Greece: Types Of Company
The branches of foreign companies which are set up and operate from within Greece were traditionally exempt from all taxes in Greece provided:
- Their commercial activities were conducted outside Greece.
- They obtained a special permit from the Minister of the Economy.
- They imported a minimum of USD50,000 per annum into Greece for the purposes of running their office; the amount varies according to total local costs.
This regime was included on the list of 'Harmful Tax Practices' issued by the EU's Code of Conduct Committee. However, offices of foreign commercial and manufacturing businesses established on or before December 31, 2001 continued to enjoy the exemptions until December 31, 2005.
Since then, legislation regarding branch offices has been amended considerably and they are no longer exempt from taxes in Greece. Obligations to file VAT returns and corporate tax returns are the same as those of the parent company. Branch representatives are wholly and individually liable for tax debts.