The main objective of the study was to check the progress in the compliance of EU countries with their 2011 commitment to reduce the time needed to get licences and permits to take up and perform the specific activity of an enterprise as of the beginning of 2014. Praxis was responsible for writing the overview about the Estonian case.

The commitment envisaged reducing the time needed to get the necessary paperwork to three months by the end of 2013. The study also assessed the feasibility of further reducing the time for licencing and other permits to one month by the end of 2015 (as recommended in the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan).

Several EU countries have adopted major reforms since May 2011 to simplify and streamline procedures for business creation and, at the same time, for business licence applications. It was found that they have mostly managed to reduce the time needed to obtain licences and permits to three months as of the end of 2013.

The study shows that the average time taken to obtain all licences across all five benchmark model companies and across the 28 EU countries is 46 days (i.e. about 1.5 months), which is well within the three-month target set by the May 2011 commitment. However, there is considerable variation between the EU countries, from less than one week in Estonia to about three months or more in Austria, Lithuania, Poland and Spain. The exceptions to the three-month target tend mostly to relate either to business activities that pose significant risks to the environment and/or human health and safety, or to the construction of business premises, rather than to the business activity itself.

See also

Final report and executive summary are available at the webpage of European Commission: