1. Please introduce yourself to the readers of this blog.
My name is Maria Tsiliakou and I am attorney at law for the last 15 years. I obtain an LLM in International Commercial and Business Law, Intellectual and Industrial Rights and I am Arbitrator by ACCI (Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry). As legal counsel of many Greek and multinational businesses I have dealt with a wide range of legal issues that a businessman often has to face. On scientific level I have obtained an MA and a PhD in Criminology.



2. The last few years many new startups and companies are being established in Greece. At the same time, the current taxation system is uncertain and heavy taxation does not favor new entrepreneurs who have to invest their limited resources & budget to grow their company. Which EU countries offer an attractive business environment for starting-up a business?
Each case is different and needs to be treated differently. In Greece there is a high tax on certain types of companies, but there are incentives given to new entrepreneurs. Do not forget that a company in Greece enjoys the security of the EU and can be easily financed through European programs or participate in some European Projects. For example, if an off shore company is to be built, will it have the same opportunities? Of course not. That’s why I suggest before entering a company the new entrepreneur receives advice by his legal counsel.


3. What kind of solutions & advice are you able to offer to Greek startups & companies for a tax effective structure, their business operations and planning needs?
Despite the fact that in Greece the tax is high enough for the companies, I would suggest young entrepreneurs not only to resort to setting up an IKE (Private Capital Company), a relatively new corporate entity for the Greek data. The main advantages of the above mentioned briefly: corporation’s charter may be established by a private document, company’s capital may be of 1 euro. In this case, raising capital tax – the payment of which is mandatory in all types of companies – is limited automatically to 1 cent, the late establishment and operation are much smaller and the annual expenditure for the company’s operation is more economical, partners ensure their individual property as their obligation is limited to the amount of the capital. This means less stress, in case something goes wrong. Also, whoever has the biggest share takes the decision, and is able to transfer the real head office abroad maintaining its registered office in Greece.


4. Your view on business migration of a company’s legal structure, part of its production, warehouses, services, in other countries while keeping operations in Greece? 
The establishment of companies abroad has certainly the advantage of lower taxes and less bureaucracy, when selected a country of incorporation of these features. But it must be clear to stakeholders that often a company’s accounting tracking and practice abroad requires a minimum number of people to be employed in the country where the company is registered, where wage rates or time charges in particular are much higher. Finally, I would like to point out that if the partner as an individual states the income of the foreign company in Greece, he will be taxed here regularly for the rest of the tax rate remaining. That is, if the individual is taxed in the country of residence of the company to a percentage of 10%, then he will be taxed in Greece with the rest of the recovery percentage.


5. Incorporating your start-up company in Greece vs. abroad?

The establishment of companies in Greece or abroad has more to do with the profile of each entrepreneur on the scope of his activity, the expected profit and growth. As I said, each case is unique and therefore it should be considered and studied separately so as to propose one or more solutions that fit each entrepreneur.


6. Please close this interview the way you see fit. How can people reach you?
My office is staffed by qualified legal associates and together we can provide the most suitable solutions and suggestions for every entrepreneur. It is situated in Pagkrati Attikis (Sp. Merkouri st. 22B, t: 210 7211939), very close to Evangelismos metro station. A quick look around and view of our office can have one on our website www.tsiliakou.gr. In any case, please do not hesitate to visit our office in order to discuss with us and find the most economical and suitable solution to implement in legal terms your business idea.