Opinion on Business Transfers

European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) published own-initiative opinion on business transfers as promoters of sustainable recovery growth in the SME sector. However, Business transfers have been a part of EU entrepreneurship policy since the early 1990s.

Committee suggests that European Union (EU) and Member State (MS) recovery and growth policies give business transfer promotion a strong role. Increasing the number of successful business transfers would have immediate benefits for employment, business continuity and the European economy as a whole. Business transfers form an increasingly significant and natural part of the strategic development, renewal, and growth of MSMEs.

Developing well-functioning business transfer ecosystems and support services are essential in preserving the livelihood and economies of rural and mono-industrial areas. Successful business transfers safeguard existing jobs and create new employment as well as future prospects for employees in terms of job continuity and professional development. The EESC has recognised the importance of MSME transfers and is calling for swift measures to facilitate and streamline them at reasonable cost. The EESC strongly encourages each Member State to ensure that there are financial institutions available to support MSME business transfers, for instance by assisting with bank loan collaterals.

Member States must increase their awareness-raising activities on business transfers and equip business and other support organisations to promote and assist MSME transfers. Acquiring an existing business should be actively promoted as an equally attractive opportunity for first-time entrepreneurs as being a start-up entrepreneur.

The EESC recommends that the Member States establish national business transfer stakeholder forums that represent both public and private stakeholders. The EESC believes that online business transfer platforms should be developed in all EU Member States, and that they should also be accessible to micro- and small firms. The annual EU SME Assembly should be utilised as a regular discussion and experience sharing forum for MSME transfers. We hope key stakeholders around the Europe find this opinion useful in developing the dynamics of MSMEs.

Read opinion here

Mira-Maria Kontkanen, European Economic and Social Committee

Juha Tall, expert on business transfers, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences