The Entrepreneur Bridge: How to Overcome the 7 Top Barriers to Business Success
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They range from providing false or misleading information about the service to sending offers disguised as invoices or misleading forms asking for updates in business directories. The Commission published a strategy with a detailed list of actions for the future to increase the protection of businesses, and it intends to present a legislative proposal in the course of Removing obstacles to the Single Market and thereby creating a level playing field will help small businesses develop cross-border activities.
This includes tackling double taxation and removing tax mismatches and other tax measures that constitute cross border obstacles on the single market and for foreign investment in the EU. Moreover, in most of the EU, the legal frameworks for social security of self-employed persons differ substantially from that for the employed, creating additional barriers to entrepreneurs. Support for new business is particularly important for transitions from unemployment to self-employment. Arrangements to make it easier for people who depend on welfare benefits such as unemployment benefit to start their own business and become economically independent welfare bridges can help.
Therefore, Member States could explore the possibility for the self-employed to receive benefits e. To thrive, entrepreneurs and SMEs need specific, customised expertise that can help them develop competitive advantages and benefit from global value chains and shared management of human resources. Clusters, business networks and other types of association of enterprises can provide such supportive environments as they bring together the relevant actors from business, education, research and the public sector.
Among SMEs, some companies, such as social enterprises, often have specific business models requiring dedicated support schemes. Grouping SMEs may lead to an increase in competitiveness. Additionally, entrepreneurs can greatly benefit from the Single Market. However, at the moment, the good operation of the Single Market is still hampered by some barriers.
Effective implementation of these measures can promote entrepreneurship in Europe, in areas such as cross-border services, recognition of diplomas and qualifications, and right of establishment. Reduce the cost of tax compliance by simplifying tax filing and tax payment, by extending the use of electronic means, including speeding up the full implementation of the Digital Single Market.
Better use of information and communication technology ICT can significantly help new businesses to thrive. Based on the Digital Agenda and the Industrial policy flagship initiatives, the Commission will help entrepreneurs and SMEs to fully exploit the potential of ICT, both in terms of supply of new digital products and services, and in terms of demand and smart use of these technologies.
On the supply side, Web entrepreneurs constitute a specific category of entrepreneurs who create new digital services and products that use the web as an indispensable component. Web start-ups tend to grow and fail faster than other businesses and scale exponentially, which translates into higher rewards but also higher risks.
Entrepreneur, business - All The Rage
They operate in a complex and fast moving eco-system, where networking and experimenting is paramount. Web start-ups are cheaper to set-up and the entry barriers are low, making them an attractive vehicle to start an entrepreneurial career.
Web entrepreneurs require for that reason tailored support measures to structurally strengthen the web start-up ecosystem. On the demand side, investing in digital technologies is no longer a choice: companies can nowadays only be competitive when they embrace the digital world. This poses opportunities and challenges, in particular for SMEs, since they are often less equipped to deal with the increased sophistication of new business models.
Digital entrepreneurs are those entrepreneurs that fully exploit digital products and services, including "cloud computing", to reinvent their business models and sharpen their competitiveness.
The potential of e-commerce as a part of the Digital Single Market opportunities for entrepreneurs is still not fully tapped. A number of specific actions will enhance trust towards online trade. Every year approximately , firms with 2 million employees are transferred across Europe. Yet it can be so difficult to make a transfer that an estimated , companies with , jobs may be lost each year. Moreover, the legal form of a company sole proprietorships as well as its age especially companies less than three years old are additional elements of vulnerability.
That's why the smallest businesses are the most exposed to failed transfers. These businesses are 'going concerns' with established products, markets and customers and so have a higher probability of survival than new firms.
Would-be entrepreneurs should know that the acquisition of a 'going concern' may be an attractive alternative to starting a new business. Transfers should be made easier for both the entrepreneur who wishes to pass on his or her business and the acquirer.
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Transferring a business from one generation to the next is the defining feature of a family business and the greatest challenge that it can face. A family business transfer must be considered as a transfer of ownership, where that ownership is not a liquid asset but something which is built up and developed by the family over generations, including values, traditions and know how.
The scope and scale of diverse approaches to inheritance and estate taxes across the EU demonstrate that there is still much room for improving the legal climate for family business transfers. Although some European countries have made progress and a more transfer-friendly regulatory framework has been developed, even in those countries there may still be low awareness of the entrepreneurial community and stakeholders professional associations, legal firms and consultants to entrepreneurs about possibilities for transfer and about needed preparations.
As the barriers to successful business transfers are largely to be found at local, regional and national levels, it can clearly be worthwhile comparing approaches across Europe with a view to exchanging best practices and to take actions, notably in terms of awareness raising for business transfers, special financial facilities designed to finance transfers, legal transformation notably the possibility to create public limited companies facilitating the selling of a firm and transparent markets for business transfers.
To this effect, the Commission is organising an expert working group with Member States representatives which in will aim at performing a stock-taking and analysis of the reasons for remaining barriers in this area and proposing recommendations and support measures addressing these barriers. Business failure, like business creation, is part of a dynamic, healthy market. In some Member States the procedure may take such a long time that entrepreneurs will not consider another business venture.
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In some cases they may be legally barred from starting a new enterprise for much or all of their lifetimes. Even after a discharge, former bankrupts are stigmatised and have difficulties financing a new enterprise. Therefore, many potential entrepreneurs simply give up and do not consider trying again. Yet research shows that 'second starters' are more successful and survive longer than average start-ups; they grow faster and employ more workers.
Thus, a failure in entrepreneurship should not result in a "life sentence" prohibiting any future entrepreneurial activity but should be seen as an opportunity for learning and improving — a viewpoint that we already today fully accept as the basis of progress in scientific research. Consequently, any move to encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs must include reassurance that, if their first idea does not fly, they will not be forever barred from trying to 'take off' again.
Thus bankruptcy laws must provide for swift, efficient ways of lodging and recovering claims for creditor enterprises, while faster and more affordable procedures for winding up businesses and for discharge from bankruptcy should be put in place. The Commission adopted last December a Communication on a new European approach to business failure and insolvency to create a more business friendly environment, for example by improving the efficiency of national insolvency laws including the length and costs of the period of discharge from bankruptcy.
As a first step to be taken, the Commission also adopted at the same time a proposal for the modernisation of the Regulation on insolvency proceedings which will ensure cross-border recognition of the rescue of enterprises and also includes facilitating the lodging of claims in another Member State. Entrepreneurs should be the 'normal customer' for whom administrations benchmark their procedural requirements and yet nearly three-quarters of Europeans consider it too difficult to start their own business because of administrative complexities.
Many more complained about heavy regulatory burdens imposed on the running of a business. In November the Commission adopted its Report on minimising regulatory burden for SMEs — adapting EU regulation to the needs of micro-enterprises, which extended the focus to a far wider range of all regulatory burdens beyond the administrative burden of reporting to authorities, and introducing the principle of reverse burden of proof for any new regulatory burden.
It also committed the Commission to improved consultation with smaller businesses and the adoption of an annual scoreboard on progress towards implementation in Member States. Another 5.
1. Cut down response times.
Notable savings have been realised in the areas of tax law moving from paper to electronic billing and company law exceptions for micro-enterprises from some provisions on financial reporting obligations. For instance, the Invoicing Directive has created equal treatment between paper and e-invoices and no longer allows Member States to prescribe a certain technology for e-invoices.
Progress has also been made in modernising customs legislation, reducing statistical reporting obligations on SMEs, and an extensive range of areas across the Member States.
To this effect, in addition to conferences being held in Member States, on 1 October a public consultation was launched to identify the ten most burdensome pieces of EU legislation. The outcome of this consultation, together with more specific analysis, will be taken into consideration when assessing the need for reviewing EU regulation in specific areas. Regulatory obligations of businesses should be clear and simple. In addition to protecting public and workplace health and safety and the environment, clear regulatory frameworks ensure a level playing field, fair and free competition, business certainty and market predictability.
Smart regulation can also drive innovation putting European Companies in the lead in key technologies and services. However, duplicative or uncoordinated licensing should be eliminated. Similarly, burdensome formalities such as the request to prove the authenticity of public documents e. Red tape should be eliminated or reduced wherever possible for all businesses and particularly for micro-enterprises including the self-employed and the liberal professions, who are exceptionally vulnerable to the burdens of bureaucracy due to their smaller size and limited human and financial resources.
At the same time, remaining undue and unjustified barriers to entry in liberal professions should be removed. In the area of public procurement SMEs and cross-border bidders are hampered by administrative requirements e. The share of SMEs winning public procurement contracts has not changed significantly since Use of lots for contracts with a total value above certain thresholds would increase the number of contracts accessible to SMEs.
Furthermore, the Commission recommends to Member States to continue modernising labour markets by simplifying employment legislation and developing flexible working arrangements, including short-time working arrangements.