SOLOPRENEUR: Self-Employability in Remote Regions of Europe

Navigating the solopreneurship framework in Europe


Navigating the solopreneurship framework in Europe

EU tools, EU financial instruments, SMEs, COSME Programme, administrative requirements, legal requirements, fiscal requirements, logistical r



At the end of this module, you will be able to: • Exploit EU resources and tools to help and support solopreneurs • Manage administrative, legal and fiscal requirements to start a self-business in EU • Logistically and operationally organise your business

This module is useful for a solopreneur because it has the possibility to know all the tools and aspects necessary to build his business. The module starts with methods and tools with which the European Commission undertakes to support the solopreneurs (for example the COSME programme). The administrative, legal and fiscal requirements are then illustrated: these vary from one Country to another, but in general, thanks also to European policies, they have many points in common. Finally, there are useful tips and a check list to logistically organise a business.

 Contents in bullet points
Unit 1 - EU resources and tools for Solopreneurs Unit 2 - Administrative, Legal & Fiscal Requirements Unit 3 - Operational & Logistical Requirements




  How the EU Commission helps solopreneurs

The Europe 2020 strategy recognises entrepreneurship and self-employment as key for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
Access to finance is one of the main obstacles to the growth of social enterprises
In its support to entrepreneurship and self-employment, the European Commission seeks to:
- Increasing knowledge
- Building capacities
- Supporting entrepreneurship financially
Increasing knowledge:
•A large part of this knowledge-building and mutual learning on entrepreneurship is done in co-operation with the OECD.
•The joint publications include a series 'Missing Entrepreneurs' which focuses on entrepreneurship developments among vulnerable groups (young, women, older, migrants, disabled).
Building capacities:
•The European Commission and the OECD have also jointly developed a Better entrepreneurship policy tool, which can act as a catalyst to improve entrepreneurship policies in a city, region or EU Country.
•The tool covers the policies supporting entrepreneurship by people from vulnerable groups, as well as social entrepreneurship.
Supporting entrepreneurship financially:
The European Social Fund (ESF) promotes entrepreneurship through financial and business support services
Targeted support is provided to underrepresented and disadvantaged groups, including women entrepreneurs and disabled people
The  Portal - aims to give SMEs clear and easy access to the broad range of existing public services. Presently, 35 target markets around the world are covered. It includes a useful Market Access Database – that is free, open to the public and contains some 300 service providers that cover approximately 1200 support services

  The “European cluster collaboration platform”

Created by DG Growth
It is an overview of EU Instruments contributing to the Internalisation of European Business to help improve the knowledge of potential business internationalisation stakeholders on funding possibilities and existing instruments (both direct and indirect) and supporting SME internalisation beyond the EU

  EU financial instrument for SMEs: COSME Programme

•The programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) is improving access to finance for SMEs through two financial instruments
•COSME has a budget of over EUR 1.3 billion to fund these financial instruments that facilitate access to loans and equity finance for SMEs where market gaps have been identified


  How to Start a Self-Business in EU

The requirements vary depending on the Country. However, the EU encourages all Countries to meet certain targets for helping to set up new companies, including
–setting up in no more than 3 working days
–costing less than EUR 100
–completing all procedures through a single administrative body
–completing all registration formalities online
–registering a company in another EU Country online 
A challenge to which the EU is committed is focused on removing administrative barriers and enhancing the culture of entrepreneurship in Europe
More often than not, independent contractors aren’t willfully avoidant of these laws; they are simply unaware of what is necessary
To start a business in Europe, you will generally need to produce:
•Certificates of incorporation
•Bank reference letters
•Passport copies
•Resume and photos
•Business license
•Lease contracts of Country address
•Description of the scope of your business
•Description of the purpose of your business and reason for expanding

  How to Start a Self-Business: Requirements

1.Corporate name requirements
The company registration processes in European Countries are largely similar and fairly straightforward.
Company incorporation typically takes 1 – 2 weeks. Incorporation of your company in Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Portugal only takes 1-2 days, depending on business sectors
2. Permits and licenses
You’ll need specific permits and licences from the federal, provincial or municipal governments, depending on your location, as well as the industry sector and specific activities that you plan to conduct
You may also need special permissions to use certain words.
For example, in Italy you need approval to use words like Italy and international in your business name
3. Opening a corporate bank account for your business
There are various bank account options in Europe
The Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) is a directive to simplify bank transfer within European Countries. Transactions within SEPA incur very minimal charges or even at no cost at all
Certain European Countries require that you provide proof that you have enough money to fund your business
4. Registering with the governing business organization
Some European Countries expect foreign business owners to register with the governing business organization — like a Chamber of Commerce — to incorporate their business

  Points of Single Contact portal

Points of Single Contact (PSCs) are e-government portals that allow service providers to get the information they need and complete administrative procedures online. They are managed by the ‘EUGO network’ of national coordinators
PSCs provide national information to help you deal with a wide range of practical issues:
–Notifications or permits needed to start a business


  Build infrastructure

Giving a physical location to your business is necessary to consolidate it and manage it better
1.Search for an office
2.Buy the equipment
3.Set up a system to record income & expenses
1. Search for an office
•For little space: design a home office; otherwise you'll need a real lab or storage
•Rent in an inexpensive neighborhood or use business incubators
•In some places, universities provide low-rent spaces designed for new business initiatives
•Make sure that the space complies with the rules and laws provided for the use you intend to make of them and your budget


Internet Access


Surge Protector



File Cabinet


Network Router

Paper Shredder

Adequate Lighting

Backup Drive or Personal Server

Uninterruptible Power Supply



Fire-Safe Box



Pens, pencils, highlighters

2. Buy the equipment
•Buy all the tools you need to get to work
•Try to buy in stores that sell wholesale materials for businesses, so you can get significant discounts
•Without a good sum of money, to rent is a solution to get the company running with few resources
3. Set up a system to record income and expenses
•You need a good system to manage business, taxes and invoice payments without problems and efficiently
•Invest in files, labels and digital registry software in order to maintain good organization


• How the EU Commission helps solopreneurs: − Increasing knowledge − Building capacities − Supporting entrepreneurship financially − European cluster collaboration platform: an overview of EU Instruments contributing to the Internalisation of European Business − EU financial instrument for SMEs: COSME Programme • How to Start a Self-Business in EU: − Common targets for all European countries: • setting up in no more than 3 working days • costing less than EUR 100 • completing all procedures through a single administrative body • completing all registration formalities online • registering a company in another EU Country online − What to produce: • Certificates of incorporation • Bank reference letters • Passport copies • Resume and photos • Business license • Lease contracts of Country address • Description of the scope of your business • Description of the purpose of your business and reason for expanding − Logistical requirements: • Search for an office • Buy the equipment • Set up a system to record income and expenses


 Training Fiche PPT:


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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site and its contents reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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