SME-definition of the European Commission
The EU-Recommendation 2003/361 defines micro, small and medium-sized en-terprises (SMEs). Accordingly, an en-terprise is classified as being an SME, if it does not have more than 249 em-ployees and if its annual turnover does not exceed 50 million € or its balance sheet total is less than 43 million €.
SME threshold values of the EU since 01/01/2005
|Enterprise size||Number of employees||and||Annual turnover in €||or||Balance sheet total €|
|Micro||to 9||to 2 Million €||to 2 Million €|
|Small||to 49||to 10 Million €||to 10 Million €|
|Medium-sized||to 249||to 50 Million €||to 43 Million €|
These threshold values are valid for independent enterprises. If an enterprise is part of a company group, the employment, turnover and balance sheet data of the group have to be considered, depending on the actual level of participation. For statistical/empirical analyses, SMEs are usually defined by referring (only) to employment and turnover size:
- Micro-enterprise: max. 9 employees and max. 2 million € annual turnover
- Small enterprise: max. 49 employees and max. 10 million € annual turno-ver (and not being a micro-enterprise)
- Medium-sized enterprise: max. 249 employees and max. 50 million € an-nual turnover (and not being a micro- or small enterprise)
Ownership links between SMEs and other enterprises cannot be considered (yet) in the official statistics.