The Case in Favour of the European Private Company (SPE) - A Competitive Alternative for SMEs?
COMPANY LAW AND SMES, Mette Neville, Karsten Engsig Sørensen, eds., Thomson/Sweet & Maxwell, 2009
Posted: 3 Apr 2009
Date Written: April 3, 2009
This paper illustrates the interest for the European Private Company statute (SPE) that has been proposed by the European Commission in June 2008. According to the Commission, the SPE statute should lower the existing legal barriers for SMEs willing to extend their activity cross-border through expected cost savings in terms of simplification in their administrative burden and through the possibility for groups of companies to adopt the same statute across the EU. In this paper we argue that the SPE might be not just an instrument to help European companies take advantage of the Single Market and extend their operation cross-border, but also an alternative to more rigid national company statutes for all the SMEs in the EU. In particular, the SPE statute would allow cost savings in terms of a simplified capital regime and a fully flexible internal organisation regime. Moreover, the possibility to choose a more efficient national legal environment by moving the legal seat independently from the real seat should ensure better guarantees for creditors and minority shareholders, entailing savings in the cost of credit and in the cost of capital.
Keywords: European private company, European company law, creditor protection, capital maintenance.
JEL Classification: K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation