Small and medium-sized enterprises are the cornerstone of the European economy. At the spring Council of 8-9 March 2007, the Heads of State and Government emphasised the importance of ‘better regulation’. In order to create a better starting position for European businesses, it is planned to reduce administrative burdens for small and medium-sized enterprises. On 28 March 2007, a Belgian and a German project, both helping to accelerate procedures in setting up a business and reducing administrative burdens, were presented at an information event organised in Brussels by the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE).
These two projects have given rise to increased efficiency in constituting companies thanks to the notariat’s increased integration. Before, in Belgium it used to take 56 days on average to create a company. Thanks to the ‘e-Depot’ project realised jointly by the Belgian government and the notariat, this timeframe has been reduced to three days. Belgium thus respects the EU’s desire to allow a company to be set up across Europe in five working days.
Germany has introduced electronic management of its trade register in close cooperation with the notariat. Time and efficiency are gained as a result.
These measures enhance the image of these countries as places for companies to establish themselves. The advantage for the companies is that they are operational more quickly whilst benefiting from the same certainty.
Moreover, the Member States will have to establish one-stop shops to constitute enterprises before the end of 2007. Civil law notaries will also play an active role in this area.