The first question with regard doing business in Greece is choice of the entity relationship between the two countries. For example: Is the Greek business activity going to be done as part of subsidiary of a U.S or other multinational company; is the Greek business enterprise going to accomplished as branch of the U.S companies; is the Greek business going to be accomplished as part of a joint venture or other affiliation with the U.S corporation? Are there EU companies and/or parents or subsidiaries involved?
More importantly, will there be a need to register a branch in Greece; or in the case of a subsidiary, establish a new company in Greece? Establishing a permanent entity/subsidiary will require a new company to be formed in Greece. This can be as an AE (Anonymous Company); an EΠE, (Εταιρία Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης); or EE, Ετερόρυθμη Εταιρία, (Limited Partnership); or OE, Ομόρυθμη Εταιρία, (General Partnership). The Greek AE, is more analogous to our US corporate form. The Greek EΠΕ is analogous to our “close corporation” in the US. The Greek OE is analogous to a General Partnership and the Greek EE is analogous to a US Limited Partnership. We can advise specifically as to the selection/desirability of these businesses; their charters; bylaws/registrations as well as all the requirements for Greek Boards of Directors; meetings and special and annual notices.
We are highly experienced in forming all of the above business entities in Greece-especially when same are affiliated with U.S. parent or sister companies. Forming such Greek legal entities may require: filing or Articles with the Bar Association; check the company name with GEMINET; check the tax ID of the founders; obtain social security fund compliance; obtain tax compliance; execute the Articles of Association before a Notary; pay Lawyers Fund fees; certify tax registration number of entity; publish Articles in ΦΕΚ; register company in Chamber of Commerce (relevant Greek Chamber); obtain seal; register with IKA and OAEE – and other numerous technical/legal requirements.
In the fields of competition; anti-trust, customs/duties, bankruptcy, (for example) there is significant EU legislation which has been harmonized throughout the European Union and adopted (as EU Directive or legislation) in Greece. Specific Greek regulatory legislation exists with regard to certain industries such as banking, insurance, transportation, investments, leasing, and maritime. We represented numerous companies on the Athens stock exchange and there are substantial EU and domestic regulations with regard to companies listed on the Greek stock market many of which are similar as our U.S. SEC trading; disclosure; registration; financials; and IPO requirements.
Our law firm has also negotiated major international import-export agreements; distribution and sales deals in Greece (including major software and computer agreements). We are particularly experienced in negotiating and drafting U.S.-Greek exclusive agency sales, distribution agreements and licensee agreements. We will prepare such agreements both in Greek and English so that the U.S. lawyers can be assured that the Greek law contracts match and conform with the U.S. legal requirements. Again, cannot translate legal writing from English to Greek or vice-versa. You must translate the legal concept and this requires someone who knows both legal systems! We have been involved in major litigation with regard to US and/or Greek executives and with regard to their employment contracts and rights in US-Greek national and multi-national corporations. Particularly with regard to labor matters and (US-Greek executives involved in the corporations doing business in both countries), our firm is particularly well suited. We are one of the top U.S employment and labor law firms (as evidenced by our sister U.S. website focusing on employment and labor law). Being the top US-Greek law firm for labor law, we are the premier law firm for employment and labor matters between U.S and Greece. We are particularly experienced in computer/ internet and software agreements, including having been General Counsel to a public NASDAQ Internet Company for many years. Finally, no other law firm has handled or negotiated as many national and international CEO and high executive agreements as we have, including for multinational executives working between the U.S.– Europe and /or Greece.