Legal

Public policies on SSE
Over the years there has been an increase of local, national and European public policies targeting specific SSE actors or in some cases the whole Social and Solidarity Economy sector. This development is partly due to the democratic participation of the SSE actors in the policy-making processes (co-construction). The SSE public policies may prescribe - among other things- higher governmental bodies for the support of SSE (e.g. SSE secretariats), funding schemes, subsidies and technical assistance to the SSE actors. Also, SSE public policies may introduce new laws or reform already existing ones. In particular, a number of countries: a) have included provisions on the whole SSE sector or particular SSE actors in their national constitutions (e.g. Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece), b) have enacted a framework law (or a general law) on SSE, which defines the sector of SSE, its principles and values and also includes supportive measures for their development (e.g. Spain Greece, Portugal, France), c) have passed specific laws on particular SSE actors (e.g. Malta). On the one hand, such policies can create an enabling environment for the SSE. On the other hand, they may encourage the development of clientelism, the SSE actors’ state dependency and may become short-lived each time a new leader or party takes power.
Legislation on co-operatives

Most European countries have introduced co-operative - specific legal provisions and  some of them may even refer to co-operatives in their national constitution. Some of the issues usually regulated by national co-operative laws are: the minimum number of members in order to be established (usually the minimum  number of members in European co-operative laws is 3 – e.g. Italy, UK, Germany,  Portugal) 

  • the co-operative’s administrative organs (usually these are the general assembly,  the board of directors and in some cases the supervisory council, elected by the  general assembly)  
  • the one member- one vote principle (with exceptions in some cases) 
  • how the profits are distributed (usually there are limitations and conditions to  profit distribution - e.g. France, Portugal, Italy, Spanish laws of Valencia, Galicia,  Madrid and Extremadura) 
  • the formation of unions of co-operatives with an economic purpose and  federations with socio-political goals, which enable co-operatives to work together  and better promote their interests. Such provisions are found in many European  countries (e.g. France, Spain, Portugal). 

National co-operative laws prescribe co-operatives’ activities within national borders, but  European regulations allow for a wider scope. Individuals or legal entities from different  member states of the European Economic Area can also set up a European co-operative  society in order to undertake cross-border activities. 

Factors to consider when choosing a legal form for your business

Choosing the right legal form for your business is a process of weighing the advantages  and disadvantages of all available legal forms prescribed by national legislation. Although  this deliberation usually takes place during the initial phase of forming the business, the  choice plays a significant role throughout its lifespan. Therefore, the nature of business  activity, the scale of operation, the necessary capital, the degree of risk and liability, the  flexibility of inner governance, the profit distribution, the cost, procedure and  governance regulation are some factors to be considered during the decision-making  process.  

Choosing a legal form for your social enterprise

The legal forms that can be used to set up a social enterprise vary from country to  country. Nevertheless, they can be classified into four broad categories:  

  • non-profit structures (e.g. associations, foundations), which may be governed  democratically or by managers and cannot distribute any profits to their members
  • co-operatives, which are enterprises owned, democratically controlled and run by  and for their members with the purpose of covering their common economic,  social, and cultural needs and aspirations 
  • the social enterprise legal forms (e.g. in Italy and France there is a social  enterprise legal form which is based on adaptations of the co-operative legal  form) 
  • share companies, which are owned and controlled by their shareholders and may  trade in the market for a social purpose. 

Based on the above categorisation, the three most commonly used legal forms for social  enterprises in the European countries are associations, co-operatives, and share  companies.  

Social Enterprises: The Cyprus Regulatory System and Challenges
“Social Entrepreneurship” provides an innovative response to current economic and social challenges. It is distinguished from mainstream business models by shifting the focus from wealth to “making the world a better place”, and provides valuable services to society such as education, health, environmental protection, elimination of poverty, social inclusion etc. This article highlights the importance of Social Entrepreneurship and provides an overview of the landscape in Cyprus and the much-delayed legal framework. Challenges and perspectives for the future are also discussed.
Sharing Economy Regulations: The legal position of Airbnb in Cyprus
Airbnb is a prime example of a sharing economy model. The global phenomenon has already spread in Cyprus and is growing in numbers and popularity. However, until 2020 when the Law for the legal framework of the market was enacted, there were no rules to regulate its implementation. This work examines the relevant provisions of the newly incorporated legislation regarding the sharing economy sector.
Cyprus Work Permit Requirements
This article presents the general guidelines, criteria and procedure for acquiring a work permit in Cyprus; for European nationals, foreign nationals, and for asylum seekers. European citizens go through a simple and straightforward process and are included in the local workforce, along with Cypriots. However, third country nationals and asylum seekers are a different case, as the requirements for fulfilling the employment criteria are extensive. The 3rd governmental scheme for NEETs is also discussed. The information contained in this article is a synopsis of the information that is provided in the governmental websites to help applicants meet the criteria and complete the procedure.
Steps for registering a Greek SSE organization in the General Social Economy Registry
According to the current legislative framework (Law 4430/2016, Ministerial Decision 61621/Δ5.2643), Social and Solidarity Economy organisations in Greece must be registered in the General Social Economy Registry before they have the right to do business. The SSE Entities Registry Department, which is part of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, is responsible for overseeing the establishment of various types of cooperatives, ensuring that those registered comply with the regulations, and for general supervision and auditing. Legal entities that meet the conditions to be registered are awarded the status of SSE entity. The present text describes the necessary steps and documents as well as the deadlines for the registration of SSE entities in the General Social Economy Registry.
The Legal Framework of the Social and Solidarity Economy in Greece
The basic legal framework of the Social and Solidarity Economy (KALO) in Greece is set by law Nr. 4019/2011, as amended by Law Nr. 4430/2016. At the same time, the provisions of law Nr. 1667/1986 continue to apply, in any case the above mentioned laws stipulate. Furthermore, the above mentioned law provides the content of the relevant legal definitions, categorizes and distinguishes the relevant companies and defines all issues related to the establishment, operation and liquidation of the company.
The employees’ cooperatives as a SSE entity - Legal Framework
The legal framework of the employees’ cooperatives as an SSE entity in Greece is set by laws Nr. 1667/1986 and 4019/2011. The above laws provide the relevant legal definitions, their composition and operation. Furthermore, the relations of the members with the cooperative and with the employees is determined. The main governing bodies of the cooperative are the general assembly and the board of directors. Finally, the law defines what happens to the distribution of profits or in case of dissolution of the cooperative.
Sharing Economy as a commercial activity in accordance with the Greek case law, via the example of AIRBNB
A key challenge in Greece is the lack of a single legal framework for the Sharing Economy, which leads to individual and fragmentary solutions. This article presents relevant definitions of basic legal concepts and how they apply in Greece. To demonstrate the above, the example of AIRBNB is presented; according to the Greek jurisprudence and case law, an apartment building’s bylaws emerge as a basic tool for resolving any disputes. From a taxation perspective, the basic legislative provisions for the tax treatment of AIRBNB leasing are presented, as well as the case of UBER, which was led to cease operations in Greece due to legal constraints.
The legal framework of work permits for third-country nationals in Greece
The basic legislation concerning the entry and work of third-country nationals (i.e. outside the EU) in Greece is Law 4251/2014 - "Immigration Code". - The process of determining the number of people admitted for work. The application for transfer of third country nationals for dependent or seasonal work. Application for transfer of third country nationals, especially for fishermen. Issuance and renewal of a “special purpose” residence permit for: i. Board members, shareholders, managers, legal representatives and senior executives (general managers, directors) of companies, ii. Employees in companies, based on special international agreements, iii. Managers, business and technical executives of companies engaged in marine exploration, drilling and extraction of fossil fuels, iv. Technicians employed in industries or mines, v. Athletes and sport coaches, vi. Intellectual creators producing works of intellectual content, in particular authors, literary artists, theatre and cinema directors, painters, sculptors, actors, musicians, singers, choreographers and set designers, vii. Officials of any known religion, viii. Foreign correspondents, ix. Members of foreign archaeological schools. - Council Directive 2009/50/EC on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment.
SSE entities and their differences to other types of businesses in Spain
This article analyses the characteristics of the different social economy organisations in Spain and their differences. It then defines the organisations that arise from the social and solidarity economy, an economy whose main focus is on people in order to achieve greater redistribution while at the same time responding to the company goals. In this way, the types of entities that arise to respond to the needs of part of the population or, more specifically, of the population groups in a situation of vulnerability whose needs have not been resolved by the State and much less by the market, will be analysed. These entities, therefore, incorporate a social dimension of a socio-cultural nature, together with the economic objective
Sharing economy regulations in Spain. Airbnb and other examples
Online platforms are defined as companies that operate on bilateral or multilateral markets, which use the Internet to allow interaction between two or more different but interdependent user groups, in a way that creates value for at least one of the groups. Certain platforms can be qualified as brokerage service providers. The common denominator of all these platforms is that they allow online interaction between users through the Internet, offering all kinds of goods and services
Steps for establishing/registering an SSE company in Spain
The institutions of the European Union made the first steps to establish a European Youth Guarantee in 2005, in the context of promoting employment. The main goal for Governments and the EU is to ‘ensure that all young people under the age of 25 years receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal Education. SSE entities are seen as a potential way of providing quality employment to youths, and this article presents the necessary steps to establish an SSE company in Spain.