Business in Greece. Features of doing business in Greece


Among the many countries that are members of the EU and the Schengen Agreement, Greece stands out due to its wide opportunities for starting your own business and less strict control by inspection authorities.

In view of this, it is becoming more and more popular every year among businessmen and business people who choose business in Greece as their field of activity – over the past five years, the number of new companies and enterprises opened by foreigners has shown a steady increase, although with a slight slowdown in the end of the financial and economic crisis.

Business in Greece can be divided into four conventional types, which include:

  • an investment of 60 thousand euros, which is usually enough to buy a small local company or open your own;
  • investments in the amount of 25 thousand euros plus authorized capital in the amount of 4,500 euros to open a Russian analogue of an LLC;
  • opening your own business if you have sufficient funds to formalize and register as an individual entrepreneur;
  • investments in the amount of 300 thousand euros under the Golden Visa program to Greece, although in this case you can get by by purchasing real estate in the amount of 250 thousand euros or investing in stocks and bonds from 400 thousand euros. True, this can no longer be considered a business in its pure form.

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In most cases, foreigners who do not have a direct invitation from a Greek employer go to Greece to study, combining it with work, which is not prohibited by law. The result of such an “internship,” as a rule, is his own business in Greece, since during this time the foreigner, among other things, manages not only to master his chosen profession, but also to understand the peculiarities of doing business in Greece.

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What business to open in Greece

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Like most countries with a mild climate and located on the coast, Greece primarily focuses on tourism, the hotel and restaurant business and the service sector. At the moment, taking into account the growing tourist flow, this is the most profitable business in Greece, although most of the free niches in it have long been occupied. It is worth taking into account that local residents prefer to visit establishments with local cuisine from year to year, where their ancestors often went for many years.

The same goes for hairdressers and beauty salons, which usually abound in the countries of Southern and South-Western Europe. In order to lure Greek women to a new establishment, you will need not only a large-scale advertising campaign, but also recommendations from many clients.

When opening a hotel, you need to have staff who speak several languages, not just English and Russian. In addition, buying or building a hotel in Greece is a very expensive business, and with such high competition it is difficult to predict how successful it will be.

You can view commercial real estate in Greece in our catalog.

Such business in Greece is most in demand on the island of Rhodes – the most environmentally friendly place in the country. Taking into account the fact that more and more tourists prefer to relax in the lap of unpolluted nature, purchasing a hotel in this place can pay for itself in the very near future.

On the other hand, almost similar conditions exist in Crete, where rural tourism is developing, and for those targeting young people and supporters of an active lifestyle, Athens and Thessaloniki are the best options.

Business in Greece for Russians

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All this does not mean at all that opening a business in Greece for Russians is an extremely difficult task. The following types of activities are most in demand for our compatriots.

  • Considering the large number of not only tourists, but also immigrants from Russia, establishments with national cuisine should be successful in areas where the Russian-speaking diaspora is densely populated. These can be not only restaurants, but also shops, the assortment of which is usually diversified with products from Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, as well as Greece itself.
  • Based on the fact that residents of Greece, as well as Spain, Italy or Portugal, are not very versed in the structure and operating principles of modern “gadgets,” repairing smartphones, laptops and other equipment also has a good chance of success. And this is not only business in Greece for Russians, since local residents themselves often experience problems with bringing broken equipment into proper condition. This also includes the installation of the Internet and satellite television in apartments and its further maintenance.
  • Finally, a relatively new business in Greece that Russian immigrants decided to start is organizing excursions to Russia and the countries of the former USSR. The 2018 FIFA World Cup can be considered the starting point, after which Greek interest in visiting the Russian Federation only grew. Many of them would like to spend their sightseeing at a more relaxed pace and in more comfortable conditions during the height of the summer holiday season.

Features and advantages of doing business in Greece

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Like any country in the world, Greece has its own rules for doing business, which also apply to foreigners. Therefore, before conducting business negotiations with Greek partners, it would be a good idea to get to know some of them. First of all, the peculiarities of doing business in Greece are related to climatic conditions, which most directly affect both the daily routine and the schedule of meetings.

Like Spain, Greece has its own “siesta”, which lasts two hours plus another hour for eating. Quite often, it is at the dinner table that business negotiations take place, although urgent issues can be resolved at the first meeting.

Despite the fact that the Greek government is interested in the influx of capital from abroad and is keen to develop business in Greece, the level of taxation here is one of the highest in the EU. Depending on the type of occupation, as of 2019, VAT can range from 6.5% to 29%, although individual entrepreneurs pay even more – up to 42% depending on the amount of income.

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The obvious advantages of doing business in Greece include the possibility of obtaining a residence permit (with an official income of over 2,000 euros), which allows you to develop your own business in other countries without the participation of intermediaries.

However, you can open a business in Greece without having resident status. For the Greek immigration authorities, in addition to the absence of a criminal record and a decent state of health, the applicant for doing business is of primary importance the legal origin of funds and the presence of a business plan that will not only generate profit, but will also provide jobs to Greek citizens.

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