Standards & SMEs

Standards offer considerable benefits to SMEs. Standards can facilitate compliance with legal requirements, reduce costs, support SMEs to demonstrate the quality of their products and open doors to new markets. Understand how standards are developed, their impact on business growth and how to get involved.
Standards & SMEs

Standards & SMEs

The use of standards brings many benefits to Small and Medium- sized Enterprises (SMEs). Common European standards allow SMEs to do business within the European Single Market. They support innovation, competitiveness and business growth by:
  • opening up and facilitating access to new markets;
  • facilitating product compliance with legal requirements;
  • lowering costs;
  • improving compatibility and interoperability of products and processes;
  • allowing SMEs to demonstrate the quality of their products and gaining the trust of the market;
  • simplifying product development, and speeding time-to-market;
  • facilitating access to knowledge about new technologies and best practices;
  • helping to manage external liabilities (like environmental impact)

But to achieve these benefits standards must meet SME needs. SMEs and craft enterprises are a very important part of the European economy, accounting for 99.8% of all businesses, 64.4% of all jobs and 51.8% of value added. Despite their economic significance, SMEs, and particularly micro enterprises struggle to engage effectively in standardisation processes due to challenges such as insufficient information, limited understanding of standardisation procedures and resource constraints. This section provides information on standards, how they are developed and how to get involved.

Why are standards important?

Standardisation is an important instrument for the European internal market policy. It is a way to strengthen innovation in promoting competitiveness. In this context, SMEs have an important role to play since they represent 99,8% of the European companies.

The application of standards ensures SMEs decisive advantages such as:

enlarging the potential market for products,

facilitating product compliance

lowering transaction costs

achieving economies of scale

reducing external effects (like environmental impact)

Improving compatibility and interoperability and simplifying product development, and speeding time-to-market.

improving management systems

Views and opinions expressed are those of Small Business Standards (SBS) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EFTA. Neither the European Union nor EFTA can be held responsible for them.