Europe is offering a comprehensive context for every European entrepreneur in order to start up their business or expand an existing one, across the boundaries of their own country, but within the European Union. Europe is offering flexible legislation to its citizens aiming to empower them, support new business ideas and strengthen the competitive advantage of Europe itself.
A start up in Europe may materialize two main concepts. Either an innovative idea that serves the market requirements in a specific country or an expansion of an existing company. Either concept employed, the potential entrepreneur can benefit a lot from a start up in Europe, but should consider carefully the specific formalities, rules and regulations that apply to the country of their choice. Several countries may employ strict regulation and even prohibit trading of certain commodities or performing of certain activities. For example, several countries ban the import of goods from third world countries, and thus if you are planning to create a startup that involves such imports you should think about it twice. Some of the important things to consider when choosing the best European country to start up your business is the number of procedural steps that are needed to begin the operation of a business and the number of days it usually takes. Another aspect is the administrative cost of starting and running a business in a certain country based on the percentage of national income per capita and lastly, the minimum amount that new business owners have to deposit with a bank.
According to the EU legislation, if you find that the required country can support the content of your business and efficiently meet your expectations you should go and register it electronically, complete application forms online and provide every document requested. The European Union has a service called Points of Single Contact (PSCs) that help businessmen deal with a variety of practical issues.
Furthermore, being a European citizen, you are entitled to some important rights. You can start up your business anywhere in Europe, including Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein or you can create a subsidiary branch for an existing company. If your company runs under a specific objective like environment, health or research you should consider applying for a EU funding. Your obligations may different from one country to another but generally the European Union suggests that the st-up of your company should not exceed a three day limit and cost more than 100 euros. Also, your company’s registration and related documents should be submitted online and by a single administrative party.
If you are a single trader and you came up with an innovative concept you should consider registering your idea, together with the startup of your new business. European Union offers an Intellectual Property (IP) service in order to protect a wide variety of intellectual products, like patents, trademarks, industrial designs, artistic work and software design, even trading secrets or efficient know-hows and more. Intellectual Property service runs under the auspices of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Prices to patent a product can be quite affordable, as the application and registration for a trademark can cost from 900 to 1050 €. Patents can be national or European. A European level patent can protect you across the European Union, whereas a national patent can be more effective in a particular country but cost you more money and time in the long run, if you have to resolve a dispute.
From a multicultural perspective, the European Company Statute, constitutes an excellent start up idea for entrepreneurs. This type of company, also called as Societal European (SE) in Latin, was introduced in 2004 and is a public, limited-liability company that runs under EU legislation. A European Company Statute may suit you if you are running your company’s activities in more than one countries and you seek for an easier way to group them under a single European label. Also, it provides the ability to transfer your office without having to dissolve the company. Lastly, a European Company Statute offers the possibility to employ a wide range of people from all over Europe.
There are four main ways to form this type of company: 1) Merging of public, limited liability companies that reside in two different European countries minimum 2) Creating of a holding company, for companies that have registered offices in two different European countries or
have their headquarters in one country for at least two years but maintain subsidiary branches in another EU country 3) Subsidiary branches of one company that merge under a holding company 4) Converting a public, limited-liability company if it resides in one EU country but has maintained a subsidiary branch at some time in the past for at least two years. European countries may have different capital requirements in order to create a European Company Statute. However, the minimum capital required amounts to 120.000 euros that should be in shares.
If you consider creating a company by merging foreign companies, keep in mind that this move can be performed under three situations. A third company can buy one or more companies which transfer all their assets and dissolve but do not liquidate. Another way of merging is if two or more companies desire to merge their assets by creating a new company and also dissolve but do not liquidate. The third way of merging, is when a company decides to sell its assets and its liabilities to another company. This company must already hold its formalities and securities. This way also involves the dissolution, but not the official liquidation of the first company.
Under the EU legislation all companies involved in a merging agreement must create a document, known as common draft terms of the merger, stating the company’s name and registered offices, as well as the name of the start-up company, explaining analytically the exchange ratio of the securities and shares, the effects of the merging on the employees and more details. This document must be published one month before the companies perform their general assembly meeting.
To sum up, regardless of your business goal and the type of company you want to create, you can benefit from the protection and rights provided within the European Union. You can hire people, collaborate with exquisite minds and raise your income responding to the market signals. However, you must keep in mind that rules and regulations are different across European countries and that the information provided in this article may not apply thoroughly to the country of your choice.