Buying an existing company is an alternative way of starting a business. It is often more advantageous than starting from scratch. Every year, around 450,000 firms and over two million employees are transferred to new owners. However, up to one-third of these transfers may not be successful. The European Commission believes that it is just as important to support transfers as start-ups because they are equally important to the EU economy.
The main barriers to successful business transfers relate to planning and management. They include:
The Commission has worked on business transfers for the last 20 years. Key milestones in EU initiatives include:
Barriers to successful business transfers mainly exist at the local, regional, and national levels. To help EU countries shape their policies and design support measures, the Commission regularly takes stock of remaining barriers and promotes best practices.
Actions and support measures to facilitate the transfer of businesses at EU level include:
At national level, EU national and regional governments can use EU Structural Funds to support actions that improve awareness raising programmes, online platforms, and advisory services related to transfers.