Starting a business in Greece is now much easier than a year ago

Source: Ekathimerini

Augusto Lopez-Claros (right), director of Global Indicators and Analysis at the World Bank, with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis.

Greece leapt 111 spots in the World Bank’s global Doing Business chart in terms of starting a new enterprise, as it climbed from the 147th to the 36th position in the world, according to the report for 2014 released on Tuesday.

The main reasons for the major increase in Greece’s attractiveness for starting a business are the introduction of a new form of private company, known as IKE, which has simplified the start-up process, the reduction in the minimum capital required to start a company, and the abolition of the minimum capital needed to set up a limited company (Ltd).

On the other hand, Greece continues to find itself among the countries with the most procedures required for the transfer of commercial property, while the well-known delays in the justice system have also weighed heavily on Greece’s image as a destination for business. Nevertheless, the Development Ministry has stated that the obligatory presence of lawyers for the transfer of properties will be abolished in the next few months, which should improve Greece’s position in that respect.

“Greece’s continued regulatory reforms are laudable and a further step in the right direction to improve the quality of the investment climate,” stated Augusto Lopez-Claros, director of Global Indicators and Analysis with the World Bank Group. “Making it significantly easier to start a business is particularly important for growth and job creation in Greece at this point in time,” he added.

The report’s researchers counted the procedures required for the start of an IKE in Athens. They found that five procedures are needed, equal to the average for Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member states. The process takes 14 days (against an OECD average of 11.1 days), a minimum capital of near zero (hence the nickname one-euro companies), and a cost of 1,544.99 euros, which amounts to 4.6 percent of the per capita income (against an OECD member state average of 3.6 percent). A year earlier, the cost amounted to 24.4 percent of the per capital income in Greece.

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