Legal and Regulatory Requirements for Starting and Running a Business in the EU

Each year, people who wish to run a business, invest in limited liability companies, become entrepreneurs, decide to relocate to the European Union because of the advantages it presents for the applicants. However, relocating to the EU demands from the entrepreneurs analyzing not just countries’ climate conditions, their economy level, traditions or opportunities in particular field, but all the regulations they suggest. In this article we will show you the most business-friendly states in the EU, their regulations, and why do people choose them.

The Most Popular Destinations for Running a Business in the EU

The EU is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and businesses due to its vast and diverse market and high standard of living. However, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements is critical when starting and running a startup in the EU. Entrepreneurs must register their companies with the relevant authorities in the country where they wish to operate, which typically involves obtaining a business license, registering for taxes, and complying with labor and employment laws. Additionally, businesses must adhere to EU regulations on data, consumer, and environmental protections.

When it comes to running a startup in the EU, entrepreneurs must navigate complex and diverse markets, each with its own regulations, customs, and languages. However, operating in the European Union has numerous benefits, including access to a vast customer base, a skilled workforce, and a stable economic and political environment. Some of the most business-friendly countries in the EU include Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands. These countries offer a range of incentives for businesses, including favorable tax rates, access to funding and support programs, and highly qualified employees.

Regulatory Requirements for Starting and Running a Business

Regulatory Requirements for Starting and Running a Business

The regulatory requirements for starting and running a company in the EU can vary depending on the country and the type of business. However, some general demands apply across the EU:

  • Business registration. Entrepreneurs must register their company with the relevant government authorities, obtain a business license or permit, and register for tax purposes and other relevant institutions.
  • Legal structure. Entrepreneurs must choose a legal structure for their business, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). The requirements for each type of structure vary depending on the state.
  • Taxation. Businesses operating in the EU are subject to a range of taxes, including corporate income tax, value-added tax (VAT), and payroll taxes.
  • Employment laws. Businessmen must comply with requirements around minimum wage, working hours, health and safety, and discrimination.
  • Intellectual property. Entrepreneurs who create or use intellectual property, such as trademarks, patents, or copyrights, must be aware of the relevant laws and regulations.
  • Permits and licenses. Entrepreneurs may need to obtain additional permits or licenses from government authorities, including licenses for specific industries and permits for activities.

Entrepreneurs and investors should research their chosen destination carefully, consult with legal and financial professionals, and ensure that they comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

Let us describe some key differences in the regulations between the listed countries:

In Germany, entrepreneurs need to register their business with the local trade office and obtain a trade license before they can begin operations. They may also need to register with other authorities, such as the tax office or the social security agency, depending on the nature of their occupation. Additionally, businessmen must comply with strict labor laws, which can make it challenging to hire and terminate employees.

Running a business in Germany

In France, entrepreneurs must register their business with the Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE) and obtain a SIRET number. They also need to obtain a license if their business requires it. France has strict labor laws and regulations, including a 35-hour workweek, which can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to operate with flexibility.

Businessmen in Spain need to register their business with the Registro Mercantil and obtain a tax ID number (NIF). Depending on the type of occupation, they may also need to obtain additional permits or licenses from local or regional authorities. Spain is known for its red tape, which can make starting a startup a time-consuming and challenging process.

In the Netherlands entrepreneurs need to register their business with the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel) and obtain a tax ID number (BTW-nummer). They may also need to obtain additional licenses or permits. The Netherlands has a relatively open economy and a favorable business climate, with low taxes and a highly skilled workforce.

Additionally, a lot of EU countries are particularly welcoming to immigrants looking to start a business. For example, Estonia has a thriving startup ecosystem and offers e-residence programs, making it easier for entrepreneurs to set up a company and access EU markets. Similarly, Portugal has launched several initiatives to attract foreign investors and entrepreneurs, including a startup visa program and tax incentives for new businesses.


Running a business in the EU can be advantageous for several reasons. Firstly, the European Union has a large and diverse market with a high standard of living, which can offer significant opportunities for businesses to grow and expand. Additionally, the EU has a stable political and economic environment, which can provide secure and predictable business development.

Furthermore, the EU has a well-developed infrastructure, including transportation, communication, and digital networks, which can help businesses to operate efficiently and cost-effectively. The EU also has a highly skilled workforce, with a strong focus on education and training, which can provide businesses with access to talented and motivated employees.

For those considering moving to the EU to set up a business, obtaining an EU passport can provide a number of benefits, including the possibility to travel and work freely throughout the EU, access to social and economic benefits, and the opportunity to live and work in a stable and prosperous environment. Additionally, the EU offers a range of support programs and funding opportunities for entrepreneurs and small startups, which can help to facilitate the process of starting and growing a business in the region.

Migration Centr