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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Start-up procedures: progress in 2011

In 2011 average time and cost to start-up a private limited company is 6.5 days and cost is € 397.

In 2010 average time and cost to start-up a private limited company was 7 days and cost is € 399.
In 2009 average time and cost to start-up a private limited company was 8 days and cost is € 417.
In 2008 average time and cost to start-up a private limited company was 9 days and cost is € 463.
In 2007 average time and cost to start-up a private limited company was 12 days and cost is € 485.

The reduction in average times and cost is due mostly to simplifications implemented in Greece where the new electronic register (GEMI) is operational since April 2011. This new system incorporates a series of administrative simplifications such as the reduction in the number of forms to fill in from 8 to just one. This plus the compulsory use of electronic means for company registration has resulted in the speeding up of the process to create a private limited company (EΠE). This occasion has also been used by the Greek Authorities as an opportunity to reduce the fees.

From 2011 target cost to start-up a company: €100

The conclusions of the Competitiveness Council of 31st May 2011included a call to Member States "to reduce the start-up time for new enterprises to 3 days and the cost to €100 by2012"

"The Council's Action Plan for a Small Business Act for Europe" of 2010 already asked Member States to bring down start-up times to 3 working days.

Under these new benchmarks the aggregate situation of Member States in relation to the 3 objectives earmarked for administrative simplification for start-ups are:

Number of Member States

Accomplished

Not accomplished

One-stop-shop

18

9

Time

10

17

Cost

7

20

3 countries comply with all three objectives: Denmark, Romania and Slovenia.

9 countries comply with 2 of the 3 objectives: Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

8 countries comply with 1 of the 3 objectives: Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

7 countries do not comply with ANY of the objectives: Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Poland, and Slovakia.

Country by country information

For a more detailed, country by country information:

2011 Country by country assessment - overview table pdf - 19 KB [19 KB]

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