Investment Incentives Law

Investment Law: Liquidity – Speed – Transparency

The Investment Law of Greece aims to increase liquidity, accelerate investment procedures and ensure transparency.

The Investment Law provides for an efficient institutional framework for all investors and speeds the approval process for pending, approved investment projects.

This Law 4146/2013 “Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments” [download here - only available in Greek] of the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, aims at modernising and improving the institutional framework for private investments, subject to investment laws. Provisions are introduced regarding:

A) Provision of Liquidity and Acceleration of the grant disbursement procedures:
• Option for 100% (increased from 50%) advance payment of the grant with a letter of guarantee.
• The investor may chose the preferred mix of the Investment Law benefits (tax-relief or grant) for investments up to €50 million, to enhance the flexibility of financing for “Small” and “Medium” * investors.
• Tax-relief may be up-front, to enhance both the liquidity of companies and their viability.
• Investors who apply for the benefits of the Law may cover the requirement for a minimum 25% own capital by using company liquefiable assets.
• Sectors of entrepreneurship to be supported through the Law are expanding.
• The previous time limitation for the submission of investment plans, only in April and October, is abolished. Submissions may be made throughout the year.

* Investor’s size as per EU definition

 

B) Enhancing Transparency and Auditing Procedures of the Investment Law:
• To enable the immediate closure of pending audits and the disbursement of outstanding installments, the Law provides for interim and final audits performed by certified private sector institutions, such as banks and accounting firms.
• For Photovoltaic Parks approved for grants, in which the rated power is not to be the same as the original proposal but does not vary more than 10% than the amount approved, a special request for changing supplier or equipment is no longer required.
• Due to the economic crisis, a one-year extension is provided for the completion of the investment plans that had been applied for under the Investment Law from 2007 onwards and have been approved.
• To enhance transparency for large investment projects, the budget of projects that need to be ratified by Parliament is reduced to € 50 million, from € 150 million.
• Establishment of an independent Auditing Department of Private Investments to continuously monitor compliance with the procedures governing the grants of business plans, and to combat both delinquent and unlawful behaviours. The Department, which will report directly to the Minister for Development will also have a consulting role, since any malfunction of procedures will be identified through its findings.

Investment categories

1. General Entrepreneurship

Target Group
All enterprises irrespective of sector

2. Regional Cohesion

Target Group
Investors with projects that address local needs or capitalise on local competitive advantages

3.  Technological Development

Target Group
Enterprises that invest in innovation and want to upgrade their technology infrastructure

4. Youth Entrepreneurship

Target Group
Investors from 20 to 40 years old

5. Large Investment Plans

Target Group
Investments with a budget of at least 50,000,000 Euro (Fifty million Euro)

6. Integrated, Multi-Annual Business Plans

Target Group
Companies legally formed at least five years previous to application, to implement integrated multi-annual (2-5 year) business plans with a budget of at least 2,000,000 Euro in total (Two million Euro)

7. Partnerships and Networking 

Target Group
Partnerships and networking configurations or clusters. These clusters shall be comprised of at least five enterprises in the Region of Attica and the Thessaloniki Prefecture and of at least three enterprises in other prefectures, operating in the form of a consortium. 


Types of Aid
a. Tax relief—Tax relief comprising exemption from payment of income tax on pre-tax profits which result, according to tax law, from any and all of the enterprise’s activities.
b. Subsidy—Gratis payment by the State of a sum of money to cover part of the subsidised expenditure of the investment.
c. Leasing subsidy—Includes payment by the State of a portion of the installments paid under a leasing agreement executed to acquire new machinery and / or other equipment
d. Soft loans by ETEAN (National Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development). The amount to be covered by a bank loan may be funded by soft loans from credit institutions that cooperate with ETEAN enterprises.

The aid referred to above shall be aggregated for the purpose of determining the total amount of aid allocated to the investment project. In this case the benefit of the funding above is included in total aid, which may not exceed the limits delineated on the Regional State Aid Map.


Regional State Aid Map and Aid Rates for Each Prefecture
            
          Region                       Prefecture   Zone                     Percentage of aid

 

 

 

Large enterprises 

   Medium-size enterprises

  Small and micro enterprises

South Aegean

 Cyclades 

  C 

 15% 

 25% 

 35%

 

 Dodecanese 

 C

 15% 

 25% 

 35%

Central Greece
(Sterea Ellada)

Fthiotida

 Β 

 15% 

 25% 

 35%

 

 Fokida 

 Β 

 20% 

 30% 

 40%

 

Evia 

 Β 

 15% 

 25% 

 35%

 

Viotia

 Α 

 15% 

 20% 

 25%

 

  Euritania

 20% 

 30% 

 40%

Central Macedonia 

 Thessaloniki 

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

 Halkidiki 

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

  Kilkis

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

  Pella 

 C  

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Imathia 

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

  Pieria 

 C  

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Serres 

 C  

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 Western Macedonia 

 Grevena  

  C  

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Kozani 

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

 Florina  

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Kastoria  

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 Attica   

 Attica 

 Α 

 15% 

 20% 

 25%

Thessaly 

 Larissa

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

 Magnissia 

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

Karditsa 

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Trikala  

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 Ionia 

 Corfu  

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Lefkada

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Kefallinia 

C

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

Zakynthos 

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 Crete  

 Heraklion  

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

 Hania 

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

 Lassithi  

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

 Rethymnon 

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 Peloponnese 

 Lakonia   

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Messinia  

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Korinthia  

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

 Arkadia  

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

 

 Argolida 

 Β 

 30% 

 35% 

 40%

  North Aegean  

 Mytilene 

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Chios  

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 

 Samos  

 C 

 30% 

 40% 

 50%

 Eastern Macedonia / Thrace  

 Kavala 

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

 Xanthi  

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

 Rodopi  

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

  Drama  

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

 Evros 

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

Epirus

 Ioannina  

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

  Arta  

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

Preveza

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

 Threspotia

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 Western Greece 

 Achaia 

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

  Etolo-Akarnania 

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

 

   Ileia 

 C 

 40% 

 45% 

 50%

       
The entire application and evaluation process shall not exceed 6 months.

Application Procedure

a) Online registration at the Information System for Regional State Aid through through the web page  www.ependyseis.gr. Upon registration, applicants are provided with a personal code.
b) Electronic submission of required supporting documents, technical, and financial data. Applicants shall print and keep documents in their possession.
c) Submission of application form and all investment documents (including original documents) to the competent Investor Service Office (open: 09.00 am - 15.00 pm Monday to Friday). All supporting documentation submitted in paper form (hard copy) must also be submitted in electronic form.

Submission Period
The submission of investment projects may be completed throughout the year, while the assessment will be held in May and November each year.

Pre-Evaluation
Officials of the Investor Service Office review the application and, if complete, issue a receipt. In the event that any documents are missing, the investor must submit them within 10 days of notification.

Evaluation Process
The judicial review and assessment process shall be completed within 40 days of the date when the complete file has been submitted. The Investor may monitor the progress of their file electronically.

Results
Posting of provisional results in which investors may view the evaluation of their application and, if deemed necessary, lodge a complaint.  


Youth Entrepreneurship 

Investment Incentives Law

Young entrepreneurs are being actively supported, for the first time, through a special scheme within the framework of the Investment Law and by employing the resources of NSRF (National Strategic Reference Framework [ESPA]). 

The Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme:
• Covers part of the operating costs (and leasing costs) of a new company for a five-year period, to support new entrepreneurs in their first steps
• Subsidizes part of the set-up costs
• Allows additional funding of the investment through other schemes of the Investment Law as well as NSRF programmes, for example the “New Innovative Entrepreneurship”
• Provides for additional funding with soft loans through the National Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development (NFED)

Who does this program benefit?
Entrepreneurs from 18 to 40 years old.

What kinds of enterprises qualify?
Small- and medium-size enterprises established on or after 1-1-2011, as well as enterprises which have not completed their establishment process at the time of submission.

For sole proprietor enterprises, the entrepreneur should be 40 years of age or less; for other types of companies, the enterprise qualifies only when a person 40 years of age or less owns more than 50% of the enterprise and is solely in charge of the company.

What business activities are included?
All entrepreneurial activities, except those specifically excluded in the Investment Law (3908/2011, article 2).

What is the minimum investment required?
• 150,000 Euros for small enterprises
• 100,000 Euros for very small enterprises

How are young entrepreneurs supported?
With grants and/or leasing subsidies (leasing).

What kinds of costs are supported?
1. The establishment, organization and operation of the business:
• Fees for legal services, administrative support and consulting services, that are directly related to the establishment of the business
• Interest on external financing at a rate that does not exceed the reference rate
• Leasing of facilities (office space, manufacturing/production space) and manufacturing/production equipment
• Energy, water, and heating, as well as administrative expenses and taxes to the Government and the wider public sector, such as council tax
• Salaries of employees under contract, which includes social security contributions

2. Leasing costs of offices and/or manufacturing/production facilities

Support for these costs covers the first five years following the establishment of the company, and commences following the submission, and approval, of the application.

What is the total amount of state aid that may be granted during the five years?
• The total amount of the subsidy in five years cannot exceed 100% of the total investment
• The total subsidy amount cannot exceed 1,000,000 Euros in the case of a leasing subsidy. In the case of a grant, the total subsidy amount cannot exceed 500,000 Euros

When may I submit my plan?
The submission of investment projects may be held throughout the year.

How may I submit my application?
Initially, investment proposals are submitted electronically through the Information System for Regional State Aid (www.ependyseis.gr/mis) and, following this, all documents are submitted in hard copy to the following Investor Service Offices:

For companies established and operating in the Prefectures of Attica, Epirus, Peloponnese, Central Greece, Crete, South Aegean, North Aegean, Ionian Islands, Thessaly:
• Investors Service Office, Ministry for Development (4 Korai str., 6th floor, PO 10564, Athens, tel: +30 210-3258800-4).

For companies established and operating in the Prefectures of Eastern Macedonia/Thrace, Central Macedonia, and Western Macedonia
• Investors Service Office of the Business Development Unit of Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki Headquarters, Office 203, 2nd floor, PO 54123, tel. +30 2310 379103 / +30 2310 379240).

More Information
www.startupgreece.gov.gr (Category “Funding”)
www.mindev.gov.gr
www.ependyseis.gr

The Investment Incentives Law Brochure

Please find more information regarding the National Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development (ETEAN) read more