European Company Statute

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The Council Regulation on the Statute for a European Company of the European Union was adopted October 8, 2001[1]. It contains rules for European Public Companies known as a Societas Europaea (SE) (Latin for "European Company"). There is also a statute allowing European Cooperative Societies. An SE can be registered in any member state of the European Union, and the registration can be easily transferred to another member state. There is no EU-wide register of SEs (an SE is registered on the national register of the member state in which it has its head office), but each registration is to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. As of September 2007, at least 64 registrations have been reported[2]. An example of a company registered as a European Company is BASF SE.

The member states of the European Union have widely different company laws. This means that companies have to comply with many different regulatory systems, and merger of companies from different states is often complex and difficult.

SEs can be created in the following ways:

The legal form of the European Company, or Societas Europaea (SE), was created by the Council of the EU on the 8 October 2001. It became subject to Community law in all EU member states on 8 October 2004, over 30 years after negotiations for the creation of a European company were initiated.

The objective of the Statute for a European company[3] is "to create a European company with its own legislative framework. This will allow companies incorporated in different Member States to merge or form a holding company or joint subsidiary, while avoiding the legal and practical constraints arising from the existence of 27 different legal systems. To arrange for the involvement of employees in the European company and recognize their place and role in the company."


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