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Start-up procedures

Starting and running a new company is not easy. Cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming administrative procedures often discourage potential entrepreneurs from setting up their own businesses. The European Commission's objective is to reduce the burden of administrative procedures and encourage more people to become entrepreneurs, create new jobs, and improve Europe's economic performance.

What is a start-up procedure?

The start-up procedure is a 'procedural cycle for a start-up that can be considered complete when a company is fully operational to develop its economic activities'.

Evidence shows that the less burdensome the administrative procedures for setting up a company are, the higher the rate of business start-ups is. Continuing with administrative simplification is therefore a top priority for the Commission.

Commission actions

Situation in EU countries

Even though the EU business environment has improved, progress remains uneven across different countries. While it is rather easy to establish a new company in some countries, the procedures are still lengthy and complicated in others.

In 2018 the average time to start a private limited company was 3.1 days and the average cost was €300. There was no change as regards the average time, it has remained the same as in 2017. The reduction of average cost was mostly due to a decrease in costs observed in Latvia, Cyprus and Greece.

Importance of entrepreneurship education

The first step to starting a business is to have the right entrepreneurial skills, knowledge, and attitude. Entrepreneurial skills can be built through informal learning and through formal education.

Support available to start-ups

Supporting documents