Have questions? Ask us!

The Ultimate Guide To
Employment in Greece

Greece Facts

Population size: 10,919,459
Currency: Euro
Capital city: Athens
Languages spoken: Greek
Ease of Doing Business: 61

Employing in Greece: What You Need to Know

Employment in Greece has constantly decreased since January 2015 to 24.47%.

The most common type of work contract in Greece is the full-time contract, with an indefinite duration. Part-time work isn’t common and the maximum length of a single fixed-term contract is 36 months.

Children under 15 years of age are only allowed to work for an industrial business if the only other employees are the employer’s family and if the child’s health is not at risk.

Key Factors to Consider When Employing in Greece

There are several key areas to be aware of within the Greek employment regulatory framework, especially for companies that plan to initiate a full local office and human resources department.  These challenges can be mitigated by use of a locally sourced payroll provider who is familiar with all of the local laws and rules for both local employees as well as foreign nationals.

  1. Contracts

    The most common type of work contract in Greece is the full-time contract, with an indefinite duration, while part-time work isn’t common. A fixed-term contracts is prohibited for permanent tasks and the maximum length of a single fixed-term contract is 36 months.

Employment Termination

Information Explanation
Termination of Employment ?

Termination of employment contracts in Greece is governed by Articles 669 et seq. Greek Civil Code.

Employment contracts can be concluded for both limited and unlimited periods. Fixed (limited) contracts of employment by rights end upon expiry of the period for which they were entered into (Art. 669 Greek Civil Code). Should the employee continue to offer his services after his period of service has expired, however, and the employer accepts these, this is regarded as a tacit extension of the employment contract. The employment contract is consequently regarded as being extended for an unspecified period. Either party can terminate a contract of employment for an unlimited term.

According to Article 7 of Law N. 2112/20, any unilateral amendment of the employment conditions to the employee’s detriment is deemed termination of the employment contract by the employer. This covers the cases of posting of the employee abroad despite it being against his wishes, for example, demotion to a lesser position and salary cuts.

Length of service Period of notice or compensation Length of service Period of notice or compensation
2 months to 1 year 1 month or 1 month’s income 17 years 13 months or 13 months’ income
1 year to 4 years 2 months or 2 months’ income 18 years 14 months or 14 months’ income
4 years to 6 years 3 months or 3 months’ income 19 years 15 months or 15 months’ income
6 years to 8 years 4 months or 4 months’ income 20 years 16 months or 16 months’ income
8 years to 10 years 5 months or 5 months’ income 21 years 17 months or 17 months’ income
10 years 6 months or 6 months’ income 22 years 18 months or 18 months’ income
11 years 7 months or 7 months’ 23 years 19 months or 19 months’
12 years 8 months or 8 months’ income 24 years 20 months or 20 months’ income
13 years 9 months or 9 months’ income 25 years 21 months or 21 months’ income
14 years 10 months or 10 months’ income 26 years 22 months or 22 months’ income
15 years 11 months or 11 months’ income 27 years 23 months or 23 months’ income
16 years 12 months or 12 months’ income 28 years and above 24 months or 24 months’ income

Probation

Information Explanation
Probation Period ?

The maximum length of probationary period is 12 months and dismissal due to redundancy is allowed by law.

Pension

Information Explanation
Pension Requirements ?

To be entitled to an old-age pension, it is necessary to have reached a general age limit of 67 years and a minimum insurance period of 15 years (4,500 days of employment). The general requirements for receiving a full pension is the accumulation of 40 insurance years (12,000 days of employment) and being 62 years of age.

Furthermore, dependants are entitled to an additional amount per month, on certain conditions.

GEO Solutions or DIY Employment in Greece?

Companies entering Greece must make a decision whether to use their own resources for a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach, or to use a Global Employment Organization to handle payroll and employment responsibilities.  A GEO or Greece Employer of Record solution makes it faster, easier and cheaper to deploy staff if they don’t have a Greek entity established that can run payroll.

A DIY approach will typically take 6-9 months until there is a properly incorporated WFOE ready to run payroll and cost up to 6 figures if registered capital is required. Shield GEO can deploy foreign staff in 4-6 weeks and local staff in 48 hours. Additionally, Shield GEO is responsible for all compliance issues related to the employment.

Outsourcing Employment Through a GEO Employer of Record Service

Using Shield GEO Employer of Record Services in Greece

Compliance with local employment requirements is just one of the issues foreign companies face when employing staff in Greece. For companies, which intend to employ their staff directly through their incorporated Greek entity, professional legal advice is recommended. Shield GEO provides an alternative path for companies to outsource the employment of their staff in Greece.

As a Global Employer Organization (GEO), Shield GEO acts as the Employer of Record and ensures the employment is compliant with host country regulations regarding employment. In addition Shield GEO will handle payroll processing, tax and immigration. Using Shield GEO is the fastest and most cost effective way to deploy local and foreign workers into Greece.

The Shield GEO solution is an attractive alternative where

– the company is looking to employ staff quickly

– the company doesn’t have an appropriately incorporated entity in Greece

– the company wants to work within a defined budget

– the company wants to limit its initial commitment in Greece

– the company needs help with tax, employment, immigration and payroll compliance in Greece

Shield GEO can contract directly with the company to employ and payroll their staff in Greece. Shield GEO supplies local employment contracts for the staff which ensure that local statutory requirements are met covering issues such as termination, probation periods, leave entitlements and statutory benefits.  Shield GEO is able to advise companies how to cover local employment regulations whilst still providing consistent global employment policies. Understand more about outsourced employment through Shield GEO.

Payroll

Payroll Greece
Management Fee for Employer of Record Services / Monthly Payroll Costs

Please contact us for a quote

Notes

Shield GEO pays the employee on a monthly basis, typically on the last working day of the month although we can adapt to your preferred schedule. Income tax and social security (where applicable) are deducted at source and paid to the local tax authorities.

Currency ?

Euro

 
Grossed income Tax Rate (%)
Up to € 25,000 22
Next € 17,000 32
Over 42

Liabilities for Greek income tax (and certain other taxes) depend on where you’re domiciled.

The domicile is normally the country regarded as permanent home and where a person lives most of the year. For example, a foreigner working in Greece for a Greek company who has taken up residence in Greece and has no income tax liability abroad, is considered to have his tax domicile in Greece.

The country of domicile is particularly important when it comes to inheritance tax. A person is considered to be a Greek resident and liable to Greek tax if any of the following apply:

– His/her permanent home, i.e. family or principal residence, is in Greece.

– He/she spend over 183 days in Greece during any calendar year.

– He/she is employed or carry out paid professional activities in Greece, except when secondary to business activities conducted in another country.

– His/her centre of vital economic interest, e.g. investments or business, is in Greece.

Tax Returns Supplied

Yes

Employers Social Security and statutory contributions

24.56% as of July 2014, calculated on gross salary

Employees Social Security and statutory contributions

15.5%, calculated on gross salaries

Payroll and Tax in Greece

In 2014, Greece made paying taxes more costly for companies by increasing the corporate income tax rate; though it also reduced the employers’ contribution rate to the social security fund.

In 2016, however, Greece made paying taxes less costly for companies by reducing the rates for social security contributions paid by employers, making insurance premiums fully tax deductible and lowering property tax rates. At the same time, it defined entertainment expenses as nondeductible, reduced the depreciation rates for some types of fixed assets and increased the tax on interest income.

Your Payroll Options in Greece

Information Explanation
Remote Payroll ?

A remote payroll system is where a foreign company, i.e. a non-resident company, payrolls a resident employee in Greece. Under Greece Law, companies registered in other countries are allowed to obtain a license to do business and have employees in the country.

Local Payroll Administration ?

In some cases, a company will register their business in Greece under one of the forms available: General/Limited Partnerships, EPE, AE or IKE but prefer to have another company administering its payroll.  This can be accomplished through a payroll provider. It is important to note that the company, as the Employer of Record, is still fully responsible for compliance with employment, immigration, tax and payroll regulations. But the payroll calculations, payments and filings can all be outsourced to the payroll provider.

Internal Payroll ?

Larger companies with a commitment to Greece may wish to run their own local payroll for all employees, foreign and local.  In order to accomplish this, they will have to complete incorporation, register the business and then hire the necessary staff.  There will be a need for in country human resources personnel who have the background needed to manage a Greek payroll, and can fulfil all tax, withholding, and payroll requirements.

This approach carries significant cost and requires some knowledge of local employment and payroll regulations.  The company will need a local accounting firm and potentially legal counsel to ensure full compliance with Irish employment laws.

Fully Outsourced Payroll & Employment ?

Companies can outsource the employment and payroll of their staff in Greece to a GEO, like Shield GEO. This is possible for both foreign workers and Greece nationals. This is the easiest, fastest and safest way to payroll staff in Greece.

Shield GEO manages all aspects of payroll for workers in Greece, including taxes, withholding, social security payments and other statutory requirements. Shield GEO becomes the Employer of Record and employs the staff on behalf of the client.

Staff are paid monthly with tax and social security deducted at source and paid to local authorities. Shield GEO will invoice the client monthly in advance of the payroll date. The invoice consists of the Total Cost of Employment (Base salary + Employers Statutory Contributions + Additional statutory contributions) and a Management Fee. Shield GEO provides the employees with payslips.

Read more about outsourced payroll and employment through Shield GEO.

Jump to...

Tax Figures

Information Explanation
Corporate Income Tax ?

26% on taxable profits

Income Tax Rate ?
Grossed income Tax Rate (%)
Up to € 25,000 22
Next € 17,000 32
Over 42

Liabilities for Greek income tax (and certain other taxes) depend on where you’re domiciled.

The domicile is normally the country regarded as permanent home and where a person lives most of the year. For example, a foreigner working in Greece for a Greek company who has taken up residence in Greece and has no income tax liability abroad, is considered to have his tax domicile in Greece.

The country of domicile is particularly important when it comes to inheritance tax. A person is considered to be a Greek resident and liable to Greek tax if any of the following apply:

– His/her permanent home, i.e. family or principal residence, is in Greece.

– He/she spend over 183 days in Greece during any calendar year.

– He/she is employed or carry out paid professional activities in Greece, except when secondary to business activities conducted in another country.

– His/her centre of vital economic interest, e.g. investments or business, is in Greece.

Sales Tax ?

VAT: 23%

Withholding Tax ?

Dividends 10%;

Interests 15%;

Royalties and other payments 20%.

Time to prepare and Pay Taxes ?

193 hours

Time required to start a Business ?

13 days

Immigration and Work Permits in Greece

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Greece, as established by immigration laws.  Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Greek market.  If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.

Have Your Own Business?

Non-EEA nationals must obtain a work permit prior to the start of their employment activity in Greece.

Residence/work permits for non-EEA nationals are, however, very difficult to obtain for those who are not of Greek origin or not married to a Greek. Once separate permits, the residence permit and the work permit are now all-in-one, meaning residence permits can include the right to work. It is not possible for a non-EU national to obtain a stand-alone work permit; the permission to work is included in the residence permit.

Work permits in Greece are employer-specific (although there can be exceptions), occupation-specific, and location-specific, and are normally valid for one year.

A worker from a non-EU country must first obtain a visa to enter Greece and then apply for the residence/work permit once in Greece.

Process of sponsoring a non-EEA worker

In order for an employer to sponsor a work permit for a non-EEA nationals, it is necessary first to provide employees with an entry visas:

A type D visa (or National Visa) for work must be obtained for any non-EU national planning to stay in Greece for more than 90 days and work. This visa must be obtained before arriving in Greece, from the Greek Embassy or Consular Section in the applicant’s country of residence.

Required documents are as follows:

  • A valid passport;
  • Prove of employment contract;
  • Medical insurance coverage while in Greece;
  • Criminal background check from the police station nearest the applicant’s residence.

Obtaining a work permit

 Within 30 days of arrival in Greece, the visa holder must apply in person for a residence/work permit at the local municipal office (Δημαρχείο / Dimarchio). In some areas, application may be made at the police station. There are numerous types of residence permit available, depending on the applicant’s circumstances (self-employed, consultant, employee, executive). Validity periods range from one to five years.

It is suggested to file the application as soon as possible after arrival, as the process can be lengthy.

How to apply for a residence/work permit 

Prior to applying for a residence permit, applicants must obtain a tax number (AFM) from the local tax office, as well as a social security number from the Social Security Institute (AMKA). It may be possible to obtain an AMKA number from the nearest IKA office (Social Insurance Institute) or Citizens Service Office (KEP).

Application forms for residence permits can be obtained at the local municipal office (Δημαρχείο / Dimarchio) or prefecture (nomarxeia). It may be possible to obtain an application form at a Citizens Service Office. Applications must be submitted, in Greek, either in person or by a certified lawyer granted power of attorney.

The following documents are required in order to obtain a residence permit:

  • Visa
  • Passport plus photocopies
  • At least two passport photographs
  • Certificate of medical insurance
  • Health Certificate from a state hospital (declaration that the applicant does not have any serious communicable diseases)
  • Proof of local address (title deed or rental contract)
  • Proof of ability to support oneself – job or resources
  • Proof of payment of the required fee to the national tax office (Eforia)

Two passport photos are officially required, although many applicants are required to present four.

Once the application has been submitted, the applicant will receive a blue form (bebaiosi) as receipt that the application is being processed, which means that the applicant is legitimate to work at this time. The applicant is responsible for following up to obtain the residence permit.

Renewing a residence permit

At least 60 days before the residence/work permit will expire, an application must be submitted for renewal to the local municipal office or prefecture.

Documents required for renewal include:

  • A valid passport
  • A photocopy of all pages in the passport
  • A certified copy of the original residence/work permit
  • A completed application form (in Greek)
  • Additional documents will be required, depending on the type of permit being renewed.

Processing time: Approximately 30 days for the entry visa.

Fees: Vary by country, but price is approximately €50.

Use the Shield GEO Employer of Record Solution?

Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hand, co-ordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.

Types of visas in Greece

Category Description of Visa
Short Stay Visas (“C”)

A short stay visa (visa C) allows to transit through or stay in the Schengen area for an uninterrupted period of 90 days maximum or for 90 days accumulated in stages over 180 days for:

• tourist or family visits;
• business trips (visiting professional partners, negotiating and concluding contracts, etc.);
• participating in conferences (conference speakers and university lecturers) exhibitions, fairs or shows;
• participating in board of directors’ meetings and general meetings;
• providing services within the same business group, etc.;

Third country nationals subject to a visa obligation who wish to stay in Greece for less than 90 days over a period of 180 days for business, family or tourist visits, etc. must apply for a short stay visa (visa C).

Visa applications should in principle be lodged at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit and cannot be lodged earlier than 3 months before the start of the intended visit.
Holders of a multiple-entry visa may lodge the application before the expiry of the visa valid for a period of at least 6 months.
The applicant must submit a completed and signed Schengen visa application. 

Other supporting documentation, in relation to the purpose of the visit, may be requested.

Applications shall be decided on within 15 calendar days of the date of their lodging. When the visa is granted, it is affixed in the passport in the form of a visa sticker.

The visa type C allows for stays for a duration not exceeding 90 days over any 180-day period. The visa can be issued for one or several entries, depending on the reasons of stay.
It does not give the holder the right to carry out a paid activity in Greece. In this case, the person must apply for a visa type D.

Possession of a visa does not confer an irrevocable right of entry. The holder of a visa is required to show evidence, at external borders, that he fulfills the conditions of entry in accordance with the Schengen Borders Code (article 5).

Extension of the visa C

When applying for a visa extension, the applicant must show that he cannot leave Greece before the expiry of his visa or the authorized period of stay, for reasons of force majeure, for humanitarian reasons or for serious personal reasons.

As a rule, the visa can only be extended if the applicant has stayed less than 90 days in the Schengen area, in the course of the past 180 days, and if his current visa is not expired.

Fees: Approximately USD 65

Long Stay Visas ("D")

A national “D” visa allows you to enter Greece in order to apply for a residence permit. It can be issued for a set of reasons (i.e. work, studies, training, etc. ) and has a long-stay validity for a maximum of one year. Holders of national visa have the obligation to apply for a residence permit to Greece immediately after their first entry to the country.

Documents required are as follows:

1. Long Stay (D Visa) application form fully completed in English or Greek and signed by the applicant.

2. Passport valid for at least 3 months after the date of expiry of the D visa, issued within the previous 10 years and containing at least 2 consecutive blank pages.
Photocopies of data page, residence permit (in case of a new passport, photocopies of the old passport).

3. One (01) recent passport-size color photograph not older than 6 months, white background, no head or face cover(s) that prevent(s) full visibility of the facial features.

4. Travel medical insurance valid for a period of no less than the length of the D visa, covering any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment.

5. Medical fitness certificate, stating that the applicant is free of any disease capable of putting public health at risk, according to the international situation and the World Health Organization, as well as of other contagious, infectious or parasitic diseases which would require the adoption of public health protection measures (see attached template).
Medical Certificate For D Visa Example
Medical Certificate Form For D Visa

6. A copy of the applicant’s criminal record issued by the foreign authorities, certifying the applicant’s criminal status.

Fees: Approximately USD 102

Setting up a company in Greece

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 limited company and abolishing the minimum capital requirement fur such companies;
    • Lowering registration costs.

    As a consequence of the recent crisis, the Greek Government passed several austerity measures since 2010 that had a negative impact on the national economy as a whole. Some of these measures includes a higher taxation, 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.

  2. 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 impressions. Building strong, long-lasting relationships is also important and building networks characterized by trust and strong bonds easy business operations.

Greek company law describes several ways for establishing a business and provides for companies incorporated in Greece to be either personal or capital-based. There are five main types of business available to foreign companies in Greece, namely:

  • Partnerships: General (“OE”) and Limited (“EE”);
  • Limited liability company (“EPE”);
  • “Societe Anonyme” company (“AE”);
  • The new private limited company (“IKE”), introduced in 2012.

Each of these business forms has distinct advantages and disadvantages, as well as differing scope of business activities, registration requirements and minimum capital requirements.  In most cases it will depend on the degree of commitment a company has to Greece and the planned business activity.

The New Private Limited Company ("IKE")

Registering a Private Limited Company (IKE) requires to complete five procedures, namely:

Obtain Tax Clearance form A7 from Tax Authority

Before applying for a new company at GEMI, entrepreneurs need to obtain tax clearance form A7 with any Tax Authority Office. This form shows that the founders do not have any outstanding taxes and are able to start a company.

Submit with GEMI the application of establishment and its forms

The Articles of Association of the company shall contain:

  • the full trade name of the IKE;
  • the domicile or an electronic address of the partners;
  • the seal of the company;
  • the objective of the company;
  • verification that the company is private;
  • the contributors of the partners by category and their value, in accordance with Articles 77 to 79, as well as the capital of the company;
  • the sum of the company’s parts;
  • the initial number of the parts of each partner and the category of contribution to which the parts correspond;
    • how the company is managed and represented; and
  • the duration of the company.

Business founders have to submit a certified copy or copies of their ID and must request to send notice to the Insurance Organization (OAEE) with regard to the company’s establishment.

After 01.01.2015, it is obligatory that all companies maintain a ledger on which said actions and/or information shall be uploaded.

Make a company seal

It is required that all company books and records are sealed before they are certified. The company seal must also contain the company’s tax registration number and competent tax office.

On May 31, 2013 the Government of Greece introduced the Law 4156/201, which abolishes the requirement to make and affix the company seal for corporations. Since it is still used in practice by banks, however, companies are still required to make a company seal in their daily practice.

As of January 2015, IKE is required to keep electronically its c’ category books and records. Finally, there is no obligation for handwritten company’s books and records sealed by the competent Tax Authority.

Register the employees with IKA (Social Security Organization)

Once the company has been incorporated, the entrepreneur, has to register with IKA in its capacity as an employer. In parallel with this registration, the entrepreneur shall acquire a username and password for the electronic services and online registration of the employees with IKA and, subsequently, with the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED).

Register with OAEE (Insurance Organization for the SelfEmployed) The Director of IKE is legally obliged to registered with OAEE (Insurance Organization for the Self-Employed) while the registration of other members of IKE is optional. Registering more members of the IKE costs an additional EUR 111.10 per person.

Procession time: Two weeks

Cost: Minimum €150. The costs associated with the application for establishment are as follows:

  • Fixed fee for the incorporation of IKE (for 5 shareholders): €90
  • Fee for the submission of documents with GEMI: €10
  • Fee for the registration of IKE with the Chamber of Commerce: €10 (optional)
  • First year subscription fee with the Athens Chamber of Commerce: €100 (Different fees may apply for different Chambers)

The limited liability company ("EPE")

According to article 3 of Greek Law 3190/1955, a limited liability company is a trade company, even if its business scope is not related to trade. However some trade activities, such as banking, insurance, stock exchange, portfolio management, mutual funds management, leasing, promotion and implementation of high technology investments (only venture capital) and athletic activities are expressly excluded from the scope of limited liability companies.

The limited liability company (EPE) can be formed by one or more natural or legal persons and must meet the following requirements:

General Requirements

  • Minimum capital of € 4,500.00.
    • It can carry on almost any type of business, with some exceptions reserved for the AE (banks, insurance companies, etc).
    • Limited liability of all partners.
    • One or more directors. According to Greek Company Law the director is only liable towards the company, but can also be liable towards third parties, in case he / she has acted in fault; the director is also personally liable for company taxes & insurance contributions towards the Greek state and the Greek private employees fund.

 

In order to establish and register a company at the G.C.R., the founders/applicants or their representative should submit to the One Stop Shop the following documents:

Documents regarding founders who are natural persons

  • National identity card for Greek citizens, identity card or passport for citizens of EU member states, passport for citizens of non-EU member states and residence permit, if residing within the country. The founders’ representative may also submit to the One Stop Shop certified copies of these documents.
  • Residence permit for the exercise of independent financial activity for citizens of non-EU member states who shall participate as general partners in general partnership company and limited partnership company, or shall be appointed as managers in a limited liability company, or as legal representatives in a public limited company (SA).
  • Completed Form M1 (“Application for a Tax Identification Number/Change of Personal details) and Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”), if required in order for the founders to acquire a Tax Identification Number (TIN), if they do not have one.

Documents regarding founders who are resident legal persons:

  • An exact copy of the company’s codified Articles of Association
  • In terms of personal companies and limited liability companies, a special authorization is required, if their representative for the establishment of the company is different from the legal representative and the company is to be established by a notarial deed. If the company is established by a private agreement, then an authorization that bears the authenticated signature of the company’s legal representative is sufficient, if this is permissible according to the Articles of Association or by decision of the Assembly of partners.
  • In terms of limited liability companies, it is required to submit a decision of the Assembly of partners regarding the participation of the limited liability company in the company under establishment.
  • In terms of public limited companies, it is required to submit the Issues of the Government Gazette that relate to the legal representation of the company as well as to the Board of Directors’ decision regarding the participation of the public limited company in the company under establishment.

Documents regarding founders who are foreign legal persons:

  • Articles of Association that bear an apostille, according to article 4 of the Hague Convention of October 5 1961, officially translated or certified by a consulate, if the country of origin has not signed the Convention.
  • Certification by a competent authority of the legal person’s country of residence to verify the existence of the company.
  • Certified copy of the authorization document which appoints the legal representative in Greece.
  • The debtor should complete Form M3 (“Statement of commencing/changing business of non natural person”) and Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”), in order to acquire a TIN.

Further Documents:

  • The company’s Articles of Association in print and electronic form, if this is a personal company established at a One Stop Shop. If the establishment is carried out before a notary public who acts as a One Stop Shop, it is not necessary to submit the company’s Articles of Association in print and electronic form.
  • If the establishment procedure is carried out by a representative, he/she should produce an authorization granted by the founders that bears the certified signatures of the founders, according to paragraph 1 of article 3 of the present guideline.
  • The Bank deposit receipts, if the amounts required for the establishment and the registration of the company at G.C.R. have been paid, according to those stated in paragraph 1 of article 13.
  • The lease of the premises of the company certified by the competent Public Fiscal Service, or an official copy of the title deed, or an official statement of article 8 of Greek Law 1599/86 granting permission to use the premises as seat of the company under establishment including the grantor’s certified signature.

The debtor should complete the following forms in order for the company to acquire a Tax Identification Number (TIN) following its establishment.

  • Form M3 (“Statement of commencing/changing business of non natural person”)
  • Form M6 (“Statement of Business Activities”), if required.
  • Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”)
  • Form M8 (“Statement of Members/Partners of non natural person”), if required
  • The statement forms are available for print at the website of the General Secretariat for Information Systems of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The founders may also access this website via the One Stop Shop.

 

Taxation

From a tax perspective, a Limited Liability Company is subject to a Greek corporate income tax of 20%. Dividends distributed to partners are subject to withholding tax of 25%; there is an exception to that for foreign parent companies situated in another EU country, as per the “parent-subsidiary directive” and also certain double tax treaties with some countries.

Processing Time for One-Stop-Shop: 4-5 working days

Cost: The Company Establishment Note (70 Euros). If the founders are more than 3 persons, the cost is increased by 5 Euros for each additional founder.

The Company Establishment Note shall not be refunded.

Additionally, you will need to pay:

  • C.R. registration fee (10 Euros).
  • Chamber registration fee depending on the respective Chamber.
  • Duty paid to the Lawyers Welfare Fund in Athens, which amounts to 5.80€.

Societe Anonyme (AE)

The Company Limited by shares in Greece, or Anonymous Etaireia, is the most favorable form of Greek business.

General Requirements

A public limited company (SA) may be established by one or more persons, or become a single-member public limited company when all shares are concentrated in the hands of a single shareholder.

The founding members of a public limited company may be legal or natural persons. The natural persons have to be over eighteen years of age (according to article 127 of Greek Civil Code, as it was modified by article 3 of Greek Law 1329/83). Participation of a minor in the establishment of a public limited company is allowed only after magisterial permission.
The minimum capital requirement is € 60,000.00 and must be fully paid up and the own capital is in shares with nominal value from 0.30 euro to 100 euro.

According to article 1 of Greek Law 2190/1920, a public limited company (SA) is a trade company, even if its business scope is not related to trade.
A public limited company (SA) has the following basic characteristics:

  • A relatively large capital stock that is required for its establishment.
  • The capital is divided into equal units, otherwise called shares.
  • Strict publicity rules during the company establishment procedures, as well as during its entire duration.
  • A long duration (usually 50 years)
  • The limited responsibility of the shareholders.
  • Decision making procedures based on majority.
  • The existence of two bodies: the General Assembly of shareholders and the Board of Directors.

 

Taxation

From a tax perspective, a Limited Liability Company is subject to a Greek corporate income tax of 20%. Dividends distributed to partners are subject to withholding tax of 25%; there is an exception to that for foreign parent companies situated in another EU country, as per the “parent-subsidiary directive” and also certain double tax treaties with some countries.

A one stop shop (certified notary public who draws up the notarial deed) is also required for this business entity and it requires the Articles of Association to include:

  • Company name and purposes
  • Registered seat of the company
  • Duration of the company
  • Amount and method of payment of capital stock
  • Types of shares, quantity of shares, nominal value and issue of shares
  • Number of shares for each type, if more than one type of shares exist
  • Conversion of registered shares to bearer shares, or conversion of bearer shares to registered shares
  • Meeting, formation, operation, and responsibilities of the Board of Directors
  • Meeting, formation, operation, and responsibilities of the General Assembly
  • Auditors
  • Shareholders’ rights
  • Balance sheet and allocation of profits
  • Dissolution of the company and liquidation of assets
  • Personal information of the legal or natural persons who signed the Articles of Association, or on behalf of whom the Articles have been signed.
  • The total amount, or approximately, of all expenses required for the establishment of the company which burden the company.
  • The duration of the first fiscal period, the composition and term of office of the Board of Directors (including their capacities and duties if the contracting parties agree so) and the auditors of the first fiscal period, if the company is subject to audit.

The documentation required for the incorporation of a AE is as follows:

Documents regarding founders who are natural persons

  • National identity card for Greek citizens, identity card or passport for citizens of EU member states, passport for citizens of non-EU member states and residence permit, if residing within the country. The founders’ representative may also submit to the One Stop Shop certified copies of these documents.
  • Residence permit for the exercise of independent financial activity for citizens of non-EU member states who shall participate as general partners in general partnership company and limited partnership company, or shall be appointed as managers in a limited liability company, or as legal representatives in a public limited company (SA).
  • Completed Form M1 (“Application for a Tax Identification Number/Change of Personal details) and Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”), if required in order for the founders to acquire a Tax Identification Number (TIN), if they do not have one.

Documents regarding founders who are resident legal persons:

  • An exact copy of the company’s codified Articles of Association
  • In terms of personal companies and limited liability companies, a special authorisation is required, if their representative for the establishment of the company is different from the legal representative and the company is to be established by a notarial deed. If the company is established by a private agreement, then an authorisation that bears the authenticated signature of the company’s legal representative is sufficient, if this is permissible according to the Articles of Association or by decision of the Assembly of partners.
  • In terms of limited liability companies, it is required to submit a decision of the Assembly of partners regarding the participation of the limited liability company in the company under establishment.
  • In terms of public limited companies, it is required to submit the Issues of the Government Gazette that relate to the legal representation of the company as well as to the Board of Directors’ decision regarding the participation of the public limited company in the company under establishment.

Documents regarding founders who are foreign legal persons:

  • Articles of Association that bear an apostille, according to article 4 of the Hague Convention of October 5 1961, officially translated or certified by a consulate, if the country of origin has not signed the Convention.
  • Certification by a competent authority of the legal person’s country of residence to verify the existence of the company.
  • Certified copy of the authorisation document which appoints the legal representative in Greece.
  • The debtor should complete Form M3 (“Statement of commencing/changing business of non natural person”) and Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”), in order to acquire a TIN.

Further Documents:

  • The company’s Articles of Association in print and electronic form, if this is a personal company established at a One Stop Shop. If the establishment is carried out before a notary public who acts as a One Stop Shop, it is not necessary to submit the company’s Articles of Association in print and electronic form.
  • If the establishment procedure is carried out by a representative, he/she should produce an authorisation granted by the founders that bears the certified signatures of the founders, according to paragraph 1 of article 3 of the present guideline.
  • The Bank deposit receipts, if the amounts required for the establishment and the registration of the company at G.C.R. have been paid, according to those stated in paragraph 1 of article 13.
  • The lease of the premises of the company certified by the competent Public Fiscal Service, or an official copy of the title deed, or an official statement of article 8 of Greek Law 1599/86 granting permission to use the premises as seat of the company under establishment including the grantor’s certified signature.

The debtor should complete the following forms in order for the company to acquire a Tax Identification Number (TIN) following its establishment.

  • Form M3 (“Statement of commencing/changing business of non natural person”)
  • Form M6 (“Statement of Business Activities”), if required.
  • Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”)
  • Form M8 (“Statement of Members/Partners of non natural person”), if required

 

Processing Time for One-Stop-Shop: 4-5 working days

Costs: The Company Establishment Note (70 Euros). If the founders are more than 3 persons, the cost is increased by 5 Euros for each additional founder.
The Company Establishment Note shall not be refunded.
Additionally, you will need to pay:

  • C.R. registration fee (10 Euros).
  • Chamber registration fee depending on the respective Chamber.
  • Duty paid to the Hellenic Competition Commission (1% of the capital stated in the Articles of Association).

Partnerships

The partners of a limited partnership company are distinguished in two categories: general and limited partners. General partners have joint and unlimited liability vis-à-vis the company creditors. Limited partners have limited liability and are only liable for the amount of their investment in the company.
The establishment of a limited partnership company does not require a notarial deed; on the contrary, a private agreement is sufficient.
The limited partner becomes liable as a general partner when his/her name is included in the company name, or participates in the management and representation of the company.

General Partnership (O.E.)

This partnership consists of at least two partners whose responsibility is unrestricted. The greatest advantage of the O.E in Greece consists in the fact that there is no minimum capital required.

If it is agreed in the statute, the partners can decide who will be responsible for the management of the partnership and agree how the losses and profits will be shared. If the agreement doesn’t contain this information than the partners are equally responsible for the management decision and will share the profits and the losses.

Limited Partnership (E.E)

The Limited Partnership is formed by two or three partners, with no minimum capital required. At least one of the partners is the limited partner and its liability depends on the amount of his/her contribution. He/she has no management responsibility.

Minimum one is the general partner, and it’s responsible for the company’s management.

Before going to the One Stop Shop

It is mandatory to draw up the Articles of Association of the company. According to the law, the Articles of Association should contain at least the following information:

  • Name and residence of the partners, and their capacity (general partner, limited partner)
  • Company name. It is prohibited to include the limited partner’s name in the company name.
  • Names of managers and representatives. Only general partners may be managers and representatives.
  • Type and value of contributions
  • Duration of the company
  • Purposes of the company
  • State explicitly the type of company as a limited partnership company

The Articles of Association constitute a necessary document for the establishment of a company, and determine a number of significant topics related to the partners’ relations, company management, duration and dissolution. The Articles of Association should be signed by all partners.

Documentation Required

In order to establish and register a company at the G.C.R., the founders/applicants or their representative should submit to the One Stop Shop the following documents:

Documents regarding founders who are natural persons

  • National identity card for Greek citizens, identity card or passport for citizens of EU member states, passport for citizens of non-EU member states and residence permit, if residing within the country. The founders’ representative may also submit to the One Stop Shop certified copies of these documents.
  • Residence permit for the exercise of independent financial activity for citizens of non-EU member states who shall participate as general partners in general partnership company and limited partnership company, or shall be appointed as managers in a limited liability company, or as legal representatives in a public limited company (SA).
  • Completed Form M1 (“Application for a Tax Identification Number/Change of Personal details) and Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”), if required in order for the founders to acquire a Tax Identification Number (TIN), if they do not have one.

Documents regarding founders who are resident legal persons:

  • An exact copy of the company’s codified Articles of Association
  • In terms of personal companies and limited liability companies, a special authorisation is required, if their representative for the establishment of the company is different from the legal representative and the company is to be established by a notarial deed. If the company is established by a private agreement, then an authorisation that bears the authenticated signature of the company’s legal representative is sufficient, if this is permissible according to the Articles of Association or by decision of the Assembly of partners.
  • In terms of limited liability companies, it is required to submit a decision of the Assembly of partners regarding the participation of the limited liability company in the company under establishment.
  • In terms of public limited companies, it is required to submit the Issues of the Government Gazette that relate to the legal representation of the company as well as to the Board of Directors’ decision regarding the participation of the public limited company in the company under establishment.

Documents regarding founders who are foreign legal persons:

  • Articles of Association that bear an apostille, according to article 4 of the Hague Convention of October 5 1961, officially translated or certified by a consulate, if the country of origin has not signed the Convention.
  • Certification by a competent authority of the legal person’s country of residence to verify the existence of the company.
  • Certified copy of the authorisation document which appoints the legal representative in Greece.
  • The debtor should complete Form M3 (“Statement of commencing/changing business of non natural person”) and Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”), in order to acquire a TIN.

Further Documents:

  • The company’s Articles of Association in print and electronic form, if this is a personal company established at a One Stop Shop. If the establishment is carried out before a notary public who acts as a One Stop Shop, it is not necessary to submit the company’s Articles of Association in print and electronic form.
  • If the establishment procedure is carried out by a representative, he/she should produce an authorisation granted by the founders that bears the certified signatures of the founders, according to paragraph 1 of article 3 of the present guideline.
  • The Bank deposit receipts, if the amounts required for the establishment and the registration of the company at G.C.R. have been paid, according to those stated in paragraph 1 of article 13.
  • The lease of the premises of the company certified by the competent Public Fiscal Service, or an official copy of the title deed, or an official statement of article 8 of Greek Law 1599/86 granting permission to use the premises as seat of the company under establishment including the grantor’s certified signature.

The debtor should complete the following forms in order for the company to acquire a Tax Identification Number (TIN) following its establishment.

  • Form M3 (“Statement of commencing/changing business of non natural person”)
  • Form M6 (“Statement of Business Activities”), if required.
  • Form M7 (“Declaration of Taxpayer’s Relations”)
  • Form M8 (“Statement of Members/Partners of non natural person”), if required 

Processing Time for One-Stop-Shop: 4-5 working days

Costs: The Company Establishment Note (50 Euros). If the founders are more than 3 persons, the cost is increased by 5 Euros for each additional founder.
The Company Establishment Note shall not be refunded.

Additionally, you will need to pay:

  • G.C.R. registration fee (10 Euros).
  • Chamber registration fee depending on the respective Chamber.
  • Contribution to the Lawyers Fund (0,5% of the company capital)
  • Duty paid to the Lawyers Welfare Fund in Athens. For the establishment of general partnership companies and limited partnership companies with capital more than 586.94€, the duty amounts to 1% of the capital stated in the Articles of Association. Additionally, a stamp of 3.6% on the abovementioned 1% is paid. If the capital is less than 586.94€, the duty amounts to only 5.80€.

Outsourcing Employment Through a GEO Employer of Record Service

Whether to incorporate in Greece, and what sort of entity to setup are just two of the many choices companies must make when expanding into a new market.

If the company intends to have staff in Greece they must also decide whether they will administer that employment internally or use a Global Employment Organization to handle payroll and Employer of Record responsibilities.  A GEO Employer of Record solution is an attractive alternative where

– the company is looking to setup an office quickly

– the company wants to work within a defined budget

– the company wants to limit its initial commitment in Greece

– the company needs help with tax, employment, immigration and payroll compliance in Greece

The complexity of employment regulations in Greece makes the use of a GEO advisable coupled with local legal counsel to ensure full compliance with employment laws, for example the drafting of local contracts for workers.

Shield GEO provides a comprehensive service in Greece allowing companies to deploy their staff quickly with reasonable, clearly stated costs and timeframes. The company contracts directly with Shield to employ and payroll their staff on their behalf in Greece.

Shield GEO then becomes the Employer of Record. Shield GEO assumes the legal responsibility for these employees, sponsoring them on work permits, complying with local employment law and running their monthly payroll. Using Shield GEO is the fastest and most cost effective way to deploy local and foreign workers into Greece. Read more about outsourced employment through Shield GEO.

  • Greece Employer of Record Overview

Greece Employer of Record Overview

  • Greece Employer of Record Overview

Greece

Greece

CONTACT US

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

BACK TO TOP

Join over 1,000 professionals!

Subscribe to our monthly Global Mobility newsletter