Social enterprises and the social economy in Europe and America have been successful practices for many decades. In Greece it is a new form of business and as it happens in all new things there are questions and queries. Through the Forum of SOCIALPOLIS, wanting to contribute to the spread of the social and solidarity economy in every direction, we have collected and codified the most common questions and we present them to you with brief and comprehensive answers.


What is "Social Cooperative Enterprise?

Social Cooperative Enterprise is a new entity of the Social Economy that emerged with the recent business activity code No. 4430/2016. In essence, it is an urban cooperative with a social purpose that has a legal commercial status.
How is "Social Economy" defined? ;
A social economy is a solidarity economy of another area of economic activity. Beside the competitive economy it can function as a supplement for income and employment by addressing unemployment, hardship and poverty, by instruments such as solidarity, volunteering and donations.

What is the new element that the solidarity economy offers?

Solidarity Economy - is a broad sense - a third sector of the economy, with boundaries between them not always visible. The first sector concerns the private freight economy, that is to say the companies operating for profit. The second sector concerns the public or state economy, whereby the state or other units provide goods and services of a redistributive nature. The third area concerns the broad scope of the economy in solidarity. It is an economic activity that starts "from below". It is primarily a citizens 'initiative ("citizens' economy", i.e. by the citizens and their needs) which is not aimed at profit. In other words, it is a real need economy.

What object can Social Cooperative Enterprise? (SCE)

SCE has nothing to envy from any other private company: it can operate in any area of the provision of services or the production and distribution of products that it wishes - Farming and livestock farming processing, wholesale and retail trade, simple, technical or scientific services, research, events, culture, social care, sports and so on.

How to build my own Social Cooperative Enterprise ? ;

SOCIALPOLIS provides modern and flexible support and consulting services, creative ideas and practical education to young entrepreneurs who dream of creating their own innovative social cooperative business. Technical assistance and support is delivered throughout the business cycle with high professionalism and unique know-how, as well as human, face-to-face daily support.

What specialized services can SCE offer me? SOCIALPOLIS

  • To see what is needed to build your own Social Cooperative Enterprise (Establishment and Start of economic activity, Statute, procedures of tax authority, business activity code, tax payer ID, general Register of Social Economy, Licenses, Taxation and Insurance OAEE ( Self-Employed Workers’ Insurance Organization)
  • Take account of legal tax and commercial considerations (taxation, profit share, distributed profits.
  • Take account of legal tax and commercial considerations (taxation, profit share, distributed profits. 
  • Create your own corporate identity, create a remarkable professional corporate image and promote your business effectively on the internet and the market.
  • Keep in touch with a range of activities and networks in the industry you have chosen and contact strong trading partners in Greece and abroad. 
  • Find funding from Greece or Europe, benefit from NSRF grants and participate in co-financed National and European projects.
  • Actively participate in the social economy ecosystem through networking actions in Greece and internationally, the organization of informative events, practical training workshops and special collective conferences.


What about the profits of Social Cooperative Enterprises? What is their tax method and what are the incentives?

The profits of Social Cooperative Enterprises shall not be distributed to its members, unless they are employees in it. Earnings shall be allocated as a percentage annually, as follows:

  • 5% to form a reserve.
  • Up to 35% is distributed to the employees of the company as an incentive of productivity according to the terms of the statute.
  • The remainder (at least 60%) is allocated to the company’s activities and for the creation of new jobs.

It should be noted that employees of Social Cooperative Enterprises, who belong to the Vulnerable Groups of Population and who receive welfare or reintegration benefits or any form of hospitalization or provision, continue to receive these benefits at the same time as their remuneration from the Joint Committee.
Also the SCE can be integrated into entrepreneurship support programs, in programs of the Labor Employment Agency to support work and in all active employment policies.

Are there insurance and tax obligations or other responsibilities on members who simply participate (and do not work) in these companies?

The mere participation of a natural person in the capacity of a partner member in a Social Cooperative Enterprise does not give him commercial status and does not create insurance or tax liabilities. In addition to the amount he pays for the acquisition of the cooperative share, the member of SOCIALPOLIS It has no other liability towards its lenders.

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