Commercial law in Greece is structured similarly to that of Germany. European law naturally played an important role in this in that the parts of commercial law (like, for example, the trade representatives and distributor’s law) within the context of the European legislation were implemented in all countries of the European Union through the implementation of corresponding EU Directives, whereby only relatively little space remained for national features, which were either formulated from the national legislation, or jurisprudence.
Greek commercial law is regulated in various laws. There is a code of commercial law but it currently only includes a small part of Greek commercial law. This is because it is a law from the year 1835, while in the meantime, more specific laws were adopted which regulated parts of commercial law differently from the original code of commercial law, through which the code of commercial law from 1835, to a large extent, gradually lost its validity. The regulations with regard to the terms for commercial law activities as well as several provisions with regard to transportation have remained from the code of commercial law of 1835.
Greek commercial law mainly follows the system of French commercial law in which various acts are intended to be explicitly regarded as commercial law. This includes, for example, the purchase and sale of goods, or the offer of services, industrial trade, hauling industry, storage business, banking, insurance etc. On the other hand, a general term for businessman is provided.
In Greek commercial law, as in the German, the possibility of exercising a commercial activity by a private person, which will be registered as a such as a businessman. On the other hand the possibility of exercising the activity through a company which can be a partnership (OHG, KG, silent partnership), or a capital company (public limited company, limited liability company, or IKE – therefore a more flexible type private limited company similar to the Limited in English law). All merchants and companies must be registered in the Greek Commercial Register (“GEMI”) while the issuing of a tax number also registers the activity with the tax office, or the tax authorities. All merchants, or the managing director, or members of the management board well as the shareholders of partnerships, or the private limited company must register with the social insurance carrier OAEE.