Doing business in Greece
Investment Incentives Law
The New Investment Incentives Law — A New Investment Era
Greece’s new Investment Incentives Law (3908/2011) responds to the diverse needs of today’s investor and, in parallel, creates a forward-looking investment environment.
As Greece orients itself to the global economy, establishes outward-directed policies, and institutes a green development model, both domestic and foreign investors will find a new, open investment framework that is welcoming, attractive, and rewarding.
The new Law establishes priorities and policies that mandate an investment process characterized by speed, transparency, and results.
Investors will discover productive incentives, financing tools, and streamlined procedures so their business plans proceed with the least amount of bureaucracy and the greatest amount of clarity.
Greece is committed to Results, Speed, and Transparency.
Greece is committed to you, the investor.
Entrepreneurship – Innovation – Green Development
• Contains a defined annual budget, making clear the allocation of financial resources so investors may plan accordingly
• Addresses all sectors of the economy, except those expressly provided for in Article 2 of the Law (please follow the link)
• Is mindful of scarce public funds by providing incentives primarily through tax exemptions. For every one Euro of subsidy provided, three Euros of tax exemptions are provided.
• Provides for binding schedules, electronic submission, investment monitoring, and new Investor Service Offices that assist investors
• Contains specified and fixed application deadlines (April and October)
• Introduces a new evaluation process by establishing the National Register of Evaluators and Auditors
• Focuses on sustainable investment projects that are environmentally friendly, promote innovation, regional cohesion, youth entrepreneurship, and create jobs.
Provides tax breaks of up to 100% of the maximum allowable amount of aid.
Target Group: All enterprises irrespective of sector
2. Regional Cohesion
Provides all forms of aid.
The subsidy rate and leasing subsidy may reach up to 70% of the maximum allowable amount of aid. For news enterprises this percentage is increased by 10 percentage points.
Target Group: Investors with projects that address local needs or capitalise on local competitive advantages
3. Technological Development
Provides all forms of aid.
The rate of subsidy and leasing subsidy may reach up to 80% of the maximum allowable amount of aid.
Target Group: Enterprises that invest in innovation and want to upgrade their technology infrastructure
4. Youth Entrepreneurship
Provides aid for virtually all costs (including operational) for five years from the start of the business. Total aid may reach up to 1.000.000 Euro (One million Euro).
Target Group: Investors from 20-years to 40-years old
5. Large Investment Plans
Provides all forms of aid, either in one form or a combination of forms. The level of aid decreases as the amount of investment increases. The percentage of the subsidy may not exceed 60% of total aid.
Target Group: Investments with a budget of at least 50 000 000 Euro (Fifty million Euro)
6. Integrated, Multi-Annual Business Plans
Promotes technological, administrative, organisational and business modernisation. 100% of the maximum regional aid applicable shall be granted.
Target Group: Companies legally formed at least five years previous to application, to implement integrated multi-annual (2-5 year) business plans with a budget of at least EUR 2 000 000 in total (Two million Euro)
7. Partnerships and Networking
Provides for any form of aid.
Target Group: Partnerships and networking configurations or clusters. These clusters shall be comprised of at least ten enterprises in the Region of Attica and the Thessaloniki Prefecture and of at least five enterprises in other prefectures, operating in the form of a consortium.
b. Subsidy—Gratis payment by the State of a sum of money to cover part of the subsidised expenditure of the investment
c. Leasing subsidy—Includes payment by the State of a portion of the installments paid under a leasing agreement executed to acquire new machinery and/or other equipment
d. Soft loans by ETEAN (National Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development) The amount to be covered by a bank loan may be funded by soft loans from credit institutions that cooperate with ETEAN enterprises.
The aid referred to above shall be aggregated for the purpose of determining the total amount of aid allocated to the investment project. In this case the benefit of the funding above is included in total aid, which may not exceed the limits delineated on the Regional State Aid Map.
a) Online registration at the Information System for Regional State Aid through the web pages www.mindev.gov.gr, www.ependyseis.gr, www.investingreece.gov.gr. Upon registration, applicants are provided with a personal code.
b) Electronic submission of required supporting documents, technical, and financial data. Applicants shall print and keep documents in their possession.
c) Submission of application form and all investment documents (including original documents) to the competent Investor Service Office (open: 09.00 am – 15.00 pm Monday to Friday). All supporting documentation submitted in paper form (hard copy) must also be submitted in electronic form.
Officials of the Investor Service Office review the application and, if complete, issue a receipt. In the event any documents are missing, the investor must submit them within 10 days of notification.
The judicial review and assessment process shall be completed within 40 days from the date the complete file has been submitted. The Investor may monitor the progress of his/her file electronically.
Posting of provisional results in which investors may view the evaluation of their application and, if deemed necessary, lodge a complaint. The evaluation of the complaint is to be completed within 15 days from the date the complaint is formally lodged.
Young entrepreneurs are being actively supported, for the first time, through a special scheme within the framework of the New Investment Law and by employing the resources of ESPA.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme:
• Covers part of the operating costs (and leasing costs) of a new company for a five-year period, to support new entrepreneurs in their first steps
• Subsidizes part of the set-up costs
• Allows additional funding of the investment through other schemes of the Investment Law as well as NSRF programs, for example the “New Innovative Entrepreneurship”
• Provides for additional funding with soft loans through the National Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development (NFED)
Who does this program benefit?
Entrepreneurs from 18 to 40 years old.
What kinds of enterprises qualify?
Small- and medium-size enterprises established on 1-1-2011 or after as well as enterprises which have not completed their establishment process at the time of submission.
For sole proprietor enterprises, the entrepreneur should be 40 years of age or less; for other types of companies, the enterprise qualifies only when a person 40 years of age or less owns more than 50% of the enterprise and is solely in charge of the company.
What business activities are included?
All entrepreneurial activities, except those specifically excluded in the Investment Law (3908/2011, article 2).
What is the minimum investment required?
• 150.000 Euros for small enterprises
• 100.000 Euros for very small enterprises
How are young entrepreneurs supported?
With grants and/or leasing subsidies (leasing).
What kinds of costs are supported?
1. The establishment, organization and operation of the business:
• Fees for legal services, administrative support and consulting services, that are directly related to the establishment of the business
• Interest on external financing at a rate that does not exceed the reference rate
• Leasing of facilities (office space, manufacturing/production space) and manufacturing/production equipment
• Energy, water, and heating, as well as administrative expenses and taxes to the Government and the wider public sector, such as council tax
• Salaries of employees under contract, which includes social security contributions
2. Leasing costs of offices and/or manufacturing/production facilities
Support for these costs covers the first five years following the establishment of the company and commences following the submission, and approval, of the application.
What is the total amount of state aid that may be granted during the five years?
• The total amount of the subsidy in five years cannot exceed 100% of the total investment
• The total subsidy amount cannot exceed 1.000.000 Euros in the case of a leasing subsidy. In the case of a grant, the total subsidy amount cannot exceed 500.000 Euros
How may I submit my application?
Initially, investment proposals are submitted electronically through the Information System for Regional State Aid (www.ependyseis.gr/mis) and, following this, all documents are submitted in hard copy to the following Investor Service Offices:
For companies established and operating in the Prefectures of Attica, Epirus, Peloponnese, Central Greece, Crete, South Aegean, North Aegean, Ionian Islands, Thessaly:
• Investors Service Office, Ministry of Development, Competitiveness & Shipping (4 Korai str., 6th floor, PO 10564, Athens, tel: +30 210-3258800-4).
For companies established and operating in the Prefectures of Eastern Macedonia/Thrace, Central Macedonia, and Western Macedonia
• Investors Service Office of the Business Development Unit of Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki Headquarters, Office 203, 2nd floor, PO 54123, tel. +30 2310 379103 / +30 2310 379240).
ETEAN is Greece’s new national fund to support enterprises, particularly small, medium, and innovative enterprises. ETEAN operates as a Société Anonyme in order to provide leverage financing, through revolving debt, bank guarantees and counter guarantees, joint ventures and equity participation.
ETEAN does not deal directly with businesses. Businesses contact partner banks, which are selected by ETEAN through an open international tender.
ETEAN is designed to improve the access of finance to enterprises for their development, to help create new enterprises, to enable and enhance productivity, and to facilitate the entry of new products and services to market.
ETEAN is co-funded by the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship” and other NSRF programmes, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Fisheries Fund.
How does ETEAN work?
Under the ETEAN umbrella, funds are created for green development, entrepreneurship, outward-oriented business activities, fisheries, agricultural development, and social entrepreneurship.
For every Euro the state guarantees, the banks shall guarantee two. The capital is available to firms in the form of friendly and soft loans, through the banks.
With guarantees from ETEAN, enterprises may borrow total secured business loans with significantly less collateral than normally required by banks without the ETEAN guarantee.
26 Amalias Avenue, 3rd floor, 10557 Athens
Tel: +30 210-3311201-4, Fax: +30 210-3311207