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Geographical Distribution of European Companies

SEs can currently be found in 25 of the 30 countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). An important observation when looking at the SE and its impact is the very unbalanced distribution of SEs between the different countries. The Czech Republic (70 per cent) and Germany (14 per cent) host by far the highest share of the overall number of SEs. Besides these two countries, significant SE home countries are the United Kingdom, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, France, Austria, Cyprus and Ireland. The TOP-10 SE countries together are home to approximately 97 per cent of all SEs.


By 21 March 2014, only 289 SEs (14 per cent) had been identified by the ECDB as ‘normal SEs’ in the sense that they are known to have both business activities and more than 5 employees. Germany is home to almost half of the identified normal SEs (138), followed by the Czech Republic (66), France (13) and the Netherlands (13). But especially in the Czech Republic, the number of normal SEs is likely now to be significantly higher as a result of the evolution of originally employee-free SEs. Most Czech SEs are set up as employee-free shelf companies by specialised providers. Later on, the shelf SEs are sold to customers that wish to establish businesses quickly. As often little is known about the further development of the workforce after sale they have to be classified in the database as so-called ‘UFO SEs’.

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