European corporate law

European corporate law is a part of European Union law, which concerns the formation, operation and insolvency of corporations in the European Union. There is no substantive European company law as such, although a host of minimum standards are applicable to companies throughout the European Union. All member states continue to operate separate companies acts, which are amended from time to time to comply with EU Directives and Regulations. There is, however, also the option of businesses to incorporate as a Societas Europaea (SE), which allows a company to operate across all member states.


There have been, since the European Community was founded in 1957, a series of directives creating minimum standards for business across the European Union. A central aim restated in each Directive is to reduce the barriers to freedom of establishment of businesses in the European Union through a process of harmonising the basic laws. The object is that when laws are harmonised, business will not be deterred by different or more onerous laws, but at the same time harmonisation provides a basic level of protection for investors in each member state, none of which are forced into regulatory competition.


Name (in Latin) Abbrev. English translation Established Number of registrations[1] (2014) Comment
Societas Europaea SE European company 2004 2423
Societas cooperativa Europaea SCE European cooperative society 2006
Societas privata Europaea SPE European private company (proposed) proposal withdrawn, foreseen alternative: SUP
Societas unius personae SUP Sole proprietorship (proposed) N/A
N/A EEIG European economic interest grouping 1985 several thousand (e.g. ARTE)
Fundatio Europaea FE European foundation (proposed) N/A

European treaties

Harmonised fields of national law

Main articles: Harmonisation and Subsidiarity

Formations and civil law

Corporate governance

Capital maintenance

Mergers and acquisitions

Accounting and audit

Market regulation

See also




External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/2/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.