Greece self employed

The number of self-employed people in Greece is growing steadily these days, especially among expats. In fact, this legal status is one of the easiest ways to obtain Greek permanent residence. In this article, we shall briefly explain the basic legal requirements for self-employment and describe the procedures for acquiring the status and the associated responsibilities in this country. 

Greek Residence Permit for Self-Employed

There are three legal categories that many people confuse, namely freelancers, self-employed and remote workers. However, the differences between them are very technical and often irrelevant for all practical purposes. The main concern for the Greek Department of Immigration is that you:

  • Earn income outside the country and seek no employment in Greece;

  • Make enough money for yourself and your family without relying on the national social funds;

  • Do not earn income from any criminal activity;

  • Pay all taxes required in your legal circumstances.

Provided you meet all four conditions, you will be eligible for a one-year self-employment visa, which gives you and your family members all the privileges that Greek residents enjoy. And when the visa expires, you can get a temporary residence permit that will have to be renewed every two years. Moreover, your family's residence status will not depend on your physical presence in the country.

The two financial requirements for this type of permit is that you are not formally employed in Greece and your income is at least 3,500 euros per month. On top of that, you need to make at least 700 euros per month for your spouse in the case of the latter's unemployment and 525 euros per month for each dependant living with you in Greece. 

Application Paperwork

When you submit your application form, you will also need to supply the following documents:

  1. Your ID or passport;

  2. Greek SIM-card registered in your name, bank account and tax number;

  3. Confirmation of a place of residence in the country;

  4. Proof of sufficient monthly income.

All documents must be translated into Greek and notarised, and an apostille will be a good idea too. You can submit them at a Greek Consulate, via your legal agency or even online. However, you need to do it between three months and three weeks before moving to the country. Normally, applications take a couple of months to process, and once you have lived in Greece for seven years, you and your family will be eligible to apply for citizenship. 

Public Healthcare for Self-Employed

Once you obtain the permit, you will have access to public medical services, all of which are completely free of charge. This insurance will also cover your:

  • Unemployed spouse and, in some cases, ex-spouse and parents as well;

  • Underage children living with you;

  • Children under 24, provided they are unemployed and unmarried;

  • Children under 26, provided they are enrolled in university or graduated less than two years before;

  • Invalid dependants in case their disability score is 67 or higher .

Application Paperwork

To get public medical insurance relevant to your status, you will need to submit an application form and the following documents to the Greek Organisation for Self-Employed:

  1. Your identity document;

  2. Insurance receipts for the last three months;

  3. Two photographs (passport-size). 

Greek Self-Employed Income Tax

The amount you have to pay will depend on how much earn per month, as the table below shows (in euros): 

Up to 16,000

Up to 22,000

Up to 26,000

Up to 32,000

Up to 40,000

Up to 60,000

Up to 100,000

Above 100,000

18%

24%

26%

32%

36%

38%

40%

45%

However, you will be exempt from paying tax if you:

  • Reside in Greece less than 183 days per year;

  • Pay it in your home country, according to the Double Taxation Treaty;

  • Earn less than 12,000 euros per month.

In addition, you will get a 50% discount if you reside in Greece as a digital nomad and a 15% discount if you:

  • Donate to public educational, religious or medical institutions;

  • Pay a loan for your first property purchase in the country;

  • Pay mandatory social security contributions. 

Final Word

Greek immigration procedures are quite complicated, and you will need to know the language too. Therefore, you will do well to employ a legal agent or consult the Consulate regularly. And prepare yourself for one preliminary visit to Greece to open a local bank account and get a SIM-card and tax number.

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