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Study about administrative formalities of important procedures and administrative burdens for businesses

25 April 2017


This study examines the formalities and costs that EU companies face when undertaking certain administrative procedures. It contributes to an impact assessment for the 'Single Digital Gateway' initiative - part of the Single Market Strategy.

Each year, millions of domestic firms, and over 100,000 that do business cross-border, carry out various standard government procedures, including business registrations and tax returns.

These procedures differ widely in design and cost across Europe, increasing costs and barriers particularly for businesses operating across borders.

The objective of this study is to identify and compare the formalities associated with 10 common administrative procedures. It assesses the costs related to such formalities and procedural steps. The main costs are for advice, certification, translation as well as costs resulting from requirements to submit documents in person.  

The study found that for cross-border businesses, these costs can be over 50% higher than for firms doing business domestically. Cost reductions could be achieved by completely eliminating procedures, or by combining several procedures. Another major potential cost saving could be achieved by increasing the number of e-submission procedures available.