The Investment Incentives Law (3908/2011)- “Aid for Private Investment to promote Economic Growth, Entrepreneurship and Regional Cohesion”, supports investment plans in most sectors of economic activity. Exemptions involve specific categories of activities that fall out of the scope of the new Law (more details about exemptions in Investment Incentives Law (3908/2011)).
In brief there are 3 general categories of investments and 4 special categories of investment regimes. Different types of incentives and combinations may be granted for each category. Dates for submitting the investment schemes are fixed twice a year, every April and October (with the exception of Large investments ≥ €50 mil).The aid intensities range from 15% to 50% depending on the size of the applicant, the type and area of investment location.
THE GREEK INVESTMENT INCENTIVES LAW APPLIES AS FOLLOWS
Every December the Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness will issue the budget of investment reinforcement for the following year. The budget will specify, in addition to the total amount of reinforcements, the percentage that corresponds to the various categories of investment schemes, the categories of economic activities that can be selected, the distribution of reinforcements to the regions, and every other relevant detail. Tax exemptions will be triple the sum of subsidies. At the same time the contracts of ETEAN (National Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development) with the banks will be implemented. The dates for submitting the investment schemes will be fixed: twice a year, every April and October. Expiry of the submission date will coincide with the last day of the corresponding month. Evaluation, initial approval, loan contract, final approval and implementation of investment will follow.
INCENTIVE RATES CATEGORIZATION
The Greek region is divided in three regions according to EU national regional state aid map. A further classification of companies provided by the Law 3908/2011 depends on their size and refers to the EU classification (large, medium, small and very small).
- Regional Zone A. Refers to the prefectures of Attika and Sterea Ellada. The aid intensities ranging from 15% to 25% depending on company size
- Regional Zone B. Aid intensities range from 30% to 40% depending on company size
- Regional Zone C. Refers to departments where the GDP per capita is lower than 75% of the country’s average as well as the regions of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the Aegean islands, the Ionian Islands and border areas. The aid intensities range from 40% to 45% depending on company size
TYPES OF INCENTIVES
The Incentives offered to qualifying enterprises are:
- Subsidy. State funds granted for the partial coverage of the investment project cost.
- Leasing subsidy. Constituting in the partial payment by the State of the instalments paid under a leasing agreement executed to acquire new machinery and/or other equipment.
- Tax relief—Tax relief (8-10 years) 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.
- Loans by National Fund for Entrepreneurship and Development (ETEAN). The amount to be covered by a bank loan may be funded by loans from credit institutions that cooperate with ETEAN enterprises.
- Operational costs. (only for Youth Entrepreneurship investment plans)
GENERAL INVESTMENT PLANS
- General Entrepreneurship. Includes all enterprises regardless of sector. These plans provide scalable tax breaks of up to 10 years.
- Regional Cohesion. Include investment projects that address local needs or capitalise on local competitive advantages. The subsidy rate and leasing subsidy may reach up to 70% of the maximum allowable amount of aid. For new enterprises this percentage is increased by 10 %.
- Technological Development. For enterprises planning to invest in innovation and modernization of their technology infrastructure. It provides all forms of aid. This category provided grants and leasing, combined with tax relief.
SPECIFIC INVESTMENT PLANS
- Youth Entrepreneurship. The law assists new businesspeople under 40 years old for a period of 5 years, from the commencement of their business’s operation, for the sum of their expenses, even for their operating costs. Total reinforcement may reach up to € 1,000,000.
- Large Investment Plans. This category includes investment projects of at least € 50,000,000 calculated at exchange rates prevailing at the time of grant. Provides all forms of aid, either in one form or a combination of forms.
- Integrated, Multi-Annual Business Plans. This category includes enterprises 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 in total. Tax breaks up to 100% of the maximum regional aid applicable can be granted.
- Synergy and Networking. For projects submitted by a minimum number of ten enterprises in the Region of Attica and the Thessaloniki forming a joint venture. Designed to implement programs that either exploit competitive advantages of enterprises, or use the structures created by national and EU funding or help adaptation to modern economic and technological environment of concrete and geographically defined production activities and services.
MINIMUM INVESTMENT IN THE GREEK INVESTMENT INCENTIVES LAW
The minimum value of investment required:
- For large enterprises an investment of at least €1,000,000
- For medium-sized enterprises minimum investment of € 500,000
- For small enterprises an investment of at least € 300,000
- For micro enterprises an investment of at least €200,000
In the category of General Entrepreneurship the minimum value of investment required is half of the above amounts.
The percentage of the investor's own contribution to investments which qualify for capital grant shall be no less than 25% of the eligible expenditure.