Types of collaboration
Cooperating with other businesses can be very advantageous, especially in times of economic downturn.
A cooperative is a company governed by private law which operates under certain rules, has a statute and is an autonomous group formed voluntarily, aiming primarily to enhance its members' economic, social, and cultural well-being.
A drawback of the cooperative is its rigidity and response to competitive market demands.
The process of setting up a cooperative requires finding space for the entity's facilities and operations, the compilation of a statute as well as its approval by the civil court and registration with the closest Chamber (by submitting the necessary supporting documents).
Another form of cooperation, encountered mainly in the media sector, is the consortium, where members maintain their autonomy and independence. It aims to support its members by increasing their profit, reducing costs, promoting sales or collecting important information.
Business networks are established to help businesses overcome problems that they would find difficult to solve on their own. They help, among other things, with the promotion of products on international markets, access to information networks and new technologies, better management, more effective marketing, etc.
Business clusters evolve around a core of closely connected businesses, whose joint action creates the necessary conditions for attracting other businesses by developing multiple continuous networks. Team members are required to set up a separate PLC or LLC. They may also amend an existing legal entity.
Subcontracting is recommended when a contractor requires a business partner to develop additional components or product parts, or to carry out works required for the products, thus enhancing their production process through innovation, the use of specialised equipment, expertise and quality assurance.
New types of European business structure
The European Economic Interest Grouping the head office of which has, in accordance with their Statute, been set up in Greece as well as in branches in Greece of Groups based in another Member State, is regulated by the relevant legislation.
The European Economic Interest Grouping constitutes a legal personality, cannot have more than twenty members and is entered in the Register of European Economic Interest Groups kept in the business section of the First Instance Court of the Group's headquarters.
Groups set up and based in another Member State of the European Communities may set up a branch in Greece upon submission of the founding contract, with special inclusion of the entry and the registration number to the local register.
Other options for expanding your business are taking over an existing one, merging with another company or opening a branch in another EU country.
With regard to franchising, a commercial enterprise (licensor) with industrial property rights and expertise, grants part of these to another company (licensee). The contract should include licensing for the licensor's brand name.
As regards the European company, every European company is required to register under the same registry as any other national public limited company. The difference lies in the fact that the establishment and any amendment to the articles of association of the European Company is published in the official Journal of the European Union.
Double tax relief
Through double tax relief agreements, all parties take the necessary measures to avoid double taxation in terms of income tax imposed on natural or legal persons operating in one country or another, as well as in terms of capital tax. The agreement applies to persons who are residents of one or both of the contracting states.
Depending on the nature of each economic activity, income is taxed by either of the contracting states.
A special website dedicated to subcontracting has been created by the General Secretariat for Commerce, linking as many businesses as possible so that the stability afforded by cooperation helps in generating new and competitive products, benefiting both the public and private sectors.
The website helps large companies search for subcontractors or suppliers and makes it easier for the SMEs to search for businesses with the relevant know-how, equipment or products, establishing strategic coalitions and presenting joint proposals for their participation in public sector call for tenders.