In the article that follows you can read the whole process in detail as defined by the Greek authorities
In order to start a business of any legal form in Greece, you need only have an active Greek Tax Identification Number (TIN) and use your TAXIS system credentials (username and password). The credentials are recognised as the holder’s electronic signature. The procedure has been fully simplified and takes place fully online in real time.
- Which procedures and formalities are needed to start a business?
Founders are required to know their tax identification number (TIN) and the credentials assigned to them. No other formality, document, certificate or other information is required.
However, if you are European citizens, you will need to acquire a Greek TIN remotely via teleconference (my AADE live) at the link https://myaadelive.gov.gr and will have to fill out a relevant digital form and book a telephone appointment with a representative of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE). Once you have obtained a TIN and received your credentials, you are ready to set up your business in Greece.
- What are the legal forms available?
The available legal forms of a business that a person can set up in Greece are:
- a public limited company (PLC) under Law 4548/2018 (Government Gazette, Series I, Issue 104);
- a Limited Liability Company (LLC) under Law 3190/1955 (Government Gazette, Series I, Issue 91);
- a Private Company (PC) under Law 4072/2012 (Government Gazette, Series I, Issue 86);
- a General and Limited Partnership (ordinary or by shares) under Law 4072/2012 (Government Gazette, Series I, Issue 86);
- a Civil-Law Cooperative under Law 1667/1986 (Government Gazette, Series I, Issue 196);
- a Civil-Law Association pursuing economic objects under Article 784 of the Hellenic Civil Code and Article 270 of Law 4072/2012;
- a European Economic Interest Grouping under Council Regulation (EEC) No 2137/1985 of 25 July 1985;
- a European Company under Council Regulation (EC) No 2157/2001 of 8 October 2001,
- a European Cooperative Society under Council Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003;
- a Joint Venture under Article 293 of Law 4072/2012
on the Statute for a European company (SE) (L 294) with its registered office in Greece.
- Which online procedures for setting up a company, including the specific procedures put in place to comply with Directive 2017/1132 (particularly Article 13, as amended by Directive 2019/1151), are available?
The legal forms referred to in question II are set up fully online using the digital platform https://eyms.businessportal.gr/auth where the founders (natural or legal persons) are authenticated using the credentials referred to in question I. The founders only fill in their details and use their electronic signatures (credentials) to sign the relevant articles of association or statutes of the company. The articles of association or statutes are dynamically created by the data entered by the founders on the electronic platform. The system delivers digital articles of association or statutes and creates the initial registration act (incorporation of a company) in the General Commercial Register (GEMI), as the Business Register is called in Greece. In addition to being registered in the GEMI – and receiving a GEMI number – the newly created company is also automatically registered with the tax authorities and receives a tax identification number (this authority being the AADE in Greece), and with the social security institution (e-EFKA) and receives an Employer Register Number. The company is ready to begin operating in Greece without any further formalities.
- What are the different procedures for expanding a business (e.g. establishing a branch of a subsidiary)?
This procedure has not been included in the electronic platform for digital commencement of a business. For this reason, legitimation documents must be submitted by an authorised representative to the competent department of the General Commercial Register. EU companies require (a) company articles of association or statutes; (b) a certificate of good standing; (c) a decision by the company to open a branch in Greece; and (d) designation of an authorised representative for the activities of the branch in Greece. All the above documents must be lawfully certified and bear an apostille. A full list of the departments interested persons can contact is available at the following link: https://eyms.businessportal.gr/eyms-helpdesk.pdf
- Are there other requirements for licences, declarations, notifications, applications for registration in a register, list or database or registration in a professional body or association?
There are no requirements after the company has been incorporated. All notifications are made at the time of incorporation through a system providing interoperability between the competent bodies.
- Which authorities are responsible for registering a company?
The electronic company registration platform belongs to the Ministry of Development and Investments, and the competent department is the Directorate for Companies (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Depending on where each company chooses to have its registered offices, it will be electronically assigned to a competent GEMI Department.
- Is it possible to submit the application in person, by email or online?
If a digital platform is not selected, the company incorporation application may be made in person either at a GEMI department (https://eyms.businessportal.gr/eyms-helpdesk.pdf) or at an authorised notary public (https://enotariat.gr/simvolaiografoi.php).
- Which supporting documents are required to start the procedure when it does not take place online?
- For founders who are natural persons:
Aa. For Greek nationals, an identity card.
Ab. For citizens of an EU Member State, a valid identity card or passport.
Ac. For third-country citizens:
Ac1. For founders of a private company and founders who are limited partners in a partnership:
Ac1.1 A valid passport or other travel document recognised under international conventions with an entry visa, where required;
Ac1.2. A solemn declaration under Article 8 of Law 1599/1986 (Government Gazette, Series I, Issue 75) (ANNEX I hereto) concerning their intention to reside permanently in Greece; and Ac1.3. If they reside or wish to reside permanently in Greece, a residence permit or attestation of submission of an application for a residence permit.
Ac2. For founders who are general partners in a partnership:
Ac2.1 A valid passport or other travel document recognised under international conventions with an entry visa, where required; and
Ac2.2 A residence permit or attestation of submission of an application for a residence permit.
The aforesaid residence permit, whether issued or applied for, must permit exercise of an independent economic/business or investment activity, in accordance with the legislation in force at any time, and may either be presented as a copy or be electronically searched by the one-stop shop (OSS) if the IT system so permits.
- For founders who are legal persons in Greece:
Ba. An exact copy of the codified articles of association or statutes of the founding legal person. When it is registered in the GEMI, the copy shall be automatically searched for by the OSS in electronic form, in accordance with Article 8(2) and (3) of Law 3419/2005, free of charge and directly from the GEMI database.
Bb. a decision by the body competent in each case or the partners concerning participation of the legal person in the company being incorporated, and designation of a representative to complete the incorporation procedure.
Bc. If the representative of the legal person for the incorporation of the company is a person other than the lawful representative and the company is to be incorporated by means of a notarial instrumental, a special notarial power of attorney is required. If the company is being incorporated by means of a private document, an authorisation will suffice, in which the authenticity of the signature of the lawful representative of the company has been attested in accordance with Article 11(1) of Law 2690/1999, where this possibility is provided for in the articles of association or statutes or is the result of a decision made by the partners’ meeting.
C. For founders who are legal persons with registered offices abroad:
Ca. A copy of the articles of association or statutes of the legal person.
Cb. An attestation issued within the last 3 months by the competent National Register in which the legal person has been registered, indicating at least its registration number and that it is not in a state of liquidation, bankruptcy or any other collective procedure for the satisfaction of its creditors.
Cc. A certified copy of the power of attorney for the appointment of a lawful representative or proxy of the legal person in Greece. All the above must be produced in accordance with international law (apostille seal, consular visa, visa from the Greek consulate or in accordance with international treaties ratified by Greece, as applicable) together with an official translation.
- What are the deadlines for submitting supporting documents?
There are no deadlines.
- How long does the procedure last?
When being carried out online, incorporation takes only a few minutes. However, when carried out by a notary public or a GEMI department, incorporation will take 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the legal form and number of founders.
- Are there any charges?
There are charges involved in incorporating a company. The cost of incorporation varies significantly depending on whether it is carried out online or at a GEMI department or a notary public. The cost of incorporation via the digital platform ranges between EUR 18 and 24, while at GEMI departments it ranges between EUR 60 and 80.
- How can I change the legal form of or close a business?
A change of legal form (conversion of a company) or closure of a business requires an online application submitted via the GEMI digital platform, as selected by the company.
- Which acts are subject to disclosure?
The acts and information subject to disclosure both for companies and branches are exhaustively set out in the provisions of Articles 33 to 45 of Law 4919/2022 .
The submission of all information and acts (financial statements, amendments to articles of association or statutes, increases or decreases in share capital, conversions, mergers, divisions and others) requires selection of the appropriate electronic application through the GEMI information system.