What is adopted financial statements

(Text with EEA relevance)


based on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in particular on Article 50 paragraph 1,

on the proposal of the European Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (2),


(1) The European Council conclusions of 8 and 9 March 2007 underline that reducing the administrative burden is an important measure to stimulate Europe's economy and that a major joint effort is required to reduce the administrative burden in the EU to reduce.

(2) Accounting has been identified as an area in which the administrative burden on businesses in the Community can be reduced.

(3) The Commission's communication on a simplified business environment in the areas of company law, accounting and auditing sets out the points on which the Fourth Council Directive 78/660 / EEC of 25 July 1978 based on Article 54 paragraph 3 letter g of the Agreement on the annual accounts of certain legal forms of companies (3) should be amended. This also includes an option for Member States to exempt micro-enterprises from the obligation to prepare annual accounts under this Directive.

(4) Commission Recommendation 2003/361 / EC (4) defines micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. However, consultations with Member States have shown that the thresholds for micro-enterprises in this Recommendation may be overestimated for accounting purposes. Therefore, a subset of very small companies, called micro-companies, should be introduced to cover companies with lower thresholds for total assets and net sales than the thresholds for very small companies.

(5) In most cases, micro-enterprises operate at local or regional level and do not operate across borders, or only to a very limited extent. They also have limited resources to meet demanding regulatory requirements. In addition, micro-enterprises play an important role in creating new jobs, promoting research and development and creating new economic activities.

(6) However, very small companies are often subject to the same accounting rules as larger companies. As a result, they are confronted with an expense that is not appropriate to their size and is disproportionate for the smallest companies in comparison to the larger ones. It should therefore be possible to exempt micro-enterprises from the obligation to prepare annual accounts, even if such accounts provide statistical information. However, micro-enterprises must continue to be subject to the requirement to keep records showing the business and financial situation of the company as a minimum standard, while Member States are free to add additional obligations.

(7) The High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, in its opinion of 10 July 2008, called for the swift introduction of an option for Member States to exempt micro-enterprises from the obligation to draw up annual accounts under Directive 78/660 / EEC.

(8) In its resolution of 18 December 2008 on accounting rules for small and medium-sized enterprises, and in particular for micro-enterprises (5), the European Parliament called on the Commission to present a legislative proposal that would allow Member States to exclude micro-enterprises from the scope of Directive 78/660 / EEC to be excluded.

(9) Given that the thresholds set out in this Directive have very different effects from one Member State to another as regards the number of undertakings falling within the scope of the Directive and that the activities of micro-enterprises have no impact on cross-border Trade and the functioning of the internal market, Member States should take these different effects into account when transposing this Directive at national level.

(10) While it is imperative to ensure transparency, including for micro-enterprises, in order to ensure that they are open to and have access to the financial markets, Member States should, when transposing Directive 78/660 / EEC, take into account their specific circumstances and needs consider your own market.

(11) Since the objective of this Directive, namely the reduction of administrative burdens on micro-enterprises, cannot be sufficiently achieved at Member State level and can therefore be better achieved at Community level, the Union can act in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty become. In accordance with the principle of proportionality referred to in the same article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve that objective.

(12) Directive 78/660 / EEC should therefore be amended accordingly,


article 1

Amendment to Directive 78/660 / EEC

In Directive 78/660 / EEC, the following article is inserted: "

Article 1a

1. While retaining the obligation to keep records showing the business transactions and the financial situation of the company, the Member States may provide for an exception to the obligations of this Directive for companies that do not exceed two of the three thresholds listed below on the balance sheet date:

a)Balance sheet total: EUR 500,000;
b)Net sales: EUR 1,000,000;
c)Average number of employees during the financial year: 10.

2. If a company exceeds two of the three thresholds mentioned in paragraph 1 on the balance sheet date for two consecutive financial years, the company can no longer qualify for the exception mentioned in this paragraph.

If a company no longer exceeds two of the three thresholds mentioned in paragraph 1 for two consecutive financial years on the balance sheet date, the company may be eligible for the exception mentioned in this paragraph.

3. For those Member States that have not introduced the euro, the amount in national currency that is equivalent to the amounts specified in paragraph 1 is determined using the exchange rate published in the Official Journal of the European Union on the day of Entry into force of the directive that fixes these amounts.

4. The balance sheet total referred to in paragraph 1 letter a comprises either the assets listed under letters A to E under “Assets” in Article 9 or the assets listed under letters A to E in Article 10.


Article 2


1. Member States shall adopt the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive in the event and at the time that they decide to make use of the option referred to in Article 1a of Directive 78/660 / EEC; they take into account in particular the situation at national level with regard to the number of companies falling below the thresholds set out in the above-mentioned article. They shall immediately notify the Commission of the text of this legislation and attach a table showing the correspondence between the Directive and this national legislation.

When adopting these provisions, the Member States shall refer to this Directive in the provisions themselves or by means of a reference in their official publication. The Member States shall regulate the details of the reference.

2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.

Article 3

Come into effect

This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Article 4


This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at ... on

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1)OJ C 317, 23.12.2009, p. 67.
(2) Position of the European Parliament of 10 March 2010.
(3)OJ L 222, 14.8.1978, p. 11.
(4)OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 36.
(5)OJ C 45 E of 23.2.2010, p. 58.