Pursuant to Law 89/1967, as currently in force, a foreign company can establish a Representative Office (hereinafter “Rep. Office”) in Greece under the following conditions:
i. A permit by the Ministry of Development is required. Usually, the permit is issued after two (2) months upon filing of the application provided that the supporting documentation of the application is complete. Upon issue of the permit, approximately an additional month is required for the registration with the Tax Authority and for acquiring a VAT number.
ii. A Rep. Office cannot be established for commercial activities.
More specifically, according to Art 1 of Law 89/1967, a Rep. Office can only be established for the following (non-commercial) activities:
(a) consulting services;
(b) centralization of accounting services;
(c) control of production, products, procedures and services,
(d) preparation of studies, designs and contracts;
(e) advertising and marketing services;
(f) data processing;
(g) receipt and supply of information;
(h) research and development services;
(i) software development;
(j) computer programming and IT systems support;
(k) storage and management of files and information;
(l) storage and management of files and information excluding execution of transports by own means;
(m) management and training of human resources;
(n) call center activity;
(o) computer-based telephone information.
iii. A fixed profit margin that is calculated on the basis of gross expenses (so-called cost-plus basis) is applied for the taxation of the Rep. Office. The profit margin is set by the Ministry provided that the applicant files a study on the calculation of the profit margin. Cost-plus basis cannot be under 5%.
iv. The Rep. Office must have a minimum of € 100.000 in yearly expenses.
v. It must employ at least 4 employees, one of which can be employed only part-time; these 4 employees must be hired within a year upon issue of the permit.
vi. Every five years upon issue of the permit a revised study on the cost-plus basis shall be filed to the Ministry of Development.
vii. The Rep. Office must file a yearly report to the Ministry of Development on the activities of the Rep. Office in the past year (e.g. inflow of funds, expenses, taxable income; staff employed).