Specific measures to reduce red tape in starting, operated SMEs announced

10 August 2016
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The main initiatives aimed to simplify procedures for business licensing were announced on Tuesday by the government, the latest bid to eliminate “legendary” Greek state red tape and to boost efforts at jump-starting the recession-plagued economy.

The highlights of the licensing simplification include:

— only a single affirmation by a building service in the food-and-beverage sector

— whatever official documentation is retained on the business’ premises instead of being submitted and archived in various state services

— a certificate attesting to a site suitability for processing non-animal foodstuffs is abolished

— a pre-approval affirmation by the relevant building code office is abolished in the F&B sector

— necessary documentation for rented rooms is reduced

— the concept of entrepreneurs themselves submitting documentation and updates after the opening of their business is expanded

— announcing the establishment of a business to the relevant municipality or state-run citizens service centers will be possible without the submission of any documentation, while commencement of business will also start immediately

— inspections by state and local government entities will be retroactive and be based on an evaluation of risk

— licenses for businesses leasing tourist lodgings (rooms to let) will have to be issued within 28; and finally

— an e-registry will be established to open new businesses.

The aim of the draft framework is to improve the business climate in the country and to increase competitiveness in Greece, which usually ranks at the bottom of various global indexes in terms of more developed countries and at the negative end of EU member-states.

Greece’s “heavy industries”, namely, production of foods and beverages, the restaurant-café-bar sector and tourism-related enterprises are cited as priorities. Fast-track licensing for mining enterprises will be ready by March 2017.

Public debate is open until Aug. 29, while the resulting draft bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament in September.

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