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The European Commission is looking for feedback on possible revision of some aspects of the definition. The current definition dates back 2003 and it is widely used in several EU policies such as research and innovation, structural funds, competition, as well as for some European administrative exemptions and reduced fees.

The EC is reviewing how micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined (Recommendation 2003/361/EC 6 May 2003). The purpose of this review being to assess whether the current definition is still in line with the current economic environment so to ensure that SMEs can still receive an adequate policy support.


As a reminder, a “genuine” SME is currently defined around 3 criteria:

1. Staff headcount

2. Financial parameters

3. Independence/ownership

The staff headcount criterion (<250 FTE/y) is considered as the most important one and must be met.

The EC is now looking for contributions from national and regional authorities, enterprises, business associations and organizations, VC providers, academia and individual citizens to feed this consultation, including position papers.

Enterprise Europe Brussels invites all interested parties to take part in the consultation which is open till next May 6th, 2018 and is available in 23 languages. It can be accessed on-line.

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