How to register a company in Europe in 7 steps

Because the EU is made up of so many different countries, there is a lot to consider when you want to register a business in Europe. There are some rules that apply to the EU as a whole and others that are different in each country. In this article, we will share as detailed information as possible, but we recommend contacting an expert in your chosen country to ensure that you are complying with all relevant laws and regulations. 

Do I Need to Register my Business in the EU? 

First things first - is it necessary to register a business in the EU? The answer is yes, if you would like to conduct business in a European country, you must register the business. If you already have a business and wish to expand operations to a different country within Europe, you can create a European Company. This lets you run your company across the EU using one set of rules as opposed to different rules in each place. 

Do I Need to Register my Online Business in the EU?

Online businesses follow the same rules as brick and mortar businesses and therefore an online business would need to be registered. Of course an online business can have customers all over the world, so if you are headquartered and registered in the EU that does not limit you from selling in other locations. Just make sure you have a top-notch payment infrastructure like Pay.com’s that can handle payments in different currencies. 


Once you have decided that it’s time to register your company, here are the 7 simple steps to follow:

Steps to Follow to Register a Business in Europe;

Step One: Do Your Initial Research

Because the EU is made up of individual countries with their own laws, it is very important that you fully understand what you are getting yourself into when you start a business in a specific country. Because your business must be registered in the country in which it is going to operate, you will want to become familiar with the laws of that country. You may find that it actually makes more financial sense to register and operate in a different country from the one you live in. 

Your first step is to review the different rules and regulations and start to get a feel for what might make the most sense for you considering the type of business you are starting, how much income you expect to earn, and how local vs. broad you want your reach and target market to be. 

Step Two: Choose a Country in which to Register your Business 

Following are key reasons why or why not you might choose to register your business in each of the following countries:

  • Ireland - There is a low corporate tax rate of 12.5% and minimal bureaucracy, making Ireland an attractive place to open a business.
  • Cyprus - Profits are taxed at 10% and there is no limit on nationality of company owners and no need for any of them to be Cypriot natives.
  • Germany - Germany’s booming economy makes it a desirable place to start a business, however it is known for complex and difficult bureaucracy throughout the process.
  • UK - Although the UK is no longer part of the EU, many tax treaties remain making it attractive to open a business in the UK.
  • The Netherlands - It’s easy to start a company in the Netherlands with no restrictions on the nationality or residency of the owners. 
  • Austria - Low minimums for setting up either a limited liability or joint stock company.
  • Belgium - The country has streamlined the process making it one of the fastest and easiest places to register a business in Europe.
  • Bulgaria - The corporate tax rate is among Europe’s lowest at 10%, going down to 0% in some areas.
  • Croatia - The government offers incentives for foreigners to open businesses in Croatia.
  • Denmark - Private company owners need not be EU residents, but public company directors must be.
  • Finland - The corporate tax rate is 26%. 
  • France - Registration process is simple, provided legal requirements are met.
  • Gibraltar - Low taxes with strict compliance regulations.
  • Hungary - Corporate income tax is 10% up to 1.8 million Euro of profits and 19% above. 
  • Isle of Man - Full corporate tax exemption.
  • Italy - No restrictions on foreign shareholders, but the registration process is complex.
  • Jersey - Jersey is not officially part of the EU, but it has a special relationship and free trade of goods is permitted.
  • Luxembourg - Easy to set up a business.
  • Malta - Corporate tax can be as low as 5% with generous tax exemptions and no withholding tax. 
  • Norway - If the director or shareholder is not an EU citizen, then 50% of the board members have to be residents of Norway.
  • Poland - No restrictions on foreign shareholders.
  • Portugal - Great location to set up a business because of easy access to rest of Europe.
  • Romania - Minimum registered capital is 60 Euros and maximum number of shareholders is 50.
  • Russia - The Civil Code covers Russian business activity and allows permits foreigners to form Joint Stock Companies (JSC), Limited Liability Companies (LLC), or Partnerships.
  • Slovakia - 19% flat rate corporate tax and no taxes on dividends.
  • Slovenia - 25% of the capital from each contributor has to be fully paid before registration can be complete.
  • Sweden - Sweden is third in the world on the World Bank’s list of connections with international markets.
  • Switzerland - Low corporate tax rate.
  • Turkey - At least 5 shareholders and a minimum investment of 24,000 Euros are required. 

Step Three: Choose your Company Type According to the Country 

Once you know in which country you would like to operate, you must choose the type of company you wish to register. Following is a brief description of the different options offered in each EU country:

Austria

Company Type Requirements
Limited Liability Company (Gmbh) -nominal capital of 35,000EUR
-at least one shareholder
-at least one managing director, who does not have to be an Austrian citizen
MStock Corporation (AG) -minimum share capital 70,000EUR
-establishment by only one shareholder is permitted
General Partnership (OG) -unlimited liability for all partners
-at least two shareholders required
Limited Partnership (KG) -unlimited liability for all partners
-at least two shareholders required
Private Corporation (GesbR) -at least two shareholders required
Dormant Partnership (stG)
Registered Civil Law Partnership (EEG)
Societas Europea (SE)
Sole Proprietorship
Foreign company branch or representative office

Belgium

Company Type Requirements
Company Limited by Shares (S.A./N.V.) -minimum share capital of €61,500
-articles of association published in Belgian Official Gazette
-documents in French or Dutch
-two-year preliminary financial plan required
-at least two shareholders, and at least three directors
-annual statutory audit
-no residency or nationality requirements one managing director, who does not have to be an Austrian citizen
Private Limited Liability Company (S.P.R.L./B.V.B.A.) -minimum share capital of €18,600
-at least one shareholder
-only one director
Foreign Companies Seeking to Incorporate in Belgium

Bulgaria

Company Type Requirements
A limited liability company – either sole-owned (EOOD) or with multiple shareholders (OOD) -The minimum share capital is only €1.
-The articles of association must be signed by all shareholders
-Monthly VAT returns filed if turnover is more than €25,000 or in case of voluntary VAT registration
A joint-stock company – either sole-owned (EAD) or with multiple shareholders (AD) -The minimum share capital is approx. €25,000
-at least three Board members
-Shares can be transferred by endorsement to a new shareholder/s
-An annual audit is required
Sole Proprietor -Must be resident

Cyprus

Company Type Requirements
Private Limited company -no minimum share capital
-between one and fifty shareholders
-at least one director and one secretary
-Registered office required
Branch -no minimum share capital -between one and fifty shareholders
-at least one director and one secretary
-Registered office required
Limited Liability Partnership -general partnership: between two and twenty members
-limited partnership: at least one partner with unlimited liability
-required to register with Registrar of Companies

Czech Republic

Company Type Requirements
limited liability company (SRO) -At least one director and one shareholder
-Minimum share capital of CZK 50,000
-Simple Ownership structure
Joint stock company partnership (AS) -minimum share capital CZK 2 million (€70,000)
-if via a public offering, minimum share capital CZK 20 million (€700,000)
-two-tier system of management and supervisory boards
-reserve fund from profits to be built up to 20% of registered capital
Partnership -general partnership (all partners have equal and unlimited liability)
-limited partnership (at least one partner has limited liability)
branch office -branches are not separate legal entities, but part of a foreign parent company
-branch manager may be Czech or foreign national
-branch requires trade license before it can be registered
-accounting records must be in Czech language

Denmark

Company Type Requirements
public limited company – Aktieselskab (A/S) -The minimum share capital is DKK 500,000 or €67,000.
-There must be at least one director upon incorporation, with no residency requirement
-At least three members of the Board of directors
-No physical presence of director or shareholders
-Require CVR( company registration number) provided by Danish Business Authority upon company registration.
private limited company – Anpartsselskab (ApS) -The minimum share capital is DKK 50,000 or €7,000.
-At least one director and one shareholder, with no residency requirement
-No physical presence of director or shareholder, can be initiated by Power of Attorney
-CVR (Company registration number) will be provided by Danish Business Authority upon company registration.
General Partnership (I/S) -there are no formal requirements for founding an I/S and it is governed by its partnership agreement.
Entrepreneurial Company (IVS) -governed by its articles of association or deed of incorporation
Limited Partnership (P/S)

Estonia

Company Type Requirements
Public limited liability company – Aktsiaselts (AS) -The minimum share capital is €25000.
-if Member of the Management Board is not resident of Estonia or EU, official representative is needed.
-audited accounts are required
Private limited liability company – Osaühing (OÜ) -The minimum share capital fis €2,500.
-if Member of the Management Board is not resident of Estonia or EU, official representative is needed.
General partnership (TU) – no minimum capital requirement or financial reporting requirements, all partners separately liable
Limited Partnership (P/S) – similar to TU but makes distinction between general and limited partners, no minimum capital requirement
Sole Proprietorship (FIE) – no capital requirements or financial reporting obligations

Finland

Company Type Requirements
Public limited company – osakeyhtiö Oyj -The minimum share capital is €80,000.
-a minimum of three board directors plus a managing director
-memorandum and articles of association
-mandatory audit mandatory
-financial statements must be filed within 8 months after the financial period has ended
-corporate income tax rate of 20%
-turnover of at least €40,000,000
-balance sheet of at least €20,000,000
-employs at least 250 people
-Private limited company osakeyhtiö Oy -The minimum share capital is €2,500.
-at least one board director and one deputy
-memorandum and articles of association
-financial statements must be filed 8 months after the financial period has ended
-income tax return should be filed with the Tax Administration within 4 months after the financial period has ended
-corporate income tax rate of 20%
General partnership
private trader
branch of a foreign company

France

Company Type Requirements
business corporation – Societé Anonyme (SA) -The minimum share capital is €37,000
-shareholders are liable up to the limit of their capital contribution
-mandatory audit mandatory
-accounts must be audited in line with statutory requirements
-top managers are treated as employees for tax and social security purposes
limited company – SARL the minimum share capital is €1 however banks prefer the company to have at least 4000 € share capital.
the minimum number of shareholders is one (also called a EURL Company)
shareholders are liable up to the limit of their capital contribution
accounts must be audited in line with statutory requirements
top managers have more onerous tax and security rules than SA managers
simplified stock corporation – SAS (most common) the minimum share capital is €1 but banks prefer the company to have at least 4000 € share capital
the company must have at least one shareholder and director
shareholders are liable up to the limit of their capital contribution
there is no need for a board of directors
SCI – Societe Civile Immobiliere An SCI is similar to that of a private limited company, which has been incorporated.

Germany

Company Type Requirements
two types of limited liability companies; GmbH or UG (mini-Gmbh) -the minimum share capital for a GmbH is €25,000 (50% minimum to be paid up)
-the minimum share capital for a UG is €1
-must have at least one shareholder
stock corporation (AG) -the minimum share capital is €50,000
-this is the standard corporate form for major public companies
-must have at least one shareholder
-subject to heavy regulation as a listed company
partnerships -two partnership types; general oHG or limited KG partnership
-must have two partners, one of which can be a GmbH company
-commonly used for small and family-owned businesses
-foreign investors tend to prefer limited-liability KG partnerships
sole proprietor (sole trader) -the most simple and least regulated business entity in Germany
-has unlimited liability for all debts
-profits are subject to individual income tax rates

Greece

Company Type Requirements
limited liability corporation (EPE) -the minimum share capital for an EPE company is €4,500
-must be paid up at formation, at least half of it in cash
-the minimum number of shareholders is usually two
-popular format because of limited liability
-statutory financial reporting requirement
stock corporation (AE) -the minimum share capital for an AE is €60,000
-the standard format for major public companies
-widely adopted by sole proprietors because of flexibility
-board of directors and auditors required
partnerships -available either as a general (OE) or limited (EE) partnership
-foreign investors tend to prefer limited-liability EE partnerships
-minimum of two partners, no minimum share capital required, but usually €1000
-much lower level of regulatory intervention
branches -foreign parent must meet Greek share capital requirements
-foreign parent responsible for legal and tax affairs of branch
-branch required to register with Greek authorities
-minimum of one director; there are formal accounting requirements
-must appoint a local representative who is jointly and severally liable for payment of taxation
-unless the client opts for an S.A. company, where they will only need a proxy for the Greek Tax
-Authorities
-bank guarantee may also be required

Hungary

Company Type Requirements
Hungary Company Formation -Only one shareholder and one director is required
-VAT registration is included with company registration
-Most Hungarian companies are required to register for Value Added Tax (VAT)
-Corporate shareholders are permitted.
-Registered address or virtual office required
-Minimum share capital – HUF 3.000.000 (appx €9600) – this needs to declared not deposited
-An Accountant should be appointed prior to the company application
-Company should have Hungarian Bank account

Ireland

Company Type Requirements
Private Company Limited by Shares (LTD) -Only one shareholder and one director is required The choice of a company name must be approved by the Registrar of Companies and must be sufficiently different from any other company name on the register (generic words like ‘holdings’, ‘Ireland’, international’, ‘trading’, etc. don’t count)
-Every company must have a Registered Office address within the state
-All Irish companies must register for corporation tax.
-A Private Company Limited by Shares may have a single director if desired, but in this case, must appoint a separate secretary.
-Every company must have a Secretary who may also be a Director. A Corporate Secretary is permissible
-It is possible to have a “Single Member Company” whereby all shares are held by the one person/company. The Maximum number of shareholders for a Private Limited company is ninety-nine.
-Companies are normally capitalised with 100 issued shares of Euro 1 each.
-Newly incorporated companies should demonstrate an activity/trade within the state if they wish to register for VAT
Designated Activity Company (DAC) -must have at least two directors where one should be an EEA resident or alternatively a company may dispense with this requirement by placing a bond to the value of Euro 25,394.76 with the Company Registry (2 Directors still required though) Premium for Bond is EUR1957.50. The maximum number of directorships allowable is 25
Company Limited by Guarantee (Non-Profit Company) -must have at least two directors where one should be an EEA resident or alternatively a company may dispense with this requirement by placing a bond to the value of Euro 25,394.76 with the Company Registry (2 Directors still required though) Premium for Bond is EUR1957.50 The maximum number of directorships allowable is 25.
Unlimited Company -must have at least two directors where one should be an EEA resident or alternatively a company may dispense with this requirement by placing a bond to the value of Euro 25,394.76 with the Company Registry (2 Directors still required though) Premium for Bond is EUR1957.50 The maximum number of directorships allowable is 25.
Limited Partnership (LP) -must have at least two directors where one should be an EEA resident or alternatively a company may dispense with this requirement by placing a bond to the value of Euro 25,394.76 with the Company Registry (2 Directors still required though) Premium for Bond is EUR1957.50 The maximum number of directorships allowable is 25.
Public Limited Company (PLC) -must have at least two directors where one should be an EEA resident or alternatively a company may dispense with this requirement by placing a bond to the value of Euro 25,394.76 with the Company Registry (2 Directors still required though) Premium for Bond is EUR1957.50 The maximum number of directorships allowable is 25.
Branch -must have at least two directors where one should be an EEA resident or alternatively a company may dispense with this requirement by placing a bond to the value of Euro 25,394.76 with the Company Registry (2 Directors still required though) Premium for Bond is EUR1957.50 The maximum number of directorships allowable is 25.

Italy

Company Type Requirements
Limited liability company (SrL) -Ideal format for small to medium businesses
-minimum share capital is €10,000
-accounts to be filed annually
-No restrictions on foreign investors
Joint Stock Companies (SpA) -Minimum 1 director
-Ideal for medium to large companies
-The minimum share capital is €120,000
-No restrictions on foreign investors
-accounts to be filed annually with the Registrar of Companies
Branch -foreign parent responsible for all liabilities of Italian branch
-minimum 1 director
-accounts to be maintained but no reporting requirements

Latvia

Company Type Requirements
limited liability company (SIA) -the most common business vehicle in Latvia
-minimum share capital is €2.800, at least half to be paid up
-minimum number of directors is one
-no restrictions on foreign shareholders
-accounts to be maintained in line with statutory requirements
-at least one employee in the company
joint stock company (A/S) -popular format for larger companies that wish to raise public capital
-minimum share capital is €36,000 which must be fully paid up before registration
-two-tier system comprising management and supervisory boards
-accounts to be audited and filed with authorities
branch office -foreign owned branch taxed at same rate as Latvian company
-reporting and audit requirements are same as for Latvian companies
-profits can be repatriated without withholding tax
-dividends transferred abroad are subject to 10% withholding tax
representative office -representative offices are not allowed to trade or do business
-they are only permitted to advertise and promote their company
-regarded as an effective low-cost means of establishing a presence

Lithuania

Company Type Requirements
public limited company (AB) -the most common business vehicle for medium/large companies
-minimum share capital is approx. €44,000, at least 25% to be paid up
-one of more shareholders are required in order to register a public company
-auditors required to prepare annual financial statement
-company and its shareholders have limited liability
-you must appoint a supervisory council or “board of management”
private limited company (UAB) -the most common business vehicle for medium/large companies
-minimum share capital is approx. €44,000, at least 25% to be paid up
-one of more shareholders are required in order to register a public company
-auditors required to prepare annual financial statement
-company and its shareholders have
-limited liability you must appoint a supervisory council or “board of management”
general partnership (TUB) or limited partnership (KUB) -available as a general or limited partnership
-general partnerships have unlimited liability
-limited partnerships have limited liability
branch or representative office -foreign parent is responsible for all liabilities
-branch office can conduct trade within scope set by parent
-representative office can promote but cannot trade
-at least one manager must reside in Lithuania
-no formal auditing requirements

Luxembourg

Company Type Requirements
joint stock company (SA), -minimum share capital €30,000
-at least one director, a registered office in Luxembourg, and audited accounts if the company exceeds a certain size
limited liability company (SARL), -minimum share capital €12,000
-no more than 100 shareholders;
-at least one director, a registered office in Luxembourg, and audited accounts subject to size.
-Share Capital can be used to pay incorporation fees
general partnership
special limited partnership,
branch of foreign company

Malta

Company Type Requirements
Private Limited Liability Company – the most popular business type for private and commercial ventures in Malta.
-They require a minimum share capital of €1,200, but only 20% needs to be paid up (€240).
-This can be paid in any currency.
Public Limited Liability Company – typically used by large businesses.
-This company type requires a minimum share capital of approximately €47,000.
General & Limited partnerships – suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.
-Does not require a minimum share capital.
Foreign companies -foreign companies can open subsidiaries or branch offices in Malta. Holding companies are tax exempt.

Netherlands

Company Type Requirements
public limited company (NV) the minimum share capital for an NV company is €45,000
-at least 20% of the authorized share capital must be issued
-suitable for companies wishing to raise capital publicly
-no nationality requirement for shareholders
-audited accounts must be filed with Chamber of Commerce
private limited company (BV) the minimum share capital for a BV company is €1 (reduced from €18,000 in 2012)
-shareholders’ liability is restricted to capital contribution
-the most common form of business enterprise in The Netherlands
-no nationality requirement for shareholders
-audited accounts must be filed with Chamber of Commerce
partnership available as a general, professional or limited partnership
-general partnerships have unlimited liability
-in professional partnership, each partner is liable for own debts
-limited partnerships have limited liability
branch popular format for foreign companies opening up in The Netherlands
-foreign parent responsible for all liabilities of the Dutch branch
-branch required to register with Chamber of Commerce
-minimum of one director; no formal accounting requirements

Norway

Company Type Requirements
private limited company (AS) -most popular format for small and medium businesses
-minimum share capital 30,000 NOK (€3500 approx.), fully paid up
-at least one shareholder; board of directors required
-50% of board members must be resident in Norway or in a EU/EEA country
public limited company (ASA) -standard format for large companies
-minimum share capital is 1m NOK (€112,000), fully paid up
-at least one shareholder; board of directors required
-50% of board members must be resident in Norway or in a EU/EEA country
-board members must apply for Norwegian D Number (personal identification number)
branch office of a foreign company -A foreign company may establish a branch in Norway provided that the foreign company is registered in its home country.
-Companies residing outside the EU area must obtain permission from the Minister of Industry. The branch must be registered in the Register of Business Enterprises.

Poland

Company Type Requirements
Limited Liability Company (sp. z o.o) -The most popular format for small and medium sized companies
-Minimum share capital is 5000 zlotys (€1200), to be fully paid up
-Minimum number of directors is one
-No restrictions on foreign shareholders
-Annual accounts to be prepared and held at company offices
Joint Stock Company (S.A.) -Popular format for larger companies that wish to raise public capital
-Minimum share capital 100,000 zlotys (€24,000), at least 25% to be paid up
-Two-tier system comprising management and supervisory boards
-Minimum 8% of annual profits to reserve fund ( up to maximum one third of share capital)
-Annual accounts and independent audit required
Partnership (SP.K) -Registered Partnership (all partners have equal and unlimited liability)
-Limited Partnership (some partners have limited liability)
-Professional Partnership (some concessions regarding partner liability)
-Limited Joint-Stock Partnership (includes partners and shareholders)
Sole Proprietor -The simplest and least-regulated form of business entity
-Popular format for small business enterprises
-Has unlimited liability for all liabilities and debts
-Profits are subject to Polish income tax at individual rates

Portugal

Company Type Requirements
public company (S.A.) -this is the standard format for large businesses
-minimum share capital is €50,000
-minimum number of shareholders is five
-stringent accounting and auditing requirements
private limited company (Lda) -the most popular format for small and medium businesses
-minimum share capital is now only €1 (Was previously €5,000)
-minimum number of directors is one
-no restrictions on foreign shareholders/directors
-liabilities are limited to the amount invested

Romania

Company Type Requirements
Limited liability company (SRL) -The minimum share capital for an SRL company is just €50, provided the business has no more
-than fifty shareholders.
-Must have between one and fifty shareholders
-Shareholders may be Romanians or foreign nationals
-Low administrative and reporting requirements
Joint stock company (SA) -The minimum share capital for an SA company is €25,000 of which at least 30% has to be paid up.
-Mandatory SA format if company is involved in banking or insurance
-Minimum of five shareholders and one director
-Three ‘censors’ to oversee financial reporting
partnership
branch
representative office

Slovenia

Company Type Requirements
Slovenian Company -companies with foreign capital, or owned by foreign entrepreneurs are considered Slovenian business entities, operating according to Slovenian regulations.
-They have the same rights and obligations as national companies.
-Also residents and non-residents may form a company, without restrictions on payments and transfers.
-Founding a company in Slovenia may be done from abroad only for branch registration, but every document needs to have an authorized translation in the Slovene language.

Spain

Company Type Requirements
Public limited company (S.A.) -standard structure for large businesses
-minimum share capital is €60,101.21, at least 25% paid up
-minimum number of shareholders is one
-annual audit is required, subject to company size
Private limited company (S.L.) usual format for small and medium businesses
-minimum share capital is €3,000, all paid up
-minimum number of shareholders is one
-annual audit is not usually required
sole trader –one owner with unlimited liability
joint ownership –two or more proprietors with unlimited liability
general or limited partnership
branch or representative office

Sweden

Company Type Requirements
private limited company -suitable for even the smallest company
-board may consist of just one member, plus a deputy
-minimum share capital is SEK 50,000
-the board is liable for the company debts and “the Company can enter into agreements and is liable for its debts”
public limited company -suitable for even the smallest company
-board may consist of just one member, plus a deputy
-minimum share capital is SEK 50,000
-the board is liable for the company debts and “the Company can enter into agreements and is liable for its debts”
branch office of a foreign company -A foreign company that wishes to operate in Sweden without establishing a subsidiary can set up a branch office instead.
-The branch must have a managing director who should be resident in an EEA country. The Swedish branch of a foreign company is taxed on its profits as if it was a Swedish limited company, but losses may be tax-deductible in the foreign company’s jurisdiction
-All branches are required to file annual accounts of the mother company, annual tax return must be filed.
partnership –There are two kinds of partnership under Swedish corporate law. A general partnership is a trading relationship between two or more people and, even though the partnership may be a legal entity in its own right, the partners are personally liable, joint and several.
-With a limited partnership, however, there is always at least one partner with limited liability, as well as one partner with unlimited liability for all debts.
sole trader -A sole trader is a recognized form of business enterprise but does not comprise a legal entity.
-The business is run by a single individual who is personally liable for all debts that may be incurred.
-Annual accounts are required as an appendix to the owner’s personal tax return, but there is no audit requirement.

Switzerland

Company Type Requirements
Limited Liability Company (Sàrl) -Mainly used for small to medium sized businesses
-Minimum share capital is 20,000 Swiss Francs (€12,320)
-No restrictions on foreign ownership
-Minimum of two people required to establish the company
-One of the directors must be a Swiss resident
Corporation (SA) Mainly used for medium to large sized businesses
-Minimum share capital is 100,000 Swiss Francs (€61,600)
-At least 50% of share capital to be paid up
-Shareholders can remain completely anonymous
-Majority of board directors must be Swiss residents

Turkey

Company Type Requirements
Limited Liability company (LS) -Minimum one shareholder
-Shareholders may be Turkish or foreign nationals
-Minimum share capital to establish a Limited Liability (LS) company is 10000 TL. 1/4 of the minimum share capital should be paid before registration.
Joint stock company (AS) Minimum of one shareholders (no nationality requirement)
-Board of Directors
-Minimum share capital to establish a Joint Stock (AS) company is 50000 TL, 1/4 of the minimum share capital should be paid before registration.
Commandite company -not all shareholders have limited liability
Collective company -limited liability, only open to real persons
Cooperative company (the oldest type)

Step Four: Provide Information to the Head Office

In whichever country you decide to register your business and whichever type of business you choose to set up, you will need to provide basic information to that country’s Head Office. This information includes a copy of your passport and your contact information including your address, phone number and email. 

Step Five: Register your Company Online

Most European Union countries have made it very easy to complete the registration process online. Countries each have their own “point of single contact” which is an online portal that gives a potential business owner access to all that is needed to register a business in Europe. This is especially useful if you plan to register your business in a country that is different from where you live, as completing the process online will save you the time and hassle of traveling. 

Step Six: Register your Business Bank Account

You will need a bank account in the country in which you register the business. Rules are different in each country regarding whether you need to physically be present in order to open an account or if you can do it remotely or via power of attorney. This is something you will have to look into for your specific situation, but opening a bank account is an important step in the process. Having a business bank account will keep your personal finances separate from your business and provide a place for your income to go and from which you can pay business expenses.

 Step Seven: Think of your intellectual property

Depending on the type of company you are running, you may have some valuable intellectual property that you will want to ensure you protect. 

  • Trademark - Trademarking your business name is something you will have done as part of the registration process, but if you develop product names or other design elements that you want to ensure remain proprietary to your company, make sure you trademark those as well. It generally takes around 4 months for the trademark process to be complete.
  • Copyright - Copyrights are applicable to any original written work, software, web content, film and other sound recordings. You don’t have to apply for a copyright as it’s automatically granted as soon as you create something new. It’s your responsibility to make sure that no one is violating your copyrights and stealing your material. 
  • Patent - If you invent a new product or piece of machinery, you will definitely want to patent it so that no one else can take the credit and you will reap the financial benefits. The patent process is extensive and can take up to 5 years so make sure you start the process early. 

Mandatory Documents
No matter what type of business you are registering as or where you are registering there is certain documentation you will always need, including:

  • Articles of formation or incorporation
  • An official business name
  • An official business address
  • Identifying information about the company owner(s)

How Does it Cost to Register a Business in the EU?

The EU has put out a guideline encouraging all countries to ensure that it costs no more than 100 Euros to register a business. This does not include any business start-up costs, but only the cost of officially registering the business. 

Conclusion

It may seem overwhelming to think about the idea of registering a brand new business. But, truth be told, it’s just a little bit of bureaucracy in exchange for a lifetime of entrepreneurial creativity and freedom! Just follow the simple steps laid out for you in this guide and you’ll be on your way. 

FAQ:

1.Can I register a business in Europe?

Yes, whether you are an EU citizen or not, you are welcome to open and operate a business in any European country. 

2.Can a foreigner open a company in Europe?

There is no rule against a foreigner opening a company in Europe. However, most European countries do require that anyone who registers a business does have a residency permit in that country. No special visa or work permit is required. 

3.Can a company be registered in two countries?

Yes, a company can be registered in two or more countries. This is commonly known as registering a European Company and it means that you can operate in more than one country but follow only one set of rules. 

4.Do the registered and head offices of a European Company have to be in the same country?

Yes. When you open a European Company, the registered office and head office must be in the same country, with a presence or subsidiaries in other countries.

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