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Law to accelerate formation of companies in Greece

Publiziert am 13.Mai.2011 von Abraam Kosmidis

Law 3853/2010 made provision for simplification and acceleration of the procedures for forming a company in Greece, with the aim of processing investment projects quicker and more effectively. This law was essentially implemented by ministerial order no. K1-802 of 23.3.2011, which specified the implementing provisions, procedures and requirements for rapid and more cost-effective formation of companies in Greece.

The fundamental concept behind the law is setting up of a service, a "one-stop shop", to which parties interested in starting up a business in Greece can turn and which can circumvent the time-consuming, bureaucratic procedure, involving various authorities and public agencies, that was previously necessary.

To set up general and limited partnerships, it is anticipated that the local Citizens Service Centres (KEP) and the General Commercial Registries (GEMI) based in the Chambers of Commerce will operate as what are known as "one-stop shops", whereas notaries will be accredited "one-stop shops" for formation of limited liability companies. Kosmidis & Partners works closely with notaries to offer this service.

Required documents to form a company in Greece

If the partners founding the company are private individuals, basically presentation of a personal identity card or passport is required, a residence permit as applicable and, if the individuals do not have a Greek tax reference (AFM), a completed and signed application for a tax reference to be issued (tax application forms M3 and M7).

If the founding partners are foreign legal entities, the following documents are required.

  • Official, certified translation of Articles of Association that bear an apostille, according to article 4 of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, or an official, certified translation legalised by a consulate, if the country of origin is not a party to the above Convention.
  • Certification by the competent authority in the legal entity’s country of residence to verify the existence of the company (certificate of good standing).
  • Certified copy of the power of attorney or other authorisation which appoints the legal representative or proxy in Greece.
  • The legal entity should complete tax forms M3 and M7 in order to acquire a tax reference or TIN (Tax Identification Number).

In practice the interested parties issue a written instruction so that all the procedures required to set up the company and entry thereof in the General Commercial Register (GEMI) can be undertaken pursuant to the provisions of Law 3853/2010. By issuing this instruction, the founding partners are simultaneously deemed to have given their consent to obtaining the certificates and attestations required to set up the company. A series of application documents are submitted at the same time, so that the various stages required to complete formation of a company, i.e. registration with the ICC, obtaining prior approval of the company name, registration in the Commercial Register, issue of a TIN for both the founding partners and for the company itself, registration of the company with the competent social security organisations, etc. can be carried out.

The range of services offered by Kosmidis & Partners in the field of business start-ups covers the A-Z of the necessary legal and fiscal steps, and those under banking law. All that is needed to set up a company is production by the company's founding partners of all the necessary documents.