Thinking of Greece automatically conjures up images of sandy beaches, ancient buildings and volcanic islands. It should come as no surprise then that this Southeastern European country is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world – and the perfect place for freelancers who would want to work from abroad. Continue reading to learn how you can freelance from Greece!
- Freelancing in Greece
- How to work as a freelancer in Greece
- Health insurance
- Working in Greece as a digital nomad
Freelancing in Greece
Greece is quickly rising as a lovable destination for many freelancers and digital nomads. This is mainly in part because of the country’s hospitality, culture and general low cost of living.
There is also a demand for innovation, startups and new businesses, thanks to the country’s economic rise.
As of 2020, 33.25 % of people currently employed in Greece are self-employed.World Bank Data 2021
How to work as a freelancer in Greece
Working as a freelancer in Greece certainly sounds appealing, but how does one begin the process? Let’s take a look at the requirements down below:
Unless you’re coming from an EU-EEA member state, you’ll need a Visa to enter Greece.
You must apply for a Greece Schengen Visa. The requirements for this visa depend on the type of visa you’re applying for. For the self-employed, you’ll need the following:
- A copy of your business license
- Bank statement of the past 6 months
- Income Tax Return
Once you’re in Greece, you’ll need to apply for a residence/work permit. This must be done within 30 days of arriving in the country at the local Dimarchio (Municipal office). Keep in mind that you’ll need to obtain medical insurance, your tax number (AFM) as well as your social security number (AMKA) before you can apply for the permit.
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#2 Business name registration
To operate your freelance business in Greece, you’ll need to firstly register your company name with the regional Chamber of Commerce.
Before doing so however, you’ll need to decide what kind of company your freelance business will be – natural or legal persons. Natural refers to sole proprietorship whereas a legal person is a type of legal entity, such as a corporate company.
#3 Tax ID Number
The AFM tax number or Arithmo Forologiko Mitro, is a unique identification number assigned to individuals in Greece who either wish to work or own property. The process of acquiring this is fairly simple and requires you to go, in person, to the closest tax office near you.
There, you will be required to submit the following documents:
- Your passport
- Proof of address
- A valid visa
#4 Business license requirements
To legally operate your freelance business in Greece, you’ll need to obtain a business license for your specific industry. You can do this by either visiting your local tax office or the Chamber of Commerce.
In Greece, you are subject to pay taxes as a self-employed individual based solely on the income you generate.
As a freelancer, you will be required to pay your income tax in advance. This amount will be offset when you submit your annual income report.
It is recommended that you contact an accountant so that you may claim appropriate allowances.
Freelancers residing in Greece can either choose to make use of the public healthcare system, known as ESY, or opt for private healthcare.
Apart from ESY, freelancers living in Greece can benefit from the social security fund called OAEE (Organisation for Self-Employed). This fund is part of the IKA – Greece’s largest social security organization. To apply for OAEE, you will need the following documents:
- Proof of payments of your last three months’ insurance
- 2 recent photographs
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Working in Greece as a digital nomad
Greece is among the few countries now expected to offer digital nomad visas in an attempt to lure already-employed remote workers. The idea behind this is to allow individuals to live in Greece and work remotely – thereby helping the country increase its revenue for local businesses.
Good to know: Greece is also offering a 50% break in income tax for digital nomads. This is applicable for the first seven years and allows half of your salary to remain tax free.
Freelancing in Greece certainly sounds appealing. Would you rather choose to register your freelance business or apply for a digital nomad visa? Tell us in the comments below!