If you are like some U.S. citizens, you have an interest in living abroad. In order to accomplish this objective, you may be contemplating starting some type of business in country. You may be thinking of immigrating to Greece and starting a business in that country.
Myths About Starting a Business in Greece
There are an array of falsehoods associated with starting a business in Greece. First of all, there is a persistent myth that launching a business enterprise in Greece, as a U.S. citizen, is an easy task. This is false.
When it comes to the myth that it is easy to start a business in Greece, that misconception actually comes from inside Greece, including with governmental agencies. At the heart of the myth is that there are 15 steps for a foreigner to start a business in Greece, and the process takes 15 days. That simply is not the case.
At the other extreme, there is another persistent misconception that it is next to impossible for a foreign national to start a business in Greece. According to this myth, it can take months or even years to get a business started in Greece, if you are a foreign national. The myth extends further and includes a contention that bribes are necessary to start a new business in Greece. These contentions about how hard a business is to start are also largely false.
The truth about the difficulty in starting a business in Greece is somewhere in the middle of these spectrums, with these two primary myths at either end. For example, it can take time for a U.S. citizen to start a business in Greece. However, the days have passed in which bribery was commonplace in order to grease the wheels to get a business up and running.
The Greek Economy
One of the roadblocks associated with starting a business in Greece is the state of that country’s economy since 2008. While many, in fact nearly all, nations the world over have rebounded fairly well from the Great Recession of 2008, that is not the case in Greece. In fact, the Greek economy remains uncertain to this day.
Because of the state of the Greek economy, it can be challenging to start a viable business in Greece. Keep in mind that since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008, 570,000 small and medium sized business in Greece shut down. During the same time period, only 45,000 new enterprises have launched in the country.
Despite the fact that Greece is a part of the European Union, and despite the fact that there have been advancements in the laws in the country, many of the laws as they relate to business are antiquated. Some of the laws that impact starting a new business enterprise date back as far as the 19th century. The state of laws in Greece can complicated the launch of a new business in Greece.
Special Considerations for Foreigners Who Start Businesses in Greece
There are laws that specifically address how and when a foreign individual can own a business in Greece. These laws have been refashioned in more recent times, since Greece became a part of the European Union. If you are intent on starting a business in Greece as a U.S. citizen, it is vital that you fully understand these specific regulatory issues.
Hire a Lawyer
One important step that you can take if you are interested in starting a business in Greece is to hire an attorney who understands Greek law and the process of launching a new enterprise in that country. In fact, there are attorneys in the United States that have experience in assisting U.S. citizens in launching small ventures in Greece.
These attorneys are capable of providing you specific information, as well as strategies, associated with launching a business in Greece. By connecting with and retaining this type of legal counsel, they can take your efforts a step further. They can assist you with what needs to be done on the ground in Greece when it comes to starting a business. In other words, your best strategy when it comes to launching a business in Greece is to be proactive.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.