration in Greece


Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it's often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, its capital, retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. 

Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic, and a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy, and a high quality of life, ranking simultaneously very high in the Human Development Index. Its economy is the largest in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union) and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. It is also a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization international de la Francophonie (OIF). Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industryprominent shipping sector, and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power.



Company formation in Greece benefits foreign investors of tax-efficient business opportunities. Despite few challenges in the economy, registering a company in Greece is quite promising in the sphere of business. Tax allowance was introduced in the country for all the representatives of business encouraging the development of enterprises and companies in various fields.

Investors are interested in Greek companies mainly because of the following factors:

  • Very low Real Estate prices
  • Very low labor costs
  • Legislation that provides that all third-country investors get granted a permanent residency for investments in RE over €250,000. This can also be incorporated as the capital of the companies and therefore all members of the board can enjoy this privilege
  • Roads, ports, and train infrastructures in Greece are now been upgraded at 90% and within the next 20 months, it will be concluded. This is a plan of Greece aiming to be the main gateway for imports from China, India, and Africa for the next decades to come. This is an aim for importing and exporting.
  • Tourism is hitting new records for the past three years, in 2017 a new record is expected. It is also nowadays the new trend that tourism last almost throughout the year giving Greece 19% of its GDP


Why is this a good time to open a company in Greece?

  • Assets are at a very low value since Bailout as above
  • massive investment in infrastructure projects, largely financed by the EU
  • Greek consumer spending is high considering austerity measures


When setting up a company you may want to consider these factors:

  1. Business Factors

Since 2012, Greece made starting a business easier by:

  • Implementing an electronic platform that interconnects several government agencies;
  • Introducing a simpler form of a limited company and abolishing the minimum capital requirement for such companies;
  • Lowering registration costs.

As a consequence of the recent crisis, the Greek Government has passed several austerity measures since 2010 that had a negative impact on the national economy as a whole. Some of these measures include higher taxation, a cut in salaries for public and private employees, a rise of VAT and other taxes (petrol, imports, property, corporation tax), cuts in pensions, and modifications in the retirement system.

  1. Cultural Factors

Greeks tend to have face-to-face confrontations and personal relationships are highly valued and, consequently, it is important to make a good first impression. Building strong, long-lasting relationships is also important and building networks characterized by trust and strong bonds easy business operations.


Major Forms of Legal and Business Presence

It is possible to establish your business and legal presence in Greece in these major forms:

  • Limited Liability Company (EPE) – a vehicle that can be established for running major types of activities where the liability of founders for all undertakings is limited to the invested amounts only. It is required to form a statutory capital in the amount of EUR 4,500.
  • the minimum share capital for an EPE company is €4,500
  • must be paid up at formation, at least half of it in cash
  • the minimum number of shareholders is usually two
  • popular format because of limited liability
  • the statutory financial reporting requirement


  • Public Limited Company (SA) – an entity designated mostly to raise extra financing and public offering of shares. The liability of shareholders is restricted, as in the previous case, to the invested amounts only. The statutory capital of EUR 60,000 has to be formed for this vehicle.
  • General Partnership – a business formation that can be established by at least two persons who bear unlimited liability for all undertakings.
  • available either as a general (OE) or limited (EE) partnership
  • foreign investors tend to prefer limited-liability EE partnerships
  • minimum of two partners, no minimum share capital required, but usually €1000
  • a much lower level of regulatory intervention


  • Limited Partnership – a form of legal and business presence arranged by (i) at least one general partner who bears the unlimited liability for all possible undertakings, and (ii) one or several limited partners who are liable for these undertakings within the invested amounts only.
  • Branches and representative offices – suitable options for conducting certain parts of business activities or exploring business opportunities in Greece only.
  • foreign parent must meet Greek share capital requirements
  • the foreign parent responsible for legal and tax affairs of the branch
  • branch required to register with Greek authorities
  • minimum of one director; there are formal accounting requirements
  • must appoint a local representative who is jointly and severally liable for payment of taxation unless the client opts for an S.A. company, where they will only need a proxy for the Greek Tax Authorities
  • bank guarantee may also be required



Company Registration Requirements and Steps

To start a company in Greece, you need to pass these preliminary steps:

  1. Creating your business plan with clear commercial objectives.
  2. Collecting information about founders and beneficial owners.
  3. Verifying a business name in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and obtaining a certificate on its uniqueness.
  4. Arranging a business address for a future vehicle.
  5. Opening a bank account and depositing a minimum share capital for the prospective company.
  6. Formalizing statutory documents (memorandum and articles of associations) and filling registration forms.
  7. Lodging the set of documents for the registration to a local court of the first instance.
  8. Publishing the information on the company registration in the National Gazette. The data on the newly-founded company will be reflected later in the General Electronic Commercial Registry.
  9. Creating a company seal.
  10. Registration for tax and social security purposes.
  11. Getting extra permits and licenses (optionally, this depends on the specific type of business you are going to run in Greece).

How easy is it to recruit staff in Greece?

Greece has significant unemployment and labor costs are among the lowest in the EU. The workforce is well educated however and recruitment is straightforward. It is advisable to use a local recruitment agency so contact us for help with this.


what about banking facilities?

The Greek banking sector has changed beyond recognition in recent years. It has expanded rapidly as a result of deregulation and merger activity. Investors can choose from a range of private and state banking facilities including venture capital and finance for new companies. Private banks may offer more flexibility than their state-owned counterparts. You will need to open a bank account in Greece, and we can advise you on this.


Tax System of Greece

If an option of the company registration in Greece appears to be well, you may need preliminary know about these major highlights the Greece tax system has:

  • Corporate income tax (CIT) rate – 24 %
  • Personal income tax rate (marginal) – 44% + solidarity contributions
  • VAT – 24%
  • Withholding tax rates (for non-residents) – (i) dividends – 5 %, (ii) interests – 15 %, (ii) royalties – 20 %
  • Capital gains tax rates – (i) corporate – equals to the standard CIT rate, (ii) individual – 15 %.