Establishment of a branch of a foreign company in Greece
Greece welcomes foreign investments, with only a few restrictions on non-EU businesses. Greece is excellently located in the south of and its port is the nearer in Central Europe. Establishing a Greek branch can be very advantageous in terms of the company’s exposure and global presence.
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Information about establishing a Greek branch of a foreign company
- Foreign companies are setting up branches in Greece to operate with all or part of their activities; they are established either as a Limited Liability Company (Εταιρεία Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης, or E.Π.E.) or as a Societe Anonyme (S.A.).
- A branch initially requires establishment approval from the local authorities. Upon approval, a fee has to be paid to the local Chamber of Commerce; the company receives a tax registration number and then it may commence its operations.
- The authority responsible for the approval of the branch decides, according to the documents submitted, which Greek corporate type are equal to the form of the foreign company and provides licenses respectively, either in the form of a Limited Liability Company or an S.A.
- The branch is managed by a legal representative that is appointed by the foreign company. The Legal representative represents and act in the name of the foreign company in Greece. The legal representative is responsible as a member of the Board of directors of an S.A or the Administrator of a Limited Liability Company.
- A Greek branch has the same tax and accounting obligations as a regular Greek company and its profits are taxed at the same rates applicable to domestic companies.
- The branch must register with the relevant Tax Office in order to obtain a VAT number – also used as the Tax I.D. This is required for taxation purposes.
- VAT returns are required to be filed monthly and tax accounts annually filed.
Decision of a foreign company to establish a branch in Greece specifying the purpose, location and name of the branch and the legal representative; – notarised
Memorandum of association/Statutes of the foreign company, as applicable at the time of the application; – apostilled
Power of Attorney appointing a proxy and procedural representative of the company in Greece, which may be the same person; – notarised
Certificate of Good Standing from the relevant authority of the country of the company that it has not been dissolved or its operation license has not been revoked; – apostilled
Certificate of the legal representatives of the company at its registered office;- apostilled
The registration number of the company; – apostilled
Certificate of the share capital of the foreign company, issued from the relevant authority;- apostilled
Receipt of the paid fee to the Tax Authorities, for the publication of the notice of approval to the Greek Official Gazette;
Certificate of pre-authorization of name and/or trade name of the branch of the respective Chamber.
All required documentation must be officially apostilled or notarised and translated into Greek by a certified translator or lawyer.