How to start a business?

How to start a business in Greece, amidst the crisis and the constant bleeding of corporate and civil incomes? There are always opportunities to start a business, as long as one takes proper advantage of the economic situation that has devastated the country, and is careful with one’s choices. For example, young people in the area have many “fresh” ideas and are creating new opportunities for themselves and our area, unlike some older entrepreneurs who seek to build on what has been “burned” to no avail. Times have changed and the fact that a person has the opportunity to open a restaurant (e.g. in the catering industry) does not in itself mean that it will bring them a good income.

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There are always opportunities to set up a business as long as one takes proper advantage of the economic situation that is ravaging the country. The secret, judging from our experience, is extroversion (opening out) combined with investing in the core sector and creating products or technical services.

The choice of business form is then linked to the needs of each individual. We apply the schemes below:

* Sole proprietorship -> By one person
1. Taxation from 22% to 45%
2. Solidarity fee from 2.2% – 10%
3. EFKA (Single Social Security Agency) 26.95%
4. 100% Tax Deposit (Common charges: 51% to 82%)
The sole proprietor is liable for every obligation of his individual business with his personal assets.

* Private companies -> Two or more persons partnership or audit company.
Taxation 29%
1. Solidarity fee of 2.2% – 10% (to partners)
2. EFKA (Unified Social Security Agency) 26.95% (to partners)
3. 50% tax deposit (for the first 3 years, then 100%)
4. The General Partner is liable for the debts of the Partnership with his personal assets, indefinitely and in full. The co-partner is liable to the extent of his contribution.

* Capital and Joint Stock Companies (Single or Joint) Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) – Limited Liability 1. Company (LLP) – Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Limited Liability Company (LL)
Taxation 29% .
2. 50% tax deposit (for the first 3 years, then 100%)
3. Dividend tax of 15% after profits are distributed.
4. Solidarity tax of 2.2% – 10% (when dividends are distributed).
5. EFKA (Social and Health Insurance) 26.95% (for dividends distributed) or approximately EUR 168.00 for the person for whom insurance is required.
Insurance liability:

1. For an LLC (EPE) all members have.
2. for an LLC (IKE) only the manager has.
3. for PLC (AE) only shareholders over 3% who participate in the BoD (Board of Directors).
In an LLC (ΕΠΕ) and an LLP (IKE), the manager is not personally liable for the company’s debts to third parties other than the state. Similar to a PLC, the liability of the shareholders/partners reaches the size of the capital investment, the liability is of the company, with its assets, not of the partners. In the case of catering companies , food vending companies , in the case of hotels, workshops, training companies, etc., additional requirements for their incorporation are licenses to operate from the relevant local regions.

The choice of legal norm is also judged by the following factors:

* Cost of incorporation:
1. for a sole proprietorship about 150,00 EUR.
2. for a sole proprietorship, if the articles of association are drawn up by a lawyer (not compulsory) about 400,00 euro, without a lawyer – about 200,00 euro
3. for an LLC (ΕΠΕ), approximately 700,00 EUR, (incorporation – mandatory by notarisation).
4. for an LLC (IKE), if the articles of association are drawn up by a lawyer (not mandatory) is approximately EUR 500,00, without a lawyer – approximately EUR 200,00.
5. for a limited company approximately 700,00 EUR (incorporation by notarial deed).

Note: the cost of the capital raising tax for the establishment of companies has been eliminated.

* If a license is required, the price increases depending on the subject of activity.
* In the case of inheritance of shops that require a license to operate, the procedure for transferring the license is simple, at a low cost, e.g. transferring a restaurant license costs about 185.00 EUR.

In our opinion, the best option of choice of business model, for the moment, is the LLC (IKE), as it has the lowest tax cost of 29%, and only the administrator has insurance liability, 26.95% on the dividends distributed (for the other members, insurance is not mandatory and their dividends are not subject to EFCA (Social Security). In case of non-distribution of dividends, then the manager pays only about 168,00 euros per month.


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