Have your say on how SMEs are defined.

The European Commission wants to hear your views on how micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined. 

A number of European policies have been set up to ensure SMEs benefit from financial support, fee reduction, reduced administrative burden, etc. The EU SME Definition is a tool to select the SMEs that should benefit from these policies, and is currently based on 3 criteria:

  • Staff headcount - less than 250 in annual full-time equivalent is considered the most important one and must be met.
  • Financial parameter - In order to reflect the performance of an enterprise compared to its competitors, financial parameters relating to turnover (≤ EUR 50 million) or the balance sheet total (≤ EUR 43 million) must be met.
  • Independence/ownership - the EU SME Definition makes a distinction between autonomous enterprises, enterprises with partner relationships (ownership between 25% and 50%) and enterprises with linked relationships (ownership above 50%).

The goal of this review is to ensure that the SME Definition remains fit for purpose and meets its objectives in the current economic environment. 

The main objectives of providing one common definition of what is to be considered a 'genuine' SME are to:

  • Create a level playing field and avoid distortion of competition between enterprises;
  • Ensure equal treatment of all SMEs; and
  • Improve the consistency and effectiveness of SME policies.

This questionnaire will help assess to what extent the current SME Definition is appropriate and assess options for possible changes, so that European small businesses can continue to receive dedicated policy support.

To have your say, please complete the SME Panel questionnaire. At the end of the survey please enter 'UK00075' when prompted to provide a 7-digit ID Number from your EEN representative.