Attorneys in Greece – Lawyers in Athens & Thessaloniki

Company Formation

Establishment of the company

An investment project begins, in most cases, with the establishment of the company in the target country. One form of establishment is the founding of a (subsidiary) company in Greece.

Type of company

When selecting the type of company fiscal aspects according to the law should, in particular, also be taken into consideration, not just reasons of liability.
In addition to business partnerships (OE = general partnership and EE = Capital company) the capital company (AE = Public Limited Company and EPE = Private Limited Company) also belong to the classic company forms.

Foundation procedure

Since April 2011, a new foundation procedure has applied in Greece, the so-called One-Stop-Shop Procedure according to which the foundation of a company in Greece was simplified considerably. Also with regards to time, the foundation expenditure was shortened significantly so that the foundation of a company in the meantime can also take less time than in Germany.
The procedures are, thereby, substantially controlled by the Chamber of Commerce, the so-called GEMI, which, as the central authority, is now responsible for the registration of the companies formed, but also for maintaining the commercial register.

Specifics of Greek companies

At this point it is also important to emphasize that the Greek legislators have also significantly reduced the required foundation capital for capital companies. So, an EPE (Greek Private Limited Company), meanwhile, only needs initial capital starting at 1 €, while the AE (Greek Public Limited Company) now only needs share capital of 24,000 €.

The new company form IKE

The introduction of a new company form represents an additional innovation in Greek law, the so-called private company limited by shares, IKE (= idiotiki kefaleouchi etairia), which is known in other countries as a “Private Company” (P.C.).
For the foundation of a private company limited by shares a minimum capital of only one Euro (1 €) is required. In the case of an IKE the shareholders can participate on an equity basis, introduce external capital, or capital contributions in the form of guarantees / securities.
Even here the foundation procedure in the One-Stop-Shop Procedure runs relatively simply and quickly. In practice a foundation procedure can be expected to last approx. 3-4 days, provided all the necessary documents therefore were compiled.