November 2020 / Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hello, you future entrepreneur! You finally decided to give it a go and put your money where your mouth is. You’ve made your plan, you’ve gathered everything together and all you need to do next is to start your own company. Now, let me help you a little bit by pointing you in the right direction where you can find out which steps you’ll need to take in order to set up your own startup company. 

First of all, you should know that as an EU citizen you are entitled to start your own business (as a sole shareholder or together with other shareholders) in any EU country as well as in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. 

Depending on the EU country where you want your startup to be registered, certain rules shall apply and the requirements may vary. Nevertheless, as a result of a consistent EU policy, most EU countries already respect some common requirements. Therefore, no matter the EU country where you’ll decide to set up your startup company, you’ll most likely be able to do it in a maximum time-frame of 3 working days and with a cost of less than 100 Euro. Also, you’ll be able to complete all the procedures through a single administrative institution and, very important, you’ll do all the formalities online. 

Of course, even with these common guidelines, depending on each country’s rules for companies’ registration, there will be plenty of formalities that you’ll need to do before you’ll hold in your hands the company’s registration certificate. Through the e-government portals of which EU country, you can learn about all these rules and formalities that apply in any particular EU country and you’ll also find out about how you can complete the administrative procedures online. 

I’ll also want to tell you about a detail often ignored by many first-time entrepreneurs but which can save you from a big headache in the future. After you’ve decided on your new company’s name and before you start any registration procedure, you should check the “Find a company” section of the European e-Justice Portal. The purpose of this portal is to search for and access companies’ information from the national business registers. The reason I’m telling you about it is a bit different though: here you can also check to see if the name you choose for your company isn’t already taken by a different company from the country where you want to start your own business. Just search for your desired company’s name by following the procedure as if you’ll search for an established company instead of an “imaginary” one. If no similar results will be displayed, then your chances to register exactly your preferred company’s name will be higher. 

An important aspect that you’ll be wise to consider is the fact that there are different EU funds available for startup business. To find out more information about it and to check if any of these programs meets your needs, you should visit the Startup Europe Club and filter your search accordingly. 

While you are there, make a note also about the Startup Europe Partnership, the integrated pan-European open innovation platform that helps the best EU startups grow. It will come in handy later on your startup journey, just as it will the European Investment Project Portal which can help you increase the visibility of your business project to an extensive network of international investors. 

By no means you should not consider this guide as an exhaustive one, it was not built to have this effect. Instead, its creation purpose was to give you a comprehensive perspective about the steps you’ll need to complete in order to set up your first company in a country member of the European Union. 

Following the links mentioned in this article will definitely be a strong starting point to make an idea about how you can register your own company. I have no doubt that your sharp mind – the same one that sparkled that cool business idea that you are trying now to develop – will handle the rest of the company registration process. If at some point you’ll find yourself stuck in some legal technicalities, remember that you can always contact me and we will figure it all out together.

Good luck, my fellow future entrepreneur!

Thank you for your time!