New Development Law

New Development Law - Vouzounerakis

New Development Law

The new Development Law includes exemption from taxation, subsidies, leasing funding that cannot exceed seven (7) years, interest rate funding, wage subsidy and reliable tax framework among others.
The new Development Law will finance much smaller investments in comparison to the previous ones since the minimum budget is reduced to EUR 150 000 for small businesses, EUR 250 000 for medium-sized and EUR 500 000 for big businesses.
It focuses on the reinforcement of small medium-sized and new enterprises, the development of cooperatives, the social economy and the municipal companies and provides important incentives for the re-start of closed industries. The maximum percentage of financing reaches 45% based on the new Regional Aid Maps.

Types of state aids
The following types of state aids are financed:
1. Tax exemption, you can be income tax exempt from profit before tax for the activities of your business. The amount of the tax exemption is calculated as a part of the investment plan expenses or the new machinery and other equipment expenses through financial leasing;
2. Cash grant to cover eligible costs of the business investment plan;
3. Leasing subsidy up to seven years for new equipment leases. The subsidy is calculated as part of the acquisition cost;
4. Interest subsidy;
5. Offsetting debts with taxes;
6. Subsidy for the costs of created employment;
7. Stable tax system. The taxable profits (29%) will not increase for seven years;
8. Financing of business risk through fund of funds providing self financing, loans or guarantees.

Purpose of Investment
The minimum purpose of investment for subjection to investment plans at the new investment law is based on the size of the enterprise:
– For big businesses EUR 500 000;
– For medium-sized businesses EUR 200 000;
– For very small and small businesses EUR 150 000.
The total amount of state aid that a business can receive in the framework of the new investment law cannot exceed 10 million Euros for an individual business and 20 million Euros with associated or affiliated companies.
According to Regional Aid Map 2014-2020 the aid rate is ranging from 10% to 45% of the cost of the investment depending on the size of the business and the region where the investment will take place.
The tax exemption and the wage cost subsidy reach 100% of the grant and the maximum cash grant will be 70% of the amount mentioned in the Regional Aid Maps.

Big investments
For big investment plans with eligibility costs over 50 million Euros the maximum amount of state aid is the defined as follows:
a) for up to 50 million Euros the maximum regional state aid is 100%, except for the state aid for medium-sized businesses,
b) for expenses 50 to 100 million Euros the maximum regional limit is 50%,
c) for expenses over 100 million Euros no state aid is provided unless the European Commission allows it.

Special state aids:
The new development law provides special state aids to the following categories of businesses:
a) extrovert SMEs;
b) independent SMEs entering mergers;
c) SMEs with growing workforce;
d) Cooperatives, Social Cooperative Businesses under L. 4019/2011 (Α’ 216), entreprises operating in the Agro food sector under L. 4015/2011;
e) Enterprises operating in the ICT sector;
f) Enterprises with low ecological footprint;
g) Enterprises in remote areas.

Payment of the subsidies
- The subsidies to the beneficiaries will be paid in full or in instalments depending on the stage of completion and the amount of participation;
- For the he capital aids 30% of the grant can be advanced if the company uses a letter of guarantee increasing the value by 10%;
- For the capital aids, the wage cost aid and the tax exemption, a part of the subsidy can be paid if 50% of the investment project has been completed and has received certificate.

Eligible Businesses
The new Development Law will focus on “General entrepreneurship”, “New independent medium-sized businesses”, “synergy and networking”, “innovation” etc.

Eligible entreprises are individual businesses, commercial companies and Private Capital Companies, Cooperatives, Social Cooperative Businesses, Agricultural Companies and new companies. The following businesses have right to admission: companies with institutional investors, public companies, venture capital companies, universities etc.

Eligible costs
- Purchase of buildings, machinery, equipment if the company does not operate any longer, is held by independent investor, the rules of the market are applied and the subsidies given before the purchase are deducted. The medium-sized businesses can purchase part of the asset of a productive unit.
- Construction, expansion, modernization of buildings, special and supportive installations, special expenses for exterior premises. These expenses cannot exceed 60% of the total eligible costs of investment plan and 70% in the case of SMEs.
- Purchase of new machinery and equipment, including technical installations and vehicles moving through the productive unit.
- Modernization expenses for buildings and mechanical installations.
- Installations erected in premises granted by the state.
- Intangible property (e.g. software, patents, rights etc.) under certain conditions. For big businesses, the intangible property expenses are eligible up to 50% of the total eligible investment cost for the initial investment and for the SMEs up to 75%.
- Advisor studies and fees for new Small and Medium-sized enterprises investment plans up to 5% of the investment plan cost and up to EUR 50 000.

Regarding the innovation of the SMEs, the eligible costs are:
(a) acquisition, validation and protection of patent certificates and other intangible assets;
(b) hiring of highly qualified employees from research centres or businesses;
(c) advisory and supportive services in the field of innovation.
The aid does not exceed 50% of the eligible costs.

- For innovation clusters are eligible the operation costs, the employee costs and the administrative expenses for:
(a) cluster coordination, (b) promotion, (c) installations management, (d) organisation of professional training programmes, workshops and conferences.
- For polluted areas the eligible costs are those required for cleaning them up.
- The environmental study costs, including energy audits, are also eligible.
- When the eligibility costs are calculated based on the wage cost, the following requirements should meet:
a) The investment contributes to the increase in the number of employees compared to the average number of the 12 months.
b) The vacancies should be filled in three years from the completion of works.
c) Every job is maintained for at least five years, or three years for SMEs.

The Development law gives the possibility to give priority to investment plans for the renovation and modernization of hotels and other activities such as water airports, marinas, logistics, and health tourism units.
Other activities included are agricultural products processing, aquaculture, fishery and fish breeding whereas the reinforcement of activities such as commercial shipbuilding and repair industry etc. are under consideration.
The requirements will be set with joint ministerial decisions.

In the hotel industry the eligible investments concern:
– expansion and modernization of hotels with at least 3 stars;
– modernization of closed hotels of at least three star hotels;
– special tourism infrastructure facilities (convention centres, thalassotherapy centres, amusement parks, tourist destination ports, pleasure crafts, golf courts, health tourism facilities, spa tourism, mountain shelter, training - sport –tourism, car racing). More categories can be added after joint ministerial decision;
– traditional building converted into 3 star hotels and 2 star hotels located in heritage buildings;
– organized camping converted into at least 3 star hotel
– modernization and expansion of rooms to let and apartments with investment plans in the form of business cooperation network; investment plans for modernization of hotels with less than seven years of operation.