Berlin: +49 30 88702382 | Thessaloniki: +30 2310 284408 [email protected]

Greek Corporate Law

Formation of an LLC in Greece

Incorporating an LLC in Greece can be an attractive option for many entrepreneurs.

Greece’s geographic location serves as a strategic gateway between East and West, offering great opportunities for companies looking to trade or expand into European, Asian and African markets.

In recent years, the Greek government has made efforts to simplify business regulations and reduce red tape to improve the ease of doing business. In addition, Greece has implemented tax reforms to attract foreign investment and support business growth, including competitive corporate tax rates, incentives for research and development, and special regimes for shipping and real estate.

Finally, Greece offers a pool of highly educated and skilled professionals, many of whom are multilingual, providing companies with a talented workforce that can operate effectively in international markets.

Let’s talk about forming a limited liability company in Greece

Thessaloniki
+30 2310 284408

Berlin
+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

How an LLC compares to Greek companies

An LLC is a type of limited liability company that provides a legal structure in which the liability of the company’s owners and shareholders is limited to their investment in the company.

This makes it a popular choice for small to medium sized businesses.

An LLC has a flexible structure, requires a minimum share capital of €25,000 and must be registered in the German Commercial Register.

If you are interested in incorporating a company in Greece, the closest equivalent to an LLC is the EPE (Εταιρεία Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης) or Private Company (IKE).

Similar to the LLC, an EPE is a type of limited liability company in Greece where the liability of the shareholders is limited to their contributions to the company’s capital.

As with an LLC, there are specific capital requirements for the incorporation of an EPE, which have been subject to change and adjustment over time, but have historically been lower than those for an LLC.

The governance structure of an EPE includes the general meeting of shareholders and the managers of the company, similar to the management structure of an LLC.

On the other hand, the IKE has recently been introduced as a flexible and simplified business form with the intention of reducing bureaucracy and stimulating entrepreneurship. From this point of view, it can be compared to a UG (haftungsbeschränkt).

One of the key features of an IKE is the minimal capital requirement, which can be as low as €1, making it an attractive option for start-ups and small businesses.

Governance can be quite flexible, allowing for different configurations based on the company’s charter. It can be managed by one or more partners, with fewer formal requirements compared to an EPE or LLC.

How to create an LLC (EPE) in Greece: Step-by-step Process

Opening an EPE (Εταιρεία Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης), a type of limited liability company in Greece similar to an LLC, involves several steps, from planning and legal documentation to registration and compliance. The process can be complex, so it’s often recommended to consult with legal and financial professionals in Greece to navigate the details.

Here’s a general guide to get you started:

Step 1: Business Planning

Start by thoroughly analyzing your business concept, identifying its primary goals, target market, and unique value proposition that sets it apart from the competition.

Develop a detailed business plan that includes a sound business strategy, comprehensive financial projections (including start-up costs, revenue projections and break-even analysis) and a detailed operational structure. This plan should outline your marketing strategies, product or service offerings, management team roles and operational procedures. This step is critical to understanding the feasibility and potential impact of your business idea and ensuring that your business is built on a solid foundation.

Step 2: Adhering to Basic Legal Requirements

Select a unique name for your EPE company. Use the online database provided by the Greek Chamber of Commerce to ensure that the chosen name is not already in use or too similar to existing companies, as this could lead to confusion or legal problems.

Draft the Articles of Association, a foundational document that outlines the company’s operating rules, shareholder rights and management structure.

This document should detail the company’s purpose, rules for shareholder meetings, voting rights, dividend distributions, and the framework for appointing directors and officers.

It will help to ensure that your company’s foundational legal document is in line with your business objectives while complying with Greek legal standards.

The Articles of Association form the legal backbone of your company and require careful consideration, so it’s highly advisable to have them drafted or reviewed by an attorney.

Step 3: Securing Company Capital

The initial minimum capital requirement to open an EPE in Greece is set at €4,500, but more may be required depending on the scope of your business. The capital requirement can serve as proof of your company’s financial credibility, so carefully consider your company’s financial needs.

This capital must be deposited in a bank account and fully paid up at the time of incorporation.

Since laws and regulations regarding incorporation are subject to change, it’s always a good idea to check the current requirements through official sources or consult with a legal professional in Greece for the most up-to-date information.

Step 4: Tax Identification Number (TIN) and Registration

Collect all necessary documents, including the Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Capital Deposit, and detailed identification documents for all shareholders and directors.

This is a critical step to ensure a smooth registration process and avoid delays.

Once all the documents are ready, apply for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Greek tax authorities.

Then register your company and any employees with the Greek Social Insurance Institute (EFKA). Registration with EFKA is mandatory for your employees’ social security and benefits.

As final step, submit your application and all required documents to the General Commercial Registry (GEMI) in order to register your EPE.

This step is a key moment. It not only legalizes your business entity, but also places it in the Greek business ecosystem.

Ensure that all documents submitted are accurate and complete to facilitate a smooth registration process.

Step 5: Company’s Bank Account

After successfully registering your company, the next step is to open a bank account in the name of the EPE. Take your registration documents and TIN to the bank of your choice. Many banks offer services tailored to business accounts, so consider your banking needs carefully.

The initial capital raised should then be deposited into this new account. This deposit serves as the financial foundation of your business and enables operational activities such as paying suppliers, receiving payments, and managing other financial transactions.

Step 6: Administrative Steps

Depending on your type of business, you may need certain licenses or permits. These can range from food safety permits for restaurants to professional licenses for certain services. Consult with the Greek Chamber of Commerce and other relevant local authorities to identify and comply with these requirements.

Understand the tax obligations of an EPE, including VAT, corporate tax and any other relevant taxes. It’s strongly recommended that you hire an accountant who is familiar with Greek business laws and tax regulations to ensure compliance and effectively manage your company’s finances.

Regular compliance with filing requirements, tax submissions and regulatory obligations is not only about maintaining legal status, but also about building a reputable business presence in Greece. Annual reports, financial statements and regular tax filings are part of this obligation and contribute to the transparency and integrity of your business.

How can we help you in establish an LLC (EPE) in Greece?

Given the complexities of establishing a business in a foreign country, consultation with legal and financial advisors who specialize in Greek corporate law and taxation is invaluable.

The process of establishing an EPE involves navigating complex legal requirements, including drafting the Articles of Association, registering with the Commercial Registry, and obtaining the necessary permits and licenses. As lawyers specializing in Greek corporate law, we can ensure that all legal requirements are properly met, reducing the risk of delays or problems arising from non-compliance.

Once the business is established in Greece, a trusted Greek attorney can draft or review your contracts, leases and other legal documents necessary for your business operations, ensuring that your interests are always protected.

As your business grows, we will be by your side to address any legal issues that arise, helping you with contract negotiations, employment issues and regulatory compliance.

* The information on this site is provided for the sole purpose of illustrating the subject matter. It in no way constitutes legal advice nor a substitute for individual legal advice provided by counsel. Each case is unique, presents unique circumstances, and should be evaluated in detail by an attorney who will verify its specific circumstances.

Contact Leptokaridou Law Firm

We’re here to help you establish an LLC in Greece

The process of establishing an EPE involves navigating complex legal requirements. As lawyers specializing in Greek corporate law, we can ensure that all legal requirements are properly met, reducing the risk of delays or problems arising from non-compliance.

Contact us to incorporate a limited liability company in Greece

Thessaloniki
+30 2310 284408

Berlin
+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

Our law firm can assist you with the formation of a limited liability company in Greece.

If you are interested in establishing a limited liability company in Greece, our lawyers specializing in Greek corporate law will assist you throughout the entire process.

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+49 30 88702382
(Berlin Office)

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+30 2310 284408
(Thessaloniki Office)