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EU plans to cut red tape for businesses
Pic: European Commission

29 Mar 2023 / business Print

EU plans to cut red tape for businesses

The European Commission has announced plans for a new directive aimed at making it easier for companies to expand the use of digital tools and processes in EU company law.

The EU body says that the proposal would facilitate cross-border companies' operations, increase business transparency, and cut red tape for businesses.

The commission also estimates that the measures included in the directive would save around €437 million a year in administration costs.

‘Once-only principle’

The proposed rules include:

  • Application of the ‘once-only principle’ so that companies do not need to re-submit information when setting up a branch or a company in another member state. The relevant information can be exchanged through the Business Registers Interconnection System (BRIS),
  • An EU Company Certificate, containing a basic set of information about companies, which will be available free of charge in all EU languages,
  • A multi-lingual standard model for a digital EU power of attorney that will authorise a person to represent the company in another member state,
  • Removing formalities, such as the need for an apostille or certified translations for company documents.

The commission adds that other measures will ensure “greater transparency and trust” in companies, by making sure that information about them is publicly available through BRIS, and ensuring that company data in business registers is accurate and up to date.

‘Simple and reliable’ information

The proposal will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the EU Council. Once adopted, member states will have two years to transpose the directive into national law.

Didier Reynders (Commissioner for Justice, pictured) said that the measure would “greatly simplify” cross-border procedures for companies, business registers and authorities.

“In particular, the EU Company Certificate will provide EU companies with simple and reliable means to provide essential information about their company to authorities and stakeholders across the EU,” he stated.

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