Set up in cooperation with the Member States, the mandatory interconnection of all Member States' business registers
Potential of action
Reliable up-to-date information on companies is crucial for consumers, existing or potential business partners, the public and, in particular, the tax and justice administration. Cross-border access to business information is relevant in connection with companies that set up branches or subsidiaries, conduct cross-border trade or provide cross-border services in the EU. According to some surveys, approximately 15% of registered branches of foreign companies examined do not have an existing company behind them, i.e. potentially 16.800 registered foreign branches no longer belong to existing companies in the EEA. It is a good indication of the extent of the discrepancies between the content of the relevant registers across the EU. The total savings could add up to EUR 69 million, if such updating were carried out as part of the cross-border cooperation between business registers.
The interconnection of business registers will increase confidence in the European Single Market by ensuring a safer business environment for consumers, creditors and other business partners, create a higher degree of legal certainty and improve the performance of public administrations regarding cooperation between business registers in Europe in procedures for cross-border mergers, as well as the exchange of relevant information regarding companies and their branches.
Description of action
The system of interconnection of business registers (BRIS) will ensure that all EU business registers can communicate to each other electronically in a safe and secure way and will facilitate EU-wide access to information on companies for the public.
As of 2016 BRIS is a new digital service infrastructure (DSI) under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The interconnection of Member States' business registers is now a reality as BRIS (the Business Registers Interconnection System) went live on 8 June 2017, in line with the underlying EU directive. There are now business registers from 23 countries connected (22 member states and one EEA country). The interconnection ensures access for everyone to company data via the European e-Justice portal. It currently covers more than 20 million companies registered across Europe and in only three months after going live there were more than 70,000 searches for company information. The interconnection also allows business registers to exchange company information for certain cross-border situations.
Main responsible at the European Commission: DG JUST
Target date: 2017
The Business Registers Interconnection System went live on 8 June 2017, in line with the underlying EU directive. There are now business registers from 23 countries connected (22 EU Member States and Norway) and the Commission continues to work with the remaining Member States to ensure their connection to the system as soon as possible.
 Impact Assessment for COM(2011) 79 final
 Directive on the interconnection of central, commercial and companies registers, COM(2011)79 final
 In order to implement Directive 2012/17/EU