How to Register and Start Working as a Freelancer in Greece

Freelancers in Greece enjoy an unprecedented amount of freedom over daily life, and this might be the right choice for you, too. To do this, you will need to understand how to get started while remaining compliant with Greek tax laws and regulations. This includes registering for a VAT number, sending invoices and keeping your accounts in order. The paperwork can seem overwhelming, but it can be managed with the right tool to make freelancing in Greece a dream come true.

How to Work as a Freelancer in Greece

Greece is actively recruiting people to establish businesses in the country, which may help the country recover from a series of economic blows during previous years. This can make it one of the most attractive locations for freelancers and digital nomads. In fact, Greece is now offering the digital nomad visa for freelancers with an established income. Digital nomad visa applications can be obtained through a Greek Embassy or Consulate within your country.

Consider these benefits when learning how to work as a freelancer in Greece under a digital nomad visa:

  • Greek laws can be favorable to freelancers: In 2020, the Greek government announced that up to 50 percent of new freelancer’s income will be exempt from taxes for the first seven years.
  • Greece is a beautiful country with many natural amenities to enjoy. The rich cultural heritage and Mediterranean climate make it an ideal place to live and work.
  • Create your ideal balance between work and play by freelancing in Greece.

Taxes and VAT for Freelancers in Greece

There are important legal obligations that must be met by freelancers in Greece in regards to taxes. You need to know what kind of taxes to pay as a freelancer. You also need to understand how to pay VAT as a freelancer working in Greece. Failure to comply with these obligations could put your occupational license or business at risk. Working as a freelancer should be enjoyable, so make sure to follow the laws for taxes and VAT.

VAT Rate for Freelancers in Greece

Freelancers might be members of an EU country, or they could be from a country outside of the Eurozone. If you belong to an EU country, or you reside in Greece, you don’t need a fiscal representative to apply for VAT. Expats or freelancers from other countries might need to find a fiscal representative in order to apply for the VAT and pay taxes in Greece.

Here’s what you need to know about VAT rates and the application process:

  • Greece has no threshold of earnings for VAT registration in general; however, freelancers are subject to an annual threshold amount of 35,000 EUR.
  • Greece collects a 24 percent VAT rate at the standard rate; the reduced rates are either 13 or six percent.
  • Apply for VAT at the Greek Tax office by submitting the form M2, which is called a statement of commencement of a natural person.
  • Find out more information by referencing the General Tax Code, which is published by the Ministry of Finance of Greece.

For more detailed information, you can read all about the VAT rate and registration for freelancers in Greece here.

Tax Rates and Income Tax Return for Freelancers in Greece

Learning how to work as a freelancer in Greece will inevitably include the understanding of tax rates and income tax return obligations. Self-employed workers, or freelancers, must pay taxes after spending 183 days in the country while conducting business activities.

  • Taxes are calculated on the calendar year of January 1 to December 31.
  • Tax returns must be filed annually by June 30 for the previous calendar year.
  • Self-employed individuals, including freelancers, must file taxes at the end of each quarter and at the year’s end; this is a total of five filings.

 

Greek law prohibits double taxation for foreign residents and non-residents. Residents of EU member countries get credits and deductions if 90 percent of the income was earned in Greece. The income tax rate for the self-employed is reflected in the progressive rate for individuals.

  • The progressive tax rate for Greek individuals and self-employed has a range between nine and 44 percent.
  • The VAT tax is set at 24 percent, but some deductions may apply.
  • Tax representatives are available to help filing at the Non-Greek Resident Tax Office.

How to Register to Work as a Freelancer in Greece

Foreigners need to understand how to register to work legally as a freelancer in Greece. Registration is necessary to meet your legal obligations and tax liabilities under Greek law. There are many issues to consider, so you might want to start by considering your business name. Give yourself enough time to really come up with the right business name. Remember, once you choose a business name and register it, you will have to live with this decision for years.

Once you have a business name, you need to register as a freelancer in Greece:

  1. Go to Location the Chamber of Commerce in your region, and ask for a registration application.
  2. Select the type of business entity for your company.
  3. Gather your documents, and apply for a Tax ID number at your local tax office. You may need a passport, birth certificate, proof of address and visa if you’re not an EU citizen.
  4. Register your business, then check with the Chamber of Commerce to see if you need any licenses to operate in Greece.

Choose a Business Entity as a freelancer in Greece

Normally, business people will consider their options for a legal entity very carefully. In addition to tax laws, there might be legal implications of forming various kinds of businesses in Greece. For example, you might become a sole proprietorship if you are freelancing. In rare cases, freelancers might convert their operations into a corporate structure, which is classified as a legal person.

You might also consider a general partnership, limited partnership or a cooperative enterprise. Legal consultation can help you determine the best structure for your purposes. Xolo Leap is specifically designed to save on the legal costs involved in determining the type of legal business entity and help you to open and and run your fully-remote EU solo business from anywhere in the world with the help of e-Residency. 

Invoice and Organize your accounting as a freelancer in Greece

Once you register your business entity and start running your solo business, it’s time to set up your invoicing and accounting system.  While there are many ways to organize your money and invoice your clients, one recommended way is to use Xolo Go to manage your invoicing and accounting at the same place. With Xolo Go, freelancers in Greece can:

  • Legally create and send compliant invoices to your clients.
  • Keep track of your business’s expenses and income; this will enable you to plan taxes and take deductions or reimbursements with accuracy.
  • Monitor your cash flows in real time by using the business dashboard.

 

Xolo Go also enables freelancers in Greece to craft specific project terms and get confirmation from your clients. The invoices are compliant with VAT rules, and you can accept payment in multiple currencies. These invoices are sent to the customer directly from your business’s dashboard, which improves the professionalism of the client’s interaction. Payments will come back to you through a SEPA bank transfer or credit card. These funds can be transferred from your business account to your personal bank account as dividend payments.

the freelancer's favorite pay-as-you-go invoicing tool

Insurance and Pension for Freelancers in Greece

Business insurance and pension plans are integral to any long-term planning. Freelancers interested in conducting business in Greece might evade this issue initially; however, the topic is likely to come up at some point in time. A national health insurance program is administered by the IKA, a public company known as the Social Insurance Institute. Applications for the social security card called AMKA can be made at an IKA location. Private insurance can also be purchased by freelancers in Greece.

Pensions for freelancers are subjected to a complex set of rules that are determined by the type of work or occupation, date of entry into the labor force and other factors. This can make it difficult to determine how your pension rate will be calculated with any precision. However, you can estimate the amount based on the general pension rates in Greece, which are around 20 percent.

Start a freelance career in Greece

Greece is a popular destination for freelancers and tourists alike; why not combine them both by becoming and working as a freelancer? The beautiful climate is pleasant and inviting; freelancers can expect to enjoy a high quality of life in Greece. Explore the rich culture of Greece, and enjoy your time relaxing at beaches or exploring ancient ruins. This is a great option for creating the ideal balance between living and working. When your freelance business is running smoothly, you can take as much time as you wish to enjoy life in Greece.

Xolo Go and Xolo Leap help you to accomplish this goal so that you can live your best life. Use the Xolo Go to send invoices to your customers across the borders of the EU, Canada or US. Your business will maintain its compliance, and your accounting will be handled by our automated software. And if you want to start a fully-remote EU business, Xolo Leap can assist freelancers in obtaining a business bank account, pursue the e-Residency option or reduce the costs of business administration.

Become a freelancer or start your own business today with Xolo.

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