Simplification of administrative procedures remains high on the EU political agenda. The Commission regularly monitors progress by all EU countries in simplifying start-up procedures and reducing the time and cost of starting a company.
In 2015, Ireland put in place a fully-operational one-stop-shop for start-up procedures. Further progress was made by EU countries in reducing the time it takes to start a private limited company, but the overall average cost has slightly risen. This is mostly due to an increase in legal/notary fees.
The slight reduction in average time is mostly due to simplifications implemented in Austria, Bulgaria and Sweden. At the same time, the slight rise in average cost is mostly due to an increase of costs in Hungary.
In 2015, Malta introduced provisions which allow for a reduction in the time it takes to start a company to 3 days and the cost to €100. These provisions are in force as of 1 January 2016.
Currently, 12 EU countries offer two options for registering a company: an electronic registration procedure and a traditional paper one. The time and cost are dependent on the procedure chosen by the entrepreneur. In the case of an electronic procedure, the average time to start a company across the EU would be 2.9 days and the average cost would be €288.50.