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EU pushes its own 'Small Business Act'

Latest update : 2008-06-25

Brussels is proposing a special fiscal regime for small and medium-sized businesses. Such businesses make up 99% of European companies and amount to being the largest employer in the continent. (Analysis: C. Vanier)

The European Commission in Brussels unveils on Wednesday a raft of policy ideas to support small and medium-size businesses (under 250 employees).

The draft "Small Business Act", as it is known, would create a unique legal status for small businesses in Europe, such that companies created in one member-state could operate throughout the EU without hindrance. Under the Act, it would take only one week and cost just €1 to create a company.

Significantly, Brussels also recommends a law to insure that small businesses be paid faster. It is estimated that every year 450,000 jobs are lost because companies are paid too late.

The draft legislation requires approval by Europe's finance ministers. If they okay the proposal, it could come into force by mid-2010.

Date created : 2008-06-25

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