Last checked : 04/05/2018

The European Company

UK decision to invoke Article 50 of the TEU: More information

As of 30 March 2019, all EU law will cease to apply to the UK, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, or the European Council and the UK decide unanimously to extend the two-year negotiation period. For more information about the legal repercussions for businesses:

If you have a business and want to expand to another EU country, you could consider creating a European Company. The European Company – also known as SE – is a type of public limited-liability company regulated under EU law.

There are several advantages to setting up a European Company:

How to set up a European Company

There are 4 possibilities, depending on your situation:

How Who Requirements
Merger (to form a European Company) Public limited liability companies At least 2 companies from different EU countries
Forming a European holding company Public or private limited liability companies At least 2 companies from different EU countries
or
A company that had, for at least 2 years, a subsidiary or a branch in another EU country
Forming a European subsidiary Companies, firms or other legal bodies At least 2 companies  from different EU countries
or
An entity that  had, for at least 2 years, a subsidiary or a branch in another EU country
Conversion A public limited liability company A company that had, for at least 2 years, a subsidiary in another EU country

Conditions for setting up a European Company

A European Company has legal personality as a public limited liability company. To establish a European Company you must have:

  1. your registered office and your head office must be in the same EU country
  2. a presence in other EU countries (subsidiaries or branches) or your company and other companies involved need to be governed by the laws of at least two different EU countries
  3. a minimum subscribed capital of EUR 120 000
  4. an agreement on employees participation in the company's bodies and on how they will be consulted and informed

Requirements may vary between countries. Some countries may have higher capital requirements, while others require the head office and the registered office to be in the same place.

European Companies in each country

Some EU rules on the European Company statute were transposed into national law. This therefore means that some of the rules may be implemented differently in different countries. This is also the case with the EU directive on employee participation.

See which specific national rules apply to the European Company Statute in your country:

Choose country

* Information not yet provided by national authorities

Upcoming EU regulations

Public consultations

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Points of single contact

National information on expanding your business in another EU country.

Local business support - Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border, for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

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