Greece

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DOING BUSINESS

 


Local business incentives - Legal forms of companies - Registration and licensing procedures - Legal framework - Foreign exchange control - Regulations concerning equity investment - FDI inflows - Expertise of the political risk

Local business incentives

Foreign investors are mainly encouraged to develop economy and tourism. Aids are granted to companies that introduce new products and new technologies within the Greek market, that modernise sites and production tools, protect environment by making for example energy savings. In Greece, the amount of aids (subsidies, loans...) varies with the geographical regions: 5 can be listed (A, B, C, D and Thrace). For further information on these aids, the following organisations should be contacted: ELKE and the Ministry of National Economy.

 

Legal forms of companies

Form Number of partners/shareholders Minimum and/or maximum capital Liability Registration fee Release of financial documents
Eteria Periorismenis Efthynis (EPE) is a Private Limited Company Minimum 2 partners.
NB: 1 partner for an EPE with extended benefits (limited liability) to the sole owner.
Minimum 18,000 € totally released up to this amount. Liability is limited to the amount contributed. 180 € No
Anonymos Eteria (AE) is a Limited Company. Minimum 2 shareholders Minimum 60,000 € totally released up to this amount. Liability is limited to the amount contributed. 600 € Yes
Omorithmos Eteria (OE) is a general partnership. Minimum 2 partners No minimum capital. Partners' liability is joint and several. Lower expenses as compared to an EPE or AE No
Eterorithmos Eteria (EE) is a limited partnership Minimum 2 partners No minimum capital. Liability of active partners is unlimited.
Liability of sleeping partners is limited to the amount contributed.
Lower expenses compared with an EPE or AE No

Registration and licensing procedures
In order to set up an EPE or an AE certain formalities are required. Status must be drawn up in a deed drawn up by a solicitor. The EPE registration deed must be registered with the county court of the district where the company is located. The AE registration deed executed and authenticated by a notary must be approved by the Chief Administrator of the Region. This approval is equivalent to the registration with the Register of Public Limited Companies.
One month for an EPE and two months for an AE are required to be registered, including declaration at the Tax Office and the declaration for starting a new business.

Foreign exchange control
Capital and profits of a company can be freely repatriated.

Regulations concerning equity investment
A majority holding interest in the capital of a Greek company by a foreign investor is legal, except in some sensitive sectors.  


Foreign Direct Investment inflows in Greece

FDI inflows 2003 2004 2005 World rank (*)
2005
FDI inflows (USD million) 1275 2101 607 121/141
Source : UNCTAD - World Investment Report
Note : (*) World Rank = UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index. It is a measure of the extend to which a host country receives inward FDI relative to its economic size. It is calculated as a ratio of the country's share in global FDI inflows to its share in global GDP.

 

Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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