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European Company

The European Company (known by its Latin name of ‘Societas Europaea’ or SE) is a company established under EU law. It has its own legal framework and can operate as a single entity throughout the EU.

In 2001, the EU adopted, after some 30 years of negotiations, the regulation on the Statute for a European Company and the associated directive on employee participation in European Companies.

This legislation entered into force in 2004. It aims to cut companies' administrative costs, provides them with a legal structure suitable for their cross-border activities within the EU, and helps them avoid some of the legal and practical constraints arising from 28 different legal systems.

Under the European Company Statute, an SE can be set up by:

  • merger;
  • creation of a holding company;
  • creation of a joint subsidiary;
  • conversion of an existing company set up under national law.

The SE must have a minimum subscribed capital of €120,000 and its registered office must be at the same place as its head office.