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Types of Greek Companies
In Greece, there are two major forms of businesses: companies (A.E – company limited by shares, E.P.E – limited liability company) and partnerships (O.E – general partnership, E.E – limited partnership, silent partnership). A company in Greece can also operate as a joint venture or as a branch office of a foreign company.
The major forms of business in Greece resembles with the French equivalent because in the 19th century the system was copied from the French Commercial Law. If you want to open a company in Greece you can find below the main types of business forms available in this country. Our team of specialists can help you incorporate all types of companies in Greece.
The Greek company limited by shares – A.E
A company limited by shares is one of the legal entities that can be registered in Greece; it is known in Greek as Anonymous Etaireia, and it provides numerous advantages for almost all business activities; this is why it is a very common way to carry a business in this country. It requires a capital of EUR 25,000 and has to be paid-up and the value of a share ranges from EUR 0,3 to EUR 100. The liability of the company’s shareholders is limited to the amount that they have invested in the company.
The Greek company limited by shares has more complex incorporation requirements, and this is why it is not amongst the top types of companies in Greece selected for incorporation. It is, however, the preferred company type for large, multinational corporations. Below, our team of consultants in company registration in Greece has prepared a short description of few characteristics of this company type:
- • the procedure for company registration in Greece applicable to this company type is prescribed by the Article 8, Law 2190/20;
- • the company must be incorporated by at least 2 founders, who have an age of minimum 18 years old;
- • the requirements regarding the founders are specified under the Article 127 of the Civil Code, which was later amended by the Article 3 of the Law 1329/83;
- • those who want to open a company in Greece under this company type generally have in mind that the company will operate for a long period of time, of approximately 50 years;
- • the minimum capital is established at EUR 25,000, but usually, investors will deposit a larger capital.
The Greek limited liability company – Etaireia Periorismenis Efthinis (E.P.E.)
The limited liability company in Greece is preferred by those interested in setting up small and medium size companies because of the low minimum share capital requirement (EUR 4,500) and fewer formalities asked for its incorporation. Just like in the case of the company limited by shares, the liability of the shareholders is influenced by the value that they have participated with at the company’s capital.
The limited liability company is one of the types of companies in Greece that is founded based on the articles of association and memorandum. The articles of association represent the statutory document through which the company gains legal personality. The document has to be signed in front of a public notary in Greece and it should provide information on the following:
- • personal information on the company’s shareholders – address, names, nationality, etc.;
- • a detailed presentation on the company’s trading name, that will also include the company’s legal entity;
- • it should also mention the company’s official registered address in Greece;
- • the type of business activities that will be carried out through the company;
- • the minimum capital deposited by the investors and the shareholding structure of the company.
The articles of association should also include information regarding the lifespan of the company – not all types of companies in Greece have the same lifespan; the document should also include information the management structure of the company and the company’s director.
Our team of consultants in Greek company formation can offer more information regarding the articles of association of this type of company; you can rely on our team if you need to prepare other corporate documents, but also for accounting and tax consultancy services, including for VAT registration.
The Greek general partnership – O.E
General partnerships consist of at least two partners whose responsibility is unrestricted. An important advantage of this type of partnership is that upon its incorporation, the investors do not have to submit any capital. If is stipulated in the agreement, the partners can decide who will be responsible for the management of the partnership and agree how the losses will be covered and the profits will be shared. If the agreement doesn’t contain this information than the partners are equally responsible for the management decision and will share the profits and the losses.
The Greek limited partnership – E.E
The Greek limited partnership is incorporated by at least two investors, named partners; it also does not require any capital. In this type of partnership, a partner has to be a limited partner, who has limited liability against the debts of the company. He has no management responsibility. There has to be at least one general partner, and the respective person will be responsible for the company’s management. The types of companies in Greece available for partnerships provide three options for investors and our team can explain the advantages of each type of partnership.
The Greek silent partnership
The silent partnership in Greece has to be registered by one silent partner and an active partner. The first type of partner has limited liability limited to the capital participation, while the second type of partner has unlimited liability. Our team of consultants in company registration in Greece can offer more details on how to register this company type.
Joint ventures in Greece
The main difference between a joint venture and a partnership is that a joint venture does not require a relationship without interruption between the members. It is formed by legal or natural persons who follow a particular transaction for a mutual benefit and it is prescribed as one of the types of companies in Greece that investors can set up.
Single traders in Greece
Greek single traders have full liability for the debts of their companies and may benefit from gains produced by it. Our team of consultants in company formation in Greece can offer more details on the advantages and disadvantages of this type of business; please mind that it can be registered only by natural persons.
Branch offices of foreign companies operating in Greece
For opening a branch in Greece, some documents (officially translated into Greek) must be submitted for approval: constitutional documents of the parent company, a certificate from the Chamber of Commerce certifying that the parent company is in good standing, a certificate attesting the share capital, statement of the registered office of the parent company, minutes of the Board of Directors meeting.
Please mind that those who are involved in shipping activities will need to comply with special regulations. They can set up one of the types of companies in Greece, but they usually will operate through a branch office or a representative office. If this applies, a special procedure for company incorporation in Greece will have to be followed.
According to the Enterprise Greece, the shipping company may establish a branch office on the Greek territory only as long as a business permit issued by a Joint Ministerial Decision is granted to the respective foreign company. Provided that the company will receive the respective permit, it will have the right to develop its activities in this country for a period of 5 years.
The permit can be renewed upon its expiration date. Please be aware that the shipping company can engage only is permitted business activities and our team of consultants in company registration in Greece can present the list of operations that can be developed by a foreign shipping company.
CompanyFormationGreece.com is part of Bridgewest, an international network of company formation agencies and law firms. Some of our partners are:Company Formation Croatia and Lawyers Greece. If you need more details on the types of companies in Greece, please contact our team of specialists for legal representation.