SME definition

What’s an SME?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are outlined within the EU suggestion 2003/361.

The principle components figuring out whether or not an enterprise is an SME are

  1. workers headcount
  2. both turnover or stability sheet complete

Firm class

Employees headcount



Steadiness sheet complete


< 250

≤ € 50 m

≤ € 43 m


< 50

≤ € 10 m

≤ € 10 m


< 10

≤ € 2 m

≤ € 2 m

These ceilings apply to the figures for particular person companies solely. A agency that’s half of a bigger group might have to incorporate workers headcount/turnover/stability sheet knowledge from that group too.

Additional particulars embrace

What assist can SMEs get?

There are 2 broad varieties of potential profit for an enterprise if it meets the factors

  • eligibility for help beneath many EU business-support programmes focused particularly at SMEs: analysis funding, competitiveness and innovation funding and related nationwide help programmes that would in any other case be banned as unfair authorities help (‘state help’ – see block exemption regulation)
  • fewer necessities or diminished charges for EU administrative compliance

Monitoring of the implementation of the SME definition

The Fee displays the implementation of the SME definition. The unbiased analysis examine carried out in 2012 concluded that there isn’t any want for a serious revision of the SME definition. The ultimate report of the examine (1 MB) really useful to make clear the appliance of sure guidelines inside the current Advice by offering steerage or by updating the 2005 version of the SME definition person information.

Supporting paperwork


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