The Study on Digitalisation of Company Law presents the state of affairs regarding the use of digital tools in company law, with the objective of measuring the benefits, constraints and challenges associated with such digitalisation.
This study offers a detailed overview of 13 Member States' (Belgium, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain), and The United Kingdom* across four procedures present in the life-cycle of the company: registration, filing of information, dissolution, and publication. The study in turn presents an analysis of the benefits and constraints related to EU intervention the in area of digitalisation of company law across several different factual scenarios.
* (The UK was a Member State when this study was carried out)
The level of digitalisation integrated into company law processes varies across the EU. Some Member States have digitalised the overall company life-cycle (in some the use of online tools in procedures is even mandatory), while in others physical presence before an authority is necessary, at least once.
Overall, concerted efforts have been made from public administrations to simplify and digitalise most back-office processes in order make business registers interoperable with other business registers and national gazettes.
The requirement of physical presence before an intermediary or business register present very little added value compared to the use of an e-ID or trust services and can make company law processes costly and time consuming for companies.
There is need for further development of digitalisation in company law at EU level. The recommended way forward would ensure that, as a basic requirement, online registration, filing, dissolution without physical presence before any national competent authority be possible.
HOW IS THE STUDY USEFUL?
The factual analysis of the degree to which digitalisation has been integrated into company law processes at Member States level presents a highly fragmented outlook across the EU and highlights the need for intervention at EU level.
The findings of the study were used in preparation of the “Company Law Package” initiative.