If you stay in the game for a long time, you will achieve success. Well, I am not talking about any sport. This applies to the corporate world. The longer you conduct your business, that means you are performing well. But the longevity and success depend on various factors—definitely, the government’s local rules, regulations, and attitude towards your entrepreneurship matter a lot. So, if you are looking to expand your commerce activities or start a new venture, there is a better option available to you. Operating your business in Greece is the best solution for you.
No matter what, all dealings involve risk to a certain extent.
But if you are trying to start your commercial activities in unknown territory, it is more challenging.
For this reason, doing business in a foreign country is a riskier venture.
But I am no entrepreneur ready to jump into an unfamiliar environment without knowing the background.
If anyone does that, then they are inviting the disaster.
So, to make you cognizant about business in Greece, we are publishing this article.
By the end of this article, I am sure you will have the answer to questions such as why choose Greece?
What is the advantage of doing business in Greece?
Is doing business in Greece worth it?
What are the opportunities to start a business in Athens?
How Greek culture and other standards you will get there, how tax-friendly Greece and many more details.
The best businesses in Greece to do in 2020:
Well, when there are talented resources and the willingness of the government to support the trading, it is the right time to jump into a business.
You can create an opportunity and gain success.
However, if you are looking at the options you have to become a profitable entrepreneur, we have the list for you.
Greece is the home for 18 World Heritage Sites and rich Greek culture.
So every year, millions of people visit Greece to witness the Greek culture.
That means you have an ocean of opportunities to start your business, depending on this floating population.
Tourism is one of the main contributors to the national economy.
Also, we expect it to grow even more with the coming year.
The tourists are coming from around the world to see Athens, Acropolis, many museums, and other iconic places.
Because of this, Greece is getting over 18% of total employment from the tourism sector.
You no need to think about the competition here because since the population is mainly from different places and is floating, you no need to worry about creating loyal customers.
So, you need to provide satisfactory products and services to survive and thrive in your dealings.
2. Energy Sector
The energy sector is another area where you can make money with your business.
With the increasing number of businesses in Greece, especially foreign investment.
The present energy is not enough to cater to all people’s needs.
So, if you invest in this field, it will give fruit in the coming years.
The most significant advantage you have in Greece is you have the abundance of natural resources to exploit and turn it into energy.
Greece is at the crossroads between the west and east, and also, it plays a vital role in the energy sector in the region.
You have a plethora of opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
The ongoing projects and large-scale industrial and infrastructure projects need a considerable amount of energy sources.
So, it is the right time to tap on sources like wind, solar, biomass, hydro, solar thermal, and geothermal to produce an ample amount of energy.
3. Frozen products sales in Greece
The demand for food never goes down.
That too, if you are in places where tourists are more ordinary than local people, then it is like a jackpot if you are running food-related businesses.
The fishery is very popular in entire Greece.
And it is the wisest thing to take advantage of this.
So, you can begin your cold rooms and shops to sell frozen fish, turkey, and chicken.
And it is the real money-making opportunity for you.
Major cities like Athens is an excellent place for doing business.
4. The pharmaceutical industry in Greece
Since all other sectors are booming in Greece, it is the right time to invest your time and money by doing business in the pharma sector.
Just like the food, you can’t live without the proper medications.
Hence, establishing your business near the most visited sites like Athens and other cities ensures success.
You can either become a retailer or wholesaler to make your debut in this sector.
For performing all these roles, you need to secure a license.
And therefore with the proper permit, you can even start pharma manufacturing units.
5. Greece transport and logistics
With the increasing tourism and other businesses, you have the golden opportunity to make money from starting transport and logistics services.
The massive number of tourists makes it easier to own cars or other vehicles to pick and drop tourists between hotels and airports, and other tourist sites.
Hence, cities like Athens see a fair amount of development in transport.
The logistics are also becoming the need of the hour since people shift their shopping preferences from brick and mortar to online stores.
The pandemic and other virus threats also make this sector to boom like never before.
Online selling is booming these days, especially in cities like Athens.
6. Cruiser and ship entrepreneurship
Greece has always been a country that received enormous wealth because of its marine-related stuff.
It is the chief asset of Greece and makes them one of Europe’s leading members when it comes to shipping.
It is nothing more than a natural phenomenon because Greece has vast coastal areas.
You can become an entrepreneur by establishing your business by starting the cruiser and its supplement manufacturing industry.
Starting the venture in this field is easier said than done because the marine industry requires a lot of capital to get started.
And boats and related things are subject to high maintenance costs.
If you are not worried about the investment, you can create your wealth in this sector.
7. Invest in commercial properties in Greece
If you are not a person who likes to interact with many and conduct transactions face to face but still wants to earn?
Then we have a solution for you.
You can deploy your money on the real taste of Greece.
That means you can invest your money on commercial properties in the key places like Athens
And start earning the fixed monthly income without worrying about the number of customers visiting your store.
And you are also free from working the whole day to make money.
But you need more capital to buy the properties, but you can count the rental money at the end of each month as the salary.
8. Purchase non renovated properties
Another grand idea is investing in non-renovated premises.
If you are asking why to do this, the reason is you can get the properties relatively at lower prices.
It will help you buy the asset with less capital in the costlier places like Athens and build the value of the building.
You can add the aesthetics and interiors to make your building more appealing to the people.
After renovating the premises, you can sell immediately or wait and earn a profit in the long run.
Thus with less capital, you can own the buildings in prominent areas like Athens.
9. Bar and restaurant near the beach and main cities of Greece
Who doesn’t like the beachside parties?
Almost all people do.
And it is a beautiful opportunity for a businessperson to start their money-minting process.
Greece has extended coastal areas like a blessing, and it is a boon for the businesses.
Establishing a business near the hotel, bar, and restaurants will never make you disappointed throughout the year.
If you offer more varieties of national and international delicious dishes, it will bound you to get more customers and more revenue.
It is one of those businesses that never go down until people hate sitting alongside the beaches and relaxing!
10. Online Selling in Greece
Online selling is becoming a new Greek culture in the business field.
People are crazy about shopping, and if you make that option convenient, then your success is assured.
All you need to do is establish the right platforms (android, web, and iOS) to attract the customers backed by efficient logistics services.
If it combines great products with these two factors, you can expect more sales from tourists and local people.
11. The launderette and dry cleaning
Tourism is a vast sector that creates a lot of opportunities to earn money.
With the increasing number of tourists and employees in Greece.
The launderette and dry cleaning services give you an excellent opportunity to invest your money and earn handsomely.
The primary source of business will be from the hotels.
If you establish a good relationship with the hotels, you can get continuous work and money.
In Athens, a lot of hotels attract guests, and you can take advantage of it.
Advantages of doing business in Greece:
After globalization, we have the opportunity of starting a business in many countries.
Still, do you wonder why Greece is the best?
Here is the answer to that.
Undoubtedly conducting business in Greece had become a simple task today compared with a few years back when the depression was at its peak.
This is because many companies offer their service online and incentives for investors are flowing in more.
And many reforms boosting the market conditions of Greece.
Greece is welcoming the new entrepreneurs from all over the world with the corporate-friendly tax system, slashed taxes, streamlined process.
Also, many such reforms are making the companies setup easier, faster, and more straightforward than ever.
Greece is a regional hub
In particular, the geographical position of Greece attracts many investors and makes it a regional hub.
Many multinational companies, including Microsoft, are establishing their offices here.
All new reforms in recent days are making investment companies in Greece grow day by day.
Thus, starting a business in Greece gives you more advantages.
The political willingness of Greece politicians
The new Greece is looking more investment-friendly than ever with its geographic location, political leaders’ willingness to attract investments, and educated human resources.
Greece’s economy is gradually getting stabilized, and all the political parties are having understood the need for foreign direct investment.
They are making strategic changes.
The most significant aspect to notice is Greece has allowed foreign investment in most sectors.
Corporate tax in Greece
The 2nd half of 2019 has completely changed the commercial environment of Greece.
The new tax bill passed in December 2019, and it brought splendid news to the investors.
As per this bill, the corporate income tax rate is now 24% by reducing 4% from the existing 28%.
This change is effective from January 1st, 2020, and it also decreased the withholding tax on dividends to 5% from the current 10%, and it is also effective from January 1st.
The new bill also lowers the advanced payment of income tax on persons and legal entities to 95%.
In a nutshell, Greece’s government is entirely ready to cooperate with you by reducing your corporate taxes and other measures.
The infrastructure of Greece is excellent, and as a result, the logistics are very useful and quick.
The other infrastructure, such as communication networks and necessary things, is remarkable in Greece to starting a business.
Human Resources of Greece
One of the fundamental things you must consider while opening any kinds of commercial things, human resources play an unmatchable role.
Here you can quickly get highly educated, talented, and skillful employees and workers to conduct your operations efficiently.
The most significant advantage is you can get an excellent workforce at less cost.
If you compare the price of labor with other countries, bringing the skilled workforce with this much less amount in Europe is next to impossible.
Exemption on Import duties
Besides promoting production and exports, you have a significant advantage if you are exporting the materials from the UK.
Greece provides an exemption on importing duties if you import from the UK.
Prerequisite for starting a business in Greece
If you are looking to start your business, you need to have some basic needs.
I won’t finish just by saying you need to have all the essential things; instead, we provide the below points to make your starting business process more comfortable.
- The first thing we require for starting any commercial activity is capital. As proof, you must have at least 3000,000 as a capital.
- You need to have at least 10 new employees to begin your commercial activities. Out of which at least 30% must be Greek residents.
How can you start doing business in Greece?
In any venture, getting some background is essential.
Hence before getting into starting your business in Greece.
Let us look at the types of companies you can begin in Greece as a foreigner.
Types of Companies you can start in Greece:
You can start this type of company by collecting the capital from the public in terms of shares.
In a corporation, the number of shares is limited.
If it lists the shares of that particular company in the stock market, the ownership keeps changing as per the buy and sale of the shares.
Otherwise, you have to register your shareholders.
Freelancer Professional or proprietary
As the name denotes, the owner is responsible for the total profit and loss in this venture.
The risk and reward portion are large since the entire capital has to be borne by the owner, and in the same way, the owner has the right to get the total share in the profit.
Limited Liability Companies
In the local, we call these kinds of companies as Eteria Periorismenis Efthinis.
So, an EPS company is a kind of association where its partners are known by their names, and they are free from the liability of the company.
Whatever the debt of the company, it does not hold them responsible for the same.
You can commence the company with just one person.
These kinds of companies’ liabilities are limited to the extent of their assets.
The partners’ liability is limited to the capital invested by each partner, just like shareholders.
Private Capital Companies
An IKE or Idiotiki Kefalaiouhiki Eteria is a relatively new form of company.
In the private capital company, the liability of the members is limited.
Having said this, the member cannot escape from the liability they have guaranteed to bear.
These companies can be formed by one or more people gaining at least one or any number of shares of that company.
The funny and interesting fact is you can start your company with the capital of just one euro!
A General partnership firm or Οmorrythmi Eteria is a kind of formation where the partners are entirely liable for the debts incurred by its partners.
In OE firms, the risk also provides greater rewards to its members if they achieve exceptionally.
To start the partnership firms, you at least two people are needed, and they can be natural persons or legal persons.
Limited Partnership Companies
EE or Eterorrythmi Eteria is another type of partnership formed between the members, created by two or more members.
So, the difference between this kind of firm and other alliances is that it allows the association of two types of partners.
- General Partners – These partners are entirely liable for the obligation of the company, and
- Limited Partners – As the name says, they are responsible to the extent of the capital they have invested in, which means it is limited.
When it comes to the firm’s management, it does not allow limited partners to decide on behalf of the firm.
They can only advise the general partners.
You can establish your commercial activities in Greece by starting branches of your company in Greece.
To do that, you require having at least 1 director and 1 shareholder and live in Greece.
The branches are not considered as a separate legal entity.
Instead, the parent company is solely responsible for all activities performed by the branches.
The representative offices are also not considered as a separate entity.
These offices are not supposed to perform any profit-making businesses since it aims to promote its parent company and its services and products.
They can also conduct market research activities.
Other things to be aware before starting your business:
For an entrepreneur, I am listing out a few things that are vital to doing business with a head start
1. Languages of Greece
Without a doubt, the country is visited by over 20 million foreigners each year, and you can expect many English-speaking people.
But you can’t ignore the necessity of the local language, Greek.
You need to be familiar with Greek and Greek culture, or you should have a few people who know Greece’s first language.
2. Political structure
The parliamentary republic is the political system of Greece.
For political stability, they have a stable government, and they know the importance of foreign investments.
As a result, you can see many efforts are being made to improve the country’s corporate structure.
You can expect most of the new rules and regulations are pro-business but on the issue is it is not that great when it comes to implementing the schemes.
3. Greek culture
Hence, the nation has implemented numerous schemes and reforms to promote the business on its land.
Undoubtedly, Greece’s government is trying to attract investors by introducing many reforms and providing many incentives to new entrepreneurs.
The Greek culture believes in honoring others and has good faith in democracy.
The registration process of your business:
The best thing for foreigners is that they need not waste a considerable amount of time and effort in starting their business.
Here is the list of procedures you need to follow to kick start your dream venture.
1. Legal registration
First, you need to register the name of your company.
There aren’t many restrictions on choosing the name.
Only you need to ensure to select the name of your business in Greece, which is unique.
On a lighter note, it is just like choosing an email account name!
2. Choose the legal form
In this stage, you need to determine your company types.
Hence, it can be a sole trading structure or a corporate company.
If you desire to start a corporate company, you have 4 kinds of companies.
You can start a public limited company or a limited partnership or a general partnership or a limited liability company.
So, we have already discussed all these forms of business in the previous section.
3. Business evaluation and planning
The precise plan and perfect execution of your project is the key to your success.
Hence, if it is unfamiliar territory for you, it is a must to plan meticulously regarding your opportunity, threats, strength, and weakness.
For the exact reason, we have provided the options you have to conduct your business in the previous section.
4. Registering your company in Greece
Also, after deciding on a legal form, you need to register the same with the Greece chamber of commerce.
It doesn’t matter whether your undertaking is natural ( sole trading firm) or by legal persons ( corporate companies), registration is a must.
To complete the registration process at the chamber of commerce, you require;
- Notarized copies of articles stamped by eforia, the lawyer’s welfare fund, and the layer’s pension fund and
- The certificates of approvals
5. Getting Tax Identification Number
After registration, you must apply to get a tax identification number at your local tax office.
6. Special procedures in Greece
There are specific professional categories that require the issuance of a license to begin any of your business.
To get the special operation license and license to practice your profession.
Also, you need to seek these approval certificates from the competent directories.
7. Make a seal for your business
It would be best if you got a common seal for operating and authenticating the transactions related to your company.
The seal must comprise the tax number and the number of the tax office.
A company is still required to operate its business by using the common seal.
8. Accounting and bookkeeping
So, you must start using the accounting log & book of receipts to carry your day-to-day operations.
Also, and it must imprint the company seal on every single page of your books.
That’s it; you are ready for doing business in Greece.
Once your company gets registered and starts its operation, you need to keep two essential aspects.
First, pay all the government’s taxes within the specified date and submit your yearly financial data.
Other essential details
Follow the below corporate etiquette in Greece for quick success.
- If you are meeting the local clients or other people, shake their hand firmly and smile. (not sure it will remain the same post corona era!). Here we don’t have any formality of exchanging the business cards. However, it is a good move. You can make it better by providing the details in Greek.
- Greece’s business hours are between either 8-16 hours or 9 to 17 hours from Monday to Friday. And banks operate between 8.30 to 14 hours (13.30 hours on Friday).
- Many people in Greece are familiar and talk in English, but to get a competitive advantage against others, learning a few sentences, in the beginning, will give you both admiration and more business for you. It is a fun thing to do, and it is like adding a new weapon to your arsenal.
I hope we now equip you with all the essential details to start your new adventure in Greece.
From the business opportunities, Greek culture and helpful tips are available in this article.
I am sure, following all these tips and procedures, you can make your business a successful one without a doubt.
So, now you have the answer to the question of how to do business in Greece.
With this hope, I wish you good luck with your business in Greece.