Hi everyone. Newbee here.
Would you say it was an absolute necessity to know the language to move to Greece or could one get by enough, with a view to learning when out there.
It depends whether you are going to work here and who for, and also where you are going to live.
If you will be working for an international company in Athens you don't need to learn Greek before you come.
If you will be looking for work on a small island you might need to.
But it is easier to learn it once you get here and hear it all around you I think.
Can I ask three questions:
a) What sort of business are you thinking of buying?
b) Would the clients be Greeks or foreigners?
c) Do you have experience of running a business at all?
If your clients will be foreigners you may be able to get away with little Greek.
You will definitely need a good solicitor and accountant. You'll probably also someone to act as a general translator when needed. This could be many days a month at first.
There is a LOT of bureaocracy in Greece compared to the UK where running a small business is relatively free of red tape.
HiA - possibly bed and breakfast or cafe/bar. We are in the early stages of all this, so really just sounding people out and getting info.
B - possibly both
C - I run an animal boarding business at the moment.
Thanks very much for all this info. As I said, it is very early days yet, and may never happen, but the more information we can get, especially from people who live in Greece, and also official sites, the more informed decision we can make.Hi
This is my personal opinion.
In my experience Greeks are reluctant to patronize catering establishments run by foreigners. Don't know if others will agree on that but it is what I see. If you want to try to attract Greek clients you would need to speak Greek and offer traditional foods.
You may need to rely on non-Greeks as clients. If you can make a living from them (which is possible in the right place) then you won't need to speak Greek but you will need Greek-speaking advisors and business professionals to help you.
If you have run a business before then you will be aware of the risks and how much work is involved which is good. A lot of people come here with illusions. They open businesses which are not viable and often lose money.
Don't expect it to be as easy as in the UK. Imagine running your business without using a cheque book, having to personally attend every office you deal with by mail in the UK, having to get every invoice, till roll, cash book etc. stamped and dealt with by a government official and you will begin to get the picture!
You do get used to it after a few years though!
One word of warning - be careful of going into business in direct competition with Greeks. They do not like it and can try to sabotage you. For instance they may report you for a supposed contravention of some regulation you have never heard of so you get inspected. May turn out ok but it will be a nuisance and you may need to close for a couple of weeks to get whatever bit of paper you don't have. Every licence must be 100% which is why you need good advisors. (BTW this is not anti-foreigners; they do it to each other as well LOLl!)
We know of a couple of people that this has happened to and I think others on this forum will confirm it is a problem. Greeks can be the most generous people in the world but they can also be among the most jealous and spiteful.
You'll be much more welcome if you can offer something different that complements what is here already. I suggest you get to know the area you are thinking of and look carefully at what is available.