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Greece – Self-Employment

Greece has a rich cultural heritage and a dynamic business environment, making it an attractive destination for expats looking to start their own businesses or work as self-employed individuals. In this article, we will explore how self-employment works for expats in Greece, how to register as self-employed, the possibility of working as a digital nomad, how to start a company, and whether there are any incentives or programs to encourage expats to become self-employed or set up a company in Greece.

How Self-Employment Works for Expats in Greece

Self-employment is a common option for expats in Greece, and there are no specific requirements or restrictions on foreign nationals registering as self-employed. Self-employed individuals in Greece are required to register with the Social Insurance Institute (IKA) and pay income tax on their income.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Register as Self-Employed in Greece

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register as self-employed in Greece:

  1. Choose your legal structure: Before registering as self-employed, you need to decide on your legal structure. The most common option for self-employed individuals in Greece is sole proprietorship (ETE).

  2. Obtain a tax number: All self-employed individuals in Greece are required to have a tax number. You can obtain a tax number by registering with the local tax office (DOY).

  3. Register with the Social Insurance Institute (IKA): Self-employed individuals in Greece are required to register with the Social Insurance Institute (IKA) and pay social security contributions.

  4. Obtain any necessary permits and licenses: Depending on your business, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses. This will vary depending on the type of business you are starting and the location.

Can You Work as a Digital Nomad in Greece?

Yes, it is possible to work as a digital nomad in Greece. However, you may need to obtain a visa if you plan to stay in the country for an extended period. Greece’s visa requirements are subject to change, so it is essential to check the latest information on the Greek government’s website.

How to Start a Company in Greece

Starting a company in Greece can be a complex process, with various legal structures and regulations to consider. Some of the most common legal structures include a limited liability company (EPE), a partnership (OE), and a sole proprietorship (ETE).

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Set Up a Company in Greece

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to set up a company in Greece:


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  1. Choose your legal structure: Before setting up your company, you need to decide on your legal structure. This will depend on various factors, such as the number of shareholders, liability, and taxation.

  2. Choose a name for your company: Your company’s name must be unique and not already registered with the General Commercial Registry.

  3. Obtain a tax number: All companies in Greece are required to have a tax number. You can obtain a tax number by registering with the local tax office (DOY).

  4. Register with the General Commercial Registry: All companies in Greece are required to register with the General Commercial Registry (GEMI).

  5. Obtain any necessary permits and licenses: Depending on your business, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses. This will vary depending on the type of business you are starting and the location.

Incentives or Programs to Encourage Expats to Become Self-Employed or Set Up a Company in Greece

Greece has several programs and incentives designed to encourage entrepreneurship and foreign investment in the country. Here are some of the most notable:

  1. Entrepreneurship Fund: The Entrepreneurship Fund provides financial support to start-ups and small businesses in Greece.

  2. Investment Incentives: Greece offers a range of investment incentives to attract foreign investment, including tax exemptions and subsidies for new investment projects.

  3. Business Incubators: Greece has a network of business incubators that provide support and mentoring to new and growing businesses.

  4. Startup Greece: Startup Greece is an initiative aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Greece. The program provides a range of resources and support to entrepreneurs and start-ups in the country.

In conclusion, Greece offers a favorable environment for self-employment and business start-ups, with a range of resources and support available for entrepreneurs and foreign investors. Whether you are looking to work as a self-employed individual or start your own company, Greece is an attractive destination with a thriving business culture and a reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship. However, it is important to be aware of the country’s complex tax and legal regulations and to seek professional guidance when navigating the process of starting a business in Greece.


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