FAQ for Greece in English

The advice below is for general guidance only. You should check all information before acting on it.

What will be the costs to set up the business and run it for the first few months?

Initial costs to set up the business vary due to business formation. For a few months of running the business one should consider fixed costs such as electricity, rental, water, telephone and taxes.

How important is it to know the local language?

It is highly recommended to get acquainted with the Greek language since it will allow you to understand consumer needs and deal with local authorities and partners.

Which local organisations can help free of charge? E.g. Business clubs, business advisory organisations etc?

Indicatively, local organizations that can help you are the following: Greek Council for refugees of the European Asylum Support Office, Amnesty International Greece and High Commissionaire for refugees Greece

What type of refugee business exists in your local community? 

In Greece, most common types of refugee business are retail stores, including cloths and electronic products as well as restaurants.

What is a mobile business? 

An electronic business is a type of business which conducts transactions with customers via electronic means such as laptops or smartphones.

Where should my business be located? 

There are no restrictions on where the business should be located. This is decided by the type of business you are planning to run.

Where can I get financial support to start the business? 

Financial resources can derive from banks, private investors and EU funding programs.

How do I increase the reputation of my refugee-owned business?

The reputation of your business can be increased via social media and partnerships.

What cultural differences should I be aware of? 

Greece is a country with a very rich history with many famous archaeological sites and historical monuments. The majority of the Greek population has memories of refugee crises, respepct refugees and you will find many to help you in your efforts to integrate into the local community. Language is one of the most important elements of Greek culture. Traditions in Greece can either be religious or come from local communities. An important role in a large portion of the population is played by religion (Orthodox Christian) and plays an important role in the understanding everyday culture and customs.

What kind of bureaucracy do I have to be aware of? 

Bureaucracy has been improved and modernized in Greece with the application of electronic means and services.

If you do not know the Greek Language, it is good to have someone to help you.

Can I start right away? 

As long as you have obtained the work and residence permit, you are allowed to start working right away

What type of business (business format) can you set up in Greece and what are their differences? 

Business formats in Greece include personal, limited, private, limited liability company, general partnership, limited partnership company.

Differences include mainly liability and capital requirements.

What are the legal requirements? 

The minimum legal requirements are full contractual capacity and depending on the business format there may be different requirements

How do you set up or register a business? 

In order to register a business, it is necessary to declare the commencement of activity to the Tax Office and register in the General Electronic Commercial Registry.

What are general business taxes to pay? 

Generally, taxes include the social security tax which is paid 12 times a year, VAT tax which is paid 3 times a year and income tax is once a year.

What happens to the integration payment when I start a business?

In general the integration payment has to be stopped. The possibility of continuing to receive financial support should be settled with the local competent authorities.

Would it be a good idea to get myself a mentor to help me in my plans?

While not mandatory, it would be a good idea to get yourself a mentor, business consultant or professional to help you at realizing your business plans.

What is the Business Model Canvas (BMC)?

The Business Model Canvas or BMC is a way of telling the story of your business in a handy A4 sized diagram. The diagram shows 9 sectors that anyone starting a business should be able to describe. That is why we called the project 9 Conversations. The word model is used because you should be able to explain how each sector of the picture relates to the others.

More information
Find out more about what the Business Model Canvas is in this video (German and Italian subtitles are available by clicking on the cog icon in the bottom right hand side).


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