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Registration of companies, branches and affiliated representations in the territory of Greece

The legislation of Greece gives special possibilities to citizens of the third countries for the entrepreneurial activity or business in the country territory.

Depending on an organization type and activity in Greece, foreign citizens have the right to take part in the enterprise management and can own the complete volume of the capital or its part, company securities. Natural and artificial persons can be founders, directors, members, partners, shareholders of corresponding kinds of the companies being in the territory of Greece and founded according to the Greek legislation.

Each type of activity has specific features and an economic practicability choice. Thus, the enterprises in Greece can be formalized according to the following organization-legal forms:

One-man business: This form is applied especially widely. The principal advantage is the big flexibility in the business solutions concerning a type of activity, a choice of methods and, somewhat, the volume of production. These advantages are essential, especially for commercial SME, in which the personal control and initiatives have crucial importance. Citizens (natural persons) have the right to be engaged in an entrepreneurial activity without of the legal entity formation as an individual entrepreneur from the moment of its state registration in this quality, and to create legal entities independently or together with other persons. A citizen answers for his obligations with all property belonging to him. The rules regulating the artificial person activity are applied to the entrepreneurial activity without of the legal entity formation. A business owner, citizen of the third country, will need the special residence permit for the individual entrepreneurial activity, which is issued in the presence of certain preconditions.

However, when the type of activity demands more large-scale development, the business corporate form is more suitable.

Corporate business: business belongs to two or more persons of the partners connected by special partner relations determined depending on company type. The main forms of the corporate enterprise in Greece are: restricted liability society and joint stock company.

Joint stock company (abbr. AE) is the major and most widespread form of the enterprises in Greece. Foreigners often choose АЕ as the organization-legal form for the affiliate companies. AЕ represents the juridical person answering for the obligations only within a society property. Stockholder equity, fixed in advance, is divided into shares. Organization-legal form of AЕ is chosen for itself not only by large companies, but also by SME. The minimum authorized capital of АЕ in Greece is 60.000 euros, and one founder is enough to set up it.

The restricted liability society (abbr. ЕПЕ) is an attractive organization-legal form, which, in comparison with AЕ, is chosen for itself by SME even more often. Owing to the reform of the legislation of joint of stock companies, ЕПЕ becomes more and more popular alternative to the joint stock company. In comparison with AЕ, the restricted liability societies possess an advantage of lower authorized capital of 4.000 euros, but, at the same time, have a lack consisting in the anonymity absence: the data of each founder, including those who acquire shares in ЕПЕ already after its foundation, is published.

During consideration of a problem of business lawfulness, business activity in Greece from the point of view of taxation advantages and perspective business development for citizens of the third countries, the most profitable action for a foreign company is registration of a branch or an affiliate company in the territory of Greece.

As a rule, the documentary preparation process and the procedure of the registration of a branch or an affiliated foreign company occurs accompanied by the lawyer’s support. It is initially important to know legal niceties of the official registration of documents in the country that gives territorial and tax preferences for the activities.

The director of a foreign company branch, and the members of his family (spouse, minor children) have the right to obtain the residence permits in Greece. The first permission to stay is issued for the chronological period of one year with the subsequent renovation for two years.

Lawyer Svetlana Kasatkina-Kouskou renders the legal support to the companies, which plan to be registered, to set up a branch or an affiliated representation in the territory of Greece, and provides legal support of a question of the residence permit obtaining for the heads of foreign companies and for the members of their families.

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